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20+ Easy Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp cocktail. Bang Bang shrimp. Shrimp scampi. So many easy shrimp recipes to love that take so little time to make. Why choose just one?

A collage of photos with easy shrimp recipes.
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For the Love of Shrimp

For those of you who love shrimp, may not always think of it when planning a menu. That is about to change. Thanks to these easy shrimp recipes that cover a range of different flavors and can be served at everything from game day to a dinner party.

Shrimp cooks in a matter of minutes, making it is the perfect protein for a busy weeknight. It can be roasted, grilled, boiled, or sauteed with ease, and it tastes great in pastas, soups, rice, or simply on its own with a cocktail sauce. What’s not to love?

How to Buy Shrimp

Buying shrimp can be a little confusing, but have no fear. There are some simple things to keep in mind when shopping.

  • Fresh: Most would typically think fresh is better than frozen, but that’s not always the case. Most fresh shrimp that you see in the seafood counter have more than likely been frozen (exactly like those in the freezer section) and then thawed to sell. A good rule of thumb is to always ask to see and smell the shrimp before buying. If they smell of ammonia or the shells look slimy, skip them and go with frozen.
  • Frozen: Most frozen shrimp has been on ice since it was caught, and therefore is as close to fresh as you can get without buying directly from the fisherman.
  • Size: Shrimp come in different sizes (small, medium, large, and so on) and you have probably seen an accompany number along with the size. Since size isn’t a standard, pay attention to the number. This is how many shrimp are in a pound, so the higher the number, the smaller the shrimp; the smaller the number, the larger the shrimp. For example, here are a few sizes and numbers you will see:
    • Extra jumbo: 16/20
    • Jumbo: 21/25
    • Large: 31/35
    • Medium: 41/50
    • Small: 51/60
  • Farm vs. wild: Wild caught shrimp typically have a more robust flavor and taste better overall, but you can find farmed shrimp that will work great. Just look for sustainably and ethically raised shrimp for a better quality protein.
  • Peeled and/or deveined: This really depends on your recipe and time. Cooking shrimp with the shells on can impart a great flavor, but may not be necessary for what you are cooking. Peeled shrimp will come without the legs and shell, but may still have the tail. Deveined shrimp means that the digestive tract running along its back will be removed. If you are in a hurry, it can save time to buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined.

Cleaning Shrimp 101

Something that is sometimes overlooked but is absolutely crucial to successful shrimp dishes is cleaning (removing the shell, legs, and the dark vein) the shrimp before cooking.

  • Remove the shell. This requires removing all of the legs first with your fingers and then pulling the shell off like you would remove a jacket. You can leave the tail on or remove it with a quick twist.
  • Remove the vein. The dark vein running along a shrimp’s back is actually its digestive tract, and while it isn’t harmful to eat it isn’t the most appetizing. You may not have to remove it from small shrimp, but definitely do remove it if you can see it. Using a paring knife, make a shallow slice along the back to expose the vein. Take the tip of the knife and gently lift the vein up and out. Rinse the shrimp.

FAQs

What is the tastiest way to cook shrimp?

Cooking shrimp at a high heat gives it the best texture that is juicy and tender and not stringy or chewy.

Should I make shrimp recipes with the tails on?

You can cook them either way with the tails on or tails off! I usually remove the tails before adding them to a dish like pasta or stir-fry.

What is the best seasoning for shrimp?

Citrus flavors, garlic and herbs compliment any shrimp recipe really well. You could also use simple seasonings like salt, pepper and paprika.

Should I add baking soda to my shrimp before cooking?

While I have never tried this some swear by it and say that it will make your shrimp more plump and resistant to overcooking. You don’t need much if you decide to try it, though. For every 1 pound of shrimp add 1/4 teaspoon to the bowl and then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Easy Shrimp Appetizers

Shrimp was made for appetizers. From the classic shrimp cocktail to the ever-addictive shrimp dip, these shrimp recipes are the perfect way to start a meal or kick off a party.

  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers. Coated in an herbed lemon garlic marinade, this recipe is the perfect spring and summer barbecue dish.
  • Ceviche. Shrimp is the star of this dish and is paired with crunchy veggies and a bright citrus marinade.
  • Baked Coconut Shrimp. Coated in a flaky, coconut crust, these addictive shrimp come together quickly.
  • Shrimp Dip. Just 4 ingredients make this classic dip a must-have at holidays or family gatherings.
  • Shrimp Cocktail. It’s a classic for a reason, and this version comes with a homemade cocktail sauce.

Shrimp Recipes with Pasta or Rice

There is something so refreshing about pairing shrimp with pasta or rice. These shrimp recipes are proof that it may be time to give chicken a break and check out the seafood section.

Bang bang shrimp pasta in a white bowl.

Shrimp Dishes Cooked on the Stovetop

I love a recipe that can be made in one pan and in a matter of minutes. These easy shrimp recipes are ideal for those nights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook or clean.

Cooked Kung pao shrimp in a white pot with chopsticks.
  • Kung Pao Shrimp. This 20-minute meal is made with juicy shrimp and crisp veggies cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce. 
  • Bang Bang Shrimp. Shrimp are marinated in a flavorful buttermilk coating, fried, then drizzled with a sweet and spicy bang bang sauce.
  • Shrimp Fajitas. Move over beef or chicken, shrimp is the star of this quick and delicious dinner.
  • Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos. These sweet and spicy shrimp take Taco Tuesday to a new level.
  • Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. This refreshing low-carb dish is served with a spicy peanut sauce and comes together in less than 20 minutes.
  • 20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp. Quick and simple, this recipe is on rotation in my house.
  • Shrimp Fajitas. A quick 10 minute marinade makes this shrimp recipe so flavorful! Made in one pan it’s ready in only 22 minutes.
  • New Orleans Gumbo. Take a trip south with this thick and hearty stew with chicken, sausage and shrimp. Serve it over rice for a comfort food meal!

Shrimp Dinner Ideas in a Crockpot or Air Fryer

As I mentioned above, shrimp can be cooked in a variety of ways. These shrimp recipes can either be cooked low and slow in a crockpot or get super crispy quickly in an air fryer.

Jambalaya cooked in a crockpot on counter.

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A collage of photos with easy shrimp recipes.

Easy Shrimp Recipes + Skewers

5 from 5 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Shrimp cocktail. Bang Bang shrimp. Shrimp scampi. So many easy shrimp recipes to love that take so little time to make. These grilled shrimp skewers are a perfect place to start because they can be eaten as an appetizer, a salad, or an entree!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 4 wooden skewers (soaked in water for 15 minutes)

Ingredients 

  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice , can sub for lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp , peeled and deveined

For Topping (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, Italian seasoning salt and pepper. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the marinade for serving, if desired. Add the shrimp and toss together. Marinate for 30-90 minutes.
  • Thread uncooked shrimp onto soaked skewers and place in a 9×13" pan.
  • Preheat grill to high heat. Grill marinated shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side, or until pink and firm.
  • Remove from grill and brush on the 1 Tablespoon reserved marinade, if desired. Serve while warm. Add chopped parsley and lemon slices on top.

Notes

Shrimp: The shrimp must be peeled before marinating and grilling. Click here for a how-to. You can use frozen uncooked shrimp, however make sure they are thawed completely before grilling. I wouldn’t recommend using precooked shrimp.
Skewers: You can use metal or wooden skewers. Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes to keep them from burning. 
Storage: Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1skewer | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 933mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

The Full List of Easy Shrimp Recipes

Click on the links below to find the recipes for all of the delicious shrimp recipes mentioned above.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Easy, healthy and delicious grilled shrimp skewers coated in an herbed lemon garlic marinade. The perfect spring and summer barbecue dish!
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Read more
Ceviche in white bowl.
Ceviche
This fresh and flavorful ceviche recipe is full of shrimp, crunchy veggies, and bright citrus juices. It’s an incredibly quick and easy dish to make at home for a light summer meal or serve as a party appetizer with tortilla chips!
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Read more
Baked Coconut Shrimp | The Modern Proper
Baked Coconut Shrimp | The Modern Proper
Crispy, crunchy, sweet-and-savory, absolutely addictive—this easy baked coconut shrimp recipe is a keeper for sure. And a chili-honey dipping sauce pushes the whole thing into genius territory.
Total Time:
Read more
Cold Shrimp Dip Recipe that’s EASY, Creamy, and Full of Shrimp Flavor!
Cold Shrimp Dip Recipe that’s EASY, Creamy, and Full of Shrimp Flavor!
This cold Shrimp Dip recipe is an easy appetizer with just a few ingredients. It’s thick and creamy, and full of clean shrimp flavor! #shrimp #tinyshrimp #shrimpdip #dip #appetizer
Total Time:
Read more
Shrimp Cocktail - Once Upon a Chef
Shrimp Cocktail – Once Upon a Chef
(TESTED & PERFECTED RECIPE) This shrimp cocktail boasts big, plump, perfectly-cooked shrimp with a lemony, horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce.
Total Time:
Read more
Bang bang shrimp pasta in a white bowl.
Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Sweet, spicy, and creamy bang bang shrimp pasta is a simple copycat recipe made with al dente pasta and pan-seared shrimp in a creamy sriracha and chili sauce!
Total Time: 25 minutes
Read more
THE BEST Shrimp Scampi - foodiecrush.com
THE BEST Shrimp Scampi – foodiecrush.com
This shrimp scampi recipe is the BEST way to make shrimp bathed in a garlicky, lemony butter sauce over pasta, zoodles, or rice.
Total Time:
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Easy Shrimp Alfredo
Easy Shrimp Alfredo
This easy shrimp Alfredo pasta recipe is the perfect fast weeknight dinner that’s tasty enough for company! Decadent and delicious.
Total Time:
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Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes
Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes
Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes! A seriously delicious fresh summer pasta. Creamy, silky noodles, garlicky shrimp, and a punch of fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, and basil.
Total Time:
Read more
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta - NatashasKitchen.com
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta – NatashasKitchen.com
Cajun Shrimp Pasta with tender shrimp tossed in a creamy and spicy cajun sauce with penne noodles. Easy, 30-minute cajun pasta recipe.
Total Time:
Read more
Cooked Kung pao shrimp in a white pot with chopsticks.
Kung Pao Shrimp
Make your own takeout at home in just 20-minutes with this easy recipe for Kung Pao shrimp. Juicy shrimp and crisp veggies are cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce with maximum flavor. Turn your kitchen into a Chinese restaurant tonight!
Total Time: 30 minutes
Read more
Bang bang shrimp in a white bowl with chopsticks.
Bang Bang Shrimp
This bang bang shrimp recipe is restaurant inspired but easy to make at home with simple ingredients! Crispy, fried shrimp are coated in a sweet, spicy and creamy sauce for an irresistible appetizer.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Read more
Bang bang shrimp taco on a white platter.
Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
Throw away the takeout menu and enjoy making these bang bang shrimp tacos at home! Crispy fried shrimp are tossed in a creamy sweet and spicy sauce and then piled into corn tortillas and topped with crunchy cabbage. Dinner is ready in under 30 minutes!
Total Time: 25 minutes
Read more
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Ready to serve in less than 20 minutes, these shrimp lettuce wraps are served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce for a bite full of flavor.
Total Time:
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20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp - Sally’s Baking Addiction
20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp – Sally’s Baking Addiction
This healthy honey garlic shrimp is ready in 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice and vegetables or over a salad.
Total Time:
Read more
Jambalaya cooked in a black slow cooker.
Easy Crockpot Jambalaya Recipe
Jazz up dinnertime with this easy crockpot jambalaya. By combining chicken, sausage, shrimp, and Creole seasoning in a slow cooker, this dish is big on flavor, takes just 15 minutes of prep time, and is sure to wow any crowd!
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Read more
Ladle full of seafood stew.
Slow Cooker Seafood Stew
A delicious seafood recipe cooked in a tomato-based broth with potatoes. This slow cooker seafood stew is comforting and is an easy-to-make dinner idea!
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Read more
Fuss-Free, Slow Cooker Creole Garlic Shrimp
Fuss-Free, Slow Cooker Creole Garlic Shrimp
This slow cooker Creole garlic shrimp will be an instant hit with your family and friends. The dish is surprisingly easy to fix and cooks unattended.
Total Time:
Read more
Honey Lime Air Fryer Shrimp
Honey Lime Air Fryer Shrimp
Honey lime air fryer shrimp are juicy, delicious and perfectly cooked without even turning on the oven or heating up the grill!
Total Time:
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Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Honey Siracha Sauce
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Honey Siracha Sauce
These Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp are crispy and golden with all the sweet tropical coconut flavor. Ready from start to finish in under 20 minutes!
Total Time:
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Air Fryer Shrimp
Air Fryer Shrimp
The crispiest and juiciest Air Fryer Shrimp recipe! This air fryer fried shrimp is fast, healthy, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Total Time:
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