Shrimp in White Wine Sauce is a delicious recipe made with succulent fresh Gulf Shrimp simmered in a velvety white wine butter sauce sparked with a touch of garlic. Sweet yellow onions and traditional South Louisiana seasonings complete the flavor profile. Its heavenly flavor will get your attention, but make sure you don't run out of French bread! You’ll be dipping that in the sauce until you have the plate perfectly clean!
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What Makes This Recipe Work?
This combination of ingredients is the grand culinary quadfecta: butter, garlic, wine, and shrimp! The two main factors for making this recipe super delicious are perfectly cooked shrimp and a creamy, velvety sauce without using cream.
To achieve the greatest flavor potential of this dish, the shrimp can not be overcooked. That’s easier said than done because shrimp cook very quickly and can turn rubbery before you know it. To maximize flavor, we start with a quick sear (no more than 2 minutes!) of the shrimp, then we'll finish them at the very end (no more than 3 more minutes!). That's all you need. The shrimp will spend a few more minutes in the pan while we finish the sauce, but that's the perfect amount of time.
Next, try to get the sauce as creamy and velvety as possible. This is achieved by slowly simmering the wine sauce so that it reduces slightly and finishing the sauce off the heat with a good bit of cold butter at the end. As the butter melts, you’ll stir it in for a creamy finish.
Here’s What You Need
Here are some of the key ingredients for this recipe:
Note on Shrimp: This recipe rewards you for using the freshest and largest shrimp you can find. How large? Check out my Lagniappe article about sizing shrimp; I’d suggest anywhere from 21/25s to 16/20s. Of course, this will still be delicious with smaller shrimp or frozen shrimp, as long as they aren’t overcooked! Make sure to save the heads and shells to make a great shrimp stock to use in other recipes.
Note on the Creole seasoning: I developed this recipe using my brand Le Bon Papa Creole Seasoning, which is salt-free. If you use a different brand, check the salt content before you add more salt to the recipe.
Note on the butter: I developed this recipe with salted butter. You can use unsalted butter with no issues. Whichever you use, make sure to taste the recipe for salt along the way. Over-salting isn't great, but neither is under-salting. Make sure to have the butter used at the end to finish the sauce very cold. That makes it melt better into the sauce.
Here is some of the equipment I used in making this recipe:
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Here’s What You Do
First…you have a beer. This recipe needs to cook quickly, so preparation is essential. Prepare yourself by having a beer while you read the recipe from top to bottom. Learn what ingredients and equipment you will need, then perform your mise en place by preparing the ingredients before you start cooking.
Mise en Place
To Prepare the Shrimp
- Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp under cold water.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl and mix with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Creole seasoning.
- Place the bowl in the fridge until needed.
To Prepare the Remaining Ingredients
- Squeeze a lemon to get 3 Tablespoons of juice.
- Cut 3 slices of an unsqueezed lemon.
- Chop and place in separate prep bowls:
- Yellow onions, garlic, and parsley.
- Chop the green onions and separate the white and green parts.
- Measure and place in separate bowls:
- Butter (slice into tablespoons), White wine, Worcestershire Sauce.
- Measure and place the ingredients for the Herb and Spice Blend in a small prep bowl:
- Measure Dry Thyme, White Pepper, Kosher Salt, and Cayenne Pepper (if using)
Saute the Shrimp
What happens in this step? Searing the lemon slices will leave a small amount of intense lemon flavor in the bottom of the pan. This will be picked up by the shrimp, which we sear for only a couple of minutes. The flavors or fond in the pan will be picked by the remainder of the ingredients. The short sear time will help not to overcook the shrimp when the recipe is ready to serve.
Place the skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the lemon slices and sear on both sides for a couple of minutes, then remove the lemon slices and reserve.
Add the seasoned shrimp and saute for 2 minutes, turning once. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside. This should be done in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
Pro Tip: Don't overcrowd the pan! An overcrowded pan makes the shrimp cook slower and produces liquid that will inhibit the shrimp from searing. The result of a crowded pan? You're on your way to overcooked shrimp!
Prepare the Sauce
What happens in this step? This step starts by capturing the flavor left in the pan by searing the lemon slices and shrimp. That flavor will be combined with the sweetness of the yellow onions, then enhanced with aromatics, and finally slowly simmered in wine. The resulting flavor is awesome.
Lower the heat to medium-high over the same skillet and add 4 tablespoons of the butter. As the butter melts, stir to combine the fond and residual flavors from the lemon and shrimp with the butter.
When the butter is bubbly, add the yellow onions and saute the onions for about 5 minutes or until they start to get clear.
Pro Tip: Don't let the onions brown! Keep stirring the onions and adjust the heat if they are cooking too quickly.
Add the white parts of the green onions along with the Herb and Spice Blend (dry thyme, kosher salt, white pepper, and cayenne, if using). Mix well and saute for 1 minute.
Now, increase the heat and throw in the lemon juice, Worcestershire, and wine.
Bring to a simmer, and continue for about 3 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.
While the sauce continues to simmer, add the garlic, green parts of the green onions. Simmer another 3 minutes or so.
Pro Tip: We wait until almost the end to add the garlic. This way it delivers a garlicky pop to the final flavor profile.
Return the Shrimp and Finish
What happens in this step? It will only take another few minutes to fully cook the shrimp. The final flavor profile comes together when we finish with cold butter, making the sauce take on a velvety tone.
Next, add back the sauteed shrimp and the seared lemon slices. Combine all the ingredients evenly and continue to simmer for another 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, before you add the parsley and the remaining 4 tablespoons of cold butter. Agitate the skillet and move the cold butter around until it has melted and the sauce has become more creamy.
Pro Tip: Make sure to do the final step with the pan off the heat and use cold butter. If the heat is too high, the milk fats in the butter may separate. Cold butter controls the melt, allowing the it's creaminess to combine with the remaining ingredients.
What's the Best Way to Serve Shrimp in White Wine Sauce?
- My favorite way to serve this dish is in a bowl with crispy French bread. Break off a piece of bread and dip it in this wonderful sauce. Serve along with Twice Baked Potatoes and a Sensation Salad! It's the cure for what ails you!
- This recipe is also perfect for Shrimp and Grits. Make some cheese grits (maybe with Gruyere) and put a big serving of Shrimp with White Wine Sauce right next to it. I can't even begin to describe the experience. [While you're at it, check out Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe.]
- Another great way is to serve it alongside Spaghetti Bordelaise or Rice Pilaf. Every bite is an experience!
Hints and Tips (FAQ)
Leftovers can be held in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for 6 months. Reheat defrosted leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over moderate heat until warmed through. Keep in mind that leftover shrimp will probably be overcooked and the butter in the sauce may separate. It may not look great, but the flavor should be there. I doubt you’ll have leftovers anyway.
You can double it, but I would suggest doing that in two batches. This recipe should be cooked quickly and that isn't easy to do with that many shrimp.
Use a dry, white wine that tastes good to you. Chardonnay and Chenin Blancs are good choices. These wines will add great flavor, but not a lot of sweetness, which is perfect for this dish. Do not use anything labeled "cooking" wine, as these will have the tendency to be salty.
If you don't want the wine, you’ll need to replace the liquid and acid that the wine provides. Substitute the same amount of shrimp or chicken stock with some lemon juice or vinegar. You could also use water with lemon or vinegar.
Shrimp in White Wine Sauce is excellent when served with these great recipes:
More great shrimp recipes from Sweet Daddy D
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Yeah You Right!
Shrimp in White Wine Sauce
Here's What You Need
- 1 ½ pounds fresh shrimp
- 1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 8 tablespoons butter in all
- 2 cups yellow onion
- 1 bunch green onions seperate the white and green parts
- 1 ½ cups dry white wine
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons
- Dash Tabasco
- 2 Tablespoons parsley chopped
Herb and Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
Here's What You Do
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat
- Add the seasoned shrimp in batches and saute for 2 minutes, turning once. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium-high. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and when the butter is bubbly add the yellow onions, and saute until clear, about 5 minutes.
- Add the green onions (white part) along with the Herb and Spice Blend (dry thyme, kosher salt, white pepper, and cayenne, if using). Mix well and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, and wine. Bring to a simmer, continue to simmer for about 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
- While the sauce continues to simmer, add garlic and green onions (green part) and continue to saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, lemon slices, and tabasco. Simmer for only 3 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, add the parsley and the remaining 4 tablespoons of cold butter. Agitate the skillet until the butter has melted and the sauce has become more creamy.