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Creamy garlic shrimp made with parmesan is a rich, delicious, and comforting dish suitable for any occasion. Parmesan cheese, garlic, and butter make it a flavorful side that you can pair with pasta, rice, or bread.
This is an indulgent dish with all those creamy and cheesy flavors you won’t mind asking for seconds. Shrimp has a unique place among seafood due to its soft texture and buttery flavor. When you add it to a creamy sauce, the flavors compound, resulting in a rich dish.
A creamy garlic shrimp recipe made with parmesan has been adopted in America and is popular in Italian-American restaurants. It is an American variant of the Italian mainland dish – “Shrimp Scampi”- with classic Italian flavors. This has Mediterranean roots, where fresh seafood is a staple; there are variations like a simple ‘butter garlic shrimp‘ with lemon juice but without the cream and cheese.
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This recipe is a winner among shrimp recipes with sauce.
- It makes a beautiful creamy sauce that stands on it and compliments the shrimp’s flavors. Parmesan and heavy cream make a rich and creamy sauce, while garlic adds flavor.
- Unlike other variations, shrimps are sautéed in olive oil. We also use butter to create the creamy sauce and do not want an overpowering buttery taste in everything.
- This dish is comfort food for family dinners, rich enough to entice guests.
- For a flavorful dish, this is quick enough for a busy weeknight dinner and indulgent on weekends.
For other delectable dishes with shrimp: Chili Garlic Shrimp – an appetizer with similar garlicky flavors; Shrimp Corn Chowder – another cheesy dish with amplified flavors from bacon; Thai Shrimp Curry – a creamy dish with Thai flavors.
Creamy garlic shrimp made with heavy cream and parmesan cheese is a variant of garlic shrimp that is very popular in American cuisine. The difference is the creamy and rich sauce made with heavy cream and parmesan cheese.
Garlic adds a depth of flavor, and I have added white wine, which is optional, but I would recommend it.
Some bits of fond are stuck to the skillet’s bottom, which carries some flavor. Wine helps deglaze the bits when you add it to the pan and scrape at the bottom.
Note: the wine reduces to half, and the alcohol evaporates, leaving no taste of the liquor but only great flavor behind. For a non-alcoholic option, you can use chicken broth instead.
Heavy cream is added slowly to the pan of sauteed garlic in butter while stirring. This produces a creamy base, to which parmesan cheese is added next. Cheese makes the sauce smoother and more decadent.
Mind you; I would recommend adding cream first, followed by parmesan, and not both of them together. Adding them together has the risk of forming clumps, which is inconvenient.
Shrimp are added last and allowed to sit in the sauce, absorbing its rich flavor.
The first few ingredients are required to season and pan-fry the shrimp. The rest are used to make the delicious creamy sauce.
- Shrimp – is the star ingredient and is quite soft and fresh when cooked right. Look for shrimps that have a mild smell, do not have dark patches, and are firm.
- Flour/cornstarch – You can use common flour or cornstarch as a coating for shrimps before pan-frying them. You can also use it to thicken the sauce if needed.
- Olive oil – adds flavor when shrimp are pan-fried in olive oil.
- Butter – anything sauteed in butter has more flavor. We shall
- Minced garlic – This aromatic is a must-have ingredient in this classic dish. It helps make the sauce savory. You may also use garlic powder. While choosing pods, go for firm ones with no brown spots.
- Dry white wine – Choose a dry, light-bodied wine to add to this creamy dish. It adds a subtle and fruity flavor to the dish, creates a flavorful base for the sauce, and helps deglaze the pan by removing brown bits or fond stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth works as an alternative.
- Salt & black pepper – add to taste.
- Italian seasoning – to give that characteristic Italian herb and spice flavor to the sauce.
- Heavy cream – is used to make the sauce rich and creamy. You may substitute it with sour cream.
- Grated parmesan cheese – a hard cheese that adds salty and nutty flavors and helps thicken the sauce.
- Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice adds a tangy flavor and balances the sweetness and richness of butter and cream.
- Fresh parsley – to garnish on top before serving.
How to make – Step-by-step
Prep and season shrimp
Pat the shrimp dry with kitchen towels. This is especially needed if you are using frozen shrimp. Thaw the shrimps and drain the water, if any.
In a bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Mix them well, and then add shrimp to the bowl. Toss them around so the seasoning coats the shrimp well.
Heat a large skillet with olive oil. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and cook for two minutes. Flip and cook for another minute. Repeat for the remaining shrimp.
Make the flavor base with wine
Heat the butter in the same skillet on medium-high heat. Saute minced garlic for a few seconds until it turns aromatic. Add wine to the pan and let it cook. It shall reduce, and you may scrape any bits or fond stuck to the bottom of the pan. Fond adds flavor to the liquid. Letting this simmer reduces the wine by half, and the alcohol evaporates while leaving flavor behind in the liquid.
Make the sauce
Now, add the heavy cream slowly and stir to mix to produce a creamy base. Add the remaining ingredients: shredded parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir it and let it simmer for a minute.
Now add the cooked shrimp to the pan. Pour the sauce over the shrimp. Switch off the flame, and you may garnish with some parsley before serving.
To store creamy garlic shrimp in the refrigerator, use an airtight container big enough to fill with the shrimp and sauce. This is best kept for 3–4 days and consumed thereafter.
I generally consume shrimp dishes immediately, as shrimp loses flavor and texture when reheated and eaten later. So do not extend the duration of refrigeration for this recipe.
The sauce might separate when kept in the refrigerator. A good stir while reheating in a pan should fix it.
What to serve with
Garlic shrimp served with a creamy sauce packs a good nutrition profile. Protein from the shrimp, fat from the cheese and cream, and carbohydrates make it a fulfilling dish. There are some delicious sides to pair with this and make a wholesome meal:
- Rice – The rice starch absorbs the creamy sauce and pairs perfectly with this rich shrimp dish. Serve on a bed of plain white, brown, or basmati rice.
- Pasta – Shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce can also be served well on cooked pasta as a classic meal. Lighter pasta, like spaghetti or zucchini pasta, balances out the sauce’s richness.
- Bread – Spread garlic butter on toasted bread or slice a flavorful bread like Cheesy Garlic Bread.
- Salads – A light salad with a vinaigrette will balance the sauce’s creaminess. Check out White bean salad with lemon vinaigrette, Apple Kale Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette, or Couscous Salad With Orange Vinaigrette.
- Mediterranean flavor pairing – Simple salads like Mediterranean Chickpea Salad or Roasted Beetroot Arugula Salad With Balsamic Dressing with Mediterranean flavors complement garlic shrimp.
- Roasted veggies – Serve with Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Lemon Pepper Zucchini, or Airfryer Roasted Broccoli.
Other shrimp recipes
Cherry Tomato Pasta with Shrimp – a refreshing tomato pasta with shrimp; fresh and tart cherry tomatoes with flavors of garlic and basil.
Cheesy Bacon Shrimp Dip – this hit appetizer is a cheesy hot dip made with juicy shrimp, bacon bits, and three types of cheese.
Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir Fry – a simple stir fry of shrimp with zucchini and pepper tossed in sweet chili sauce.
Shrimp Orzo Salad With Pesto – a summer orzo salad with shrimp, tomatoes, and onion tossed in refreshing pesto sauce.
Cajun Shrimp and Rice – a wholesome main dish with juicy shrimp and fluffy rice flavored using cajun seasoning.
Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp And Vegetable Skillet – a low-carb, quick stir-fry recipe that loads butter garlic shrimp with roasted veggies.
Creamy Garlic Shrimp
- 500 grams Shrimp
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon flour/cornstarch
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ⅓ cup Chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2-3 tablespoon Lemon juice
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw completely and drain any water really well. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Season shrimp with flour, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Arrange half of the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet without crowding it. Cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 minute. Remove from the pan. Add remaining oil to the skillet. Repeat the same for the rest of the shrimp.
- Add butter to the skillet. Saute minced garlic for 30 seconds, until aromatic.
- Add wine to the pan and let it cook for 1-2 minutes until it has reduced by less than half.
- Reduce the flame and add chicken stock and heavy cream. Stir to mix.
- Add shredded parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper as per taste. Mix and let it simmer for a minute.
- Add cooked shrimp back to the pan. Pour over the sauce. Switch off the flame.
- Serve over pasta or with crusty bread.