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Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp with Chilies

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp with Chilies is the perfect compliment for grilled meats and pasta. Its flavors are bright and garlicky and prep is uncomplicated.

Close up of buttery shrimp garnished with fresh parsley.

I can’t remember the last time we bought shrimp and prepared them without tangy garlicky butter and punchy chilies. This crave-worthy side dish is a flawless companion to steak, chicken, or a meaty fillet of fish; you can even toss these delicious gems into a tangle of pasta. It’s just versatile, unfussy, mouthwatering goodness—and everyone should have an option like this up their sleeve.

Serving bowl of buttery shrimp with serving spoon.

How to make lemon garlic butter shrimp.

It’s easy! So easy. In fact, this dish took very little thought. It was an impromptu side when, one evening at the last minute, we decided that our turf needed some surf. It’s no secret that lemons, garlic, butter, and white wine come together flawlessly. Add some chilies for a bit of a kick, lemon zest for brightness, herbs for freshness, and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-level accomplice for your main.

Here’s a list of what you should have onhand:

  • Quality, plump sustainable shrimp
  • A lot of garlic!
  • A juicy lemon
  • Butter
  • Dried chili flakes
  • A splash of white wine (optional, if you really don’t want to share)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Corn starch (optional)

The corn starch is used in the end to create a thicker sauce with what you’ve got in your pan. You could skip the thickening and drizzle the sauce over your shrimp as is, but we love when it sticks to our shrimp. So we opt for thickening that good stuff up.

Ingredients for the dish laid out on marble background.

How to cook shrimp in lemon garlic butter.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that it’s a one pan deal. Create your buttery sauce in a medium-sized saucepan, toss the raw shrimp into the sauce, and stand by for a few minutes as it cooks and takes on all of that lip-smacking flavor. Like any other time you cook shrimp on the stove, you want to cook them for about 4-6 minutes, depending on the size, flipping them over halfway through. Once they’re opaque and curled into a c-shape, they’re ready to go. If they’re overcooked, they will curl up into an o-shape. This is a great trick to remember: c-shape = cooked and o-shape = overcooked.

Side shot of white serving bowl full of butter shrimp garnished with fresh parsley.

Hope you love this!

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Some other shrimp recipes worth scoping out.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp with Chilies

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp with Chilies
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Pescetarian
Keyword butter, chilies, garlic, lemon, seafood, shrimp, Side dish, white wine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined Tail on or off is up to you.
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated or minced Preferably grated with a microplane
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • Splash of dry white wine (about 2-3 TBSP) I usually use pinot grigio, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 tsp crushed chilies Add more chilies if you like more heat!
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 TBSP corn starch (optional)

Instructions

  • Prepare and clean your shrimp; pat dry and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, stir in the grated garlic and let it simmer for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Keep the garlic moving to prevent it from browning.
  • Add the lemon juice and white wine, and bring to a light simmer. Add the crushed chilies and finally, the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Let the shrimp cook for 2-3 minutes each side, depending on how large they are. Once the shrimp is opaque and curled into a c-shape, it's ready.
  • With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the shrimp from the pan. In a small cup, add 1/4 cup of cold water and 1 TBSP of cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch has completely dissolved. Bring the sauce in the pan to a low simmer and slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan, bit by bit, until the sauce thickens to your liking. Transfer the shrimp back into the pan, toss to coat, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and lemon zest.

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