Baked shrimp scampi with breadcrumbs topping cooks in just 12 minutes for a fast and easy appetizer or light dinner served with pasta or salad. Soak up that delicious lemon butter scampi sauce with fresh bread.
Most Fridays during this time of year I try out a fresh new meatless meals for Lent on my family.
I love the excuse to experiment with new fish or shrimp recipes we haven't tried before.
I decided to mix things up and make this easy skillet version of baked shrimp scampi with breadcrumb topping and serve it alongside bowls of angel hair pasta. It was such a winner!
There's plenty of lemon butter scampi sauce that melts over the shrimp to make a simple pasta sauce or you could serve it alongside extra pieces of fresh bread to soak it all up!
The fluffy breadcrumb topping has an extra crispy texture that is super unique and would taste absolutely delicious on its own or as part of a bigger meal.
Why This is the Best Recipe
There are so many different ways to prepare shrimp for an easy dinner or appetizer, but this is the best baked shrimp scampi because:
- Uses Frozen Shrimp: I love to prepare it with fresh shrimp but that's not always possible. Frozen shrimp is budget-friendly and easy to find in most major grocery stores.
- Delicious Lemon Butter Scampi Sauce: The yummy buttery scampi sauce melts over the shrimp as it cooks in the skillet and there is plenty to spoon over a bowl of delicate angel hair pasta or to dunk wedges of crispy bread in if you desire.
- Puffy, Crispy Breadcrumb Topping: By mixing an egg yolk into the breadcrumb mixture, the topping puffs up as it bakes and has an awesome crispy texture that tastes amazing with the shrimp.
- Super Fast Cook Time: In just 12 minutes you can have an amazing and elegant shrimp skillet to serve your friends for a dinner party.
With just a few ingredients you're minutes away from making this easy baked shrimp scampi:
- Raw Shrimp: You can use fresh or frozen but be sure they are peeled and deveined.
- Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Hot Sauce
- Dried Herb Blend *See recipe card for more details
- Panko Bread Crumbs: You could use regular Italian style bread crumbs but panko breadcrumbs have a fluffier and crispier texture in the final recipe.
- Salt and Pepper
Thaw the Frozen Shrimp
As with most shrimp recipes, this one starts by making sure you have properly thawed the frozen shrimp if you're not using fresh shrimp.
If you try to use still-frozen shrimp, the ice coating from the shrimp will melt into the skillet as they cook and make the scampi sauce extra watery.
To avoid that, take the few extra minutes to thaw the shrimp before you season it.
Season the Shrimp
Once the shrimp have been thawed, toss them with the olive oil and juice from half of the lemon.
Add the minced garlic, salt, dried herbs, and crushed red pepper flakes and toss it all together.
Spread the shrimp into a large skillet in a mostly even layer so the shrimp cook evenly.
Make the Scampi Sauce
Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave on HIGH.
Add the juice from the remaining half of the lemon along with the lemon zest, dried herbs, and salt.
Whisk in just the yolk from the egg until the scampi sauce is smooth.
Prep the Breadcrumb Topping
Add the panko bread crumbs to the prepared scampi sauce and use a fork to combine them.
The mixture will be very wet and clumpy. Scatter it evenly over the prepared shrimp in the skillet like this:
Bake the Shrimp Scampi
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the prepared shrimp scampi in the skillet for 12 minutes or until the shrimp have just turned pink.
Turn on the oven's broiler and cook the shrimp 6 inches away from the heating element for 2 - 3 minutes or until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown like this:
As the dish cooks, the scampi sauce will melt over the shrimp and pool in the bottom of the skillet.
The breadcrumb topping will slightly puff up and get golden brown and crispy on top.
There are several ways you could play with this recipe and make an easy variation:
- Spicy Shrimp Scampi: Add an extra ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or heavy dash of hot sauce to the scampi sauce.
- Gluten-Free Baked Shrimp Scampi: Skip the breadcrumb topping and serve the shrimp in butter sauce alone or over a bowl of jasmine rice.
- Chicken Scampi with Bell Peppers: Swap the shrimp and use chicken tenderloins for this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi recipe.
- Cod with Breadcrumbs: Make a heartier entree by using cod instead of shrimp. Top the cod with the breadcrumbs and scampi sauce and bake.
I love this baked shrimp scampi recipe because it can be served as an all-in-one main dish for a light dinner or as a savory appetizer for a cocktail party.
When I serve it for dinner, sometimes I like to pair it with just a few simple vegetable side dishes like my air fryer green beans or a big bowl of marinated tomatoes.
Sometimes I spoon the shrimp scampi over a bowl of delicate pasta. My favorite lemon butter pasta with fresh chives is a perfect partner for the shrimp but the fresh tomato pasta toss is great for the summer months.
More Shrimp Recipes
Shrimp is such a fantastic ingredient to use for a light and easy dinner because it cooks so quickly.
Now that you know how to thaw and use frozen shrimp in this dish, you may also enjoy some of these other easy shrimp recipes:
Baked Shrimp Scampi with Breadcrumbs
For the Shrimp
- 1.5 pounds raw shrimp peeled and deveined (tails can be on or off)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large lemon
- 4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Parisian Shallot Herb Blend *See Notes Or a sprinkle each of dried dill, dried basil, and dried onion powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
For the Breadcrumb Topping
- 1 stick 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon Parisian Shallot Herb Blend Or a sprinkle of dried dill, dried basil, and dried onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian Herb Blend or a ½ teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, toss the shrimp in the olive oil.
- Zest the lemon and set the zest aside for the bread crumbs. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half over the shrimp, save the other half for the bread crumbs.
- Add the minced garlic, salt, herbs, and peppers to the bowl of shrimp and toss to coat.
- Pour the shrimp into an oven-safe saute pan and arrange in a single layer. Set the pan aside.
- In a small microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Add the reserved lemon zest and squeeze in the juice from the reserved lemon half.
- Whisk in the dried herbs and salt. Whisk in the egg yolk. Add the panko bread crumbs and combine with a fork. The mixture will be very wet.
- Spoon the breadcrumbs and sauce over the shrimp as evenly as possible.
- Bake the shrimp for 12 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked and pink.
- Turn the broiler on and broil the shrimp 6 inches from the heating element for 2 - 3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasted. Watch them carefully because they will burn quickly.
- Serve the shrimp over pasta tossed lightly in olive oil with juices from the pan spooned over the top or with a loaf of crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
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