Does anyone else find themself frequenting the frozen dinners aisle at Costco a lot more than they should? That was 100% me before I began my cooking journey… There are just so many different things to try! Who can say no to an easy, no-frills, microwaveable meal every now and then?
My days of frozen dinners are behind me, but I recently thought about this garlic butter shrimp scampi I once had which actually tasted amazing. I decided to recreate it with my own spin on it. I present you: the best garlic butter shrimp you’ll ever have.
Instead of going the pasta route, this dish is meant as a side dish, appetizer, or snack, but you can eat it on its own, too – it’s that good! I love this garlic butter baked shrimp dish because it’s so simple to make.
When I say simple, I actually mean simple: Marinate. Bake. Mix ingredients for the dip. Done!
All you need are some basic ingredients and less than 30 minutes to enjoy some luscious shrimp (no dry, flaky seafood here!).
So, whether you’re looking for the best party shrimp or the perfect starter for your next seafood-themed meal, I guarantee this garlic butter shrimp recipe is going to deliver!
There are two components to this dish: the baked shrimp and the garlic-lemon mayonnaise.
For the baked shrimp, you’ll need:
- Shrimp – This recipe calls for 1 ½ pounds of peeled and deveined medium shrimp. I like getting fresh shrimp from my local grocery store, but you can get a bag of peeled and deveined frozen shrimp if that’s easier – just remember to allow it to fully thaw before using, or you’ll end up with a watery dish at the end.
- Note: I like to leave the tails on because they enhance the flavor of the dish and make great handles, especially for a dish like this! Plus, I personally think they make the dish look more aesthetically pleasing.
- Unsalted butter – We’ll use a ½ cup of butter, which equals one standard stick of butter (you already know this is gonna taste good!). Fully melt the butter.
- Garlic – I use four cloves, but you can add more or less depending on your love for garlic.
- Whole lemon and lemon juice – I recommend getting two lemons so you have one to slice and one to get freshly-squeezed lemon juice. I’m team #freshjuice vs. bottled lemon juice!
- Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly ground black pepper – This simple three-ingredient mix is all you need to spice up this dish. Let the butter and garlic do all the heavy lifting.
- Fresh parsley leaves – To garnish.
For the garlic-lemon mayonnaise, you’ll need:
- Mayonnaise – This is the base of this dip, so get a good one! You could also use avocado mayonnaise for some variation.
- Garlic – I use three cloves, but again, you can add or subtract as you’d like. It is a garlic lemon mayonnaise dip, though, so I say don’t be skimpy on the garlic!
- Lemon zest and juice – An easy way to get lemon zest is to take one of your lemons and use a grater or peeler to shave the outer skin of the lemon. Use the inside to get your freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
- Chives – You’ll only need one tablespoon of minced chives to freshen up this dip. Fresh chives give it a refreshing taste, but dried chives still work if you need to go that route.
- Salt – To taste.
Ready for this easy recipe? Let’s get cooking!
Step One: Make the garlic butter sauce to marinate the shrimp. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pro Tip: If you like the classic taste of shrimp scampi, try adding a couple of tablespoons of white wine to the sauce. White wine (I recommend a Sauvignon Blanc) will enhance the flavor of the seafood without drying it out or overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
Step Two: Dry the shrimp with some paper towels. Place them in the bowl with the garlic butter marinade and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate while you make the mayonnaise and heat your oven.
Step Three: In a small bowl, mix together the garlic-lemon mayonnaise ingredients. I recommend starting with the mayonnaise base, then adding garlic and chives followed by the lemon zest and juice. Salt to taste.
Step Four: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Step Five: Transfer the shrimp and all of the juices from your bowl to the large baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer. Add the lemon slices to the pan.
Step Six: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake. The shrimp will be ready when they turn pink, are firm, and look cooked through, usually after about 12 minutes.
Step Seven: Sprinkle some fresh parsley and extra pepper.
- Pro Tip: If you want a little heat, try sprinkling some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. The extra spice goes great with the garlic lemon mayonnaise!
Step Eight: Plate the shrimp. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.
I prefer eating the garlic butter baked shrimp right out of the oven (mostly because I can’t resist the temptation not to!), but there are times when I need to make this in advance for a party.
If you need to make the shrimp beforehand, marinate and bake the shrimp until it’s just a little undercooked, just slightly turning pink. Let cool before storing the cooked shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge. Make the sauce and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
When ready to serve, finish cooking the shrimp on a baking sheet in the oven until cooked through. You can also use a microwave by cooking the shrimp loosely covered in a microwave-safe dish (but I recommend going the oven route). Sprinkle the fresh parsley and pepper. You may also want to add a dash of salt to the sauce if you stored it in the fridge to revive the flavor.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
Garlic Butter Baked Shrimp
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon sliced into rounds
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
Lemon Garlic Aioli
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves mined
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon chives minced
- pinch salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Dry the shrimp with some paper towel and place them in the bowl and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate while you make the Lemon Garlic Aioli and heat your oven.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Lemon Garlic Aioli ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer the shrimp and all of the juices from your bowl to a large baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer. Add the lemon slices to the pan.
- Place into the oven and bake just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 12 minutes.
- Sprinkle some fresh parsley and extra pepper. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.