Garlic Butter Shrimp is a simple and delicious meal - a must-have in your dinner rotation! The recipe takes only 20 minutes and is done in one pan on the stovetop - a perfect dinner for a busy weeknight when you're in a hurry. Italian herb seasoning, chopped fresh parsley, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and garlic add a ton of flavor! It's a healthy, low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free main course rich in lean protein.
Garlic butter shrimp - one pan, 20-minute dinner
One of the best shrimp recipes I've tried is simply cooking the shrimp in the skillet on the stovetop in olive oil, and then adding garlic, lemon juice, white wine, fresh parsley, and butter. Quick and so delicious! This flavor-packed, 20-minute recipe is made entirely in one pan! It's fantastic when served with homemade sun-dried tomato risotto or black bean cilantro-lime rice.
What makes this recipe work
- Simplicity. The ingredients list for this recipe is incredibly short - only 7 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).
- High-quality shrimp is naturally super tasty and doesn't need much meddling to enhance the flavor. So, just cook it in a large skillet on the stovetop with olive oil and butter, garlic, butter, lemon juice, white wine, and fresh parsley. That's it!
- 30-minute, one-pan recipe. The cooking times are short since the shrimp is small by design. The whole recipe will take you 20 minutes from start to finish and you will use only one pan. The cleanup is minimal.
- Low-carb recipe. Garlic butter shrimp is a perfect recipe if you're looking for low-carb, keto-friendly, high-protein, and gluten-free shrimp dinner inspiration. Also, don't miss this delicious pesto shrimp with mushrooms.
This recipe is my family's favorite, time-tested, and fool-proof method for cooking shrimp. I make it quite often and enhance it in a variety of ways. Pasta goes especially well with garlicky butter sauce. Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, or angel hair pasta are my favorite choices. It's a winner both for quick weeknight dinners or to entertain guests. This Mediterranean-style recipe is a restaurant-quality dish just like my other shrimp dinner: Shrimp Tomato Spinach Pasta in Garlic Butter Sauce.
- Shrimp. Buy large raw shrimp that is preferably already peeled and deveined. Tiny shrimp tend to overcook faster and just don't look as presentable as larger shrimp. This recipe uses 1 lb large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) which usually equates to 16 or 20 count. Remove the tails. I don't like shrimp with tails as I like to eat shrimp with a fork and knife and not with my fingers.
- Garlic adds pungency and spicy aroma.
- Butter. I use salted butter in this recipe.
- Lemon juice. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice only. It will provide just the right amount of acidity without overpowering the shrimp.
- White wine. Use dry white wine - it will add richness to the silky buttery garlic sauce. You can also skip it or use chicken stock instead.
- Fresh parsley. Use the freshest herbs you can find. You can use parsley, cilantro, or basil.
1) Sear the shrimp. First, you will cook the shrimp (seasoned with salt and pepper) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until it's cooked through. Remove cooked shrimp to the plate.
2) Make garlic butter sauce. Next, you will add minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of butter to the same, now empty, skillet and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes until the garlic has softened. Then, add lemon juice and white wine on medium heat to quickly (and carefully) deglaze the skillet.
3) Next, return the shrimp to the skillet and quickly reheat it.
4) Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, on low heat, to the sauce, stirring, until the butter melts and forms a creamy mixture. Remove from heat and top with chopped fresh parsley.
- Use raw shrimp that is peeled and deveined. Remove the tails. If using frozen shrimp, thaw them completely and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess water before using them in the recipe. This recipe is best made with medium-size or large shrimp. Small shrimp won't work as well.
- Space out the shrimp in the skillet when searing. This will ensure that shrimp actually gets seared and not steamed. Also, watch the cooking times closely not to overcook the shrimp. You might have to cook in batches.
Garlic butter shrimp is a great basic recipe that can be elevated with these additions:
- Add capers. They are a perfect pairing with seafood.
- Add a splash of cream to the lemon garlic butter sauce to create a luscious and delicious cream sauce texture. Use heavy cream or half-and-half.
- Add Veggies. This is a great recipe to dress up with your favorite veggies. This includes cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, etc.
- Add cheese. You can sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese on top of the shrimp.
- Make it spicy. Add red pepper flakes if you would like your meals spicy.
Storage and reheating tips
- Refrigerate the leftover cooked shrimp in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat it in the microwave in 30 seconds increments until completely heated through.
- Reheat it in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
- I do not recommend freezing this dish.
What to serve with garlic butter shrimp
- Bread. Serve this easy recipe with something equally simple, such as a slice of store-bought, warm Italian bread, garlic bread, or olive bread loaf. Breadsticks are great, too!
- Pasta. Just boil basic pasta and add it to the lemon garlic butter sauce. Finer pasta will work the best, such as spaghetti, angel hair, or bucatini. This is also a great recipe to use flavored pasta that you can find in grocery stores these days, such as mushroom or spinach-flavored pasta. Pasta. You can also use short pasta, such as fusilli, farfalle (bow-tie pasta), or penne. Cook the pasta al dente for the best texture.
- Rice is a perfect side to provide contrast to the richness of the garlic butter sauce. Make a rice bowl by combining cooked rice and garlic butter shrimp together with veggies or chopped fruit. This might include mangoes, peaches, pineapple, avocados, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
- Roasted vegetables. Make a side of roasted veggies, such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
- Simple salad. Because the shrimp is made with a rich and luscious garlic butter lemon sauce, a fresh salad is always a great choice. Serve a generous amount of simple salad, such as basic spinach or arugula salad, sprinkled with toasted nuts (pecans or pine nuts), a small amount of shredded Parmesan, and dressed simply with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Recommended salad recipes. Here are my personal salad favorites that I would serve with garlic butter shrimp: Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad with Mozzarella and Basil Pesto and Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans.
Other shrimp recipes you might like
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Pesto Shrimp with Mushrooms
- Creamy Mushroom Shrimp Pasta
- Cilantro-Lime and Black Bean Shrimp and Rice Skillet
Garlic Butter Shrimp - One-Pan, 20-Minute Meal
How to sear the shrimp
- This recipe uses 1 lb of large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) which usually means 16 or 20 count. Season the shrimp with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot. Add shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes per each side or until it's cooked through.
- Make sure the shrimp are not overcrowded to avoid steaming. You might have to work in batches. Remove from heat. Remove shrimp to a plate.
How to make lemon garlic butter sauce
- Add minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of butter to the same, now empty, skillet and cook on medium or medium-high heat for about 1 or 2 minutes until the garlic has softened, turning a little bit brown, but without burning.
- Add lemon juice, and white wine on medium heat to quickly (and carefully) deglaze the skillet.
- Return the shrimp to the skillet and quickly reheat it.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, on low heat, to the sauce, stirring, until the butter melts and forms a creamy mixture. Remove from heat.
- Top with chopped fresh parsley.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.