What Is Seafood Scampi?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Seafood scampi is a variation of shrimp scampi. Shrimp scampi is sauteed shrimp in a sauce that is often served with pasta or rice. Seafood scampi usually contains some shrimp along with a few other types of seafood. The word scampi refers to a kind of shrimp and therefore the titles of the dishes known in North America as shrimp scampi and seafood scampi are actually redundant. In the Mediterranean countries where the dish originated, it is often just known by titles such as shrimp in butter sauce, or seafood in sauce.

Some seafood scampi recipes use olive oil rather than butter and some use both. Virtually all scampi recipes involve sauteing garlic in the oil or butter before adding the seafood. Some people like to have sauteed onions and/or mushrooms as well.

The sauce for scampi is usually a wine-based one, but some people prefer a sauce made with a light cream base instead. Lemon juice is usually added to flavor the sauce and some cooks stir in some clam juice into the sauce. Wine is a popular addition to scampi sauce and is an alternative to adding cream. Parsley is almost always stirred into all scampi recipes and gives the dish some color. Parmesan cheese is delicious sprinkled on top of the finished scampi and lemon slices make a good garnish.


The fish used in seafood scampi can vary widely depending on geographical location, but scallops are popular. Lobster, scallops and shrimp together are often featured in scampi. No matter what type of fish is used in scampi, the important thing to remember is not to overcook it. After you add the seafood to the garlic in the pan, it usually only takes about five minutes for the seafood to cook.

Seafood scampi may be served over many different types of pasta including angel hair or linguine. Many people like scampi over rice. You can also eat scampi with just crusty warm French bread. Scampi is considered an easy and quick dish to make and you only need one frying pan and one pot.


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