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 cooking 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. (This is really an excuse to eat shrimp three times this week.) To save time later, portion out 3 lbs of frozen shrimp into portions and peel it all at once.


Watch this Zoodle Shrimp Scampi Recipe Come Together

Game Plan

Time: 1 1/2 hours

  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 and grits (slice, cut, and blanch as directed) and refrigerate in airtight containers.

Prep Day Dinner: Zoodles with Shrimp Scampi

Zucchini noodles make a great pasta substitution for those on watching gluten and carbs. 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. 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.
  3. Take care not to overcook the zoodles; you want them to be slightly tender, not mushy.

Shrimp Curry Night

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

Shimp curry and vegetables stir-fry and rice

Getting Dinner on the Table

  1. Use the other 1 1/2 lbs of the 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 shrimp in the refrigerator right after dinner. Prep the slaw for tomorrow if you have time.

Shrimp Taco Night 

Whip up these grilled shrimp tacos with a spicy aoli slaw and in about 25 minutes you have a hearty, crowd-pleasing dinner. If you want to skip vegetable preparation, use bagged coleslaw mix.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Leah Maroney 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  1. Use the remaining 1 pound thawed shrimp.
  2. If you have time the night before you can prep the slaw and have it ready to serve.
  3. If you do not feel like grilling, you can slide the shrimp under a broiler instead for similar results.
  4. Toast 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 guide 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: share your meal prep photos! Tag your Instagram photos with #thespruceeats.