Easy Shrimp Scampi for One

Easy Shrimp Scampi For One

Easy shrimp scampi for one is a great single serving dinner that is packed with garlic and shallots. It's flavorful and easy to make. Treat yourself!

I had an alternate name for this Easy Shrimp Scampi for One Recipe 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!

How to Prep Shrimp for Shrimp Scampi Recipe

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.

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.

shrimp cleaning for shrimp scampi
Shrimp Poop!

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.

Cleaned shrimp for shrimp scampi.
Cleaned shrimp.

How Much Pasta for One?

I used a spaghetti for this dish which is kind of my default pasta. I actually think spaghetti is the perfect pasta for this shrimp scampi recipe 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.

Shrimp Scampi for one pasta amount
Pasta portion.

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

Ideally, you would drain the pasta and reserve about 1/2 Cup of pasta water for the sauce just in case it gets too thick later.

Pasta for easy shrimp scampi recipe
Pasta done.

How to Cook Easy Shrimp Scampi for One

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).

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 shrimp. Let the shrimp cook for about minutes per side. You’ll know they are getting close when they firm up and turn pinkish.

Shrimp cooking for easy shrimp scampi for one
Almost done.

Then toss in the garlic and shallot along with the red pepper flakes and a dash of white wine if you’re using it. Everything cooks really fast at this point. Just another 30 seconds or so to soften the veggies.

Shrimp scampi for one.
All together.

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

These are almost done.

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.

This is all you need to make a wonderful shrimp scampi sauce!

It’s so delicious.

Shrimp scampi with cream.
Cream time.

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!

Shrimp scampi for one ready tp serve
Everything 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 wine.

This is my kind of one pot meal. Honestly, when I make this shrimp scampi for one again, I’ll probably just eat it out of the pot that I cooked it in!

My Easy Shrimp Scampi for One Recipe

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi For One

Shrimp scampi for one is a great single serving dinner that is packed with garlic and shallots. It’s flavorful and easy to make.
3.45 from 141 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 Serving


  • ¼ 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
  • Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • Parmesan cheese optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti
  • ¼ Cup reserved pasta water


  • Cook pasta according to package.  Reserve some of the cooking water for the sauce later.  Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  • Mince garlic and shallots and clean the shrimp if they aren’t already cleaned.
  • Add butter to pot over medium heat.  Once hot and melted, add the cleaned shrimp and cook for 90 seconds per side. Then add shallots and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until soft.
  • Add a splash of white wine, and the crushed red pepper. Try not to overcook them.
  • Add cream to the shrimp and stir.  The sauce should reduce nicely.
  • 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!



Serving: 1plateCalories: 477kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 25gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 294mgSodium: 331mgPotassium: 456mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1363IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Angel Hair Pasta, Shrimp Scampi

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Easy shrimp scampi for one recipe

More Seafood Recipes!

Shrimp Scampi for One! Just because you are eating solo or in a hurry, doesn't mean you can't class it up! Here's my single pot, single serving shrimp scampi recipe! | macheesmo.com

48 Responses to “Easy Shrimp Scampi For One” Leave a comment

  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.

      1. Nuts! We need more men willing to step up to household competence. I’m a landlord. I charge a huge amount if I have to clean up behind exiting tenants. Guess who always loses a ton of money.

        Nick, I tried scampi with shallot and it was just too sweet for us. I also prefer it with garlic, a shot of lemon juice, and more parsley than may be appreciated by others. I’m going to try cream this week. (We like scampi so much, we have it about every two weeks)

      2. Ya…. “hubby” needs to learn to check his own shrimp and you probably shouldn’t share that with anyone else. lol

    3. some places (I’m thinking of Portugal at the moment, where my parents live) cook the shrimp with the skin on it and you shell and devein it as you eat. it’s a messy dish but it’s hugely popular!

  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!

  6. Looks wonderful, Nick! I love scampi. One nit to pick, though. Italians never put Parmesan on seafood. I found that when I took cooking lessons in Florence years ago. Sigh. Lovely memory.

    1. Well, sure. But Italians can get stuck in their ways. This is one of the few times I’ll endorse a cheesed seafood dish. :)

  7. This meets my current requirements for cooking: 1) Easy. 2) Amazing.

    My unsolicited opinion based on 30+ years in the kitchen: Cook the shrimp last. Dead last. After ages of being served shrimp cooked by in-laws who thought that rubbery shrimp was the Gold Standard, I’ve learned to cook pretty much all seafood at the VERY last minute. No more rubber shrimp!
    So, melt the butter and add the shallot, sauté until it’s nearly how you want it, then add the splash of wine, garlic and red pepper and cook for a minute or two to reduce the liquid. Once everything else for the meal is ready, THEN add the shrimp and cook just until it’s done. (The reason I add the garlic when I do is because I finally realized I hate sautéed garlic. And roasted garlic. So, I add garlic much later to a dish than most recipes call for, sometimes adding it after all the cooking is complete. It took me way too long to figure out I could do this…)

    1. Amen on adding the shrimp last. Sea food generally requires firm control by the chef in my experience, and adding it last allows required control

  8. Growing up in France, my definition of dinner is long and involved. (As in start it at noon and it’ll be done by eight.) This was simple, delicious, and went well with The bottle of new Zealand chardonnay I had. The only thing missing is bacon. (But that’s just the carnivore in me talking.) Also, thank you for the single serving recipe. I don’t have a gazillion leftovers, although this time I kinda wish I did. :)

  9. This dish looks amazing!! My mom makes something similar, however we make sauce on the side, but with the same ingredients. And with rice on the side. How important is the wine to the taste?
    Foodlover from Norway

    1. Hey Kristy, the wine adds a little flavor to it but you could leave it out without too much worry. You’ll just need to add a little veggie stock or something to make up for the liquid. Good luck!

  10. alert the shrimp cook for how many minutes per side? The number seems to be missing. Thank you.

  11. Sorry, that should have been “LET the shrimp cook for how many minutes per side?” in my comment …

    1. Heya, if you click show directions or print directions under the recipe it’ll show you the full info. :) Generally though 90 sec-2 min is a good guideline. Of course, that depends on the size of shrimp you are using and the heat of your pan. That’s a good guideline though. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp!

  12. A way to amp up the shrimp flavor would be to make a shrimp broth from the shells. after peeling the shrimp, toss the shells in a microwave safe bowl (I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup) add just enough water to cover, nuke for a minute or 2 until boiling, let cool and strain. add this to pot before the cream, let reduce by half or so than add cream. could also be used in place of the wine. it is an extra step but at least you are not throwing away flavor. This is a very easy addition that takes almost no additional time or effort and adds a ton of flavor. I do this everytime i make a shrimp dish. and since you are making a broth, you could add a couple sprigs of woody herbs (thyme, rosemary, etc) with the shells for ANOTHER layer of complexity, which either means you are a closet gourmand (guilty as charged) or REALLY want to impress someone!!

  13. Congrats on being included on a Thrillist…meals for one. When I glanced through the offerings I saw Shrimp Scampi for One and thought, no need – I have Nick’s killer recipe for that. Then I realised it was from Macheesmo. Well deserved recognition! Keep up the good work.

  14. My Dad lives alone and loves soup and shrimp scampi! These recipes will be so easy for me to make and bring to him! Thank you!

  15. Does this dish freeze f/later use. Sometimes I make a week of dishes & freeze f/a working girl. Linda b

    1. Hey Linda!
      I generally don’t think this dish freezes very well. The combo of pasta, sauce, and shrimp is tough to reheat honestly. It does do okay in the fridge for a day or two so you could make it and eat it early in the week? Either way, good luck and happy cooking!

  16. Love shrimp and scampi! Can you substitute anything for the cream. It’s only me and even a pint of heavy cream would be a waste for me to buy. I don’t use it that much.

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