Easy Low-Carb Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi. swalls/E+/Getty Images
Total Time 20 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 10 min
Yield 3 servings

Low carb shrimp scampi is a quick and easy treat for those of us on a low carb diet. The great thing about cooking with shrimp is how fast and easy it is - in fact, the biggest mistake cooks make with shrimp is cooking it too long, so it becomes rubbery. The very simplest way, with just garlic, lemon, and wine is delicious and fast, but with a couple of extra minutes you can make it more fabulous with some shallot and lemon zest. The hot pepper is optional, as is the parsley. The wine can be omitted as well. See below for how versatile shrimp scampi can be.

Wondering about selecting and preparing shrimp?  Check out the information below.


  • 1 lb raw shelled de-veined shrimp
  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon (optional)


  1. Heat the skillet until hot. While it's heating, salt and pepper the shrimp. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring or turning it until it just turns pink - you'll be cooking it a little longer at the end, so don't worry if you're not sure it's done in the middle.
  2. Turn the heat down, and add the butter to the pan. (If using the shallot, I cooked it here for about a minute.) Add the garlic and red pepper, and cook until fragrant. Add the wine and lemon juice (and lemon zest if you have it).
  1. Add the shrimp back to the pan, stir, and heat through. Add parsley if you have it.

Serving suggestion: Serve over Cauli-rice or shirataki noodles (or other low-carb noodle such as tofu noodles).

How to Buy the Most Fresh Shrimp

Buying shrimp can be confusing if you don't handle shrimp regularly. Here's a quick rundown of how to buy the most fresh shrimp available. First things first, fresh or frozen. The answer is frozen. Most shrimp was frozen at sea when it was caught and brought in to the supermarket that way. What you see in the display case is just thawed shrimp on ice. Go straight to the frozen section first. Now that you're in the frozen section, choose headless shrimp with the shell on and the tail on. You want shrimp in as natural a state as possible, excluding the head. While some people eat shrimp heads on their own, it's best it be removed upon being caught. If you're lucky enough to buy live shrimp, obviously the head isn't a problem.

You'd remove the head just before or just after cooking in this case.

How to Prep Shrimp

If you buy the most fresh shrimp, that is live shrimp or whole frozen shrimp, it will not be de-veined unless you ask your fishmonger to do it for you. If you prefer to do it at home, here are your instructions:

  • After washing the shrimp in cold water, remove the head, shell and tail first.
  • With a paring knife, or shrimp de-veiner, make a shallow incision down the middle of the back of the shrimp. When you find a dark vein, slide the knife underneath and pull the vein out of the shrimp with your finger. Discard the vein.

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