Here’s how to cook frozen shrimp! Follow these tips and frozen shrimp recipes for the best tender, juicy flavor.
Got a bag of frozen shrimp and want to turn it into dinner? Shrimp is a fantastic protein because it’s healthy, quick to cook, and stores well in the freezer. Pull out a bag and it’s instant dinner! But how to cook frozen shrimp: do you have to thaw it? Can you dump those icy shrimp right into the pan and apply heat? Here’s what to know, and 20 of our favorite frozen shrimp recipes for making it into a meal.
How to cook frozen shrimp
Do you have to thaw frozen shrimp before cooking it? Yes, it’s best practice to thaw shrimp before cooking it. Why? Shrimp is easy to overcook, which gives it a rubbery texture. Cooking a piece of fish from frozen starts cooking the outside of the fish first, then the inside as it thaws. This means the outside of the fish is cooked before the inside is done.
It’s easy to thaw frozen shrimp, and you don’t even need to think ahead! Of course the best way to is to place them in the refrigerator for 12 hours to allow them to defrost. But here’s the quick method for defrosting and cooking frozen shrimp in a recipe:
- Place the shrimp in a large bowl of very cold water.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and stir the bowl every 5 minutes to break up clumps that freeze together. The shrimp should be defrosted in about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp (very large shrimp can take up to 20 minutes).
- Pat the shrimp dry. This is important: otherwise the shrimp will steam instead of cooking (unless you plan to boil or steam them).
- Cook the shrimp, following the instructions in Sauteed Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Baked Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp, or Steamed Shrimp.
Can you cook frozen shrimp without thawing?
It’s best practice to thaw your shrimp before cooking it to avoid rubbery, overcooked shrimp. It takes just 15 minutes to thaw the shrimp in a bowl of cold water. If you’re really in a rush, the best cooking methods for frozen shrimp are boiled shrimp or steamed shrimp: increase the cook time by 1 minute and check often to assess doneness.
20 frozen shrimp recipes
What are the best recipes for using thawed frozen shrimp to make a quick dinner? Here are all our favorite cooking methods and ways to prepare shrimp to make a healthy meal.
Here’s a recipe that knocked us off our feet: and it sounds deceptively simple. But this really is the perfect sauteed shrimp...and it takes just 3 minutes to cook! It’s easy once you know a few tricks on how long to cook shrimp and how to season it.
Here’s a fun way to cook shrimp without all the hassle of a shrimp boil: try Old Bay Steamed Shrimp! Truth be told, this method is a combination of boiling and steaming: but it results in beautifully succulent, seasoned shrimp. Get this: the cook time is only 2 to 3 minutes!
Why not try baked shrimp in the oven? This method is so easy and the shrimp come out juicy and perfectly seasoned with garlic and herbs. Move over, shrimp recipes! This one is the perfect healthy, fast and easy dinner.
Grilled shrimp is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cook this tasty shellfish. The only part that takes time is preheating the grill! Thaw your frozen shrimp while you preheat, then grill them up with this perfect seasoning blend.
Broiled Shrimp is out of this world good. It's tender, juicy, and so fast to cook. You don’t even need to preheat the oven! It’s perfectly seasoned with garlic and lemon.
Shrimp are one of the simplest paths to a fast and easy dinner, and this Cajun Shrimp recipe makes them taste irresistible in minutes. Toss these babies with a little Cajun seasoning and sauté them up in a skillet. The flavor is so savory, garlicky and irresistible, you’ll hardly believe the prep time: it takes only 5 minutes to put together!
The most popular way to use boiled shrimp is for shrimp cocktail, but you could boil it for any type of preparation. The advantage of boiling? It keeps well at room temperature, making it perfect to sit out on a platter of shrimp cocktail while entertaining.
There’s nothing like the sweet savory combination of honey garlic glaze and juicy shrimp. The best part? It takes 10 minutes to make. This one is hits all the comforting, satisfying dinner notes with a lightning fast prep speed.
Here’s an idea that has easy weeknight meal written all over it: pesto shrimp! Turns out this bright green, garlicky sauce is the perfect pairing for this succulent shellfish. Serve with noodles or rice and sauteed veggies or a salad.
Shrimp, butter, garlic, lemon, and white wine: what could be better? Yes, it’s the Italian American shrimp scampi, a classic that’s been stealing hearts and minds for decades. Juicy, garlicky shrimp swim in a rich, tangy butter sauce. Sop it up with crusty bread, or pour it over pasta: either way, it’s divine.
What’s better than shrimp tacos? Their carefree vibe makes any dinner more festive, even if it’s just any old Tuesday. What we love about this easy shrimp taco recipe is that it’s both fast family dinner recipe for weeknights and entertaining.
Want a meal to impress…with a little kick? Try Shrimp Fra Diavolo! This Italian-style dish stars tender shrimp that swim in a garlicky, spicy tomato sauce. “Fra diavolo” translates to “brother devil” in Italian, alluding to the intense heat of this dish. But make it homemade and you can customize the spiciness to your taste!
Looking for an easy, tasty 30 minute meal that’s a hit every time? Try these classic Shrimp Fajitas! This Tex Mex favorite is a recipe for dinnertime success. The fajita veggies are seasoned to perfection, and the shrimp are juicy and buttery.
Here’s our new favorite way to cook it: Cilantro Lime Shrimp! This recipe takes only 10 minutes to make and comes out beautifully tangy and fresh! It pairs perfectly with Mexican-style flavors: try with refried beans, rice, in tacos, or with chips and salsa.
Looking for a fun, flavorful way to eat frozen shrimp for dinner? Try this BBQ Shrimp recipe! This quick and easy method makes a bold, tangy sauce for the shrimp to swim in, flavored with barbecue sauce and a few extras. It’s the perfect fast dinner for nights where you don’t want to think too hard, and you might already have many of the ingredients on hand.
A meal in a sheet pan never really gets old, does it? Introducing the Mediterranean Sheet Pan Shrimp dinner! Combine juicy shrimp with colorful Mediterranean veggies like cherry tomatoes and tangy artichoke, then top it off with a squeeze of lemon and a hearty sprinkle of feta cheese. Serve with orzo, couscous or rice and it’s an explosion of flavor on your plate.
Looking for a healthy and easy weeknight meal? Try shrimp and broccoli! The pair are cooked with soy sauce and and rice vinegar until bright and savory. The contrast of the crisp tender broccoli against the juicy shrimp is really something.
Here’s a go-to in the fast and easy dinner category: shrimp stir fry! It’s quick to put together and the umami-packed stir fry sauce is full of irresistible flavor. Add your favorite vegetables to make a super-satisfying dinner that pleases everyone around the table.
Here’s an irresistible recipe you’ll want to make again and again…this Shrimp Rice Bowl! It got 5 stars in our house. Mix up a batch of cilantro lime rice, then top it with tender shrimp and a quick black bean and corn salad. This best part is a creamy, zingy chipotle ranch dressing that covers it all.
There’s something about baking up dinner on one pan in the oven that never gets old. And these Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas are perfect for an easy weeknight meal! This Tex Mex favorite is even more fun on a sheet pan. The shrimp comes out juicy and succulent, and everything is infused with an irresistible combination of spices.
Here’s a way to cook shrimp that you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again: blackened shrimp! Blackening is a Cajun cooking technique that’s all about the spices. Combine homemade blackened seasoning with grilled or pan-fried shrimp, and you’ve got a mix of savory, herbal, and salty flavors that makes it over the top irresistible!
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp (& 20 Recipes!)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
This sauteed shrimp recipe comes out juicy and seasoned to perfection in less than 10 minutes! Here are the secrets to how to saute shrimp.
- 1 1/2 pounds medium frozen shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika (or substitute standard paprika)
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 3 lemon wedges
- Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
- Remove the shrimp from the package and place them in a large bowl of very cold water for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to break up clumps that freeze together. (After 15 minutes, rinse off any remaining ice.)
- Pat the shrimp completely dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
- Spritz with juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately.
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Sauteed
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: Frozen shrimp, how to cook frozen shrimp, frozen shrimp recipes
Let us know if you have any questions!