Shrimp is a genius way to a fast and healthy dinner! These shrimp dinner ideas are easy to put together and full of big flavor.
If you’re looking to eat a quick and healthy dinner, shrimp is where it’s at! Shrimp can go from 0 to dinner incredibly fast: it cooks up in just 3 minutes. It’s also juicy, flavorful, and seriously satisfying. Our favorite shrimp dinner recipes play on the quick and simple nature of cooking shrimp: but also give you creative ways to use it in new ways. Ready for some go-to shrimp dinner ideas?
How to buy sustainable shrimp
But first, a little note on how to buy sustainable shrimp. Alex and I try to buy sustainable seafood where possible. While we eat a mostly plant-based diet, we do flex occasionally to eat sustainable fish. In researching how to buy sustainable seafood, Alex and I have learned to look for wild-caught fish if possible. Also, frozen is good too! A myth about fish is that “fresh is best.” As soon as an animal dies it begins to decompose; freezing suspends this process. If a fish is frozen when it was caught and stays frozen until it gets to your kitchen, it will be higher quality than a raw fish that has taken a week to get to your plate.
And now: our favorite shrimp dinner ideas!
First up in our shrimp dinner ideas, we’ve got a 15 minute dinner: quick shrimp couscous! Yes, we promise that this recipe can actually be made in 15 minutes — and you don’t even have to have anything made in advance! Juicy shrimp is quick sauteed in a bit of butter with minced garlic: in just 3 minutes! And to accessorize it, we’ve chosen couscous, because it’s also so quick to cook. While couscous is a pasta and not a whole grain, it cooks up in 5 minutes so we’ve used it here for expediency. Pull it all together with some lemon and chopped parsley, and it looks like it’s taken all evening to make!
This shrimp dinner idea has a party vibe doubles as a dinner party recipe or an easy weeknight meal: grilled shrimp tacos! The smoky shrimp are perfectly spiced, served atop a Mexican slaw and drizzle lightly with spicy mayo. Top with a spritz of lime juice and torn fresh cilantro, they’re pretty heavenly. Oh, and add a lime frozen daiquiri and it amps it up even more!
Next in our shrimp dinner ideas: this seriously tasty and easy grilled shrimp! Is there anything more delicious than succulent, garlicky shrimp right off the grill? Here’s a seriously easy recipe for garlic grilled shrimp, using a zesty lemon herb marinade. Just give it a 30 minute marinade and it’s good to go on the grill. And it takes only 2 to 4 minutes to cook! There’s really nothing faster on the grill, and it makes for a simple, healthy dinner. After Alex made this for me, I took one bite and said “WHOA.” Yep, it’s that good.
This baked shrimp is a favorite dinner idea that’s straightforward and flavorful. We love the combination of the Mediterranean flavors of feta, garlic and parsley. If you can and your budget allows, find some high-quality wild shrimp. Simmer a simple tomato sauce with onion and garlic, then add the shrimp and bake until pink and tender. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley! It’s fabulous served with rice or pita wedges.
Related: Shrimp Scampi
Ever made paella? If not, it’s time that you start! Paella is a fabulous shrimp dinner idea that looks fancy but can be made on a weeknight, too. This paella with shrimp is as delicious as it is beautiful. What makes the dish is the smoked paprika (called pimentón in Spanish); it lends a sultry, smoky flavor that’s instantly addicting. The other key spice for the dish is traditionally saffron, but since it can be expensive, we went turmeric, which gives an earthy flavor and a brilliant yellow color. Top that with some tender, juicy shrimp and tangy artichokes, and you’ve got one gorgeous dinner.
Another fabulous shrimp dinner idea: grill them up on skewers! These skewers are stand-out delicious! The basic idea is thread the shrimp onto skewers and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with your favorite toppings: we’ve used kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and chopped fresh thyme and oregano. Then just grill the shrimp skewers for 1 to 2 minutes per side! You can use this basic formula anytime you grill shrimp: add any types of flavorings you like! After grilling, brushing on some of our homemade teriyaki sauce would be especially delicious. Here they’re served up on a bed of pesto quinoa.
This roasted tomato shrimp and polenta is one of the simplest, tastiest dinner ideas we’ve made in a while. Fire roasted tomatoes make it quick to put together, since their flavor is developed and doesn’t require much time to simmer. The shrimp, tomatoes, garlic and a bit of parsley are spooned over creamy polenta, basically a fancy Italian version of grits. It’s homey, comforting, and perfect with a glass of wine and some crusty bread or a green salad.
Last up in our shrimp dinner ideas: this shrimp and mango salad recipe! It’s drop-dead delicious: the sweet mango, creamy cilantro dressing, salty cashews, and savory shrimp work together beautifully. Second, it’s an incredibly healthy main dish with so many flavor components you could slide it past resistant healthy eaters. And third, it’s versatile enough for a crowd of various diets. Omit the shrimp for a vegetarian salad, and load up on cashews. It’s already gluten-free and low carb. And for dairy-free, use our Creamy Cilantro Sauce. It’s seriously refreshing and a crowd-pleaser.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
These grilled shrimp tacos are a perfect dinner party recipe or healthy weeknight meal, featuring spiced shrimp, Mexican slaw and a spicy mayo drizzle.
Quick Shrimp Couscous
Looking for a 15-minute meal to curb your hunger? Try this quick garlic shrimp couscous, which comes together in a flash.
Garlic Grilled Shrimp
This easy grilled shrimp recipe is full of serious flavor, with a zesty marinade of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. At first bite: “Wow.”
Baked Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
This baked shrimp recipe is incredibly flavorful and easy to make; the shrimp is baked in Mediterranean tomato sauce and sprinkled with feta and parsley.
Easy Paella Recipe with Shrimp
A perfect romantic date night in, this easy paella recipe with shrimp and artichokes is simply stunning. Here’s how to make this traditional Spanish recipe!
Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp
This mango salad has a tropical flair; it’s drizzled with a creamy cilantro lime dressing and topped with crunchy cashews and grilled shrimp.
What to eat with these shrimp dinner ideas
Looking for some tasty sides to eat with your shrimp for dinner? Here are a few ideas:
- Pesto Quinoa
- Farro with Herbs
- Easy Bean Salad
- Grilled Romaine Lettuce
- Grilled Avocado
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Incredible Chopped Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Caribbean Black Bean Salad
- Artisan Dutch Oven Bread
- Seasoned Baked Potato Wedges
- French Potato Salad
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Cucumber Salad with Vinegar
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.