Drunken Shrimp

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Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either.

Drunken Shrimp with bread
Drunken Shrimp

This Drunken Shrimp is a little less drunk than most recipes – I only use a one-quarter cup of white wine combined with clam juice and fresh lemon. The sauce is so flavorful – definitely serve some crusty bread on the side to soak it up! For some more Italian shrimp recipes, try my Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo.

Shrimp with wine and lemon juice in a skillet

This drunken shrimp recipe combines so many classic Italian ingredients in one dish. DO NOT omit the anchovy paste, it adds a complex, salty flavor that is not fishy. It’s the secret ingredient in many Italian sauces, and this one is no different. This dish also has capers, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, omit the crushed red pepper.

Can you use drinking wine for cooking?

Yes! As always, the rule when cooking with wine is to use the wine you are drinking. I always have pinot grigio on hand, so that’s what I used in this recipe. Don’t use cooking wine when a recipe calls for wine – it’s not the same.

If you are not a wine drinker, buy a small bottle just for cooking, and keep it in your refrigerator. If you have leftover wine, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, store the cubes in a plastic container for the next time a recipe calls for wine.

Can you omit the wine if you don’t drink?

Sure! Just swap it with some vegetable broth.

What to Serve with Drunken Shrimp

My favorite way to eat drunken shrimp is in a bowl with a crusty piece of bread to dip in the sauce. This shrimp would also be excellent over your favorite pasta, like orzo or spaghetti.

For sides, serve the shrimp with broccolini or wilted spinach with garlic and oil or a salad like a Caprese Salad.

oil and red chili flakes in a skilletDrunken Shrimp with lemonDrunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either. #shrimp #shellfish #pescatarian

Drunken Shrimp

4.89 from 36 votes
Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Shrimp with wine and lemon juice in a skillet
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 /4 lb shrimp with juice


  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined large or jumbo shrimp
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
  • juice from one lemon
  • generous handful of chopped parsley


  • Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, until golden.
  • Add wine, clam juice, lemon juice, capers, anchovy paste, parsley, salt and pepper, and stir. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes, until opaque. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become tough and chewy.
    Shrimp with wine and lemon juice in a skillet
  • Serve shrimp with liquid in a bowl and some crusty bread on the side to soak up the juice.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /4 lb shrimp with juice, Calories: 175 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 22.5 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 185 mg, Sodium: 861 mg, Fiber: 0.3 g, Sugar: 0.1 g


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105 comments on “Drunken Shrimp”

  1. OMGoodness. This was incredible. I served it over spiralized zucchini/yellow squash/carrots to follow my points on WW. I had to double the liquid because we had more people. Fortunately, there was a lot of leftover liquid so now I’m going to use it again tomorrow for scallops or baby clams.

    1. I think I had too big a lemon, so next time, I’ll taste as I go adding the lemon juice a bit at a time.

  2. Marvelous! Bright, garlicky, salty delicious. I don’t normally leave reviews but this one was worth it. I did add extra garlic, extra crushed red pepper and 1/4 c more wine as per my personal preference, but the base of this recipe is so good. Make it, you won’t regret it. 

  3. Great recipe!

    Also works well if served over pasta or rice.

    Don’t cook chopped parsley for 2-3 minutes or it turns dark; just add to hot liquid immediately before pouring into bowl or plating.

    If you don’t have clam juice you can sub shrimp or fish or chicken broth/stock; use low-sodium because anchovy paste and capers have a lot of salt.

  4. This will be an absolute favorite of mine. And the sauce is fabulous. Loved every bite served over protein spaghetti. Delicious and ez to make

  5. Made this tonight for my mom and I. It was delicious. Definitely adding this to my go-to dishes. So easy but will make my guests think I put a lot of effort into it.

  6. Fantastically delicious….recipe was perfect….I added tomato paste along with anchovies paste and wild rice….

  7. So good! After I read that this is an Italian dish, I added Fennel seed. Have it a lot of depth.  I also served it with rice 😋

    I couldn’t get the orange color but still loved it.

    I have a picture but cannot see where to post 🤷🏻‍♀️

  8. Made this for a friend and I since we both like shrimp and it sounded good. We SNORTED this stuff!!!! Ok, so we didn’t literally, but, we really sounded like we were!!! Fantastic! Get yourself a French baguette (a good one) to go along with it if you don’t have good Italian bread in your area and you will be in heaven!