Melissa Clark - Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner

Melissa Clark - Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner
Melissa Clark shows how to make this shrimp dish from her new book, “Kid in the Kitchen.”
Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner
Serves 4
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ¼ pounds peeled large shrimp (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional but nice)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons / ½ stick / 57 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups seafood, vegetable, or chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Using a microplane or other fine grater, grate the zest from the lemon and put it in a large bowl. Add the shrimp, rosemary, salt, and red pepper flakes if using, and toss well.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until you can smell it. Keep an eye on it - garlic burns really quickly. Add the shrimp mixture and sauté it for 2 minutes, until the shrimp turn bright pink but aren’t quite cooked through.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate or bowl.
  4. Pour the stock into the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Add the orzo and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and let the orzo cook for 10-13 minutes, until it is not quite al dente (carefully taste one to see if it’s ready, making sure to blow on it to cool it first). (the orzo will finish cooking in the next step.)
  5. Uncover the skillet and add the shrimp to the orzo, stirring well. Cover and let the shrimp and orzo finish cooking together, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice all over the ozo and shrimp. Add the chopped herbs and toss well. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Sprinkle with the parmesan if you like. Serve hot.


  1. If you don’t have fresh rosemary, just leave it out. Don’t try to substitute dried rosemary here: the shrimp don’t cook for long enough to soften the dried stuff, and the texture will be prickly.
  2. I love adding a couple of anchovies to the pan along with the garlic. Mince a fillet or two and throw them in the pan. They will melt into the sauce, leaving umami deliciousness in their wake.

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