Tired after a long day? Craving something fancy but not up for hours in the kitchen? Say hello to our shrimp Francese recipe – your new go-to for a stress-free weeknight dinner! Plump shrimp, a light and crispy coating, and a zesty lemony sauce come together in a snap!
Shrimp Francese, also known as shrimp Française, is a variation of a dish that originates from Italian-American cuisine. The most popular version is made with chicken cutlets, which I will share on the site soon! This dish consists of shrimp that are coated in an egg batter, pan-fried, and served in a lemon-butter sauce. It's characterized by its light and tangy flavors.
Table of Contents
- Large eggs.
- Freshly ground pepper. I recommend using freshly ground pepper in all recipes that require it, as its flavor is much better when freshly ground. However, if pre-ground pepper is your only option, it's still okay. Feel free to customize the amount of pepper and salt based on your personal taste.
- All purpose flour. You can sub whatever flour you have on hand.
- Jumbo shrimp. For the best results, opt for jumbo shrimp in this recipe, averaging 16 to 18 shrimp per pound. Make each piece is peeled and deveined. Personally, I prefer using thawed frozen shrimp that's been pre-deveined, and I remove the tails before cooking. Dealing with tails while eating can be quite a hassle, and I find it more enjoyable to have them off from the start!
- Butter. I went with salted butter, but if you prefer unsalted, you can switch and tweak the added salt. This recipe pairs butter and olive oil for a flavor boost, as you'll be creating a pan sauce from the tasty browned bits after cooking the shrimp.
- Olive oil.
- Garlic. Freshly minced. Go for fresh garlic and chop it up with a sharp chef's knife. It's better than the pre-minced jar kind – the taste is more authentic and delightful. Aim for pieces slightly smaller than uncooked short grain rice.
- Chicken broth. I went with chicken broth since it's my usual go-to. But vegetable or seafood broth will work just as well.
- Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed. The juice from one large lemon or two small ones should do. For extra zesty kick, go for two full tablespoons. I tried less juice, and it tasted a bit plain. But my husband liked it that way. So, choose the amount you like best.
- White cooking wine. Salted. I usually have salted white cooking wine in my pantry, which I use for recipes that call for white wine. Swap in any dry white wine, such as chardonnay, but you might need a touch more salt if you do.
- Fresh parsley.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 11. Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish, pour the remaining sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
- Herb Infusion: Before dipping the shrimp in the batter, try adding a touch of finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme. This can add a hint of freshness to the dish.
- Citrus Zest: To boost the lemon flavor, grate a small amount of lemon zest into the batter for a burst of citrus fragrance that complements the lemony flavors.
- Parmesan Crust: Mix some grated Parmesan cheese into the batter for a subtle cheesy crust that adds depth to the dish.
- Spicy: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the batter or the sauce to give the dish a mild spicy kick.
- Capellini Pasta: Serve the shrimp and sauce over angel hair pasta (capellini) for a delicate and elegant twist on the classic.
You won't need any fancy equipment to make this recipe. I used my trusty Le Creuset 12 inch non-stick pan. A non-stick skillet works well for cooking the shrimp Francese, as it helps prevent the delicate breading from sticking to the pan and ensures even cooking.
I cooked the shrimp on a gas stove. If you are using an electric or induction stove, you may need to adjust the temperature and cooking time.
All of the equipment I used to make this recipe are linked in the recipe card below.
While the dish is best enjoyed freshly cooked, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for a few days. Reheat it gently over low heat to prevent the shrimp from becoming tough. However, the breading might not remain as crispy upon reheating.
- Don't overcook. Be careful to not overcook the shrimp. Two to three minutes per side initially and then no longer than a minute after you return the shrimp to the sauce. Overcooking can cause the shrimp to become tough and rubbery.
- Oil temperature. Make sure that the oil is the right temperature before adding the shrimp. Drop a small pinch of the breading mixture into the oil. If it sizzles and starts browning within a few seconds, the oil is likely ready for frying.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan can cause the oil temperature to drop and the shrimp to stick together. You should place them in the pan in a single layer. If your pan cannot accommodate them all at once, cook in batches.
Yes, you can use thawed and well-drained frozen shrimp if fresh ones aren't available. Pat them dry before breading to ensure a crispy coating.
Pat the shrimp dry before breading them. Additionally, make sure the oil is at the right temperature before frying. Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure even cooking and maintain the breading integrity.
While pre-made lemon sauce might save time, making the sauce from scratch allows you to control the flavors and freshness. Store-bought options might contain preservatives or different flavor profiles that could slightly alter the dish's final flavor.
A light and crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio, would complement the flavors of shrimp Francese.
Some suitable side dishes include steamed vegetables, a simple salad, pasta with light sauces, or rice pilaf.
Watch How to Make It
- Small bowl Two shallow bowls.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt To taste.
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper Note 1.
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp Peeled and deveined. Note 2.
- 2 tablespoons butter Note 3.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic Freshly minced. Note 4.
- ½ cup chicken broth Note 5.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice Freshly squeezed. Note 6.
- 2 tablespoons white cooking wine Salted. Note 7.
- Fresh parsley
- Add the eggs, salt, and pepper to a shallow bowl. Whisk to combine.2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Place the flour in another shallow bowl.½ cup all purpose flour
- Dip each shrimp in the flour, shaking off any excess.1 pound jumbo shrimp
- Then dip them in the beaten eggs, coating them evenly.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the coated shrimp to the pan in a single layer.
- Cook the shrimp for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they turn pink and the coating is lightly golden. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and set them aside.
- In the same pan, add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.1 teaspoon garlic
- Pour in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and wine. Stir well and let it simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce slightly. Note 8.½ cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons white cooking wine
- Return the cooked shrimp to the pan and toss them in the lemon butter sauce, coating them evenly. Cook for an additional minute to heat through.
- Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish, pour the remaining sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.Fresh parsley
- I use and recommend freshly ground pepper for all of my recipes that call for pepper. Its flavor is much more robust when it's freshly ground. If pre-ground pepper is all that you have, that will work as well. Adjust the amount of pepper and salt according to your preference.
- This recipe works best with jumbo shrimp. You should get about 16 to 18 shrimp per pound. Be sure they are each peeled and deveined. I used thawed frozen shrimp that was already deveined. Then I peeled them and removed the tails. I hate it when restaurants leave the tails on. It's a hassle having to deal with them when you're eating. So I always remove the tails prior to cooking! Pat them dry before coating them in the flour and egg wash.
- I used salted butter. You can substitute unsalted butter and adjust the amount of salt that you add accordingly. This recipe combines butter with olive oil to enhance the flavor since you will be making a pan sauce from the fond (the browned bits left in the skillet after the shrimp is cooked).
- I highly recommend buying fresh garlic and mincing it yourself with a sharp chef's knife rather than relying on the pre-minced garlic you can buy in a jar. I have noticed that the flavor is much truer and nicer when it's freshly minced. Mince it to a little less than the size of uncooked short grain rice.
- I used chicken broth because that is what I always have on hand. Vegetable or seafood broth will work just fine as well.
- The juice of one large lemon or two small lemons should be enough. Be sure to use two full tablespoons if you want a lot of zesty flavor. I tested this recipe with less lemon juice, and I found it tasted a bit bland. However, my husband preferred it with less lemon. Adjust the amount of this ingredient to your preference.
- I always keep salted white cooking wine in my pantry and that is what I use for recipes that call for white wine. You can substitute any dry white wine like chardonnay. You may need to add a bit more salt if you do substitute.
- The more you reduce the sauce, the more concentrated the lemon flavor will be. Reduce it according to your preference.