Juicy sautéed shrimp cooked in a flavorful lemon garlic butter sauce, this palate pleaser in a pan is ready in 20 minutes or less. Grab a hunk of bread and get ready to dive right into this Garlic Butter Shrimp!
Why You’ll Love This Garlic Shrimp Recipe
It’s Simply Spectacular. Decadent, dripping with flavor, and tasting just as good (and, in my opinion, better) than any garlic butter shrimp from a restaurant, this versatile stovetop shrimp recipe (hallelujah for one-pan cooking!) is one of the BEST recipes to come out of my kitchen (along with Baked Shrimp Scampi).
Features One of My Favorite Proteins. Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins. They take only minutes to cook. They’re high protein and low calorie. And, shrimp are mild. That means you can make them as spicy (like Shrimp Tacos) or not spicy (like Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa) as you like.
Incredibly Simple to Make. This recipe is EASY. I know that cooking with seafood might sound fancy, but please believe me that it is not. Like my Mediterranean Shrimp, this garlic butter shrimp is appropriate for beginners (same with all of the easy shrimp recipes you’ll find on my site).
5 Star Review
“I made this for dinner today. My husband finished everything on his plate, including all the sauce. It is definitely a keeper.”
— Dolly —
How to Make the BEST Garlic Butter Shrimp
Shrimp. Not only are shrimp packed with protein, but they’re also loaded with other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. (Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs and Grilled Shrimp are two other favorite shrimp recipes.)
Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp
Since I don’t live in an area with easy access to freshly caught shrimp, I prefer to buy shrimp frozen. Since it’s frozen shortly after being caught, it is often better quality (for a better price) than what is sitting behind our seafood case.
If purchasing fresh shrimp, look for raw shrimp (not precooked) that are deveined (no vein) and either EZ-peel or already peeled (tails on or off is up to you). I can’t overstate what a time-saver this option is! No deveining makes this come together quicker.
Unsalted Butter. It’s not garlic butter shrimp without it!
Garlic. A BFF flavor with shrimp. Sometimes less is more, but when it comes to garlic and shrimp, I (and Garlic Shrimp Pasta) say, more is more!
Lemon. The other flavor bestie for shrimp, it adds freshness and pop (like in this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp).
White Wine. For the butter garlic shrimp white wine, choose a dry wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and make sure it tastes good enough to drink with dinner.
If you prefer to make garlic butter shrimp without wine, you can swap for chicken stock instead. I’ve also heard you can make garlic butter shrimp with Sprite or lemon-lime soda but this sounds very sweet/odd to me, so I’ve never tried it myself.
Red Pepper. A pinch wakes up the shrimp but won’t overpower it. If you prefer a spicy garlic butter shrimp (with heat like this Spicy Shrimp Pasta), feel free to add additional cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste. Garlic butter shrimp with paprika is another fun way to add some spice without it being too hot.
Fresh Herbs. Don’t be tempted by dry. They won’t have the same marvelous results. A handful of fresh parsley and a sprig of thyme or rosemary do wonders for this recipe.
Choice of Side. Garlic butter shrimp with rice, garlic butter shrimp with linguine, and garlic butter shrimp with grits. No matter your side, you really can’t go wrong.
Dry the Shrimp. Paper towels work well for this.
Add the Seasonings. Toss to coat.
Melt the Butter. Add the shallot.
Cook the Shrimp. Flip and cook on the other side.
Add the Wine and Garlic. Continue cooking.
Stir in the Remaining Ingredients. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. ENJOY!
To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To Reheat. Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. You could also take a note from Air Fryer Shrimp and experiment with using the air fryer to reheat shrimp.
Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.
What Goes Well With Garlic Butter Shrimp
Rice. Make a side of brown rice, white rice, or Lemon Rice, and spoon the shrimp and sauce over the top for garlic butter shrimp and rice. Cauliflower rice is an excellent low-carb option. (Quinoa would also be tasty!)
Veggies. Garlic butter shrimp and veggies are a perfect match! Grilled Broccoli, Roasted Broccolini, and Air Fryer Asparagus would taste fabulous with this garlic butter sauce.
Bread. A few slices of No Knead Focaccia or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread to mop up the cooking liquid will instantly make any night feel special.
Pasta. When it comes to what side dishes go best with shrimp, pasta is at the top of the list. Pasta Primavera or Lemon Pasta would be absolutely scrumptious with this shrimp.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
Skillet. A large cast-iron skillet is just about all you need to prepare this easy one-pan recipe.
Mixing Bowl. For tossing the shrimp in the seasoning (you could also try this Grilled Shrimp Seasoning too).
Tongs. Make turning the shrimp over as they cook a breeze.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Use Fresh Lemon Juice. Always opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than the bottled kind whenever possible. It’s worth it, I promise.
Prep Your Ingredients. Once this lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe starts rolling, it happens FAST. Make sure that you have the ingredients, along with any cooking utensils like a large spoon and a big plate for when you remove the shrimp from the skillet, in easy reach.
Don’t Overcook the Shrimp. The only way you can truly mess up shrimp is to overcook it. As soon as they turn opaque and curl up a bit, they’re good to go. It takes fewer than 5 minutes, so make sure you are ready (see the bullet above).
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Garlic Butter Shrimp
This easy garlic butter shrimp with lemon and wine is cooked in a skillet in just 20 minutes. Great with pasta, baguette, grits, or rice!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutesminutes
Cook Time 10 minutesminutes
Total Time 20 minutesminutes
Author Erin Clarke / Well Plated
1pounduncooked large shrimppeeled and deveined
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/2cupdry white wine or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1tablespoonchopped fresh rosemary or thymeoptional but definitely worthwhile!
1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
cooked rice,pasta, grits, or toasted bread (for serving)
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it melts. Add the shallot and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it just begins to soften. Add the shrimp in a single layer and let cook undisturbed for 1 minute. With tongs or a wide spatula, turn over the shrimp.
Add the wine and garlic. Cook until the shrimp are no longer translucent and the wine has reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Zest the lemon directly over the skillet, then cut the lemon in half. Juice half of the lemon over the top and slice the other half into wedges for serving. Add the rosemary and parsley, then toss to combine. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
TO REHEAT: Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.
I have not made this recipe with precooked shrimp before. However, it can be done. Add the shrimp at the very end once the wine reduces. You will want to watch the shrimp carefully and take care not to overcook them since they will only need to be warmed through (1-2 minutes tops).
Is Garlic Butter Shrimp Healthy?
This garlic butter shrimp recipe is healthier than most with less than 200 calories per serving. However, remember this IS a recipe for shrimp bathed in 3 tablespoons of butter. Enjoy in moderation and savor.
What Wine Goes Best with Garlic Butter Shrimp?
The same dry white wine you use to cook garlic butter shrimp makes for an easy pairing. Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or unoaked chardonnay are some of my favorite wine pairings for shrimp.
Can I Make Garlic Butter Shrimp with Scallops?
Sure! I have not personally made this recipe with scallops, however, I’m sure they could be added to or swapped for the jumbo shrimp. Keep in mind that the cooking time would need to be adjusted depending on the size of your scallops. For best results, I suggest searing the scallops separately, then adding them towards the end. For a recipe with scallop searing instructions, check out Seafood Pasta.
Can I Make This in the Oven?
Sure! While I haven’t tried it myself, simply toss all ingredients together in a bowl first. Lay it out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-13 minutes! Other uses can be for an appetizer or in salads! (For those who might be wondering, I haven’t experimented with how to cook garlic butter shrimp in the air fryer yet.)
How to Defrost Shrimp?
For this recipe, do not cook frozen shrimp without thawing them first. Remove the shrimp from the package. Place in a large bowl with cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Thanks to their versatility and ease, you can do so much with fresh shrimp. Here are some of my favorite healthy shrimp recipes: