Famous Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi

Unveiling the Mystery: A Restaurant-Quality Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi at Home

Craving the succulent, garlicky goodness of Red Lobster’s iconic Shrimp Scampi? Look no further! This recipe unlocks the secrets to creating this beloved dish in your own kitchen, offering a delicious and impressive meal that’s surprisingly easy to prepare.

Why You’ll Love This Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi Copycat:

  • Restaurant-Quality at Home: Recreate the flavors of your favorite seafood restaurant dish, minus the hefty price tag and long wait times.
  • Effortless Elegance: With minimal ingredients and simple steps, this recipe delivers restaurant-worthy results without the fuss.
  • Family-Friendly Feast: Perfect for a romantic dinner or a fun family meal, this dish is sure to please seafood lovers of all ages.
  • Customizable Canvas: Feel free to personalize the recipe with your favorite herbs, spices, or additional vegetables.
  • Quick and Easy: This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for busy weeknights when you crave a delicious and satisfying meal.

The Secrets to Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi Perfection:

Before diving into the recipe, let’s explore some key elements that contribute to the signature taste and texture of Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi:

  • The Power of Fresh Shrimp: Large, deveined, and preferably tail-on shrimp ensure a beautiful presentation and a satisfying bite.
  • Garlic Symphony: Generous amounts of fresh garlic form the base of the flavor profile, delivering a pungent and aromatic kick.
  • White Wine Magic: Dry white wine adds acidity and depth of flavor, perfectly complementing the richness of the butter and the sweetness of the shrimp.
  • Butter Bliss: Unsalted butter creates a silky smooth sauce, while allowing you to control the level of saltiness.
  • Fresh Herbs: A touch of fresh parsley adds a vibrant freshness to the dish.

The Ingredients You’ll Need (Serves 4 People):

  • Main Ingredients:

    • 1 pound large (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 ½ cups dry white wine (such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc)
    • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon dried basil
    • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional Sides:

    • Pasta (linguine, angel hair, or rice)
    • Garlic bread
    • Roasted vegetables

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi:

1. Prep the Shrimp:

Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the Olive Oil:

In a large skillet or pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.

3. Garlic Kiss:

Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, being careful not to let the garlic brown.

4. Deglaze the Pan:

Pour in the white wine and lemon juice. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, incorporating them into the sauce. Increase the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. Herb Symphony:

Stir in the dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

6. Butter Bliss:

Reduce the heat to low and gradually whisk in the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time, until fully melted and incorporated. This creates a smooth and creamy sauce.

7. Shrimp Time!

Carefully add the seasoned shrimp to the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are opaque and pink throughout. Be careful not to overcook them, as they will become tough and rubbery.

8. Fresh Finish:

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped fresh parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

9. Plate and Serve:

Serve the cooked shrimp scampi immediately over your favorite pasta or rice. Drizzle with extra sauce from the pan and garnish with additional fresh parsley, if desired.

Optional Sides:

Complement your Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi with some delicious sides like garlic bread, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad.

Tips for Success:

  • Don’t Overcook the Shrimp: Shrimp cook quickly. Be mindful of the cooking time to ensure they remain plump, juicy, and tender. Overcooked shrimp become tough and rubbery.
  • Temperature Matters: Ensure your pan is hot enough before adding the garlic. If the pan is not hot enough, the garlic will burn instead of releasing its fragrance.
  • Deglazing Magic: Deglazing the pan with white wine and lemon juice helps to loosen any browned bits from the bottom, adding depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Gradual Butter Incorporation: Whisking in the cubed butter slowly allows it to emulsify (combine) with the other ingredients, creating a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Customize to Your Taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of garlic, herbs, and spices to your preference. For a spicier kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Leftovers: While this dish is best enjoyed fresh, leftover shrimp scampi can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently over low heat, adding a splash of broth or white wine to prevent drying out.

Flavorful Variations:

The beauty of Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi lies in its versatility. Here are some ideas to explore different flavor profiles:

  • Sun-Dried Tomato Twist: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan after the garlic has cooked for an extra layer of savory flavor.
  • Spicy Fiesta: Include a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or a chopped fresh jalapeno (seeds removed for less heat) to the sauce for a touch of spice.
  • Wine Pairing: Experiment with different dry white wines to discover your favorite flavor match with the shrimp. Consider a Pinot Gris for a richer flavor or a Sauvignon Blanc for a lighter and crisper profile.
  • Herb Garden Delight: For a brighter herbal taste, substitute fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, and basil for the dried varieties.
  • Seafood Symphony: Add other seafood options like scallops, mussels, or calamari to the pan with the shrimp for a more decadent seafood medley.

Beyond the Plate:

Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi is more than just a delicious dinner; it’s an experience. Here are some ways to elevate your meal:

  • Dinner Date Night: Set the mood for a romantic dinner date night by dimming the lights, adding candles, and setting a beautiful table.
  • Family Fun Night: Make it a family affair by letting everyone help with the preparation. Kids can help peel the shrimp (with adult supervision) or chop the parsley.
  • Potluck Perfection: This dish is perfect for potlucks or gatherings with friends and family. It’s easy to transport and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


With this Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi copycat recipe, you can impress your family and friends with a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. The fresh ingredients, simple steps, and customizable options make it a perfect choice for busy weeknights or special occasions. So, gather your ingredients, turn on some music, and get ready to create a delicious and memorable dining experience!

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