Shrimp Scampi With Israeli Couscous

5 from 2 votes
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Shrimp Scampi With Israeli Couscous

Shrimp scampi in its original form consists of sautéed shrimp served in a simple wine-based sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Shrimp scampi is usually served along crunchy toasted Italian bread or over some sort of pasta. The bread is one of my favorite parts!

My shrimp scampi recipe is prepared over Israeli couscous for a little twist. Shrimp and couscous tossed in garlic, butter, and either pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. This Italian-American dish is light, citrusy, refreshing, and really easy to make in under 25 minutes.

Looking for a vegetarian option? Give Lemon Butter Couscous a try. A great gluten-free option is to top Parmesan risotto with scallops. I also love using shrimp in unexpected ways, such as a noodle stir fry.

Tips for Making Shrimp Scampi

  • Marinate the shrimp 30 minutes prior to cooking in garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to really enhance the flavor. This is not mandatory, but an awesome tip I got from Bon Appétit. It makes a big difference in the final flavor.
  • Shrimp cook very quickly in a pan. You really only need to saute for 2 minutes per side to fully cook through. Be careful not to overcook or the shrimp will dry out.
  • You can use raw, frozen, or thawed shrimp in any form. Be sure to fully thaw any shrimp you use before cooking. You can do this in the refrigerator gradually or quickly by running frozen shrimp under cool water in a colander for about 10 minutes. Never use warm water to thaw raw shrimp.
  • If you’re using fully cooked shrimp, you really only need to heat the shrimp in the last few minutes of the recipe just before adding the couscous and tossing everything in the sauce.
  • Be sure to always get peeled and deveined shrimp. Regardless of fresh or frozen. This will save you a lot of unnecessary time and effort. You can remove the tail shell before cooking or cook/serve with the tail on. Tails look better for presentation but require removing before eating.
Shrimp Scampi With Israeli Couscous

Isreali Couscous Verus Couscous

Couscous is essentially toasted pasta made with semolina flour. This recipe calls for Israeli couscous, which is larger and more pearl-like than regular couscous. Once cooked, Israeli couscous is roughly the size of peas. It’s important to get Israeli couscous as it has much more of a pasta taste and texture than the more gritty smaller couscous.

You can also substitute couscous with your favorite pasta (or none at all), although I think this recipe works best as is with Israeli couscous.

More Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love

Shrimp Scampi With Israeli Couscous
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5 from 2 votes

Shrimp Scampi With Israeli Couscous

Servings: 4
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Classic buttery, garlicky, and citrusy shrimp scampi served over Israeli couscous. Easy and ready in 15 minutes (plus optional marinating).


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 cups dry Israeli couscous
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 lemons, 1 for lemon wedges for serving
  • ¼ cup ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Warm french bread, for serving


  • Season shrimp all over with salt and pepper to taste. Add to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and minced garlic. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour (this isn’t essential, however, it adds a lot of flavor to the shrimp and is highly recommended).
  • Cook couscous per the instructions on the packaging. Set aside and keep warm/covered.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add shrimp mixture (including lemon and oil from the bowl) and cook until shrimp are just pink but slightly undercooked, 1 minute per side. Transfer shrimp to a plate with tongs leaving all oil behind in the pan. Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and simmer for 1 minute. Add wine and juice from the remaining half of the lemon. Let cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add butter and cook, twirling around the pan as it melts. Simmer until sauce slightly thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Add shrimp back into the pan and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp are fully cooked through. Stir in all couscous and toss with shrimp until fully coated in lemon butter sauce. Top with fresh parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges and warm french bread.


Don’t overcook shrimp or they will dry out and get chewy. 3-4 minutes is all you need.
This recipe calls for Israeli couscous, which is larger and more pearl-like than regular couscous.
I marinate my shrimp for about 30 minutes in garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to really enhance the flavor. This is not mandatory, but an awesome tip I got from Bon Appétit. It makes a big difference in the final flavor.


Serving: 1gCalories: 655kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 33gFat: 22.7gSaturated Fat: 8.9gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 276mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 1.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenswagger or tag #kitchenswagger!

About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Can the couscou cooked earlier in the day? The shrimp and couscous will be the main courses at a progressive dinner

  2. 5 stars
    It became a five * when I both toasted the couscous before boiling, and boiled it with Penzey’s Seafood Base flavoring the water. Careful not to overcook shrimp, and it was even more flavorful gently reheated the second day.

  3. This was a huge hit with my family! Light and delicious. The perfect amount of lemon. We will definitely make it again.