This easy recipe for Shrimp Piccata makes a delicious appetizer, or serve the piccata over pasta for an easy dinner. Shrimp are tossed in a lemon, garlic, butter sauce flecked with capers. Made in just 30-minutes!
I’m a huge fan of Piccata – for two reasons really. First, it’s super easy and quick to make and, second, everyone loves it! Chicken Piccata and Pork Piccata are both on regular rotation at our house, but today I thought I’d try something different. Shrimp Piccata!
But then I got to thinking… What’s the difference between Shrimp Piccata and Shrimp Scampi? What really makes this dish unique?
ℹ️ Scampi vs. Piccata
Shrimp Scampi has sauteed shrimp that are tossed in white wine, garlic sauce with some flecks of red pepper flakes.
This Shrimp Piccata recipe is a bit different.
Like I do with my Chicken Piccata, I’m first dredging my shrimp in flour to give them a nice crispy coating, and then I add in a hefty dose of lemon juice and briny capers at the end.
That piccata sauce has so much flavor! It’s tangy, buttery, and briny.
I pretty much lick the skillet clean every time I make it. I honestly can’t get enough of it…
🛒 Shrimp Piccata Ingredients
- Shrimp – Choose the size of your choice; shrimp usually come in colossal, jumbo, extra large, large, medium, small, and miniature. I used large (16-20 count) shrimp for this recipe and removed the peel and vein before boiling (watch this video to learn how to peel and devein shrimp) but kept the tails in place. Pro tip: If you’re using a larger variety of shrimp, always remove the vein (AKA the shrimp’s digestive track) first as it can have a gritty texture and ruin the flavor.
- Flour – the flour helps to make the shrimp crispy and thickens the sauce
- Olive Oil
- Dry White Wine – dry vermouth also works
- Lemon Juice – to add that yummy tang!
- Chicken Broth – or try swapping in this homemade bone broth or shellfish stock
- Capers – so briny + delicious
- Salt + Black Pepper – to taste
- Angel Hair Pasta – for serving, or any favorite pasta or rice
📋 How to Make Shrimp Piccata
- Toss shrimp in flour mixture until coated.
- If you’re serving your shrimp piccata with pasta, now’s the time to bring that water to a boil.
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Add shrimp and cook until pink. Set aside.
- Melt butter and add garlic.
- Add wine, lemon juice + broth. Cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the remaining butter, capers + parsley.
- Stir in shrimp and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- I like to garnish my finished dish wth some lemon slices and extra parsley.
One word of caution when you’re making the sauce. Be sure not to overcook your garlic or it can become bitter. It helps to let your skillet cool down a bit after frying up the shrimp. You don’t want the skillet scorching hot. Instead, now you want your skillet heated to medium.
Also, don’t let the slices of garlic cook for any longer than the 30 seconds called for. They turn golden in an instant. Once they’ve reached that color, immediately add in the white wine, chicken stock and lemon juice and watch it sizzle away and reduce until that magical consistency is reached.
In Italian, Piccata translates to piquant or piquancy, which means tart or zesty. This sauce is delicious tart with the addition of lemon juice and zesty with the fresh garlic and parsley.
This depends on the size of the shrimp you use, but they likely won’t need to be sauteed for longer than 4 minutes. The large shrimp I used here only took 3-4 minutes to cook.
You’ll know the shrimp are cooked when they turn from gray and translucent to a light pink color.
Yes! However, when using pre-cooked shrimp, you want to cook them for just 30 seconds per side so they don’t get overcooked.
Scampi sauce is made white wine, garlic sauce and red pepper flakes. Piccata is also made with white wine but it leaves out the pepper flakes and adds in lemon juice and briny capers.
Yes! Simply omit the white wine. It will still be delicious without it, though you may want to add in a little extra lemon juice at the end to account for the tartness that the wine would provide.
🕕 How to Make Ahead & Store
Shrimp Piccata is best eaten right away. However, if you have leftovers, they will keep in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for a couple days. To reheat, warm the shrimp gently on the stove with the sauce or a splash of chicken stock.
🍽 What to Serve with Shrimp Piccata
- Shrimp Piccata Pasta – Serve this lemon shrimp piccata up with some angel hair pasta or spaghetti. You could also serve it with zucchini noodles.
- With Rice – I also love it with some rice that I cook up in my Instant Pot. Or, serve it with a rice pilaf or wild rice.
- Vegetables – I’ll either serve some sauteed spinach, arugula salad, radicchio salad or this fennel & celery salad.
- MORE → 20+ BEST sides for shrimp scampi
You can also serve these shrimp as an appetizer. For a low-key get together, serve them straight out of the skillet with some serving forks or sturdy toothpicks.
But, the most important accompaniment (as always) is the wine!
To go alongside the Shrimp Piccata I chose a Sauvignon Blanc. Its bright citrus and herbal notes paired perfectly with the lemon and parsley in the piccata sauce.
🍷 Wine Pairings for Shrimp Piccata
- Chardonnay has hints of butter and citrus that pair amazingly well with this dish.
- Sauvignon Blanc has bright citrus and herbal notes that pair perfectly with the lemon and parsley in the piccata sauce.
- Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc are a nice match with their crisp minerality and citrus notes.
- For something unexpected, and budget friendly, try a Vinho Verde.
Did you Make This Shrimp Piccata?
If you loved this recipe for shrimp piccata I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
✔️ More Piccata Recipes
🍤 More Seafood Recipes
- Shrimp Sushi Bowls
- Shrimp Risotto
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo
- Fideua (Pasta Paella)
- Sriracha Salmon
- 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Salmon
- Instant Pot Salmon with Lemon-Dill Sauce
Shrimp Piccata Recipe
- 1 lb medium or large shrimp (tails on, cleaned and deveined )
- 3 Tbsp flour
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp capers (drained)
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Angel hair pasta (cooked, for serving (optional) )
- Combine flour and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Toss shrimp in flour mixture until coated. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add shrimp and cook 2 or 3 minutes, turn and cook 1 more minute. Remove shrimp to plate.
- Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in the pan. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the wine, lemon juice and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, the capers and parsley. Stir in shrimp and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2023 to add new information. The shrimp piccata recipe remains the same. Enjoy!
Watch the Shrimp Piccata web story here.