Smoky Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Shrimp scampi may be the most redundantly named of dishes — scampi is a type of shrimp, so the name really means "shrimp shrimp." Shrimp a la shrimp. Shrimp cooked in the style of shrimp. Okay, you get the point. This particular recipe, however, isn't just any old shrimp scampi — it's scampi with a twist. Or, as recipe developer Hayley MacLean describes it, "a fun and smoky spin on this traditional Italian classic."

So what is the spin, you ask? It comes from the use of canned chipotle peppers and the adobo in which they are packed. These ingredients, MacLean says "add a wonderful layer of smokiness and spice to the whole dish" and she tells us "their flavor carries all throughout, making them stand out as the star."

As this shrimp scampi recipe comes complete with pasta, it makes for a one plate meal. It's not an actual one pot meal, though, as the linguine is cooked separately from the shrimp and the sauce. It's still a fairly easy recipe to throw together and can be on the table in just over half an hour if you prep super-quick and remember to buy pre-peeled shrimp. Trust us, the results are worth the effort.

Gather the ingredients for smoky shrimp scampi

MacLean makes this dish with extra-large shrimp, but if you'd rather use a different (and likely less expensive) size, she cautions "large or extra-large shrimp take a bit longer to cook than smaller sized shrimp, helping them to not become overcooked in the final dish." If you substitute medium ones, you might want to cook them for just one minute per side before removing them from the pan.

In addition to the shrimp, you'll need olive oil, butter, garlic, canned chipotles in adobo, paprika, white wine, chicken broth, a lemon (you'll be using the juice and zest), and cilantro. MacLean notes that "smoked paprika could be used if you prefer a heavier smoky flavor," although she herself prefers using the non-smoked kind.

Cook the linguine

Cook the linguine in boiling water as per the package directions, then drain it. Before you do so, though, dip out a scoop of pasta water in case the sauce needs thinning out at a later stage in the cooking. (If you forget this step, it's not the end of the world, as you can just mix ¼ teaspoon each of cornstarch and salt into a cup of water for DIY pasta water, minus the pasta.)

If you don't have linguine on hand, that's no problem, as you can use any other kind of pasta in the pantry. MacLean suggests that "angel hair would hold onto the sauce very nicely, and even something such as a penne would hold its own," while fettucini or spaghetti are other options that would work quite well.

Make the sauce

Combine the olive oil and butter in a pan and cook them over medium heat until the latter melts. Toss in the garlic and cook it until it's fragrant, something MacLean suggests may take a minute or two. Do not allow the garlic to brown, though, as it might become bitter if you cook it too long. Add the wine to the pan and cook it until the amount reduces by half, then add the chipotles, adobo, and paprika. Cook those latest additions for a minute, then add the broth and heat it until it starts to simmer.

Cook the shrimp

Put the shrimp into the pan — MacLean says to do so in a single layer — then cook them for 2-3 minutes per side (or less time if they're smaller shrimp). The shrimp should be pink and opaque when they're done. Once they reach this point, take them out of the pan and set them aside.

Add the pasta to the sauce

Add the lemon juice and zest to the sauce along with the cilantro, stir it up, then add the pasta. Stir that up, too, so it's all coated. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with the reserved pasta water. Add salt and pepper if you feel it needs these, then put the shrimp back into the pan and stir them into the pasta.

MacLean likes to garnish she scampi with cilantro and scallions, something she says "gives this dish a very southwestern or Tex-Mex feeling." You could pair it with a black bean salad or elote to continue this theme, or you could do as MacLean suggests and serve it with a side of garlic bread and an arugula salad with lemon dressing.

Smoky Shrimp Scampi Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
This smoky and spicy shrimp scampi recipe takes a classic Italian-American dish and turns it into something special. Plus, you can make it in just 35 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shrimp with linguine in bowls
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 16-ounce package linguine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce (plus 1 tablespoon sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • additional cilantro, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, sliced
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguine according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan and cook until it's reduced by half.
  5. Add the chipotle, adobo, and paprika to the pan and cook for another minute. Use 2 chipotles if you like a more intense chipotle flavor.
  6. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  7. Lay the shrimp in a single layer in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they are pink and opaque.
  8. Remove the shrimp from the pan and add the lemon juice, zest, and cilantro, and stir to combine.
  9. Add the linguine to the pan and toss it with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with the reserved pasta water.
  10. Season the linguine with salt and pepper, to taste.
  11. Add the cooked shrimp back to the pan and toss it with the pasta.
  12. Garnish with additional cilantro and sliced scallions, if desired.
Calories per Serving 756
Total Fat 22.7 g
Saturated Fat 7.7 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 238.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 91.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.2 g
Total Sugars 4.7 g
Sodium 1,231.1 mg
Protein 39.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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