This Twist on Shrimp Scampi Is Perfect for Tequila Lovers

And it’s ready in just 20 minutes.

Classic shrimp scampi is bursting with garlicky, buttery, and lemony flavor—and in this week's episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition, our Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple offers a fun twist. Tequila steps in for white wine, cilantro replaces parsley, and lime is the citrus of choice, not lemon. The end result is shrimp that are flavorful, succulent, and tangy, he says, with a sauce that pairs beautifully with a crusty baguette for sopping. The best part? They're ready in just 20 minutes, too.

Read on for Justin's step-by-step method, and follow along with the video above.

Prep Your Garlic and Cilantro

Grab four large garlic cloves—he likes using large ones to "add as much flavor as possible"—and finely mince them. Then, take your cilantro and chop up some leaves and tender stems. The stems will go into the sauce for the shrimp, while the leaves finish the dish off.

Start the Sauce

Heat up a large skillet over medium-high and add in the extra-virgin olive oil, as well as unsalted butter. Once the butter is "almost entirely melted," grab your garlic and cilantro stems and put them in the pan as well, cooking them until they're fragrant. At this point, you add a little heat in the form of chiles, too—pick between dried chile de árbol (crush it first) or crushed red pepper.

Carefully Pour in the Tequila

Be sure to turn off the heat and remove your skillet from the heat before you pour the tequila into the butter-and-oil mixture. Once the sizzling subsides, Justin says you can turn the heat back on and cook off the alcohol.

Cook the Shrimp

All that's left to do is add in the shrimp. Cook 'em for about five minutes, until they're opaque and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Don't forget to season them with salt and black pepper, either.


Once the shrimp are firm and pink, you can incorporate the lime juice and the cilantro leaves. Stir everything together and add a little salt if you'd like. With a crusty baguette in hand, you're all set to eat.

"I am not trying to step on the toes of shrimp scampi purists out there, but this is delicious," Justin says.

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