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 35 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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104 comments on “Drunken Shrimp”

  1. Avatar photo
    Mitzi Maxwell

    Terrible!   What happened to the delicate flavor of shrimp?  Lost in a mouthful of garlic and hot pepper flakes!  So disappointed…Did these people really test this dish?

  2. Avatar photo

    I loved this – so spicy and yummy!! I think one of the comments said they wanted to drink the sauce – I DID drink the sauce. My son said “Mommy, you are not allowed to drink out of the bowl”. Ha! Anyway, I didnt have enough clam juice so I did 1/2 clam juice and 1/2 chicken stock but still amazing! I would love to try this with cod (my dad is allergic to shellfish but he would love this) and want to know how long to cook the cod. Thank you!

  3. Thinking of swapping shrimp for scallops. Any thoughts as to why this would not be a good idea?

  4. So so good! A teeny bit too spicy for me, maybe 1/2- 3/4 tsp of the pepper flakes would do. 
    This recipe is so flavorful and it was eaten up right away! Even my picky 5 year old asked for more! 

    We made the dish with spaghetti since we didn’t have a baguette but I’m excited to try it with bread next time! 

  5. If I could give this more stars I would. It was excellent. The flavor is amazing!!! Don’t forget a nice piece of sourdough bread to soak up the delicious sauce!!!

    1. I’m curious as to why you would even click on a link to a recipe that obviously has alcohol in it if you don’t consume alcohol? I’m always puzzled by people who do things like this. 

      1. I’m guessing the person didn’t know there was alcohol in this recipe. Every person has a right to try delicious recipes. Be nice.

  6. We could juice drink the broth like water! This was such a good starter to a meal or you could bump it up to meal and put it over pasta or zoodles. I would make this for company in a heartbeat. It is full of flavor and you get a good amount for the points/calories.

  7. If we decide to put the shrimp over pasta or rice is there enough sauce as is or do we need to increase the sauce?

      1. It’s more then enough! We made it tonight and there was more then enough sauce for our rice. 

  8. This recipe is yummy. We made it one night as directed, and put it over spaghetti squash. Another evening I left out the shrimp, and just poured the sauce over spaghetti squash. Easy and so good.

  9. Hi! This looks delicious and is on my to make list! I live in the Netherlands and can’t find clam juice anywhere. Could I replace it with something else….?

  10. The only item I needed to purchase for this dish was the anchovy paste.  The dish makes up quickly and tastes wonderful.  I would readily serve this to guests.  My husband loved this and wanted to know when we could have it again.

  11. Made this tonight over Jasmin Rice – very good!!!  The only thing I would do differently next time would be to cook down the white wine a bit before adding the other ingredients. 

  12. My family loves this recipe. I made it for a second time last night, subbing chicken breast for the protein. I also made it in the pressure cooker. I made the broth in IP on saute function, added chicken breasts, and cooked on Poultry for 15, natural pressure release. Served saffron rice on the side for the family along with steamed broccoli and Gena’s Wilted Spinach. Yum!! A definite keeper. I even bought extra bottles of clam juice for the pantry.

  13. Hi! Huge fan. My husband can eat shellfish but, sadly, is allergic to scaled fish. Is there something I can substitute the anchovy paste with?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. The anchovy past is less than $2, and stores in the fridge for the next time you make the dish. I used the entire bottle of clam juice. No waste.

  14. Are there substitutions for the anchovy paste and clam juice? I have never used those items and don’t want to purchase them as I’m sure the rest would just go to waste.

    1. Clam juice can be purchased in 8 oz containers. So it would not go to waste for this recipe. Though I’ve never actually purchased anchovies I know you can buy them in 3oz jars. So it worth buying it if you’d like to try the recipe as is. 

  15. Made this to tonight, everyone finished their bowls and between the three of us ate 1.5 lbs of shrimp LOL I added more because we love shrimp that much