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Spicy Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Lemon, Tomatoes, and Arugula

Tablescape with three plates of shrimp scampi.

This Spicy Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Lemon, Tomatoes, and Arugula is ready in less than 30 minutes and is the perfect meal to jazz up your weeknights.

Instant Pot pasta. If it isn’t the be-all-end-all of weeknight dinners yet, it should be.

I remember watching my husband use several cooking vessels the first time he made shrimp scampi for me: a pan for the sauce and shrimp, a pot for the pasta, and a big bowl for proper tossing. The dish was absolutely crave-worthy and seemed worth the fuss. But who wants to follow a meal like that up with cleaning? In my world, post-dinner activities should involve having your feet up with a glass of wine or mug of tea. Naturally, when I found myself craving shrimp scampi the other week, I took out the Instant Pot and convinced myself I could make it happen: Instant Pot shrimp scampi.

What’s in a classic shrimp scampi?

First of all, a bit of a fun fact: scampi are tiny lobster-like crustaceans (also referred to as langoustines). Because scampi is rarely, if it all, available in the US, early Italian immigrants prepared the dish with shrimp instead, creating the shrimp scampi we know and love.

The classic recipe makes a simple sauce out of garlic, white wine, and butter that pairs perfectly with a mound of pasta or with a hunk of fresh crusty bread.

My adaptations to this recipe.

Overhead shot of all ingredients in the Instant Pot.

I love the simplicity of garlic, white wine, and butter—individually and together. But I was tempted to add some freshness to this dish with tangy lemon, juicy grape tomatoes, and peppery arugula. These additions don’t take anything away from the dish. I just love adding some freshness to pasta when and where I can, and these alterations seemed acceptable. So what you’re getting here is a rich tangle of garlicky pasta with a burst of lemon, tomato, healthful arugula, and some bang from crushed chilis. Sounds pretty okay, right? ;)

How to cook pasta in the Instant Pot?

There’s an easy formula to go by when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot:

  1. Look at the suggested cooking time noted on the box (We’ll say it’s 10 minutes.)
  2. Cut that time in half. (So, five minutes.)
  3. Subtract an additional minute. (Okay, four minutes!)

In the case above, you’d be cooking your pasta in the Instant Pot on high pressure for four minutes. If the cooking time is an odd number, round down. Therefore a suggested cooking time of 11 minutes would have me rounding down to 10, and using the math above. (Never thought I’d be diving into math so hard on this blog before… )

After your first go at Instant Pot pasta, you’ll be able to better gauge your cooking time for next time. If you like more bite, you’ll want to subtract an additional minute from the cooking time; if you like your pasta to be more tender, add a minute. Just note that results may vary by pasta brand.

Overhead shot of cooked shrimp in garlic butter sauce inside the Instant Pot.

Side shot of bowls of shrimp scampi.

Follow me on Instagram and tag @killing__thyme so I can see your KT creations!

Three plates of shrimp scampi spread out.
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5 from 2 votes

Spicy Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Lemon, Tomatoes, and Arugula

This spicy Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Lemon, Tomatoes, and Arugula is ready in less than 30 minutes and is the perfect meal to jazz up your weeknights.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Pasta, Pescatarian, Pescetarian, Seafood
Keyword Instant Pot, Pasta, Scampi, seafood, shrimp
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 4 large garlic cloves , grated to a paste I use a microplane to grate my garlic to a paste. If you don't have one, simply mince your garlic as finely as you can.
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (more or less, depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 5 cups seafood broth You can also use vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lb angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 generous handfuls of arugula

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add the oil and butter, and let it heat for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic paste, red onion, and parsley; cook for 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Then, add the white wine, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir and let the contents heat for about 3 minutes. Finally, add the shrimp to the pot. Cook until the shrimp is opaque and curled to a "c" shape. This should take about 5 minutes. When the shrimp is cooked, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the juices behind. Place the shrimp in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Add the seafood stock and lemon juice to the pot. Bring to a gently simmer and deglaze the pot, scraping pieces from the bottom with a spatula or wooden spoon. Break the pasta in half and place into the pot, separating them as much as possible with tongs and making sure they are completely covered with liquid. Do not stir after this point.
  • Place the cover on the pot, secure it, set the nozzle to "sealing", and set the timer to 2 minutes (*see notes) on high pressure (pressure cook setting). It will take the IP about 6 minutes to build up pressure before it begins to cook.
  • Once the pressure cooker is done and starts to release steam, carefully turn the nozzle to "venting"
  • Remove the lid from the Instant Pot. Add the shrimp, halved tomatoes, arugula, lemon zest, and pecorino romano. Stir to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish servings with extra chili flakes if desired.

Notes

Pressure Cook Time: In this recipe, I instruct you to set the pressure cooker to 2 minutes on high pressure. This is based on the pasta I'm using for this recipe. In order to determine cook time for different pastas, use the following method:
  1. Look at the suggested cooking time noted on the box (We’ll say it’s 10 minutes.)
  2. Cut that time in half. (Five minutes.)
  3. Subtract an additional minute. (Four minutes.)
In the case above, you’d be cooking your pasta in the Instant Pot on high pressure for four minutes. If the cooking time is an odd number, round down. Therefore a suggested cooking time of 11 minutes would have me rounding down to 10, and using the math above

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