Shrimp Scampi Skewers are everything you love about scampi—succulent shrimp in garlicky, buttery sauce—in a party food form! Just one in my series of Party Foods and Wine Pairings for TheCookful.
I absolutely adore scampi. A classic combination of incredible flavors that comes together in minutes, it’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy seafood. I’ve made it with shrimp and scallops, enhanced it with everything from peas to passionfruit, and served it with pasta, rice, a hunk of sourdough, and even elegantly on its own.
If you, too, love scampi, you’ve got to try this version. (And also this One Pot Shrimp Scampi Pasta Dinner.)
How To Make The Scampi
Scampi is amazingly easy to make. Traditionally, it’s large shrimp that are brushed with garlic butter or oil and broiled. But often it’s also done as a sauté, so that’s my method here.
Basically, the shrimp cooks in a skillet in a combination of garlic, butter, and olive oil. Then a little wine is added. Then a little butter is added off the heat—the addition of butter at the end helps thicken up the sauce, making it silky and even more delicious.
Usually I like scampi saucy—the better to flavor the pasta or rice I serve it on top of, or the bread I use to sop it up. But for this appetizer version I make the dish slightly less so, so it’s easier to eat with small skewers or toothpicks.
What Wine Pairs With Shrimp Scampi?
Classically, scampi is a perfect pairing for a big, rich white wine like Chardonnay or Viognier.
But I was designing this version to go with lighter, brighter white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. So I added lighter, brighter ingredients to push it in that direction, including lemon and lime juice to replace some of the wine, plus lots of lemon and lime zest and bright, springy scallions.
The result is rich, satisfying scampi with a bright, zingy twist.
In case you want to combine recipes, my Tuna Tartare is another recipe in this series that would also be good with light white wine. This Baked Chèvre with Herbes de Provence Breadcrumbs would also be good alongside.
For more about what works in food and wine pairing, read my Guide to Pairing Party Foods and Wine.
Other Possible Pairings
That said, it’s still scampi. So it’d still be great with a big white wine like Chardonnay or Viognier. Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Garlic Aioli is another recipe in this series that would be good with those wines.
Sparkling wine is another way to go. Like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, sparkling wine is bright, acidic, and nicely complemented by the bright citrus flavors in the dish. But sparkling wine has something those others don’t—effervescence. Those bubbles pleasantly contrast with the rich sauce, sort of scrubbing our palate clean and readying you for another bite. Should you want to go that direction, Puff Pastry Tart with Parmesan and Apples is another recipe in this series that would be good with sparkling wine.Print
- 1 lemon
- 2 limes
- 2 Tbsp. light white wine
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 and ¼ lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 8 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- Zest the lemon and limes. Juice the fruit to yield 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Combine the zest, juices, and wine and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
- Add the shrimp and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes.
- Add the scallions and the citrus-wine mixture and cook, stirring, until the liquid barely comes to a boil.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add more salt to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving dish and serve with toothpicks.