35 Easy Shrimp Recipes for Busy Nights

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These easy shrimp recipes are perfect for getting dinner done quickly on a busy night. Learn how to cook shrimp in just minutes and then use it in dozens of easy shrimp dinner ideas you can whip together in no time.

A photo collage shows some of the easy shrimp recipes for dinner including a shrimp po'boy, shrimp rice bowl, and shrimp tacos.

Whether you're trying to incorporate more seafood and less meat, stick to a budget-friendly dinner, or you need a meatless dinner for Lent, these easy shrimp recipes are perfect for keeping in your back pocket for a busy night.

In this post I'm going to teach you how to cook frozen shrimp properly so that you can mix and match the seasonings and turn it into one of the dozen dinner ideas I've outlined below.

If you have a little more time or interest, I'm also sharing a handful of shrimp recipes that use fresh, raw shrimp for a dinner that is so delicious you will be proud to serve it to your family or for guests when you're entertaining.

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Why Shrimp is So Easy

When you need a fast and easy dinner, shrimp is the perfect protein to use for your entree because it cooks in practically no time at all!

If you cook shrimp in a skillet on the stove top, it will be done in just 3 minutes or so.

Roast it in the oven, and you only need 7 - 10 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.

With a tender sweet flavor, shrimp takes on any seasoning you pair with it and is the perfect mild seafood to add to dozens of pasta, rice, and salad dinner ideas.

Learn how to cook frozen shrimp well and you almost don't even need a shrimp recipe. You can just prep the shrimp and add it to any dish you love.

How Do I Make Frozen Shrimp Better?

Frozen shrimp is the busy parent's shortcut to a super easy dinner.

The only trick is making sure you thaw frozen shrimp properly or it can get water logged and rubbery.

You can thaw the shrimp in the morning before you head to work, when you get home it will be ready for cooking in minutes.

Once it is thawed, the trick to making frozen shrimp taste as fresh as possible is to not overcook it and to season it well.

Frozen shrimp can work in any of the 30 recipes listed below as long as you buy raw frozen shrimp instead of the pre-cooked shrimp.

You don't want to use pre-cooked shrimp if you plan to use it in a heated recipe or it will quickly become tough and overdone.

The Best Shrimp Seasoning

Shrimp will easily take on any seasoning you want to pair with it but some seasoning blends taste better with shrimp than others.

My personal favorite flavors to add to shrimp include:

  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • White Wine
  • Spicy Seasoning Blends with Kick

If you're looking for a premixed seasoning blend, pick up a jar of one of these at the grocery store for keeping in your pantry for a quick dinner shortcut:

  • Cajun seasoning
  • Jerk seasoning
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning with or without Garlic Salt
  • Fajita seasoning: especially if you can add fresh lime juice
  • Creole seasoning
  • Blackening seasoning: you can make a homemade blackening seasoning yourself
  • Mediterranean or Italian herbs: basil, oregano, and dill especially

What Goes Best with Shrimp?

Shrimp is perfectly delicious eaten on it's own or with a dip like shrimp cocktail.

It also pairs really well with pasta dishes made with delicate longer pasta shapes like linguine, thin spaghetti, or angel hair.

If you prefer to pair rice with shrimp, I love it with white jasmine rice but other grains like brown rice and quinoa are great matches, too.

Normally you'll see shrimp paired with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, broccoli, pea pods, and cherry tomatoes but it is a perfect salad topping, too.

Easy Ideas for Using Cooked Shrimp

First, choose whether you want to cook frozen shrimp in the oven or cook your frozen shrimp in the air fryer.

Then it is so easy to mix and match the seasonings and pair it with another easy element to make a dinner you'll love.

1. Shrimp Pasta Recipes

Roasted shrimp is perfect for adding to any of these quick and easy pasta recipes as a simple protein.

Some of the pasta recipes are vegetarian like my lemon butter pasta, cheese tortelloni with pesto, and homemade alfredo sauce, but they would definitely benefit from seasoned shrimp.

Other recipes suggest cooked chicken, but shrimp is the perfect variation for many chicken pasta recipes like my asian peanut butter pasta, chicken scampi, and roasted broccoli pasta toss.

2. Shrimp Tacos or Fajitas

You could season your shrimp with your favorite spicy blend or prepared fajita seasoning and roast them.

Add them to a warmed tortilla with fun salsa variation like my pineapple salsa or creamy cilantro lime ranch dressing drizzled over the top.

3. Shrimp Rice Bowls

Add your seasoned roasted shrimp to a warm bowl of rice and top it with veggies for a quick and easy shrimp rice bowl:

4. Shrimp Cocktail

Roast your shrimp and serve it with shrimp cocktail sauce or one of these delicious and easy shrimp dipping sauces for a light dinner.

5. Shrimp Fried Rice

Season your shrimp with black pepper and garlic and add it to my favorite fried rice recipe in place of the chicken.

6. Shrimp Soup Recipes

Shrimp cooks so quickly, that you are better off roasting it and then adding it just before serving to these easy soup recipes.

Skip the chicken in my Caribbean chicken soup and stir in the cooked shrimp instead.

Or just add roasted shrimp to my tortellini soup or this easy gnocchi soup with lemon and dill.

7. Shrimp Salad Recipes

Cooked shrimp is the perfect dinner salad protein.

Mix and match your favorite seasoning, add your favorite salad greens and veggies, and then choose one of these salad dressings that pair well with shrimp:

You could also serve cooked shrimp on the side with this delicious citrus salad or my favorite crispy wild rice salad.

Skip the chicken and add shrimp to this chilled Asian pasta salad or use it as a spicy topping for a Caesar salad.

8. Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich

I love to order shrimp po'boys when I'm out at restaurants.

You could make your own homemade version with blackened seasoning shrimp on a toasted bun.

Just add a prepared remoulade sauce from the grocery store or make my easy spicy remoulade sauce at home.

9. More Shrimp Recipes

If you're looking for shrimp skillet recipes or how to cook shrimp in an Instant Pot or slowcooker, you'll love some of my family's delicious ways to use shrimp here:

Easy shrimp dinner ideas in a photo collage include shrimp tacos, shrimp po'boy sandwich, and a shrimp rice bowl.

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