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This shrimp roll recipe takes everything that’s great about a lobster roll…and makes it with shrimp! Serve it on a warm, toasted bun.

Shrimp Roll

Who doesn’t love a lobster roll? They’re a pinnacle of deliciousness: that savory, creamy tender filling encased by a warm, buttery bun. Here in the Midwest though, lobster is a bit of a delicacy. So we wondered…why not make it with shrimp? Introducing…the Shrimp Roll! It takes all the goodness of a lobster roll and makes it with more economical, easy to find shrimp. We served it for a dinner party with corn on the cob and watermelon sorbet, and everyone raved.

Ingredients in a shrimp roll

Researching this recipe, we found that the filling for a shrimp roll is actually a shrimp salad. Not a green salad, mind you: the 1950’s mayo-based salad that’s more familiar with tuna or egg. It’s got crunchy veggies, mayo and just the right amount of savory, creamy sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Shrimp
  • Celery
  • Green onions
  • Chopped chives or dill
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay
  • Salt and pepper
Shrimp Roll recipe

The key: a butter-toasted split top bun

What makes a shrimp roll? The warm, buttery toasted bun. Do not skip the step! We were curious and tried it in a plain old bun. Don’t waste your time on it, folks. It doesn’t taste like a shrimp roll. Here’s what you’ll need to pull this off:

  • Grab split top hot dog buns. Split top buns are loaded from the top down, and are customary in a lobster roll. You’ll need them to make a killer shrimp roll recipe!
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the buns cut-side down into the skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds until browned.
  • Flip the buns. Then flip and continue frying about 10 to 15 seconds on the other side. They come out beautifully buttery and toasted. Perfection!

This shrimp roll recipe makes 6 to 8 sandwiches

Most of our recipes here at A Couple Cooks are for 4 servings. But this shrimp roll recipe is so good, we like making it serve 6 to 8 sandwiches. Here’s why you may want to make a big batch:

  • The shrimp rolls are so good, you may want to eat two. Or you can eat the extra filling without a bun. That’s what we did at our dinner party!
  • Leftovers also save well. Extra filling lasts up to 3 days refrigerated.
Shrimp Roll

Boil the shrimp, or it’s ideal for leftover cooked

You can use fresh shrimp for this shrimp roll recipe, or it’s actually a great use for leftover cooked shrimp! Boiling is the quickest method to get from raw shrimp to cold shrimp, but you can use whatever cooking method you like.

  • Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes, then remove to an ice bath. The ice bath stops the cooking immediately, and gets the shrimp cooled down and ready for the salad.
  • Or, use leftover cooked shrimp. This is actually a great use for shrimp leftovers, which can be unappetizing on their own. Got leftover shrimp cocktail? Make shrimp rolls!

The secret spice? Old Bay

One last thing about this shrimp roll recipe. It’s nice to use this secret seasoning if you have it. Old Bay! It’s not required, but Old Bay is a seasoning blend that’s traditionally used in New England seafood recipes (like a shrimp boil). We added a hint of it to this recipe, and rounded it out perfectly.

Where to find Old Bay? In the US, you can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle. Or, you can buy Old Bay online or make homemade Old Bay!

Shrimp roll recipe

More shrimp recipes

Love shrimp? (Us too.) Here are a few more tasty recipes to add to your repertoire:

This shrimp roll recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free buns.

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Shrimp Roll

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This shrimp roll recipe takes everything that’s great about a lobster roll…and makes it with shrimp! Serve it on a warm, toasted bun.


  • 1 1/2 pound medium or small shrimp, peeled and deveined*
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or dill
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 split top hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil or vegan butter for dairy free)


  1. Boil the shrimp: Boil 2 quarts of water, seasoned with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes (more or less time depending on size of shrimp), until bright pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place it directly into an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
  2. Chop the shrimp: Remove the shrimp from the ice bath with a slotted spoon. Pat the shrimp dry with a few paper towels as you place them onto the cutting board. Then chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the filling: Finely mince the celery and thinly slice the green onions. Finely chop the chives. Stir together the chopped shrimp with the celery, green onion, chives, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Old Bay, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Toast the buns: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the buns cut-side down into the skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds until browned. Then flip and continue frying about 10 to 15 seconds on the other side.
  5. Serve: Place the shrimp filling into the buns and serve. Leftover filling keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 


*You can also use leftover cooked shrimp for this recipe: it’s an ideal use!

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Shrimp roll

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. My boyfriend and I made this recipe for dinner and it was delicious! The shrimp were tender and not overcooked. We added a little cayenne pepper to the mixture to give a little heat as we like spicy. Will definitely be making this recipe again for friends and family.

  2. Wow! Made this recipe as written and it was SO GOOD! Will definitely be making this again. The perfect Summer weekend lunch!

  3. This was excellent! We used Red Argentinian shrimp and added extra lemon juice on top of the roll. My husband is from New England and he said that he would eat this anytime of the day or night. Thanks for the awesome and budget-friendly roll!

  4. I made the shrimp rolls for dinner tonight I used pretzel hot dog buns and toasted the insides lightly also. This is a yummy recipe. Thanks again for a home run meal! Next time I’m gonna serve it with my vegan cole slaw. Keep these great recipes coming. 👍🏽😉