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Gail Simmons' Lazy Shrimp Pie
Francesca Ciammaichelli / TODAY
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(72 rated)
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Gail Simmons is demoing this dish, one of her ultimate comfort foods, with Al Roker at the Charleston Wine + Food Culinary Village.

Every summer, my family spends a week or two in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where we always tour the local lobster and fried clam shacks to eat some of the best clam bellies, lobster rolls and "chowda" imaginable. For years, one of our favorite spots, the Lobster Pool, served a crazy-good dish called Lazy Lobster Pie. It's a mix of chopped fresh lobster meat smothered in melted butter, topped with crushed Ritz crackers, baked into a casserole, then broiled to golden brown perfection. This is my recreation with fresh herbs, a little lemon and a sprinkling of toasty panko breadcrumbs.

Technique tip: Shrimp cook very quickly. Remove from boiling water and shock in ice water immediately to avoid overcooking.

Swap option: You can also make this recipe with lobster.


    • Ice
    • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
    • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, plus more for serving
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Lemon wedges, for serving


1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Fill a large heavy pot about half full with water; add the salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque and bright pink, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to ice water. Let stand about 1 to 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Cut the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan, chives, parsley, zest and cayenne. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and lemon juice, and then stir the butter mixture into breadcrumb mixture to combine.

4. Arrange the shrimp meat in a 1½-quart gratin or shallow baking dish. Cover with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to broil, and then broil until the topping is golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes, and then sprinkle with additional chives. Serve warm with the lemon wedges on the side.

TODAY is the broadcast sponsor for this weekend’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival and Charleston Wine + Food is providing TODAY’s production costs.