Not for the faint at heart, but definitely delicious this Ina Garten Baked Shrimp Scampi from the Barefoot Contessa herself, is definitely a great crowd pleaser and oh so simple to make!
Sometimes you need a special dish that will wow your guests, but require little work. I’m not saying I don’t like to work hard in the kitchen, but seriously, if you don’t have to…. Well, this week I had my in-laws over for dinner. And what was on the menu? Straight from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
I was born in New Orleans and grew up in Texas. One thing about living by the Gulf of Mexico is that we have year round access to glorious seafood, especially fresh shrimp. That means delicious shrimp po’ boys, shrimp creole, shrimp étouffée, shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp and almost any other shrimp dishes you can dream up.
One dish I remember my mom making was shrimp scampi. It was a buttery, garlicky dish made with shrimp. It was super rich and that I didn’t really like it. Of course now I look back and wonder what the heck was wrong with me for saying no to shrimp scampi!
Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian dish that is open to many interpretations. Originally it was made with langoustines, a tiny lobster-like crustacean. When Italian immigrants came to America, they adapted the recipe for ingredients found here and thus, shrimp scampi was born.
Ina’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
Every time my in-laws come over, they expect a new dish from. They know I like to try new things on people all the time and this night was no exception. My mother-in-law always watches what I do, trying to learn a new technique and fascinated with cooking/website challenge I took upon myself.
Of course, having someone watch you as you prepare a meal has one problem. There are no secrets and you reveal how much fat you are using in a dish! Boy were her eyes wide open while I made Ina’s Shrimp Scampi!
First let me say that this Baked Shrimp Scampi dish is amazingly delicious and amazingly easy. But, it does ask for a lot of butter: 1 1/2 sticks of butter, to be exact. And spread that over six servings, you are still talking about at least 2TBS of butter per person.
But considering this meal is for a special occasion or you don’t have a looming cholesterol problem, then you don’t have to worry too much about the fat and butter. This dish truly delicious and incredible, despite or because of the glorious butter.
I can feel my butt expanding just from thinking about it!
To complete the meal and add a healthy touch, I served it with brown rice, roasted Brussels sprouts and green salad. The rice soaked up the decadent lemon-butter sauce and I think we cleaned up the remaining drops of sauce in the serving platter with our rice!
You can also serve it with bread or pasta. This would also make a fabulous appetizer, too, from simple cocktail parties to big formal holiday shin-digs.
My husband proclaimed this recipe a keeper, but did suggest a crunchier topping.
“What’s in the sauce that makes it taste so good?” he asked.
Having witnessed the preparation, my mother-in-law answered for me, “Butter! Lots and lots of butter!”
I have made this baked shrimp scampi again and have modified it with less butter, more lemon juice and wine, and it did make the topping less moist and more crunchy. It is a scrumptious dish and I’m sure you and your family will fall in love with it.
This post was first published in 2010. After not making this dish for a couple of years (a pitfall with food blogging!), I recently made this dish so I could update the photographs. My husband raved about it – again – forgetting that he had it before.
So he asked, “Why don’t we have it more often?” Seriously, I really need to keep this on the menu more often!
More Ina Garten Recipes
Love Ina’s recipes like I do? Here are some of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes:
- 2 lb large shrimp (21-25 count)
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS white wine
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 3 TBS minced parsley
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Wash shrimp and drain in a colander. Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on.
- Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with olive oil, wine, 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp ground black pepper.
- Allow shrimp to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
- In a small bowl using a fork mash together butter, garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice egg yolk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.
- Stir panko bread crumbs into the butter mixture.
- Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish.
- Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp.
- Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
Serve your shrimp scampi with a baguette or over pasta or rice.
This dish will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics
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Serving Size:4-5 shrimp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 31.6gSaturated Fat: 16.1gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 1320mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 17g