My easy, restaurant-quality Garlic Butter Shrimp recipe takes just 25 minutes to make! A true one-pot meal, this dish is as impressive as it is simple, with notes of fresh lemon juice, parsley and white wine. Recipe includes a how-to video.
A Simple & Satisfying Shrimp Dinner
There are a few recipes I keep in my pocket for regular dinner rotation, and they all have the same things in common. They must be quick to make, require little preparation, and, even if I’m just feeding my family, they must be both impressive and flavorful. My garlic butter shrimp checks all the boxes; it comes together in less than 30 minutes, can be made while holding a baby in your arm (the only kind of dinners I can make these days), and tastes totally gourmet. It’s also a true one pot meal, because the fewer dishes in my sink these days the better!
The buttery (but not too rich!) sauce has a reduced white wine (or substitute chicken stock) base that’s savory and vibrant. A squeeze of lemon and some fresh parsley added at the end marries everything together perfectly. I like serving mine with garlic knots (for sopping up the amazing sauce!) and a salad.
The final result is incredibly flavorful despite its simple ingredients, and it’s 100% restaurant quality in appearance and taste. I suspect this one will find its way into your regular dinner rotation, too.
Why you should make it:
- Gourmet taste from basic ingredients
- Cooks in just 25 minutes in one pot
- Makes an impressive meal or unique appetizer
- Customizable; use broth or wine, add as much heat as you like, and serve how you wish
What You Need
You only need 9 ingredients (10 if you like some heat) to make this incredibly satisfying garlic butter shrimp recipe. Here are the important ones:
- Shrimp. If you have access to fresh shrimp, that’s great! Otherwise, thawed frozen (raw) shrimp work just fine. Make sure yours are peeled and deveined; tails on or off is fine. Shrimp with tails removed are easier to eat, but I thought they looked prettier with the tails on for my pictures and video.
- White wine. Use a dry white wine you enjoy drinking (not cooking wine!). This makes the sauce taste truly restaurant-quality. If you don’t have any on hand, chicken stock will work too.
- Lemon. Using fresh lemon juice is important–do not use the bottled kind.
- Parsley. This adds some freshness and color to the dish. Either flat-leaf Italian parsley (not cilantro–they look very similar!) or curly parsley will work, so use whichever you prefer.
- Crushed red pepper. If you like a little bit of heat, I highly recommend adding this.
SAM’S TIP: Garlic butter shrimp also makes a great (and impressive) appetizer! Serve it with the tails on (easier to grab) with some crostini and extra lemon wedges.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Dry and season the shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides, then set them aside.
- Cook the butter until lightly golden, then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip, add the broth/wine, and continue cooking until the sauce reduces (we’re concentrating the flavor this way).
- Stir in the lemon juice, crushed red pepper, parsley, and any additional salt and pepper to taste.
SAM’S TIP: Slightly browning the butter adds a depth of flavor that plain melted butter alone wouldn’t have. I love using brown butter in my baking, too, and I have a separate post on how to brown butter if you’d like to learn more about this technique!
Frequently Asked Questions
Crusty bread, breadsticks, or dinner rolls, linguini pasta, rice, or cauliflower rice are all great pairings with this garlic butter shrimp. It’s a little extra indulgent, but I often also serve mine with risotto.
Shrimp that has a rubbery texture has been cooked too long. Make sure to stay close when cooking and serve immediately to avoid this (flavor-wise it will still taste fine though!).
No. It’s important that the shrimp fully cooks in the sauce to soak up all the flavor. Plus, using already-cooked shrimp would most certainly lead to an overcooked and rubbery texture (see above).
Many of you have asked for more savory recipes after I shared my chicken corn chowder (can’t blame you!), and I hope this one hits the mark 🙂
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 1 lb extra large shrimp peeled, deveined, and thawed (455g)
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (42g)
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion about half a medium-sized onion (70g)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons freshly minced garlic
- ½ cup chicken stock or white wine (118ml)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed preferred
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Large skillet
- Pat shrimp dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is just beginning to turn golden brown (you’ll see golden brown specks forming on the bottom of the pan).
- Add onion and cook until softened and translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add shrimp in an even layer and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Flip shrimp and drizzle chicken stock or wine into pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan as needed to scrape up any browned bits that may be on the pan (lots of flavor in these!).
- Cook until the stock/wine has reduced by half then add lemon juice, crushed red pepper, parsley, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir and remove from heat.
- Serve immediately. This dish is excellent served on its own with a side salad or over pasta, rice, or cauliflower rice.
ShrimpYou can use any size shrimp you’d like but I tend to prefer XL (26-30 count/lb). Shrimp can be made with tails on or off, for easier eating remove the tails. To thaw frozen shrimp, either leave overnight in the refrigerator (in a bag or airtight container) or run under cold/cool water until thawed.
StoringThis meal is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat slowly (in a saucepan over low heat, not in the microwave) as shrimp that is overcooked or heated on too high of a temperature or microwaved can become rubbery.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.