How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi

Olive Garden shrimp scampi is made with shrimp, asparagus, tomatoes and angel hair pasta, all tossed with a cream sauce. It's a simple but elegant dish to make at home.

Plump, succulent shrimp…al dente pasta twirled around a fork…creamy garlic sauce dripping from crisp asparagus pieces and juicy tomatoes.

You’re not dreaming. You’re not at a fancy bistro. You’re at home enjoying a homemade helping of Olive Garden shrimp scampi. This spot-on copycat recipe comes together in under 30 minutes!

Serve with a basket full of homemade Olive Garden breadsticks.

Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Yield: 4 servings


Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed and fully thawed
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving

Editor’s Tip: You can buy deveined shrimp or learn how to clean shrimp at home.


Step 1: Cook shrimp

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi shrimp cooking

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat. Then, in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Lightly season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to the skillet.

Cook, stirring occasionally until pink; about 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t overcook! The secret to perfect, juicy shrimp is to cook until they’ve just turned pink on all sides. This happens a lot quicker than you may expect, so don’t walk away during this step.

Step 2: Cook pasta

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi pastaLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Drop in the pasta and cook until al dente; usually 6-8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set the pasta aside.

Step 3: Make the sauce

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi sauceLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. To the same skillet you cooked the shrimp in, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic until it is fragrant; about 1 minute. Stir in the white wine (and read this if you’re new to cooking with wine).

Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat. Simmer for 5-8 minutes until the wine has reduced by half. Add the asparagus and lemon juice and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Editor’s Tip: Thin pieces of asparagus are best for this shrimp scampi recipe since they are cooked for a limited amount of time before serving. If your asparagus is thicker, consider steaming or blanching it first before finishing it in the sauce.

Step 4: Add butter and cream

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi butter and creamLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the sauce along with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, then stir to combine.

Step 5: Combine

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi combineLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Return the shrimp to the skillet, along with the diced tomatoes and cooked pasta. Using tongs, toss the pasta, shrimp and veggies in the sauce, adding reserved pasta water as needed to coat everything evenly. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired, with additional salt and pepper.

Garnish the pasta with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Enjoy!

Here’s What I Thought

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

We’re not sure why garlic-butter and shrimp don’t get quite the same level of fanfare as Olive Garden’s soup, salad and breadsticks, because it has to be one of the most divine and delicious flavor combinations on earth!

The slightly sweet flavor of the shrimp marries perfectly with the rich butter sauce that’s infused with tons of amazing garlic and white wine flavor. Additionally, the fresh vegetables jeweled amongst the tender pasta offer a pleasing break to this otherwise indulgent dish.

Aside from flavor, what we love most about this copycat Olive Garden shrimp scampi recipe is that everything (other than boiling the pasta) happens in a single pan. Shrimp can be an intimidating ingredient to work with for beginners (especially if you peel them yourself) but this recipe makes preparing shrimp easy, fuss-free and accessible without sacrificing flavor.

Looking for dessert? Plan to make our copycat Olive Garden chocolate lasagna!

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.