Dinner Plans: Frozen Shrimp

Prep 3 Delicious Meals with 1 Bag of Frozen Shrimp

Shrimp in a white dish
Cooked shrimp

 kivoart / Getty Images

Frozen shrimp is a weeknight cook’s dream when it comes to making all kinds of fast, flavorful dinners—that is, as long as you plan ahead and have it thawed and ready to go when it’s time for dinner. To save time later, portion out 3 pounds of frozen shrimp and peel it all at once.


Watch this Zoodle Shrimp Scampi Recipe Come Together

Game Plan

Time: 40 minutes (plus thaw time)

  1. Thaw and peel 3 pounds frozen shrimp. Portion out another pound of shrimp and keep it in the freezer until it’s time to cook the tacos.
  2. Make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer and then set aside until you're ready to cook.
  3. Organize and prep all vegetables for the shrimp curry and shrimp tacos and refrigerate in airtight containers.
  4. Make the coleslaw for the shrimp tacos.

Prep Day Zoodles with Shrimp Scampi

Time: 20 minutes

Zucchini noodles make a great pasta substitution for those on a low carb or gluten-free diet. But don’t overlook them if you do happen to eat pasta. They have a wonderful texture, and they complement the garlicky, lemony flavors of shrimp scampi perfectly. Plus, they cook in a fraction of the time it takes to boil pasta.

Zucchini noodles
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  1. Use half of the peeled thawed shrimp.
  2. Use white wine in place of the vermouth if that’s what you have on hand.
  3. Take care not to overcook the zoodles; you want them to be slightly tender, not mushy.

Shrimp Curry Night

Time: 20 minutes

Stir-fries are famously lightning fast. This flavorful, stir-fried Chinese shrimp curry comes together in about 20 minutes—less time than it takes for you to order takeout. Double the ingredients to serve 4 generously and serve with white rice.

Shimp curry and vegetables stir-fry and rice

Getting Dinner on the Table

  1. Use the other 1 1/2 lbs of the thawed, peeled shrimp. 
  2. Begin cooking the rice before you start the stir-fry to get the timing right.
  3. Chop the carrot and red pepper, then blanch the snow peas and carrots, while the shrimp soaks. 
  4. If making shrimp tacos the next night, thaw remaining 1 pound of shrimp in the refrigerator right after dinner.

Shrimp Taco Night

Time: 15 minutes

Whip up these grilled shrimp tacos with a spicy aoli slaw for a hearty, crowd-pleasing dinner. Thanks to some coleslaw prep, this weeknight dinner comes together in a flash.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Leah Maroney 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  1. Use the remaining 1 pound thawed shrimp.
  2. Use the slaw you made on prep day, tossing again before using.
  3. If you don't have a grill, a grill pan will work perfectly on the stovetop, or the shrimp can be cooked under the broiler.
  4. Warm tortillas for about a minute directly on the grill or in a hot cast-iron skillet until brown spots appear and that amazing tortilla smell fills the air.

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.