Juicy sautéed shrimp cooked in a flavorful lemon garlic butter sauce, this palate pleaser in a pan is ready in 20 minutes or less. Plus, a few sneaky ingredients make this Garlic Butter Shrimp lighter than recipes you’ll find elsewhere.

A Skillet of Healthy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Lemon Slices and Rosemary

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Clear indicators of a fantastic meal:

  • It demands you use a hunk of bread to mop up every last lick of sauce from your plate (like Baked Shrimp Scampi).
  • Any precious drips that found their way onto the table are also savored, because each morsel is too delicious to be wasted.

This easy garlic butter shrimp recipe is one of those fabulous recipes.

Decadent, dripping with flavor, and tasting just as good (and, in my opinion, better) than any garlic butter shrimp from a restaurant, this versatile stovetop shrimp recipe (hallelujah for one-pan cooking!) is one of the BEST recipes to come out of my kitchen.

A skillet with Garlic Butter Shrimp

5 Star Review

“I made this for dinner today. My husband finished everything on his plate, including all the sauce. It is definitely a keeper.”

— Dolly —

Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins, especially for busy weeknights, for a few reasons:

  • They take only minutes to cook. We’re talking 3 to 4 minutes and DONE.
  • They’re high protein and low calorie.
  • Shrimp are mild. That means you can make them as spicy (like Shrimp Tacos) or not spicy (like Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa) as you like.
  • Shrimp recipes are EASY. I know that cooking with seafood might sound fancy, but please believe me that it is not. This garlic butter shrimp is appropriate for beginners (same with all of the easy shrimp recipes you’ll find on my site).
  • They’re versatile. They’re equally delicious in this bright Mediterranean Shrimp as they are in this Cajun Shrimp Pasta.
  • Cook them indoors or out. While this shrimp recipe is designed for the stovetop, now that summer is approaching (it is approaching, isn’t it?), keep shrimp in mind for the grill with recipes like Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs and Grilled Shrimp Seasoning.

Now that I have you sold on cooking shrimp, let’s delve into this recipe a bit more.

A close-up of Garlic Butter Shrimp in a skillet

How to Make the BEST Garlic Butter Shrimp

This garlic butter shrimp recipe has few ingredients, so make each one of them count.

If you are new to cooking shrimp, fear not!

There’s helpful information throughout this post so you can cook this shrimp with garlic butter sauce (and just about any shrimp recipe!) with success.


My biggest tip for cooking shrimp is to ensure that you have all of the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

  • Once this lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe starts rolling, it happens FAST.
  • Make sure that you have the ingredients, along with any cooking utensils like a large spoon and a big plate for when you remove the shrimp from the skillet, in easy reach.
  • Why? The only way you can truly mess up shrimp is to overcook it.
  • As soon as they turn opaque and curl up a bit, they’re good to go. It takes fewer than 5 minutes, so make sure you are ready (see points above).

The Ingredients

  • Shrimp. Not only are shrimp packed with protein, but they’re also loaded with other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp

  • Since I don’t live in an area with easy access to freshly caught shrimp, I prefer to buy shrimp frozen. Since it’s frozen shortly after being caught, it is often better quality (for a better price) than what is sitting behind our seafood case.
  • If purchasing fresh shrimp, look for raw shrimp (not precooked) that are deveined (no vein) and either EZ-peel or already peeled (tails on or off is up to you). I can’t overstate what a time saver this option is! No deveining makes this come together quicker!
  • Unsalted Butter. It’s not garlic butter shrimp without it!
  • Garlic. A BFF flavor with shrimp. Sometimes less is more, but when it comes to garlic and shrimp, I say, more is more!
  • Lemon. The other flavor bestie for shrimp, it adds freshness and pop (like in this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp).


Always opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than bottled whenever possible. It’s worth it, I promise.

  • White Wine. For the butter garlic shrimp white wine, choose a dry wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and make sure it tastes good enough to drink with dinner. (This Garlic Shrimp Pasta is another wine-infused shrimp recipe to try.)

Substitution Tip

If you prefer to make garlic butter shrimp without wine, you can swap for chicken stock instead. I’ve also heard you can make garlic butter shrimp with Sprite or lemon-lime soda but this sounds very sweet/odd to me, so I’ve never tried it myself.

  • Red Pepper. A pinch wakes up the shrimp but won’t overpower it. If you prefer a spicy garlic butter shrimp (with heat like this Spicy Shrimp Pasta), feel free to add additional cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste. Garlic butter shrimp with paprika is another fun way to add some spice without it being too hot.
  • Fresh Herbs. Don’t be tempted by dry. They won’t have the same marvelous results. A handful of fresh parsley and a sprig of thyme or rosemary do wonders for this recipe.
  • Choice of Side. Garlic butter shrimp with rice, garlic butter shrimp with linguine, and garlic butter shrimp with grits. No matter your side, you really can’t go wrong.

The Directions

peeled shrimp being pat dry with paper towel to make garlic shrimp
  1. Pat the shrimp dry.
healthy shrimp with cayenne and black pepper in a bowl
  1. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with seasonings.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the shallot.
sauteing healthy garlic butter shrimp in a skillet with butter and shallots
  1. Once softened, arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1 minute, then flip to cook the other side.
adding wine to creamy garlic butter shrimp in a skillet
  1. Add the wine and minced garlic and cook the shrimp until they are pink.
zesting lemon garlic butter shrimp in a skillet
  1. Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and your choice of side. ENJOY!

Wine Pairing

The same dry white wine you use to cook garlic butter shrimp makes for an easy pairing. Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or unoaked chardonnay are some of my favorite wine pairings for shrimp.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. You could also take a note from Air Fryer Shrimp and experiment with using the air fryer to reheat shrimp.

Storage Tips

Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.

What Goes Well With Garlic Butter Shrimp

This is one of the most versatile shrimp recipes to come out of my kitchen. Here’s how I like to serve it:

  • Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice. Make a side of brown rice (or this Lemon Rice!) and spoon the shrimp, along with plenty of the yummy lemon garlic butter sauce, over the top. Cauliflower rice is a nice low-carb option.
  • Garlic Butter Shrimp and Veggies. You can roast, steam, sauté, or grill veggies, then serve them along with the shrimp. Pro tip: vegetables (especially Grilled Broccoli) taste fabulous with this garlic butter sauce on top too!
  • A Nice, Crusty Baguette. A few slices to mop up the cooking liquid will instantly make any night feel special. (This No Knead Focaccia would also be a tasty pairing.)

More Ways to Serve Garlic Butter Shrimp

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Skillet. A large cast-iron skillet is just about all you need to prepare this easy one-pan recipe.
  • Mixing Bowl. For tossing the shrimp in the seasoning (you could also try this Grilled Shrimp Seasoning too).
  • Tongs. Make turning the shrimp over as they cook a breeze.

The Best Cast Iron Skillet

This Le Creuset skillet is top quality. Its durable enamel resists dulling and staining, and is specially formulated for higher surface temperatures.

A Skillet of Healthy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Lemon Slices and Rosemary

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Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Don’t mind me, I’m just using a straw to siphon every last drop of garlic butter from my plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Precooked Shrimp?

I have not made this recipe with precooked shrimp before. However, it can be done. Add the shrimp at the very end once the wine reduces. You will want to watch the shrimp carefully and take care not to overcook them since they will only need to be warmed through (1-2 minutes tops).

Is Garlic Butter Shrimp Healthy?

This garlic butter shrimp recipe is healthier than most with less than 200 calories per serving. However, remember this IS a recipe for shrimp bathed in 3 tablespoons butter. Enjoy in moderation and savor.

Can I Make Garlic Butter Shrimp with Scallops?

Sure! I have not personally made this recipe with scallops, however, I’m sure they could be added to or swapped for the shrimp. Keep in mind that the cooking time would need to be adjusted depending on the size of your scallops. For best results, I suggest searing the scallops separately, then adding them towards the end.

Can I Make this in the Oven?

Yes! While I haven’t tried it myself, simple toss all ingredients together in a bowl first. Lay it out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 9-13 minutes! Other uses can be for an appetizer or in salads!

How to defrost shrimp?

Remove the shrimp from the package. Place in a large bowl with cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Garlic Butter Shrimp

5 from 16 votes
This easy garlic butter shrimp with lemon and wine is cooked in a skillet in just 20 minutes. Great with pasta, baguette, grits, or rice!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 3 servings


  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme optional but definitely worthwhile!
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • cooked rice, or pasta, grits, or toasted bread (for serving)


  • Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it melts. Add the shallot and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it just begins to soften. Add the shrimp in a single layer and let cook undisturbed for 1 minute. With tongs or a wide spatula, turn over the shrimp.
  • Add the wine and garlic. Cook until the shrimp are no longer translucent and the wine has reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Zest the lemon directly over the skillet, then cut the lemon in half. Juice half of the lemon over the top and slice the other half into wedges for serving. Add the rosemary and parsley, then toss to combine. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.


  • TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.


Serving: 1of 3Calories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 30mgPotassium: 161mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 835IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg

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Related Recipes

Thanks to their versatility and ease, you can do so much with fresh shrimp. Here are some of my favorite healthy shrimp recipes:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Looks great! Looking forward to trying it. Silly question, but do you have to thaw the frozen shrimp, and how do you recommend doing this?

    1. Emily, yes definitely thaw the shrimp. You can do this overnight in the fridge or place them in a strainer and rinse them with cool water. Be sure to pat the shrimp dry before using. I hope you love the recipe!

  2. This recipe is DELICIOUS. I served the shrimp over red lentil pasta and it was perfect! Didn’t need to stray away from the recipe whatsoever. Excited to make it again soon! 5 stars

  3. Love this recipe! So quick and simple. Served with broccoli and wild rice it was perfection on a plate. Thank you.5 stars

  4. Hello Erin. I made this for dinner today. My husband finished everything on his plate, including all the sauce. It is definitely a keeper. Thank you for clearly writing out your recipes. It helps a lot.5 stars

    1. Doll, I am so pleased to hear this, thank you for sharing!! Writing clear recipes is so important to me and something I put a lot of time into, so I also appreciate your kind words. I hope you enjoy more recipes if you try them!

  5. I made this for dinner last night using fresh thyme and parsley from my little herb garden. Hubby was looking for more.. Sorry!! All gone!! Easy & very tasty .5 stars

    1. Hi Billy! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think you could use precooked shrimp. You’ll only want to warm them up in the skillet for a minute or so to make sure they don’t overcook. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  6. I made this tasty recipe with a twist, instead of shallots, i used a yellow onion. I cooked yellow rice with baby green peas.( served mixed together with shrimps) I used unsalted chicken stock with the juice from the shrimps added in. Delish.5 stars

  7. YOU are GOOD! I didn’t follow directions “explicitly”, but ( I’m 68 years old and don’t know how to season or cook shrimp) BUT your “recipe” gave me the taste I was looking for….KUDOS! and Thank GOD for you! ” You good, “gurl” 💯 😏 🙌5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Valerie! So happy that you enjoyed the shrimp! Thank you for this kind review!

  8. So good. Easy to make. Perfect week night dinner. Don’t skimp on the fresh rosemary. Can’t wait to make it again.5 stars

  9. First, I want to let you know that you are my go-to person for inspiration whenever I’m looking for something new to try. All of your recipes have been hits with me!

    What are your thoughts on making this for a crowd and keeping warm on a sterno? I’m considering it as part of a heavy apps spread.5 stars

    1. Hi Linda! Glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried keep it warm this way. It seems like it might work but my only concern is that your shrimp might get overcooked. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes!