Sunday, March 25, 2018

Baked Shrimp Scampi

I love Ina Garten's recipes, but sometimes she makes me chuckle over the amount of butter and/or oil she uses. Let's take her Baked Shrimp Scampi, for example. I know that shrimp are delicious with butter and garlic, but 12 tablespoons of butter, Ina? That's one and half sticks! In addition to all that butter, she also has you drizzling the shrimp with 3 tablespoons of olive oil before topping with the butter mixture. Sometimes you just gotta say Oh, Ina!

So, needless to say, I took Ina's original recipe, which you can find on the Food Network, and scaled the amount of butter and oil way down. Instead of 12 tablespoons of butter I used 2 tablespoons and instead of 3 tablespoons of olive oil I used 2 teaspoons. And you know what....the scampi was still delicious, if not better!

I'll be the first to admit that hot buttery garlicky shrimp are absolutely heavenly, but I also think people have a tendency to drown their shrimp in butter and sauce, which in my opinion can take away from the shrimp itself. In this scaled down healthier version, the shrimp definitely take center stage! You get the freshness of the shrimp with hints of lemon, garlic, herbs and spicy red pepper flakes. Of course, for me, the best part is getting a shrimp with a little bit of the crispy breadcrumb topping. It's the perfect bite! Yum!

Baked Shrimp Scampi
Adapted from Food Network
by Ina Garten
Serves 1 or 2

1 pound (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup breadcrumbs, homemade or panko
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425F. Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and panko or breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper, to taste.  

Starting from the outer edge of an 8-inch cast iron pan or oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a singlelayer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.


  1. Oh, Ina. Sometimes I think she loves her butter more than Paula Deen does. Glad to hear this was just as tasty with WAY scaled down butter/oil! And hey, your way it probably lets the shrimp flavor actually come through!

  2. No kidding? 12 tablespoons of butter. I made this scampi a while ago and used olive oil instead. In retrospect, I should use some butter the way you made it here. The flavor combination of butter, garlic, shallots, rosemary and lemon is always a winner.

  3. I chuckle at the amounts of alot of things in Ina's recipes like salt. She is so heavy handed with salt. Your lightened version sounds good and it must be hard being in a cooking group on a diet.

  4. Ina excess! I actually enjoy the challenge to make her recipes healthier but you know how I worry about Jeffrey's heart! ;-) I love all of your changes and I have a big bag of shrimp in the freezer so I think this recipes with your adaptations may be calling my name soon.


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