Shrimp Scampi Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Shrimp Scampi Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

To me, the name of this dish sounds like something sketchy that a mobster would do to you. I don’t completely understand the association, but I’ve felt like that for a long time. Shrimp Scampi is known for its use of delicate angel hair pasta tossed in a delicious olive oil and sun dried tomato sauce. When the shrimp, spinach, lemon and Parmesan comes into play, it becomes a bold yet delicate masterpiece.

Tasting Guidelines
Taste is savory.
Weight is light.
Texture is soft.
Best categorized as American-Italian.

1 lb. medium sized shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked
¼ c. olive oil
½ c. sun-dried tomatoes
1 c. fresh spinach leaves
¼ c. Parmesan, grated

Flavor Balancers
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ c. lemon juice
2 tbsp. sugar, granulated

2 tbsp. garlic, minced
½ tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
½ tbsp. oregano, dried

4 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

Recipe Directions
Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions and set to side. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes to pan. Allow to cook until garlic is lightly browned. Coat shrimp in Old Bay seasoning, then add them to the sauté pan. Cook for 4 minutes, moving shrimp as you cook them. Add spinach, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir well to mix and wilt the spinach leaves. Place angel hair pasta in a large mixing bowl and cover with sauce mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and fresh basil to the mixing bowl. Toss all ingredients together. Scampi is now ready to serve.

Chef Tips
Typically, the pasta is tossed in the sauce in inside of the sauté pan and lightly cooked. This is a difficult technique for a beginner. The same flavor results can be achieved by mixing everything in a bowl.

Remember to check the flavors of the sauce before you toss everything together. You want to especially check the sweetness of the dish. This is because a ¼ c. of lemon juice can be over powering.

If your shrimp are pre-cooked, this recipe will turn out perfect. If your shrimp are raw, you may need to cook the shrimp longer than 4 minutes to ensure that they are brought to proper temperature. Raw shrimp impart a stronger flavor than pre-cooked shrimp. Shrimp turn pink when fully cooked.

No matter which shrimp you purchase, make sure to soak them in clean water with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar added to it. This will help to remove any offensive pungent odors that the shrimp may have.

Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimen. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy of Cooking for Chemo …and After! by Chef Ryan Callahan on Amazon. Have specific questions? Email us at

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a classically trained chef with fifteen years of culinary experience. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments.