Crispy Buttered Shrimp with 20 Cloves of Garlic


Lemme guess: you are thinking to yourself, That is WAY too much garlic. I assure you it is not. I still vividly recall the intoxicating scent that permeated my entire house when I first cooked Ina Garten’s iconic Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic fifteen or so years ago. It was in that precise moment that I realized that no amount of garlic is an unreasonable amount of garlic. That’s a pretty powerful realization when you love garlic as much as I do. So, I bring you shrimp with twenty cloves of garlic. Perhaps the scent of tons of garlic, sizzling in copious amounts of butter and mingling with the aroma of sweet sautéed shrimp will forever stick with you in a similar way. If you’ve never eaten shell-on shrimp, this is your moment. Spring for the highest-quality shrimp you can find and have yourself a real nice time.

Active Time: 30 Mins

Total Time: 30 mins



  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 lemon


  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or navy)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Warm crusty bread, for serving


  • Simple bullet points here


  • 1 pound (size U10 or U15) shell-on shrimp

1. Do some prep:

  • Thinly slice 20 garlic cloves.


  • Cut 1 lemon in half. Thinly slice half of the lemon crosswise into rounds, discarding any seeds that cling to the rounds. Reserve the other half for squeezing.


  • Drain and rinse 1 (14.5-ounce) can of white beans in a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Pat 1 pound of shrimp dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Cook the shrimp:

  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and swirl to melt. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until lightly golden brown and crisp underneath, 2 to 3 minutes.


  • Flip the shrimp and cook just until pink, 1 minute longer. Season with lots and lots of black pepper. (We’re talking many cranks.) Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish.


  • Reduce the heat to very low and add 6 tablespoons butter, the sliced garlic, and the lemon slices. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is very fragrant and softened, just barely beginning to turn brown at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.


  • Stir in the drained beans. Season with salt and more black pepper and cook, stirring, until the beans are warmed through, about 2 minutes.

3. Serve:

  • Pour the garlicky beans over the shrimp.
  • Squeeze the remaining ½ lemon over everything and serve with bread for soaking up all that garlic butter.

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