Cooking With Confidence
shrimp scampi
Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Seafood

Shrimp Scampi For One

by Nick

I had an alternate name for this dish but it was way too long to actually publish: Shrimp Scampi For Bachelors Who Want To Stay Bachelors or For Bachelors Who Want To Find Everlasting Love.

See? Too long.

But accurate!

Shrimp scampi is freakin’ delicious and I can pretty much guarantee that if you made this for a special person, they would love you (unless they don’t like shrimp… or butter). I can also guarantee that due to the high levels of shallots and garlic in this dish, if you wanted to stay single forever, you could just eat this dish alone every night before you went out. If you eat it together with someone though… no harm done!

Serves 1,
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Shrimp Scampi For One


  • 1/4 pound 21 count shrimp, about 6
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons cream
  • Splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti
  • 1/4 Cup reserved pasta water


1)  Cook pasta according to package.  Reserve some of the cooking water for the sauce later.  Drain the pasta and set it aside.

2) Mince garlic and shallots and clean the shrimp if they aren't already cleaned.

3) Add butter to pot over medium heat.  Once hot and melted, added shallots and garlic and cook for a minute until soft.

4) Add shrimp along with a splash of white wine, and the crushed red pepper.  Cook shrimp about 90 seconds a side until they are just cooked.  Try not to overcook them.

5) Add cream to the shrimp and stir.  The sauce should reduce nicely.

6) Add pasta back into the pot and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  If sauce is too thick, add a bit of reserved pasta water to thin it out.  Don't make it too thin though!

Serve immediately!

Shrimp Scampi for One: Prep

These days you can buy shrimp in various states of readiness. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the already prepped frozen kind. I think that buying shrimp that are still in their shell and cleaning them yourself results in the best tasting shrimp although it’s a bit more work. It also happens to be cheaper.

In general, for recipes like this I like the larger shrimp (although not the largest shrimp). Something in the 21-26 count category usually will work nicely.

Shrimp scampi for one

Just a few is enough.

If you’ve never cleaned shrimp before, it’s not necessarily hard, but it is a bit messy and some people don’t like doing it. If your shrimp aren’t already cleaned for you though, it’s a pretty essential step unless you like your shrimp gritty and sandy.

To clean them, basically just peel off the shell using your fingers, but leave the tail part on. Then take a small paring knife and carefully slice right down the back of the shrimp. You should see a small vein of black stuff.

Run the shrimp under water to get that out of the shrimp. Technically, it’s shrimp poop, but it’s mainly just sand and grit. You could definitely eat it (I have) without any ill effects, but it’s a much better dining experience if you clean it! You’ll get good at it really fast.

shrimp cleaning

Shrimp Poop!

The Pasta

I used a whole wheat spaghetti for this dish which is kind of my default pasta. I actually think spaghetti is the perfect pasta for shrimp scampi so just use that.

If you’re curious how much pasta I usually make for a large bachelor-sized portion, it’s a bit larger than the size of a quarter if you hold together the pasta in a tight bunch.

pasta for Shrimp scampi for one

Enough for me. Get your own.

I cooked this entire dish in one pot so my first thing to do was to make the pasta. I just made it according to instructions. I didn’t have a colander though so my draining didn’t go great. I just used the lid.

Ideally, you would drain the pasta and reserve about 1/4 Cup of pasta water for the sauce just in case it gets too thick later.

pasta cooked

A colander would be helpful.

Shrimp scampi for one: Starting the Shrimp

While the pasta cooks, mince up a shallot and some garlic. I used three cloves of garlic because it’s almost Halloween and vampires scare me.

You could use less though if you’re afraid people won’t want to speak to you all night long (valid fear).

garlic shallot for Shrimp scampi for one

This will ward off the ladies.

When you’re pasta is done, add the butter to the same pot. Just make sure it’s mostly dry. Put it over medium heat and when the butter is melted and hot, add the garlic and shallots. Let this cook for just a minute so they can soften up. Any longer though and you’ll run the risk of burning them.

cooking Shrimp scampi for one

Good flavors already.

Then toss in your shrimp along with the red pepper flakes and a dash of white wine if you’re using it. The shrimp should cook really fast. About 90 seconds a side and they will be done.

Try not to overcook them or else they will become rubbery. Rubbery shrimp are the worst!

These are almost done.

Shrimp scampi for one cooked

Done in no time.

When the shrimp are almost done, add some cream to the dish. I said a few tablespoons in the recipe but you could add as much as you’re comfortable with. I guess technically it’s optional, but it really makes the dish in my opinion. When you add it to the pot the sauce just comes together in this fantastic way.

It’s so delicious.

cream in Shrimp scampi for one

Now we’re getting serious.

Season this with a pinch of salt and pepper and then add in all your cooked pasta back into the pot! Stir this all together and if the sauce is a bit too thick, add some of your reserved pasta water. The sauce should coat the pasta but not be clumpy at all. Stir everything together and you’re ready to eat!

pasta added

All together!

It might not look like there’s a lot of sauce, but there’s just enough. And even though there are just a few shrimp, the sauce has this really deep seafood flavor. You could grate some Parmesan cheese on top if you wanted, but I thought it was rich enough as is.

I ate mine on a paper plate of course with a plastic cup of white wine.


So good.

This is my kind of one pot meal. Honestly, if I made it again, I’d probably just eat it out of the pot that I cooked it in!

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17 comments on “Shrimp Scampi For One

  1. oh my goodness. last night hubby and i had seafood for dinner at our favorite seafood joint. he ordered shrimp and i scallops. b4 he started to eat i made sure his shrimp had no shrimp poop in it! he gets so grossed out, i know he should but some places don't take it out so i had to look and make sure it was gone. and in case you wanted to know it was. lol (aren't you glad i told you all this?)

    1. Ha! I can't imagine that a restaurant wouldn't clean their shrimp but I guess maybe I sometimes give restaurants too much credit…

    2. How is it if your husband gets grossed out, YOU’re the one looking at the shrimp for him. Can he not check his own shrimp? Men need to grow up and you need to tell him to get a life.

  2. What a coincidence! I made pasta with shrimp Sunday night (with basil pesto, though). This looks really good and sounds like a nice sauce for whole wheat pasta. Next time I'll try it.Thanks for the recipe!

  3. My husband and I have a hard time finding recipes that will work for two, where we won’t have leftovers for days! We tried this and loved it, one of the best meals we’ve ever had! Thanks a lot!

  4. Hi,

    Love the all in one pot idea. Nothing worse than having to clean up afterwards.
    Can frozen shrimp be used instead of fresh ones?

  5. Hi!
    I would really like to try this but could you please clarify what “cream” to use? Maybe I am just that uneducated in the kitchen to not realize what it is?!


    1. Hey Rachel, in most grocery stores you should be able to find it labeled heavy whipping cream. It’ll be in the dairy section. Good luck!

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