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Shrimp Piccata over spinach and rice ff
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4.65 from 28 votes

20-Minute Shrimp Piccata

Lemony, garlicky, buttery shrimp piccata is on the table in 20 minutes. Serve over rice or as an appetizer straight from the skillet. A simple and delicious classic.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings (change as needed): 3 or 2 Mains (or 6 appetizers))
Author: Cheryl


  • 3/4 pound large (e.g. 16-20) shrimp, peeled and deveined (400 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon flour or a bit less
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • juice from half large lemon
  • 2 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces (or less if preferred)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley


  • GET READY: Have all ingredients measured and ready to go.
  • PREPARE AND SAUTE SHRIMP: Pat shrimp dry. Toss with flour, a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil to medium high. Saute shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side (do 2 minutes if shrimp are very large). Shrimp will finish cooking later. Spoon onto a plate. Loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
  • MAKE SAUCE: Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, white wine and broth. Cook on medium high until reduced and slightly thickened (4-5 minutes). If you prefer a thicker sauce, add a tsp of cornstach mixed into a tbsp of water or broth.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Whisk in cold butter a piece at a time until sauce is smooth and emulsified/thickened - about 30 seconds. Add cooked shrimp and parsley. Stir for a minute or two until heated through. Taste and add salt, pepper or more lemon if needed. Serve over rice or pasta if desired or with fresh bread to soak up the juices.


Tips for Making Shrimp Piccata
  • Have everything ready to go before you start cooking as the process is quick.
  • Use large shrimp so they don't overcook.  I try to use 16-20 count which means 16-20 shrimp per pound.
  • Pat the shrimp dry and toss with a light coating of flour to avoid them steaming in the pan instead of frying.
  • Make sure the butter is cold when you whisk it into sauce at the end to avoid any greasiness.
  • Add the parsley just before serving to keep its vibrant green color.
  • You can vary the thickness of the sauce. For a thinner sauce, use less flour to dust the shrimp. For a thicker sauce mix 1 tsp of cornstarch into the broth before adding it.
Make Ahead: Shrimp Piccatta is best made fresh.  You can, however, have all the ingredients prepped which will cut the time by half.  And, you can even get the dish down to just 5 minutes of cooking and assembly before serving by sauteing the shrimp ahead of time.
Nutrition values are estimates and based on 1/3 of the shrimp per person. Truth be told, my husband and I polish the whole thing off between the two of us :)
Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 326mg | Sodium: 1186mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1031IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 3mg