Recipe frozen cooked shrimp


Frozen Shrimp 101

While there are choices to make when buying shrimp, frozen versus fresh is rarely one. That’s because nearly all the shrimp sold in our markets have been previously frozen.
There are two exceptions: in the spring many of our east coast fish markets have fresh Maine shrimp, a seasonal treat. These small, fresh shrimp are sweet and tender and while their size makes them a pain to peel, their flavor and low price make the effort worth it. And if you have access to a really good seafood market, the kind that sells not just to home cooks but also top restaurants, you can occasionally find fresh wild shrimp, often caught off the coast of Georgia or Louisiana. In New York, The Lobster Place’s main store in Chelsea Market often has fresh wild shrimp, sometimes from the Louisiana or Florida gulfs, and other times caught off the coast of Georgia. Fresh-never-frozen wild shrimp are more expensive than the once frozen, but their bigger flavor makes them worth the price.
But back to frozen because for most of us, this is what we buy. It doesn’t matter if you choose medium or jumbo, farmed or wild, peeled and cleaned or with the head and tail still on — when you stand at the fish counter and point at a mound of shrimp to place your order, know that it’s been frozen and then defrosted. The fishmonger buys shrimp in large quantities and then defrosts them as needed to sell. It is likely that the shrimp you buy was defrosted that day after having been harvested and frozen three or so months earlier.
There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s a key to how the shrimp industry can harvest and bring to market what is a fragile crustacean.
Some don’t eat shrimp for religious reasons or allergies. But for those of us who do, shrimp can be very city kitchen-friendly.

Buying Frozen Shrimp

Many of our larger markets, including most supermarkets, sell bags of frozen shrimp. The bag should clearly note if the shrimp is farmed or wild as well as the country of origin. Look for “IQF” on the bag. This stands for “individually quick frozen” which means the shrimp weren’t frozen in a big block of ice and are more likely to have better flavor and texture. And the only ingredient listed should be shrimp: no preservatives or chemicals or salt.
The bag will also indicate if the shrimp has been peeled or cleaned (usually they have not) and also the size of the shrimp. I look for wild shrimp that still have their shells and tails because these natural casings provide some protection during the freezing. And I buy large or jumbo because when shrimp are smaller it takes far more time to clean them to get enough for whatever I’m cooking. Shrimp also shrink when they cook so what may start out as a reasonably sized medium shrimp will become, well, a shrimp when it’s cooked.
Wild shrimp generally cost more than farmed shrimp. If you’re comfortable with the country of origin (90% of farmed shrimp is imported from countries like Thailand, India and Indonesia) then go ahead and buy farmed shrimp. But I have long been troubled by various public reports and FDA studies about the toxicity of imported farmed shrimp, plus all the antibiotics the farmers add to the shrimp pits (yes, the shrimp are farmed in sand pits). So I personally never buy anything but wild.
Two other reasons to buy frozen shrimp by the bag: They are usually much cheaper. And you get to control when they are defrosted; who knows how long that pile of shrimp in the market may have been sitting there?

Defrosting Frozen Shrimp

Shrimp can be eaten cooked and warm, or cooked and then chilled, as in a shrimp salad. But before we get to cooking, first the shrimp need to be defrosted. And how you defrost them can impact their final texture.
If you’ve bought a bag of frozen shrimp at Costco or Whole Foods or Fairway, or any other large market that keeps a frozen seafood case, here’s how to defrost them:

  1. Remove the shrimp for your recipe. Reseal the bag and return to the freezer.
  2. Place the shrimp in a fine-mesh sieve or colander, which, in turn, you place in a large bowl of cold tap water. This makes it easy to lift the shrimp in and out of the water.
  3. Let sit submerged for 10 minutes.Lift the colander and all the shrimp out of the water. Change the water in the bowl, again using cold tap water, and re-submerge the shrimp.
  4. Leave for another 10 to 20 minutes and the shrimp should be completely defrosted and still cold. Pat them dry before cooking.

You can also defrost shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Just place them in a covered bowl. The next day give them a rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel before cooking.
Resist using warm water because the shrimp will defrost unevenly and this can cause the shrimp to also cook unevenly if the outside seems defrosted but the inside isn’t. Also, like most seafood, shrimp is highly perishable and you want them to stay cold right up to the time when you cook them.
Resist, too, using the microwave. Shrimp cook very quickly and with the microwave you will quickly go from frozen to defrosted to cooked, probably making a mushy mess along the way.

Cooking With Frozen Shrimp

I should just say, cooking with shrimp. But I’m trying to emphasize the point that you can have a bag of shrimp in your freezer, come home from work and remove what you need for dinner, do a quick defrost, and then cook. It’s an example of pantry cooking when you think of your freezer as part of a city pantry.
Shrimp is a high quality protein — also rich in calcium, iodine, and good cholesterol (unless you cook them with lots of butter!). They have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and tend to take on the taste of whatever you cook or serve with them. But this also makes them versatile.
The key to successfully cooking shrimp is to not overcook them. Regardless of boiling, broiling, baking or sautéing, if you cook shrimp for too long they’ll get tough. They cook quickly and as soon as the flesh changes from opalescence to opaque, they’re done. We’re talking 2 or 3 minutes depending on the size.
A final point about cooking shrimp, which is actually a question: to peel or not to peel? Most shrimp that we buy, whether in a bag or at the fish market, come in the shell. Some home and restaurant cooks, including ones in Europe, will cook and serve shrimp still in the shell. But shrimp naturally come with a “vein” — it’s actually the shrimp’s digestive tract. It won’t hurt you to eat it but it’s not very appealing. Most home cooks will take the vein out either before or after cooking, at the same time removing the shell, head and tail. When you do this is up to you, but I think it’s easier to do before the shrimp is cooked. Whenever I’d tried to do it afterwards, part of the shell always sticks and I end up wasting some shrimp.

Shrimp Recipe Ideas

Here are some of the more popular ways to cook with shrimp, some of which are quick and easy, with others needing more time and attention. Because shrimp is raised around the world, it’s found in many of the world’s cuisines:

  • Shrimp Fried Rice — a great way to use leftover rice and vegetables
  • Shrimp Scampi — excellent with pasta, this popular dish often includes lots of butter and garlic
  • Shrimp Salad — use a good bought mayonnaise like Hellman’s or even better, make your own; see our link to learn how. Add chopped celery, scallions, and red pepper or any other favorite vegetable
  • Shrimp Cocktail — for Mad Men fans and anyone who loves shrimp’s sweet flavor kicked up with an easy spicy cocktail sauce
  • Shrimp Rémoulade — boil, drain and chill shrimp and toss with (preferably home-made) mayonnaise to which you’ve added mustard and diced little cornichon pickles; this is similar to céleri rémoulade
  • Paella with Shrimp and Chicken — the shrimp is added for the last leg of cooking
  • Coconut Shrimp — fried in a coconut-dusted batter
  • Shrimp Newburg — baked with a tomato-tinged béchamel sauce
  • Baked Shrimp With Pasta, Feta and Tomatoes — see our recipe
  • Shrimp Risotto — we’ve added a link to Barbara Kafka’s excellent microwave version
  • Shrimp Tikka Masala — there are as many versions of this dish as cooks in India and the quality of your results will depend upon the quality of your garam masala
  • Shrimp Marsala — what a difference a letter can make? This dish is Italian and is flavored with Marsala wine
  • Shrimp Stir Fry — use seasonal vegetables
  • Shrimp Bisque — a creamy and luscious soup
  • Shrimp on Grits — a southern classic
  • Shrimp Toast — a classic warm hors d’oeuvre
  • Grilled Shrimp — use your broiler as an upside grill and brush with teriyaki or barbeque sauce
  • Shrimp Stock — simmer shrimp shells in water to create a flavorful broth for bisque, risotto, or seafood soups

The New York Times has written a major piece about the American shrimp industry, including a few very appealing recipes for cooking shrimp. See our link.
So next time you’re at a supermarket, buy a bag of shrimp and keep them in your freezer. It will make for easy, last minute cooking and may help give a little boost to a Louisiana shrimp boat.

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Easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe is a simple shrimp skillet recipe anyone can make – bursting with garlic, lime, butter, and cilantro flavors for the best shrimp you can make in under 10 minutes – in just one pan! Perfect for shrimp tacos, fajitas, salads, wraps, and more!

Easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe for shrimp tacos, wraps, pasta, & more!

If you love cilantro, lime, and shrimp – this super easy recipe is perfect for you. It is delicious, low calorie, super low carb, and crazy versatile – it works perfectly in wraps, sandwiches, and salads – or over pasta, rice, vegetables, or just served with your favorite fresh side dishes for a tasty seafood skillet dinner everyone will love.

This easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe is the perfect easy beginner cook dish to learn to cook shrimp perfectly at home – for a restaurant quality shrimp dinner truly anyone can make in under 15 minutes, from fridge to dinner table.

Since shrimp is crazy fast cooking, this recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight, a fancy dinner party, or as meal prep – and this simple shrimp dinner uses just one pan so you’re not cleaning up a huge mess all night.

I absolutely love this recipe, and hope you will too! I’ve included a TON of tips and tricks so you can be sure your shrimp dinner is worthy of five stars – please glance through them and bookmark this page for everything you need to know to cook shrimp perfectly at home.

This is a long post – but I promise I’m not adding in stories you don’t care about – this recipe is packed full of information on making shrimp perfect, every time, no matter how much experience you have in the kitchen.

Just take me to the cilantro lime shrimp skillet recipe already!

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, i think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy one pot cilantro lime shrimp recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

To make this one pan cilantro lime shrimp skillet recipe, you’ll need:

Large Nonstick Pan

Diced Garlic

1 Lime Cut in Half – one half juiced and zested, one half sliced into thin wedges.

Spoon or Spatula

Butter, Clarified Butter, Olive Oil, or Avocado Oil

Tips To Make Perfect Shrimp Fast

Shrimp is one of the ingredients I most love cooking with – and one of the ingredients I feel is the most understood for at-home cooks.

Most of the people I know who hate shrimp complain of similar issues – it tastes really fishy, it has a rubbery texture, it can be slimy if not cooked right – and it’s a bit intimidating when cooking at home, especially if using previously frozen shrimp or buying shrimp from grocery stores that are incredibly land-locked (like mine in somewhat rural Northern Colorado.)

While freshness should certainly always be on your mind, the fears of cooking shrimp that tastes fishy (when it is fresh – no technique will mask a fishy smell from shrimp that has gone off – if your shrimp smells anything but a little sweet (there might be a slight hint of fishy smell, but shrimp shouldn’t smell “fishy” when fresh) when you go to cook with it, it might be past it’s prime and not something you want to eat in the first place) often end up actually causing the fishy taste, smell, and weird texture most people shy away from when making shrimp at home.

My tips and tricks below will ensure perfectly delicious shrimp, every time!

How to Cook Shrimp that Doesn’t Taste Fishy:

To keep shrimp from tasting fishy, there are some very important steps to follow – but luckily, they are all pretty easy for a home cook of any skill level!

  • Clean Shrimp Properly.

    • If you are hesitant to cook shrimp at home because you’ve had shrimp that was overly fishy tasting, be sure you’re using well-cleaned shrimp that has been de-veined (you can take a butter knife to dislodge the vein from the back of a shrimp if it is still there), and cook the shrimp without the shells or tails on.
    • I keep the tails of shrimp on when I cook because I LOVE the extra flavor they give a dish – but it can be a bit much if you’re still getting used to making shrimp on your own (plus, it is a pain to have to take off the tails when I eat the dish I make, so you might want to take them off for convenience alone, which is perfectly fine!) .
      • Keep tails on or off depending on your preference.
    • Take the shells off.
      • While I will sometimes cook with shrimp shells on (perfect for peel and eat style shrimp, grilled shrimp, and shrimp boils – the shells give a ton of extra flavor when you need it) – this recipe is a shells-off recipe so the light and delicious garlic butter cilantro lime sauce can cook into the shrimp completely. While you can chose whether or not to leave the tails on in this dish, I do recommend removing the shells.
  • Don’t use Pre-Cooked Shrimp

    • While pre-cooked shrimp sounds like a perfect way to not mess up the flavor and texture of shrimp, I don’t recommend (ever) cooking with pre-cooked shrimp unless you’re making a shrimp cocktail, deep fried shrimp, or you’re using shrimp in a recipe with a lot of other ingredients where the fish isn’t the star of the dish, like in this cilantro lime shrimp recipe.
    • Frozen pre-cooked shrimp is the worst offender in simple pan-fried or sautéed dishes – it just tastes fishy when reheated after being pre-cooked and then frozen and thawed.
    • Opt for fresh-frozen shrimp instead – it adds only a couple minutes cook time vs. pre-cooked shrimp (since you have to thaw both anyways, as well as sauté the garlic and sauce regardless) and tastes the best.
    • If you absolutely must use pre-cooked shrimp (maybe you have a bunch you want to use up?) in this recipe, serve the shrimp cold over ice, and make this recipe as a garlic butter sauce to dip the shrimp in – instead of adding the pre-cooked shrimp to the pan and heating it again.
  • Pick fresh shrimp – or opt for flash-frozen.

    • If you’re not in a location where you can source freshly fished shrimp (if you’re not on a coast, or not in a big city with numerous fishmongers who accept fresh shipments daily), opt for flash-frozen shrimp.
    • Since flash-frozen shrimp is frozen right after it is caught, it can often offer those in areas where fresh shrimp isn’t available the freshest option.
    • Shrimp that has been frozen at the peak of freshness (and defrosted properly) will always taste better than shrimp that is a couple days from the sea that hasn’t been frozen when you don’t have other options.
    • Smell your fish when buying – this tip isn’t just for shrimp, but all fish that shouldn’t naturally smell “fishy”. If the shrimp you buy smells fishy when you buy it, it will smell (and taste) fishy when you cook it, period.
  • Defrost Shrimp Properly.

    • Defrost shrimp in a strainer so the water can drip through – often the “fishy” smell from thawing shrimp is from the water that freezes around the shrimp and thaws, not the shrimp itself.
    • Regularly rinse the shrimp with COLD water as it thaws to remove any excess water or frost.
    • A towel or paper towel under thawing shrimp can also help to pull away extra water as the shrimp thaws.
    • Don’t cook shrimp that hasn’t fully thawed – shrimp should be gray, slightly translucent, and limp when you hold it. If it feels firm still, it probably isn’t fully defrosted in the middle, and will cook unevenly for you, resulting in a fishy flavor.

    • Overcooking shrimp is the #1 easiest way to mess up shrimp’s flavor and texture. Cook shrimp to JUST pink and opaque, don’t keep cooking it long after it has turned pink all over!
    • I used to overcook shrimp when making shrimp dinners from previously frozen shrimp because I didn’t really understand that the frozen shrimp I purchased was oftentimes more fresh than never-frozen shrimp I’d purchase (again, in landlocked Northern Colorado) – assuming since I was so far from the ocean, I needed to cook it through really well to make sure it was safe to eat.
    • Flash-frozen shrimp is frozen at the height of freshness, so this isn’t a thing – if it smells fishy or you’re not sure how fresh your shrimp is, consider not using it instead of overcooking it. Shrimp that smells fishy before cooking will only smell a LOT more fishy after it is cooked.

How to Keep Shrimp From Having a Rubbery Texture

Shrimp can have a soft, springy, and chewy texture that is fabulous in tacos, wraps, salads, or on its own – or shrimp can be gummy, tough, or rubbery when not cooked right.

While it is easy to get a weird texture when cooking shrimp, with a couple tips it is also easy to get perfect shrimp that isn’t tough or rubbery at all.

  • Do NOT thaw shrimp in water that isn’t cold.

    • Even lukewarm water can make shrimp start to cook on the outside since the meat is so delicate.
    • When shrimp are heated on the outside and still frozen in the middle, the meat seizes up in the middle and becomes very dense – while the outer shrimp that was cooked in water to thaw it will start to peel over on itself and have a very rubbery texture.
    • Let shrimp fully thaw in cold water to prevent this.
  • Cook Shrimp Hot and Fast.

    • Shrimp is not a meat that has connective tissues, fat, or gristle to cook down – it responds best to very high heat, and short cook times.
    • Use shrimp in recipes where you’re going to cook it quickly on high heat – if you’re making something that takes a long time to cook (like a soup, grits, etc) don’t add the shrimp until the end, or it will overcook. In this recipe, we’re sautéing the garlic before the shrimp since we want to just cook the shrimp, and not overcook it in the extra time the garlic would need to become fragrant and soft.
  • Don’t Overcook Shrimp.

    • The number one way to have the best texture for shrimp is to cook it to just cooked through – not overcooked.
    • When shrimp turns pink and opaque, it is done. Don’t continue to cook it at this point – or it will start to roll on the sides and take on a gummy texture and risks developing an overly fishy flavor.
    • Shrimp should still be plump and juicy when cooked to done – not shriveled, wrinkly, or unrolling on the sides. This is a sign your shrimp has cooked too long – it should still look plump.
    • Not only does overcooked shrimp run the risk of tasting and smelling fishy and feeling gummy – overcooked shrimp can also be really, really salty when it cooks too long. Shrimp is naturally a little sweet and a little salty – but when overcooked, shrimp can be VERY salty, so watch adding additional salt when cooking shrimp until you’re comfortable you’ve mastered how long to pan fry shrimp for.

Other Easy Delicious Seafood Dinners You’ll Love:

If you love this delicious and easy pan fried shrimp recipe, please visit some of my other seafood dinners that are simple, easy, and guaranteed to impress your family and friends!

Click each link below to get each printable recipe:

One Pot Tuscan Shrimp Recipe
Sheetpan Salmon and Asparagus

10 Minute Lemon Garlic Butter Broiled Lobster Tails

The Best One Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe Ever

One Pot Creamy Shrimp Florentine Skillet

Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon and Asparagus

Sweet Chili Soy Glazed Foil Baked Salmon

One Pot 5 Ingredient Tuscan Baked Fish

…and if you’ve ever been too intimidated to try another seafood classic at home, you NEED to try my tried and true lobster tail method!

These 10 Minute Lemon Garlic Butter Broiled Lobster Tails are the perfect easy way to learn to make juicy, delicious, and perfectly pretty lobster tails – great for date night, fancy dinner parties, or just a little luxury in a busy week!

Click to watch the lemon garlic butter broiled lobster tails video below:

Butter Alternatives for Pan Fried Shrimp:

I absolutely love the rich flavor garlic butter gives shrimp in this cilantro lime shrimp recipe – but I know some would rather use a substitute for butter in this dish.

Feel free to use the following swaps for a recipe that is just as amazing and indulgent – no matter what type of fat you use to pan fry shrimp!

  • Pan Fried Shrimp in Ghee.
    • Ghee is the Indian name for clarified butter (Ghee, from either cow or buffalo milk, is very popular in India) that is a delicious, salty, and rich butter substitute for pan frying and is delicious with shrimp.
    • To substitute ghee for butter in a recipe, use a 1:1 swap.
    • Since ghee is clarified butter (the milk solids and water are removed, making ghee have a much higher smoke point than butter), it is ideal for pan-frying in recipes.
    • I actually prefer pan frying shrimp in ghee to regular butter – but ghee can get expensive and is sometimes trickier to find (though my local King Soopers always has it in stock lately, as well as Whole Foods and Sprouts who have stocked it for years), so sometimes butter is easier.
  • Pan Fried Shrimp in Olive Oil.
    • Stir-frying shrimp in Olive Oil is the classic method most people are used to when thinking of stir frying shrimp and garlic with lime and cilantro – and is quite delicious.
    • Use a 1:1 substitution when using olive oil instead of butter in this recipe.
    • Olive oil does have a lower smoke point than butter (and clarified butter), so you should reduce heat slightly and cook a minute or two longer when sautéing shrimp with olive oil. Burned olive oil smells acrid and tastes bitter and unappetizing – and the chemical reactions that occur when olive oil (or any oil) is burnt have been linked to promoting cancer.
  • Pan Fried Shrimp in Avocado Oil.
    • Avocado oil is a nutritious (and delicious) alternative to olive oil for sautéing – it has a much higher smoke point than olive oil.
    • The smoke point of extra virgin olive oils can vary wildly and be as low as 220 degrees Fahrenheit, while olive oil that isn’t marked extra virgin can go up to about 400-450, though this changes wildly based on how it is refined.
    • Avocado oil, by contrast, has a smoke point of up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a better oil to cook with when you’re heating shrimp hot and fast like this recipe calls for.
  • Pan Fried Shrimp in Coconut Oil.
    • Liquid and solid coconut oil – as well as vegan butter that is primarily consisted of coconut oil – are also great higher heat alternatives to butter for pan frying shrimp, especially if you’re avoiding olive oil or butter for Lent. (This recipe is one of my favorites when eating only shellfish and otherwise vegan + skipping olive oil for Lent.)
    • If you don’t love the subtle flavor of coconut oil, you can mix it with avocado oil or another high-smoke point oil whose flavor you love to cut the coconut a bit.

Easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe

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To watch me make this video, click the sticky video player below:

Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 12 minutes

Easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp is a simple skillet recipe anyone can make – bursting with garlic, lime, butter, and cilantro flavors for the best shrimp you can make in under 10 minutes – in just one pan! Perfect for shrimp tacos, fajitas, salads, wraps, and more!


  • 4 tbsp butter, olive oil, or vegan butter
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup garlic, diced
  • 1 lime, 1/2 sliced, 1/2 juiced and zested
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large, nonstick pan, melt butter (or heat oil until shimmery if using olive oil) on medium high heat.
  2. Add diced garlic and let brown and become fragrant, stirring often to prevent burning – about 3 minutes.
  3. Cut lime in half, and add the juice and zest of half the lime to the pan.
  4. Stir in shrimp and red pepper flakes, as well as sliced wedges from the other half of the lime.
  5. Let cook until one side of shrimp is pink – about 3 minutes, and stir in cilantro.
  6. Continue to cook on high until pink are just pink and opaque – about another 4 minutes – do not overcook shrimp.
  7. Remove from heat and serve as an appetizer, over pasta, rice, vegetables, or in a taco or wrap!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

Amount Per Serving Calories 313 Total Fat 20g Saturated Fat 10g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 277mg Sodium 1191mg Carbohydrates 7g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 1g Sugar 0g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 27g Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix – please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Next time you see a special on bags of frozen shrimp in your supermarket, pick up a couple and have fun with these variations. Our recipes call for either a half or whole 1-pound package of frozen, shelled, and deveined cooked shrimp. (Look for a brand that doesn’t have the shell on the tail part of the shrimp.) Thaw, drain, and pat dry with paper towels, and you’re ready to go.

Shrimp Quesadillas

In bowl, toss 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese with 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Scatter 1/2 pound chopped shrimp over 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas. Top with cheese and 4 more tortillas. Cook in hot, nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until golden on both sides, 3 minutes. Serves 4.

Shrimp & Rice

In microwave-safe bowl, put 11/2 cups frozen shelled edamame. Microwave on High to heat through, 2 minutes. Remove; stir in 8.8-ounce package precooked brown rice, 1 pound shrimp, 3 sliced green onions, and 1/2 cup ginger-soy salad dressing. Serves 4.

Lemony Bow Ties & Shrimp

Cook 1/2 pound bow tie pasta; drain over 1 pound shrimp, set in colander. In bowl, toss pasta mixture with 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel, and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Serves 4.

Mango Shrimp Salad

In bowl, stir 1/4 cup mango chutney with 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lime peel and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Toss with 1 pound shrimp, 1 diced mango, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint. Serves 4.

Shrimp Bruschetta

Cut 16 (1/2-inch thick) diagonal slices from loaf of French bread; toast until golden on both sides. In bowl, toss 3/4 cup corn-and-black-bean salsa with 1/2 pound chopped shrimp and 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro. Spread on toasts. Serves 8.

4 Tasty Ways to Use Precooked Shrimp for Effortless Meals

Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Boiled (and usually peeled) shrimp with a side of cocktail sauce is a ubiquitous summer finger food that’s easy to serve at just about any warm-weather gathering. It takes little effort to prepare and most people (barring those with shellfish allergies) tend to enjoy the simple appetizer. However, simple boiled shrimp have far more potential beyond being a classic and classy snack; in fact, the precooked shrimp you can pick up at the grocery store offers ample possibilities for quick, everyday meals.

Basic boiled shrimp—which can be chilled and peeled for a classic shrimp cocktail—involves cooking fresh shrimp in a seasoned cooking liquid. The cooking liquid typically includes water, lemon juice, black peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Once the liquid comes to a boil, it is reduced to a simmer and whole shrimp is simmered in the liquid for about 2-3 minutes. When the shrimp turn pink, it is then removed from the pot and shocked in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. From there you can peel the shrimp and eat as is.

Cooking dinner shouldn’t be complicated

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This method is simple enough, but it’s also a bit easier (and for many, less intimidating) to purchase shrimp that have already been cooked—in a bag from the freezer section, by the pound at the seafood counter, or even in the form of a cocktail shrimp ring—at the grocery store. It’s a simple, savvy supermarket shortcut that a busy home cook should feel absolutely no shame in utilizing. Prepared shrimp, particularly the frozen options that are already peeled (we suggest looking for tails-on, though) seriously cuts down on the time that you would spend on tasks such as peeling, deveining, and even bringing the poaching liquid to a boil, which makes throwing together these easy-to-assemble dishes all the more manageable. Here are 4 ways to integrate store-bought “cocktail” shrimp into delicious meals that you won’t mind putting together.

Toss into a salad or grain bowl.

Tossing boiled (and thawed if necessary) shrimp in a leafy green salad or grain is an easy meal prep hack to keep in mind. Bonus: Because this use is best consumed chilled anyway, you won’t have to worry about being the one at the office with smelly seafood that you warmed up from last night’s dinner. For an extra dash of flavor, toss your shrimp in a dash of a spice blend such as Old Bay seasoning, Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, or lemon pepper seasoning. You instantly add personality to your salad and it’s a fun/simple way to switch up the flavor profile of your lunches throughout the week.

WATCH: How to Make Shrimp Boil Nachos

Add to soup (hot and cold).

Being that your shrimp are already cooked, you won’t need much heat to warm it through, so no need to thaw frozen shrimp before adding it to a pot of hot soup. The gentle heat from the soup will warm the to shrimp to the perfect temperature without overcooking it into a rubbery state. Just give the shrimp a few minutes in the pot to warm through before serving up your soup. Soups such as a corn chowder, tomato soup, and Coconut-Red Curry Squash Soup would benefit greatly from the addition of a handful of shrimp. If you go with a cold soup, thaw frozen shrimp under running cold water before stirring in. And if you purchased a form of already thawed shrimp, simply stir the chilled shellfish right in. Add to your favorite warm weather soups such as gazpacho, sweet pea soup, or avocado soup.

Make spring rolls and lettuce wraps.

Spring rolls and lettuce are a fun and fresh food to assemble for lunch or to serve as an appetizer to guests. Pack them tight with your favorite fresh vegetables and add in a few shrimp (tails removed) to eat roll/wrap. (Depending on the size of your shrimp, you may want to cut into smaller pieces.) To prepare the spring rolls, purchase 8-inch round rice paper wrappers and individually soak the wrapper in warm water to make them pliable. The wrappers can be filled with sliced carrots, cucumbers, radish, jicama, and cabbage. In terms of the lettuce wraps, butter and bibb lettuce leaves are solid options to go with.

Bulk up cold pasta and noodle dishes.

Precooked shrimp are ideal for easy chilled noodles dishes. A pasta salad is a great place to mix in a handful of cooked shrimp, especially in flavorful recipes such as a pesto pasta salad, Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad, and Orzo Salad with Zucchini and Feta. You have the flexibility to play around with different types of noodles and flavor profiles, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Soba noodle dishes are often served chilled and adding your handy shrimp to a well-dressed bowl of noodles is the perfect way to incorporate protein.

Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp are coated in the most amazing sticky honey garlic butter soy sauce. This is a quick 20 minute meal that you will make again and again!

You can’t go wrong with shrimp recipes that are quick and easy to make! Creamy Garlic Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi Recipe or Cajun Garlic Shrimp and Grits are a few of our favorite family meals.

Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp

Since the New Year has started I made a goal to make dinner at home more. The holidays were crazy and it is so nice to settle down a bit. I love cooking at home and eating together at night is just so much better.

We started our week off with this amazing Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp. I am not even the biggest fan of shrimp… the hubby is… and this is one of the best meals that I have ever had!!

Honey, garlic, soy sauce, and butter. Seriously my favorite flavors in one. I use them in so many recipes because it is just so dang good!! It is easy to make and the flavor is incredible. It coats the shrimp perfectly and creates such a flavorful and sticky sauce!

But my favorite part is that this meal was ready in under 30 minutes. You can have amazing meals for your family at night that require little effort but are restaurant quality. You are going to love the sticky sauce on this shrimp and this will be a meal that you want to make again and again!

How do you make Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp?

  • n a small bowl whisk honey, soy sauce, garlic and lemon. Add half of the sauce to the shrimp and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  • In a medium sized skillet add the butter.
  • Add the shrimp and discard marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium high. Cook until the shrimp turns pink about 2 minutes each side.
  • Add the reserved marinade and pour over shrimp. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the shrimp. Garnish with green onions.

What is the best shrimp to use?

There most common types of shrimp found in markets are pink or white shrimp, both are great to use in this recipe. Make sure to select a jumbo-sized shrimp, look for 16 to 20 count (or pieces) per pound. This will ensure that the shrimp does not overcook quickly when sauteed.

Jumbo size also gives a nice two-bite piece for a heartier entree. Feel free to remove the tails to make it easier to eat. Frozen shrimp can also be used, run them under cool water until the ice melts, or defrost them the night before and drain well.

How long do you cook the shrimp?

When the shrimp are no longer pink in color and is taking on more of an opaque white color, is when I would consider them done. You do want to keep an eye on how white they do get and assure they do not overcook.

Keeping an eye on size reduction in the shrimp as well is a great way to watch how “done” your shrimp are getting. I like to leave the tails on the shrimp when cooking them. It does add extra flavor; however, if you prefer to peel the whole shrimp or purchase them that way, that is fine too.

Can you overcook shrimp?

The exterior of the shrimp should be pink with red tails and the flesh is slightly opaque and a little “white” in color. If it is too bright white in color, then the shrimp may be overcooked.

Looking for more Shrimp recipes?! Here are some!

  • Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet
  • Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp
  • Sweet and Sour Shrimp
  • Easy Shrimp Tacos
  • Fiery Shrimp Diablo

4.53 from 69 votes Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Servings 4 People Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp are coated in the most amazing sticky honey garlic butter soy sauce. This is a quick 20 minute meal that you will make again and again! Course Main Course Cuisine American Keyword shrimp, honey shrimp, sticky, sticky honey shrimp, garlic butter, butter shrimp

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • green onions for garnish
  1. In a small bowl whisk honey, soy sauce, garlic and lemon. Add half of the sauce to the shrimp and let marinate for 30 minutes.

  2. In a medium sized skillet add the butter. Add the shrimp and discard marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium high. Cook until the shrimp turns pink about 2 minutes each side. Add the reserved marinade and pour over shrimp. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the shrimp. Garnish with green onions.

Nutrition Facts Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp Amount Per Serving (4 people) Calories 304 Calories from Fat 63 % Daily Value* Fat 7g11% Saturated Fat 4g20% Cholesterol 301mg100% Sodium 1743mg73% Potassium 153mg4% Carbohydrates 36g12% Fiber 1g4% Sugar 35g39% Protein 25g50% Vitamin A 175IU4% Vitamin C 5.5mg7% Calcium 174mg17% Iron 2.9mg16% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

25 ways to use shrimp in a quick dinner

Tired of peel-and-eat shrimp?

Here are 25 ways to turn America’s most popular seafood into quick dinners using everyday ingredients and cooking techniques.

1. Shrimp Scampi

Melt ¼ cup butter with ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil in large skillet until foaming. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and 1 onion chopped fine; saute until crisp-tender. Add 2 pounds of fully cooked, peeled shrimp and heat through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Serve over linguine.

2. Quick Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Prepare cheese grits according to instructions on grits package. Meanwhile, cook several pieces of bacon until crispy; set aside, reserving fat in skillet. Season uncooked, peeled shrimp with salt and paprika (or Old Bay). Saute in the bacon fat (you might not need it all; discard excess fat before cooking) until pink. Spread grits in shallow serving bowl and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with sliced scallions and crumbled bacon bits.

3. Shrimp Louis Salad

Mix small, cooked salad shrimp with chopped celery and Thousand Island dressing. Chill. Either stuff a large, seeded tomato with the shrimp or arrange the mixture on a bed of lettuce surrounded by tomato wedges and slices of hard-boiled egg.

4. Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Pesto

Thread large or extra-large peeled, uncooked shrimp with tails onto bamboo or metal skewers. Brush with basil pesto and grill over medium-hot flames. They will be done quickly; about 3 minutes a side, depending on size.

5. Shrimp Dip

Mix 2 cans drained shrimp with 1 small, chopped onion, 12 ounces softened crease cheese, ¾ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon horseradish, 2 tablespoons ketchup and 2 teaspoons dill weed. You can use an electric mixer and then fold in the onion and shrimp by hand. It’s best made a day ahead.

6. Stuffed Shrimp

Make a stuffing from chopped mushrooms sauteed in butter and then mixed with dried Italian-seasoned bread crumbs. Stuffing should be wet but hold together when pressed. Butterfly extra-large peeled, uncooked shrimp. Stuff with mushroom mixture and place in a buttered casserole dish, stuffing side up. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

7. Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktails

To make the cocktail sauce, mix 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes with 2 tablespoons each horseradish and Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, two celery ribs finely chopped and 4 shots of cold vodka. Season with pepper. Divide the sauce among four martini glasses and hook four cold, cooked jumbo shrimp on the edges. Garnish with lemon wedges.

8. Popcorn Shrimp Tacos

Brush frozen popcorn shrimp (about 16 ounces) with melted butter and then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning. Bake according to package instructions. When done, layer in warm corn tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and a sauce made from sour cream mixed with salsa.

9. Garlic Shrimp

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet until foaming. Add 2 pounds of peeled, uncooked large shrimp and up to 6 cloves of minced garlic. When shrimp turns pink, remove from heat and add a handful of chopped parsley, the juice of 1 lemon and salt to taste. Serve with rice or French bread to sop up garlic sauce.

10. Shrimp Fried Rice

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add chopped onion, sliced scallion and minced garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 pound peeled, uncooked medium shrimp and cook until just pink. Mix in 2 cups room temperature cooked rice and a handful of frozen peas, heat through and add 1½ cups soy sauce.

11. Shrimp and Feta Pasta

Cook a package of orzo according to instructions. While that’s cooking, saute 1 pound of peeled, uncooked large shrimp in olive oil and minced garlic. Remove from heat when just cooked. Mix drained, cooked orzo with shrimp and 1 can diced tomatoes, ½ cup of white wine, a couple teaspoons of Greek seasoning and salt and pepper. Layer in lightly greased casserole and dot with feta cheese crumbles. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly, about 12 minutes. Before serving, garnish with chopped, fresh parsley.

12. Shrimp Melts

Melt ¼ cup butter in large skillet and saute 1 sliced scallion with 1 pound medium, uncooked peeled shrimp. With slotted spoon, remove shrimp but leave as much butter as you can. Set aside. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, which should make a thick paste. Cook for a of couple minutes, stirring. Slowly pour in 2 cups of milk; stir constantly until mixture has thickened. Meanwhile, preheat broiler and toast four English muffins, split. Return shrimp to sauce. Spoon shrimp over muffins and top with thin slice of tomato and provolone. Broil until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

13. Shrimp Frittata

Preheat the broiler. In a large, oven-proof skillet, saute diced onions, red pepper and minced garlic in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add ½ pound of peeled, uncooked large or medium shrimp. Cook until just pink. Whisk 6 to 8 eggs with some shredded Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of milk. Pour into pan and let cook for a few minutes, pushing egg away from edges to facilitate cooking. When mixture is close to set, place under broiler to brown and finish cooking.

14. Barbecue Shrimp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together 1 cup melted butter, ½ cup Worcestershire sauce, 4 garlic cloves, chopped, 2 bay leaves, 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Add 2 lemons cut in wedges. Place 4 pounds unpeeled, large uncooked shrimp in a large baking pan and pour sauce over all. Bake for 35 minutes. Excellent served with grits.

15. Goat Cheese and Shrimp Quesadillas

Saute 1 onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add peeled, uncooked medium shrimp, cook until pink. Remove from skillet. Layer shrimp mixture on a flour tortilla with knobs of goat cheese and some shredded Jack cheese. Top with another tortilla and place in skillet; cook about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat, until cheese melts. Top with slices of ripe avocado.

16. Shrimp Po Boys

Batter and deep-fry medium uncooked shrimp if you’d like or use frozen fried shrimp and bake according to package instructions. Pile on soft hoagies with shredded lettuce, tomato slices, pickle slices and spicy mayonnaise. Make your own by mixing mayo, Creole mustard and fresh lemon juice.

17. Dilled Shrimp Salad Croissants

Mix mayonnaise with a bit of sour cream, chopped fresh dill and fresh lemon juice. Gently fold cooked salad shrimp into the sauce with finely chopped celery. Scoop into split croissants and garnish with ice-cold Romaine leaves.

18. Shrimp Caesar

Make a classic Caesar salad and serve with skewers of uncooked shrimp that have been grilled simply with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

19. Bourbon Sesame Shrimp

Marinate peeled, uncooked jumbo shrimp in equal parts bourbon, sesame oil and soy sauce for up to 2 hours. Grill or broil for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Dip back into marinade, roll in sesame seeds to coat and return to grill or broiler until seeds are lightly toasted, turning once.

20. Italian Shrimp Bake

Put several large, peeled uncooked shrimp in gratin dishes or individual ramekins with basil-infused tomato sauce. Top with cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for about 12 to 15 minutes.

21. Shrimp and Avocado Wraps

In a bowl, mash an avocado with about 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese. Mix in lemon juice and a big splash of hot sauce to make the mixture spreadable. Smear it on tortillas then layer on spinach leaves and a few cooked, peeled shrimp. Roll up.

22. Spicy Chorizo and Shrimp Kebabs

Thread chunks of cured (not raw) chorizo alternately with peeled uncooked shrimp and grape tomatoes. Brush shrimp and grape tomatoes with olive oil mixed with minced garlic. Grill for about three minutes per side until shrimp is pink.

23. Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli

Peel uncooked shrimp and toss with extra-virgin olive oil and a clove or two of minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Spread shrimp and broccoli separately on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle a little olive oil over the broccoli. Roast at 400 degrees until shrimp are pink all the way through, about 5 minutes, and broccoli can be pierced easily with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes.

24. Shrimp Boil

Bring a big pot of water to boil and add lemon juice, smashed garlic cloves and coarse salt. Sprinkle in Old Bay. Toss in small whole red potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes. Add shucked corn in manageable lengths, and about 5 minutes later add unpeeled, uncooked large or extra-large shrimp. Cook for another five minutes or so, drain and dump in bowl.

25. Thai Curry Shrimp

Heat a can of unsweetened coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of Thai green curry paste and the juice of half a lime. Add hot sauce to taste. Make rice, and when it’s almost done, add cooked shrimp to sauce to heat through. Pour curry sauce over rice and serve.

Information from Food.com, about.com, Food Network, Marthastewart.com and Times files.

Dinner for Two: Honey Garlic Teriyaki Shrimp (15 Minutes!)

March 26, 2016

I’ve found that the simplest recipes are often the most satisfying. 15 minute honey garlic teriyaki shrimp.

There’s just something special about taking a few carefully curated ingredients and turning them into a totally amazing dish. No clunky bells and whistles, no fancy presentation, just everyday meals for your everyday life.

And that’s why I’m completely obsessed with this 15 minute honey garlic teriyaki shrimp. Not only are they painfully easy to prepare, but all you need are six-ingredients to make!

Pretty fab, right?

Here’s the most important thing about this dish: I made it as lazily as possible. I used pre-cooked shrimp AND store-bought soy-teriyaki sauce, so consider this short-cut heaven. Now obviously I think it’s great to make everything from scratch and source your ingredients as carefully as possible. But when you’ve worked, worked out, and done a million things in between, sometimes it’s nice to get to the point. And that’s exactly what this recipe does, but with minimal processed guilt.

What I love about this recipe is that you can develop such complex, gratifying flavors with so little to work. Honey-garlic pairings are common in Asian cuisine, and for good reason — the duo is crazy delicious. But the added kick of soy-teriyaki sauce brings a crucial tang + acidity that’s downright outstanding. This is the type of dish that tastes like you SLAVED over it. When in reality, you were probably zoning out to Bravo the entire time it cooked.

And I suppose I should use the word “cook” lightly, because this is more like heating than anything else. There is some sautéing of onions, yes, but the pre-cooked shrimp puts this firmly into heating territory. 15 minute honey garlic teriyaki shrimp.

Through tons of trial and error I’ve learned that the difference between pre-cooked vs. fresh shrimp isn’t much in terms of building flavor, they both take on marinades and sauces about the same. It really comes down to a matter of minutes, and price — If you’re willing to spend 5 more dollars to save 5 – 10 minutes, then pre-cooked shrimp is for you. Otherwise, buy the fresh stuff and follow the recipe as directed, just add a bit more time to cook the shrimp through.

And to serve? I like this best over some rice or quinoa to soak up the amazing juices, but a whole bunch of veggies would work great with this, too. x

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 15 mins


  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp Soy Teriyaki Sauce (I used Soy Vay)
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 tbsps Crushed or Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 lb – 2/3 lb Pre-Cooked Shrimp (approx. 13 – 18 pieces, choose however much suits you!)
  • 2 tsps Sesame Oil
  • 3/4 cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • Scallions & Sesame Seeds to garnish


  1. In small bowl combine soy teriyaki, honey, and crushed garlic, whisking well. Pour over shrimp and marinate until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet saute onions in sesame oil over medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Next, lower heat to medium before adding in shrimp. Toss until heated (~4 minutes), then immediately plate and serve, garnishing with scallions and sesame seeds if desired.

easy peasy.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated with new photos and a slightly modified recipe.

15 minute honey garlic teriyaki shrimp. 15 minute honey garlic teriyaki shrimp.

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