I love Shrimp scampi. It is buttery, garlicky, lemony, and delicious. When done right, the shrimp pops with flavor and is perfectly cooked. Sometimes, I’ll take some crusty bread and sop up that delicious sauce.
Shrimp scampi is quick to make for a fast meal and is a home run with the kids. They recently started eating shrimp, which is another good way to get protein in their diet without them getting too tired of eating the same thing. Sometimes, you just gotta mix it up, even if they are picky eaters.
The other day, my husband accidentally grabbed my leftovers for lunch at work, assuming it was my 1950s Pot Roast. At first, he was disappointed, but after eating it, he immediately called and told me how good the combination of shrimp and asparagus was. Yes, you heard right, shrimp and asparagus in that buttery, garlicky, and lemony sauce tasted amazing.
As happens more frequently or not, Bay Area traffic robs me of precious time with my family. Right when I open the door, my kids come barrelling at me telling me that they’re starving and they can’t wait another moment to eat something, so can they please have a snack?? Gotta get them feed, so I go straight to the kitchen to give them something light to eat and get to work making dinner.
Most of the time, I’m scrambling. I’m scrambling to slap something together that I know they will eat, because I’m tired and I don’t want to fight them on dinner. They are tired, too. Their dad might have made them do a bunch of homework and read to him. They might have had a long day at school. Little kids, for all the energy they have, get tired easily. I will admit that there have been times when I’ve decided “it’s breakfast for dinner!” or “how about some cheese quesadillas?” It’s quick, easy, and I don’t have to think.
I’m working to break us of this habit. Not that breakfast for dinner or a cheese quesadilla is bad, but when it’s at least one weeknight a week, I have to question my planning skills.
You see, I’m the planner of the family. I have to have everything lined up, regimented, planned, with all the details, and almost exact. I don’t do so well flying by the seat of my pants on anything. I may or may not be a control freak in that aspect. My husband, on the other hand, wings it. I guess he’s the ying to my yang.
Meal planning, though, is tough. I, more than you know, understand that meal planning is a challenge. Plans are good until plans change and sometimes adapting to overcome is a life skill one has to attain and employ. So that night, when I sat in traffic for almost an hour and came home with no dinner after 6 pm, I had to think fast. What was I going to feed the kids?
I knew that my Instant Pot would come in handy to make something fairly quickly. What would I put in it was the question.
There are things that I always try to have handy in the house. As you look at what you and your family like to eat, think about the staples you should have in your pantry at all times to throw together a good meal. I keep a lot of spaghetti around. Mondays are usually spaghetti and meatball night for the kiddos. I also keep chicken stock, butter, fresh garlic, and frozen shrimp on hand.
So, that night, when the kids were pulling at my legs begging for food, I told myself to whip up something pretty quick. I texted my neighbor to see if she had a lemon, which she did.
Shrimp Scampi was a go!
The boys loved it. They really enjoyed the smooth, buttery, garlicky, lemony sauce that coated the noodles and the shrimp. It was so simple to put together that the boys were well into their meal within 30 minutes. And my husband and I were happy, because we could talk about our day without verbal interruptions from the boys.
Absolutely perfect. Read on for my recipe for my Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi!
Please note that this recipe comes together FAST! It’s critical you stick to the cooking times in this recipe so you don’t end up with overcooked, rubbery shrimp! This is also not the recipe to use your tiny, cooked, salad shrimp. This recipe specifically calls for “large” (31/35 count), raw shrimp. Different shrimp sizes may change the cook time.
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I love my Instant Pot. Mine is a 6 quart 7-in-1 multicooker that can saute, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam, cook eggs, among other things. I’ve had since 2016 when we bought our house and since then we bought a 3 quart and adopted another 6 quart. I love having multiple pots since I can cook so many things at once for meal prep or potlucks. If you haven’t purchased one, you should consider it!
- Instant Pot (I used my 6 quart)
- Steamer basket
- Wooden spoon
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons and cup
- 1 pound large (31/35 count) raw, peeled but tail-on (or unpeeled) shrimp
- Asparagus (optional, but goes really well with the dish)
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon
- 1/4-1/2 cup butter
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 cloves garlic (3 if you don’t want too much), diced or minced
- Parsley for garnish
- Cooked spaghetti noodles
- Prepare your asparagus (if using).
- Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of water into the inner liner of your Instant Pot.
- Pour raw shrimp and asparagus (if using) into the steamer basket and place basket inside your Instant Pot.
- Lock the lid and ensure the steam release valve is set to sealing.
- Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and set the timer to “0.” Yes, “0” minutes. Any more time and the shrimp will bounce like rubber balls.
- While the Instant Pot is cooking, mix the garlic and 2 tablespoons (up to 1/4 cup) of lemon juice together.
- After the Instant Pot finishes its cooking cycle, carefully quick release the pressure. This process can take up to 3 minutes.
- At this point, your pasta should be ready. Drain and set aside.
- Once the pin drops, carefully open the Instant Pot and remove the steamer basket.
- Peel shrimp, if desired.
- Dump out the cooking water and wipe the inner pot clean.
- Turn off the keep warm mode by selecting the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button.
- Press the saute button and using the adjust button, set the temp to normal (not low or high).
- The pot should already be warmed. Drop the butter and olive oil into the pot. Swirl the fat until the butter is mostly melted.
- Pour in the lemon and garlic mixture. Using a wooden spoon, move the minced garlic as you don’t want this to burn.
- Pour in the chicken stock.
- Allow to thicken for just a couple of minutes.
- Serve shrimp and asparagus with a drizzle of sauce on top of spaghetti. Sprinkle some parsley on your dish.
- Enjoy with some bread to sop up that tasty sauce!
Do you like shrimp scampi on pasta? What veggies do you like on the side? Tell me what you enjoy eating with this recipe and I’ll incorporate it into my meals.
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Buen provecho! – Sami B.