Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi with Spring Veggies

Shrimp scampi is a beloved classic, renowned for its simplicity and vibrant flavors. This dish typically involves sautéing shrimp in a garlic butter sauce, often served over pasta. However, with the help of a slow cooker, you can transform this traditional dish into a convenient, hands-off meal that still delivers all the delightful flavors of the original. The Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi with Spring Veggies is a perfect example of this culinary innovation. It combines the succulent taste of shrimp with the freshness of spring vegetables, all enveloped in a rich, garlicky sauce. This dish is perfect for busy weeknights or for entertaining guests without spending all day in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

For the Shrimp Scampi:

  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Spring Vegetables:

  • 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, sliced

For Serving:

  • Cooked pasta or rice (optional)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions:

Prepare the Slow Cooker:

  1. Layer the Vegetables:
    Begin by layering the spring vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooker. Start with the carrots and bell peppers, as they take longer to cook, followed by the asparagus, sugar snap peas, and cherry tomatoes. This ensures even cooking and prevents the more delicate vegetables from becoming too soft.
  2. Combine the Sauce Ingredients:
    In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, chicken broth, white wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk until well blended. If you prefer a bit of heat, add the red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the Shrimp:
    Place the peeled and deveined shrimp on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Pour the prepared sauce over the shrimp and vegetables, ensuring everything is well-coated.
  4. Slow Cook the Scampi:
    Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours or on high for 1-2 hours. The shrimp should be opaque and cooked through, and the vegetables should be tender but not mushy.

Finish the Dish:

  1. Add Fresh Herbs:
    Once the shrimp and vegetables are cooked, stir in the chopped fresh parsley. This adds a burst of color and fresh flavor to the dish.
  2. Adjust Seasoning:
    Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. The sauce should be flavorful and slightly tangy.

Serve:

  1. Plate the Dish:
    Serve the Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi with Spring Veggies over cooked pasta or rice for a more substantial meal. The pasta or rice will soak up the delicious sauce, making each bite even more flavorful.
  2. Garnish:
    Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional chopped parsley if desired. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for an extra burst of citrus flavor.

Conclusion

The Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi with Spring Veggies is a testament to how traditional recipes can be adapted for modern convenience without sacrificing flavor. This dish is a celebration of fresh, vibrant ingredients, brought together in a rich, garlicky sauce that highlights the natural sweetness of shrimp and the crispness of spring vegetables. The slow cooker method allows for a hands-off approach, making it ideal for busy days when you still want to enjoy a homemade, gourmet meal. Each bite offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors, from the tender shrimp to the crunchy vegetables and the zesty lemon sauce. This recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household, perfect for any occasion. Enjoy the ease and deliciousness of this Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi with Spring Veggies, and savor the taste of spring in every spoonful.

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