IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

40 best shrimp recipes to keep in your back pocket

We've got you covered with simple weeknight-friendly recipes.
Crispy shrimp burgers with spicy mayo
Crispy shrimp burgers with spicy mayoCourtesy Ronnie Woo
/ Source: TODAY

Shrimp is a true seafood superstar, an economical ingredient that’s perfect for both quick-and-easy meals and special occasions. Whether grilled, sautéed, fried or baked, shrimp always delivers delicious flavor and texture.

One of the great things about shrimp is its versatility. Shrimp can be served as an appetizer or main course, in salads, tacos, sandwiches and so much more. It pairs well with a variety of flavors and ingredients, making it an easy addition to simple and complex dishes alike. From lemony, garlicky shrimp scampi to spicy kimchi-battered shrimp, the possibilities are endless.

Another advantage of serving shrimp for dinner is how quickly it cooks. Even jumbo shrimp only takes a few minutes to cook, making it a great option for busy weeknights when time is short. It’s also easy to prep, whether you’re peeling and deveining fresh shrimp or using frozen options. Plus, with so many different cooking methods, you can easily find a way to make shrimp that suits your schedule.

Of course, we can’t ignore how delicious shrimp is all on its own. Its mild, sweet flavor is the perfect canvas for a variety of spices and sauces, from a simple squeeze of lemon to complex curries and stews. Shrimp’s delicate texture pairs well with crunchy vegetables and hearty grains, making it a great ingredient for creating balanced and satisfying meals.

It’s no wonder shrimp is such a popular ingredient in kitchens around the world. If it’s not already a part of your regular rotation, give these shrimp recipes a try and discover just how wonderful they can be.

Spicy Shrimp

A blend of cumin, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric and garlic powder creates a bold seasoning for succulent shrimp. Cooked on a cast-iron skillet, this dish is perfect for those who love a bit of heat in their meals. Serve over rice or with a salad and enjoy the fiery flavors that this recipe brings to the table.

Shrimp with Sizzling Garlic and Chiles

Garlicky and spicy, this shrimp dish will no doubt become a favorite with any seafood lover. The shrimp are sautéed in a fragrant garlic paste and a homemade chile oil that’s so good you may want to double up on the recipe. Do as our anchors do and enjoy the Mexican-inspired dish with a refreshing margarita.

Sheet pan honey walnut shrimp is an easy-to-make recipe that’s perfect as a weeknight dinner. Rather than frying, this lightened-up version calls for roasting the shrimp, walnuts and broccoli in the oven for a hands-off meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes. The sauce — a combination of mayo, heavy cream, lemon juice and honey — is luscious, yet not too heavy. Serve with jasmine rice on the side for a complete and satisfying meal.

Shrimp Creole

Louisiana knows how to do shrimp, so it’s no surprise that some of the state’s classic dishes include shrimp étouffée, shrimp po’ boys and saucy shrimp Creole. In this version, the sauce starts with the Southern trinity of onion, celery and bell pepper, which get simmered in chicken broth and sliced tomatoes with aromatic seasonings, such as Creole spice and cayenne. The combination of deeply-flavored sauce and sweet, juicy shrimp makes for an ultra-comforting meal.

Not only is this fried shrimp served with a spicy mayo, but there’s also kimchi laced throughout its airy, crunchy shell. The spicy fermented cabbage, along with scallion, onion powder and gochugaru, adds a powerful kick to the shrimp. Each piece is fried to a crispy golden-brown, resulting in a crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the bold kimchi. Serve as a fun appetizer or with rice for a main course.

Mexican Barbecue Shrimp

Love barbecue shrimp, but want to try something new? This Mexican-inspired twist is the answer. Chef Aarón Sánchez’s adobo seasoning adds smokiness and heat, while the barbecue shrimp sauce and ancho-anchovy butter lend a seriously tangy kick. Be sure to not overcrowd the shrimp in the pan so that they get an even sear. Serve with plenty of bread for sopping up the poblano sauce.

Garlic Lemon Shrimp

This eight-ingredient recipe (six if you don’t count the salt and pepper) is perfect for busy cooks who are looking for a meal that can be made in minutes. The combination of tangy lemon juice and fragrant garlic pairs beautifully with sweet shrimp. This dish can be served over pasta, on a salad or with a side of vegetables for a versatile weeknight recipe. Home cooks will love how easy this dish is to make, while still delivering plenty of flavor.

If you’re looking for a meal that impresses, look no further than this creative surf and turf. A Cajun-coffee dry rub amps up the juicy shrimp, while the steaks are basted in an herb-garlic butter. They’re served together over a medley of roasted veggies seasoned with fajita spices to make a truly show-stopping special occasion dinner.

This seafood twist on a classic burger is an absolute delight! Making from-scratch shrimp patties is easier than you think. Scallions, smoked paprika, lime juice and garlic add flavor to fresh hand-chopped shrimp, while panko breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese and egg bind everything together. Sear until crispy and golden, then slather with a spicy mayo sauce and place between toasted buns for a winning summer meal.

Get a taste of the Dutch Caribbean and the deep South in this po’boy sandwich, which combines ingredients and food traditions from both areas. Deep-fried whiting filets and large wild-caught shrimp are sandwiched between soft hoagie rolls with a homemade garlic aioli, shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes. The combination of the crunchy fried seafood and the zesty aioli creates a mouth-watering sandwich that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

Breathe new life into your party app rotation with garlic shrimp crostini. This elevated take on the crowd-favorite appetizer features succulent shrimp and an avocado-lime spread on crunchy, garlicky slices of baguette. It comes together in less than 30 minutes so be sure to bookmark this recipe for those last-minute entertaining scrambles.

Spicy Shrimp and Turkey Lettuce Wraps

If you’ve been on the hunt for a healthy, tasty dish that can be made in no time, give these lettuce wraps a try. Shrimp, ground turkey and shiitake mushrooms are sautéed in a spicy umami sauce and served in crisp lettuce leaves that add a refreshing crunch to each bite. Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also a great option for those on a high-protein or keto diet.

Mini Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

As Alejandrao Ramos says, “There’s something about mini food that makes it absolutely irresistible.” Her tiny tacos are guaranteed to be a hit at any party and they’re surprisingly easy to whip up. No need to roll out mini taco shells — cut small rounds from full-sized tortillas using a cookie cutter and sear up the smallest shrimp you can find. Adobo sauce and lime juice add big flavor to the mini tacos.

All you need are a handful of ingredients to make flavorful, juicy grilled shrimp. Al Roker likes to keep his barbecued shrimp simple, relying on a simple, savory mix of Old Bay, salt and freshly ground pepper. His pro tip? Leave the shells on while grilling them up — it adds extra flavor.

With this bright Thai-inspired take on shrimp pasta, it’s totally possible to have a healthy dinner on the table in 15 minutes — there’s just a bit of multitasking involved. Boil the whole wheat pasta as you sear the sugar snap peas and shrimp, then make the coconut curry sauce. Once the sauce is simmering, fold everything together and enjoy.

Summer’s finest ingredients shine in this vibrant dish from chef Marcus Samuelsson. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber and watermelon are dressed in zippy dressing made with fish sauce, lemon juice and fresh herbs, while the shrimp marinate in coconut milk for a tropical boost.

Street Corn and Shrimp Kebabs

Make any summer celebration feel extra special with this elevated spin on street corn and shrimp kebabs. Between the cobs brushed with a zippy Cajun-garlic butter, bourbon-marinated shrimp and chimichurri infused with truffle oil, it’ll be hard to decide which component is the most delicious.  

Orzo Pasta with Shrimp and Peas

Consider this comfort in a bowl. Chef Jernard Wells’ mom used to make this stew-like shrimp dish all the time and now you can too. When you need a simple, hearty meal, this one will be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Shrimp and corn are a classic pairing that never fails to satisfy. Here, a zesty and spicy combination of ginger, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil and lime pulls double duty — half is used to marinate the shrimp and the other portion is saved for drizzling on top once they’re grilled.

Creole Shrimp

Chef Millie Peartree’s creole shrimp will “take your taste buds to new heights.” The holy trinity of onion, green pepper and celery help build the richness of the classic Cajun dish, which gets a kick here from chili powder. Make sure to have rice, grits or crusty bread on hand to soak up the sauce.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi never fails to satisfy and you can easily recreate a restaurant-quality version at home. This recipe features orzo — though you can swap that for a long pasta like linguine if you’d like — and succulent shrimp cooked in plenty of butter, minced garlic and lemon juice. The key to getting a good sear on the shrimp is patience: Sauté them in batches rather than placing them all in the pan at once.

This lightened-up scampi may swap pasta for spaghetti squash “noodles,” but it doesn’t skimp on flavor, thanks to the citrusy yogurt sauce and garlicky shrimp cooked in leeks. 

Grilled Shrimp Mafaldine

For an additional punch of flavor, Odette Williams first sautés the shrimp heads before cooking the rest of the shrimp in wine, lemon, chives and parsley. Together with the ribbon-shaped mafaldine and garlic-butter and chile breadcrumbs, this pasta dish will transport you straight to Italy. 

Fastest dinner ever! This ready-in-a-flash recipe features zoodles and seared shrimp in a light sauce made from cooked down cherry tomatoes, garlic and shallots. You truly won’t believe how quickly it all comes together.  

Charcoal-Roasted Shrimp

This recipe pays homage to South Carolina’s long shrimping history. Beautiful peeled Carolina shrimp are first grilled, then tossed in garlic butter, barbecue seasoning and fresh herbs. It calls for toasting slices of challah to sop up the sauce — a step you definitely shouldn’t skip.

Smoky Shrimp Mac and Cheese

What’s not to love about a next-level mac and cheese? Not only is this casserole rich and creamy thanks to a trio of smoked gouda, cheddar and shredded Gruyere, but it gets a hit of smokiness from Andouille sausage and a juicy bite from cooked shrimp.

Chef JJ Johnson’s seared shrimp salad is the ultimate tribute to summer. Fresh corn kernels mingle with diced peaches and sliced radishes in a citrusy escarole salad. It’s topped with jumbo shrimp, plus Andouille sausage for a hint of smokiness.

Barbecue Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits

The unexpected ingredient that makes this bowl of grits so irresistible? Smoked gouda. It pairs beautifully with shrimp seasoned with smoked paprika and Creole seasoning. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back for seconds.

Grilled Shrimp Salad

Shrimp and strawberry are probably two ingredients you’ve never thought to pair together, but they work surprisingly well together. The berries pop up twice here: They’re cut up into quarters with lettuce, shaved yellow squash, cucumbers and radishes in the salad, and also blended into a fruity vinaigrette with parsley, honey and shallot. 

Meg Bickford, executive chef at New Orleans landmark Commander’s Palace, draws from the iconic daiquiri to pull together a unique recipe that highlights plump Gulf shrimp. “This playful dish brings a lot of bright flavors of lime and flamed rum along with some spice of a Louisiana crawfish boil,” she says. 

Grits are not the kind of thing you can pull together at the last minute, but your patience and time will be rewarded with a batch that’s smooth, creamy and, thanks to a jar of chopped pimento peppers, smoky and spicy. Serve with cornmeal-crusted fried shrimp as a warm and welcoming brunch.

Jumbo butterflied shrimp with a fresh parsley salad makes for an excellent dinner party appetizer, but you can easily double or triple this recipe to make it a filling entrée. The shrimp is prepared very simply here — they’re tossed with a squeeze of lemon, garlic and pinch of chili flakes before they’re grilled, letting their salty-sweet flavor shine. 

Coastal Carolina Shrimp and Cheddar Grits Cakes

This delightful appetizer showcases fresh shrimp in true Southern fashion — cooked in a creamy corn sauce with Creole seasoning, then piled atop cheddar grit cakes. Make party planning easy for yourself and prep the grit cakes ahead of time. Simply pop under the broiler when ready to serve (just be sure to put them in a broiler-safe dish and not your beloved Pyrex!).

Jerk Shrimp Fried Rice

Fried rice is a go-to weeknight dinner for many reasons — it’s fast, flavorful and endlessly adaptable. In this seafood variation, Jet Tila reaches for quick-cooking shrimp, spicy jerk seasoning and a Scotch bonnet pepper to give it Jamaican flair.

The key to a good ceviche is marinating the shrimp for just the right amount of time; too long and they’ll go from firm and juicy to rubbery and mushy. This retro-inspired dip is full of bright, sunny summer flavor thanks to freshly squeezed lime juice, chunks of creamy avocado and crunchy diced cucumbers. Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear in a flash.

Guoba with Shrimp Sauce

Guoba, or Chinese-style crispy rice, is as much an experience as it is a recipe. Prepping the puffed up rice takes some work, but you’ll be rewarded with a fun, textural dish that sizzles and “talks” as you pour on a shrimp-laced sauce that’s sweet, spicy and tangy all at once.

While we love a good shrimp cocktail sauce, the dilly horseradish cream featured in this recipe from Molly Baz is oh-so-good with chilled sweet shrimp. Be sure to buy shell-on shrimp since they act as a protective barrier during the poaching process.

Drunken Shrimp

This drunken shrimp comes together in less time than it takes to order and wait for takeout. The trick to coaxing flavor from the fennel seeds and black peppercorns quickly is to toast them first. Cooking the shrimp with heads on also adds additional flair to the buttery sauce.

A tangy, creamy remoulade perks up the crispy fried shrimp, while a homemade slaw gives this seafood sandwich a nice crunch. Best of all? The sauce and slaw can easily be made ahead and actually tastes better after all the ingredients have had a chance to mix and mingle.

Between the lemony shrimp and protein-packed quinoa, this wholesome meal will keep you satisfied and full. Artichoke hearts and spinach add even more of a nutritional boost.