How many calories are in shrimp scampi with linguine?

Shrimp scampi with linguine is a delicious Italian-American dish that combines succulent shrimp in a garlic butter sauce with hearty linguine pasta. With its rich flavors and creamy texture, shrimp scampi is an indulgent meal. However, many people wonder just how many calories are in this pasta dish.

What Is Shrimp Scampi?

Shrimp scampi consists of large shrimp sautéed in garlic, butter, white wine, lemon juice, parsley and sometimes red pepper flakes. The shrimp are served over a bed of linguine pasta. The pasta soaks up the rich, buttery garlic sauce as you eat it. Traditional shrimp scampi uses fresh, raw shrimp that are cooked in the sauce, but some recipes call for using pre-cooked shrimp.

This seafood and pasta meal likely originated in Italy, but became popular in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. The word “scampi” refers to a style of cooking shrimp where it is sautéed in wine and garlic. So while shrimp scampi is not technically an Italian dish, the method of preparing “scampi style” shrimp comes from Italy.

Calories In Shrimp

The main source of calories in shrimp scampi comes from the shrimp itself. Shrimp are low in calories and fat compared to other protein foods. Here are the calories and macros for 3 ounces (85 grams) of cooked shrimp:

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 18 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 1 gram

Shrimp get the majority of their calories from protein. Each 3 ounce serving packs 18 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat. Shrimp are an excellent lean source of protein.

Calories In Linguine Pasta

Linguine is another main component of shrimp scampi. Linguine is a long, flat pasta noodle that is often paired with seafood dishes. Here are the calories for 1 cup (140 grams) of cooked linguine pasta:

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 43 grams

Linguine is higher in calories and carbohydrates than shrimp due to being made from flour. Still, it’s lower in calories than some other pasta varieties thanks to its flat shape. Pairing it with protein-rich shrimp helps balance the meal.

Calories In Sauce

The delicious garlic butter sauce used in shrimp scampi also contributes calories and fat to the dish. The sauce is made by sautéing garlic in butter and olive oil, then adding white wine, lemon juice, parsley and sometimes red pepper flakes.

A 1/4 cup serving of an average garlic butter shrimp scampi sauce contains about:

  • 200 calories
  • 18 grams fat

The high fat and calorie content comes from using a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Be mindful of how much sauce you use to keep calories under control.

Typical Calorie Count for Shrimp Scampi

The calorie count of shrimp scampi will vary depending on the recipe, as well as your portion sizes of shrimp, pasta and sauce. In general, a typical serving of shrimp scampi with linguine contains around 500-800 calories.

Here is an estimate of the calories in common portion sizes:

Ingredient Calories
5 medium shrimp (85g) 165
1 cup linguine (140g) 200
1/4 cup scampi sauce 200
Total Calories 565

The shrimp, pasta and sauce alone provide 565 calories. Any extras like cheese, bread or wine would increase the totals further. As a general estimate, a full restaurant-style plate of shrimp scampi linguine often ends up being between 700-1,000 calories.

Lower Calorie Options

There are several ways you can adjust the recipe to reduce the calories in shrimp scampi:

  • Use lower calorie substitutes like zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
  • Cook shrimp in broth instead of oil or butter.
  • Use reduced-fat butter and oils.
  • Increase vegetable content like bell peppers, broccoli or tomatoes.
  • Flavor sauce with garlic, herbs, spices, lemon rather than butter.
  • Use smaller portion of pasta and sauce.
  • Avoid serving with bread, cheese or creamy additions.

With some simple tweaks, it’s possible to enjoy shrimp scampi for under 500 calories per serving. The key is controlling your portions and using lower calorie cooking methods.

Burning Off the Calories

Shrimp scampi is a relatively high calorie pasta dish. Here is how long it would take to burn off the calories through exercise:

  • 500 calories = 60 minutes of walking
  • 700 calories = 85 minutes of walking
  • 800 calories = 95 minutes of walking
  • 1000 calories = 120 minutes of walking

As you can see, just one serving of shrimp scampi can take over an hour of exercise to burn off! While the occasional indulgence is fine, it’s best to enjoy shrimp scampi in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.

Nutrition Benefits

Despite being high in calories, shrimp scampi offers some nutritional value:

  • Protein – Shrimp are an excellent source of lean protein to support muscle growth and satisfaction.
  • Vitamin B12 – Shrimp contain high levels of vitamin B12, an important nutrient for red blood cell formation.
  • Selenium – Shrimp provide the antioxidant mineral selenium, which protects cells from damage.
  • Iron – The linguine provides iron to prevent anemia and support circulation.
  • Niacin – The pasta is also a good source of niacin, a B vitamin that aids metabolism.

So while shrimp scampi is high in calories, it does deliver some nutrients along with great taste. Eating it in moderation can be part of a balanced diet.


Shrimp scampi with linguine provides a tasty combination of shrimp, pasta and garlic butter sauce. A typical serving contains around 500-800 calories, primarily from the shrimp, linguine and rich sauce. There are ways to adjust the recipe to reduce the calorie count through lower calorie cooking methods and controlled portions. While not a diet food, shrimp scampi can be enjoyed occasionally as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

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