Always vying for the top spot as the most popular shellfish on the menu, shrimp tend to come out in the lead because of their versatile flavor and favored following from diners of all ages. MarketResearch.com notes these quick-cooking crustaceans are indeed among the most popular seafood in the world, with consumption projected to only continue to grow this decade through 2026. Featured in various international cuisine, shrimp lend their delicate flavor and texture to a wide variety of dishes.
The easy-cooking recipes in this guide feature the beloved taste of shrimp in both classic and unique preparations that span the flavor profile. A perfectly prepared shrimp provides a subtly sweet seafood flavor and tender texture that absolutely melts on the palate. Shrimp should be cooked carefully, as they can easily turn rubbery when they ideally should have a tender bite (think al dente but for seafood).
It’s hard to beat fresh shrimp, but one of the appealing qualities of this shellfish is that they are friends of the freezer, making it easy to create delicious fare on the fly. Once cooked, a shrimp dish can be refrigerated without emitting the off-putting odors associated with other sea creatures, and extras can be frozen for up to six months (per StillTasty.com).
It’s no wonder that shrimp is a welcome addition to many meals, as they soak up surrounding flavors and bring delicate structure to side dishes and entrées alike. You likely won’t have any leftovers with these delicious Tasting Table recipes that offer a multitude of preparations on the ever-popular shrimp.
1. Simple Shrimp Mofongo
Hailing from Puerto Rico, mofongo is a Caribbean flavor-packed dish that features tastes descendant from Africa, Spain, and the Dominican Republic. Based on a fried plantain mash, this unique dish is traditionally made with pork but pays homage to its island roots when prepared with sweet shrimp delicately simmered in a tomato-pepper sauce.
Fried plantains are mashed with crispy bacon, creating a salty-sweet textural foundation that is smothered with the fresh flavors of the tomato-based vegetable sauce featuring shrimp with hints of rosemary and lemon.
2. Air Fryer Spicy Shrimp
This flavorful recipe for fried shrimp is easy in every way. Using fully cooked shrimp and an air fryer ensures that you’ll end up with perfectly crispy crustaceans and a clean kitchen. The shrimp are triple coated in flour, beaten egg, and Cajun-spiced panko breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic and chile powders, creating an extra crispy coating with a kick.
The mild spiciness of these shrimp makes them enjoyable for sensitive palates, but feel free to add extra chile and Cajun seasoning if you’re not afraid of a more fiery flavor. Cool these crispy shrimp by dipping them in a cilantro sour cream sauce lightened with lime zest and enjoy as an appetizer or entrée.
3. Shrimp Burger
Lighten up your basic burger by subbing in a tender shrimp patty, fresh toppings, and a spicy mayo spread. Roughly chopped shrimp is bound with egg, panko breadcrumbs, and finely minced shrimp seasoned with garlic, ginger, and lemon to create a patty that has texture and a solid pop of refreshing flavor.
Creamy avocado slices and delicately crisp butter lettuce are ideal toppings, but you can bring in sliced tomato and red or green onion based on your personal preference. A spicy Sriracha-mayo gives just enough kick to this light shrimp burger when spread over a buttered and grilled brioche bun.
4. Simple Shrimp Bisque
Bisque is the culinary synonym for fancy soup, but you don’t have to be a professional chef to make this deliciously creamy French dish. Classically made with seafood stock full of crustaceans simmered for hours on end and thickened by a roux, this simple shrimp bisque takes out the guesswork but leaves all flavor.
Subbing in flavorful vegetable stock and using a vegetable-potato puree as a thickening agent allows this soup to go from pot to table in 30 minutes but tastes like it took all day. Finished with heavy cream and sweet fresh shrimp, this velvety bisque will dazzle the palate and impress diners.
5. Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad
This shrimp salad combines many of the favored flavors of summer in a fresh dish that will leave you feeling light on your feet. Tender shrimp get a smoky kiss from the grill, balancing their sweet taste with a savory char. The craveable crustaceans sit on a bed of tender-crisp lettuce enhanced with tangy cherry tomatoes and sweet corn.
The fresh ingredients of this ideal summer salad are tossed in a creamy and zesty red wine vinegar mayo dressing with an essential squeeze of lemon that will get guests excited about eating their greens.
6. Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Bold layers of Cajun flavor and hardy vegetables combine with sweet shrimp to create a dish that’s sure to satisfy. Signature gumbo vegetables like earthy-sweet okra, thick-cut celery, sweet onion, and bell peppers seasoned with Creole and filé powder lend their unmistakable flavor profile to the tender shrimp that is the star protein in this Southern-style stew. It’s thickened by a slow-cooked dark roux that brings a deliciously nutty and smoky element adding yet another layer of flavor. Serve with a scoop of rice, a garnish of chopped scallions, and a big spoon.
7. Garlic Butter Shrimp
Few things beat the simply delicious delight that is sweet shrimp swimming in garlic butter served with a hunk of crusty bread. As if this dish wasn’t easy enough to prepare, you can substitute fresh shrimp with frozen that are of equal flavor quality and thaw out in mere minutes.
Sautéed shrimp are coated in decadent butter garlic sauce lightened with a squeeze of lemon and a light pour of crisp white wine. A pinch of red pepper flakes brings a hint of heat that can be increased to taste. This satisfyingly simple shrimp dish comes together quickly for a delicious anytime meal that everybody enjoys.
8. Garlic Shrimp Mac and Cheese
Few things satiate an indulgent comfort craving like creamy mac and cheese, and adding tender shrimp to the mix further elevates the satisfying flavors. Rich cheddar cheese and milk are thickened by a butter roux and seasoned with white pepper and Dijon mustard, creating a velvety sauce with a little kick that perfectly coats al dente elbow macaroni.
Sautéed shrimp get mixed into the creamy macaroni and topped with Parmesan breadcrumbs before being baked to crusty perfection. This decadent dish can be made ahead of time and served as the main event or savored as a side.
9. Pork and Shrimp Shumai
Shumais are open-topped dumplings made with a variety of stuffings that Delighted Cooking says differ depending on the country or region preparing them. In China, these classic dumplings are most often stuffed with ground pork, but this recipe adds an Indonesian flare by including shrimp in the mix.
Ginger, scallions, shitake mushrooms, and oyster sauce build the layers of flavor with their fresh umami essence that brings a pungent earthy taste to the light proteins. A bamboo steamer is ideal for cooking these dumplings, and there’s even a handy tutorial video for those needing additional guidance on folding the dumpling wrappers properly.
10. Sausage and Seafood Gumbo
If you’re longing for a bowl of bayou flavors, this award-winning recipe for seafood gumbo will satisfy any Cajun craving. A savory shrimp stock thickened by a deep, dark Cajun roux creates the ultimate crustacean-flavored foundation for this stout Louisiana stew.
This gumbo is full of classic vegetables like okra, bell peppers, and onions, along with heaps of crawfish, crab meat, oysters, spicy andouille sausage, and succulent shrimp that provide an array of flavorful textures. It’s a great dish to feed a crowd or place in the fridge or freezer as the Creole gift that keeps on giving.
11. Shrimp Po’boy
Nothing transports you to the Big Easy like polishing off a shrimp Po’boy. This famous New Orleans sandwich comes in many styles, but sweet and succulent fried shrimp is the iconic filling preferred by those who know. Tender shrimp marinated in buttermilk and Crystal hot sauce are breaded in a seasoned corn meal-flour dry mix before being fried up to crispy perfection. A hot sauce mayo mixture is spread liberally over po’boy rolls (or French hero rolls) and stuffed with fried shrimp, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, and cornichons. The only thing left to do is make it disappear.
12. Fritto Misto
The only thing better than fried shrimp is extra light and crispy fried shrimp, and that’s precisely what will be achieved with this fritto misto courtesy of chef Matt Gallaher. The secret to creating the ultimate crackle is in the batter, made from rice flour and white wine.
USA Rice says using rice flour in batters is a common ingredient of fried Asian cuisine (think tempura). It gained popularity because it fries into a weightlessly crispy coating that stays crunchy and never gets gummy. The sweet shrimp accompanied by broccoli, fennel, and squash in this recipe are a testament to that claim and provide a textural complement to the pungently rich Calabrian aioli dipping sauce that accompanies them. All these delicious flavors and textures might have you clearing your plate before you can see how long the crackle lasts.
13. Easy Seafood Boil
You don’t have to worry about a lack of flavor when you’re feeding the masses with this Old Bay-seasoned seafood boil. This crowd-pleasing boil doubles as a party trick, as you could be turning out delectable seafood in 20 minutes. Crab legs, crayfish, and extra-jumbo shrimp are the stars of the show in all their sweet, ocean-flavored glory. Guests will be licking their fingers clean when they taste the decadent garlic butter lemon sauce heavily seasoned with Old Bay and poured over the seafood feast to follow.
14. Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice
Few flavor profiles capture the palate’s attention more than the zesty combination of sweet, sour, and savory. Aside from the tantalizing tastes mingling in this dish, it doubles as a nourishing meal that spans the food groups with protein, grains, fruit, and vegetables all in one bowl. Tangy pineapple plays off the delicately sweet flavor of tender shrimp, and both are further enhanced by the umami essence of soy sauce and sesame oil that tie this rice dish together. This shrimp fried rice can be made with leftover rice and tastes great as a next-day lunch dish.
15. Spicy Shrimp Parmesan
It’s always a good idea to keep a simple and versatile shrimp recipe in your back pocket for times when you need a crowd-pleasing dish on the fly. This shrimp dish makes for a tasty appetizer or can be paired with your favorite cut of pasta or vegetable combo for a substantially satisfying entrée.
Succulent shrimp are quickly sautéed to fork-tender perfection with a kiss of heat from red pepper flakes and a refreshing squeeze of lemon. Once laid out on a family-style platter, the perfectly pink shrimp get a hefty sprinkle of shredded Parmesan and some extra lemon wedges that bring out the flavors of the dry Italian cheese and add the extra citrus flare that benefits all seafood. This easy and delicious dish goes from kitchen to table in under 10 minutes.
16. Simple Pancit Canton
This full-flavored Filipino noodle dish combines loads of chopped vegetables with savory sauces, sweet sausage, succulent shrimp, and tasty pancit Canton noodles in one delicious dish. Although it involves a good amount of chopping, don’t let the number of ingredients overwhelm you, as it comes together quickly and easily.
Sweet Taiwanese sausage is the first to hit the sauté pan, creating a tasty base for the shrimp that follow. Flavors build as an array of chopped vegetables meld with the umami essence of soy and oyster sauces. Finally, chicken stock thickened with a slurry quickly cooks the Canton noodles that soak up all the savory flavors before the veggies and proteins are added back to the pan. This delicious noodle dish is reminiscent of chow mein but has a Filipino flare that makes it stand out.
17. Best Étouffée
The delicate flavor of shrimp benefits from the bold tastes of Cajun cuisine, which is why you’ll see it as a signature protein used in gumbos, étouffées, and jambalayas. A slow-cooked dark roux is added to diced green bell peppers, onions, and celery, creating foundational flavors with the Cajun holy trinity of vegetables. This stew then melds the mildly sweet flavors of salt-brined shrimp with spices, tomatoes, clam juice, and Worcestershire sauce to further build the Creole essence of this classic shrimp étouffée.
18. Sizzling Rice Soup
Tender shrimp bring essential texture to this comforting savory soup that feeds the mind and body. Based in vegetable broth and overflowing with hearty vegetables like baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, sweet carrots, and sugar snap peas, this hearty soup provides nourishment and undeniable flavor.
If you’re attempting to feed a veggie-avoider, they’ll likely be hooked by the sweet taste of succulent shrimp. If your diners eat with their eyes and ears first, they will enjoy the pre-cooked rice that gets dry baked and then goes directly from the fryer to their bowl of soup, creating a sizzling sensory delight.
19. Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
If this recipe didn’t hook you at bacon, then it probably had you at shrimp. Whether you’re planning passed party treats, choosing a delicious appetizer, or making these wrapped shrimp a main meal with a side salad, the flavor and texture combination of salty crisp bacon and tender sweet shrimp will definitely delight your diners. Depending on how you plan to serve these tasty morsels, you can opt for small or jumbo shrimp.
Because shrimp are quick-cooking crustaceans, you’ll want to cook your bacon before wrapping them. After the succulent shrimp are wrapped up, they get brushed with a maple syrup-cayenne pepper glaze that absolutely sends them over the top. You can pair them with the dipping sauce of your choice, but these flavorful shrimp bites can certainly stand alone.
20. Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp
This mouth-watering shrimp dish combines a few favored flavors that are irresistible to party-goers at a summer BBQ or picky eaters at a family dinner. The bold spice of garlic chile sauce is perfectly balanced by sweet honey, creating a tangy marinade and sauce for succulent shrimp boasting a smoky char from the grill. The shrimp grill up in about six minutes and are ready to serve with a spicy cilantro garnish and lime wedges. Great as an appetite-inducing appetizer or finger-licking main dish, these sweet and spicy shrimp are sure to be a hit.
21. Spicy Shrimp Scampi
No volume of shrimp recipes would be complete without including scampi. Even the pickiest eater will say yes to a serving of sweet shrimp swimming in butter, and the secret to this dish’s success lies in its delicious simplicity. This take on scampi veers slightly from the classic version by spicing up the butter sauce with a kick from red pepper flakes and a hint of balancing dry white wine, like pinot grigio. A refreshing squeeze of lemon juice further cuts the butter’s richness and enhances the shrimp’s light flavor. Serve over a bed of al dente linguine and enjoy the flavorful twists on this ever-popular shrimp dish.
22. Malaysian Laska
This spicy noodle soup is a staple in Malaysia that has culinary roots in Singaporean, Indonesian, and Thai cuisine. The spicy warmth of chile and curry paste is balanced by rich coconut milk and savory chicken broth filled with pan-fried tofu, tender chicken pieces, and sweet shrimp.
The layers of flavor continue to build with refreshing kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and umami-rich fish sauce, creating a decadent dish with a taste that’s only equaled by its enticing aroma. Served over vermicelli rice noodles and topped with cilantro, fried shallots, bean sprouts, and scallions, this shrimp laska is a melting pot of intensely satisfying textures and flavors that will take you on a culinary journey without having to leave your kitchen.