20 Easy Shrimp Recipes for Weeknights and Beyond

They're delicious no matter how you cook them

Shrimp and Grits

 Nicole S. Young / Getty Images

Shrimp: it’s not just a carrier for cocktail sauce. While you might see these little sea critters raw on the appetizer table, they also make a great main dish. You’ll want to add several of these versatile recipes—from hearty pastas to fast and easy stir fries—to your repertoire of weeknight dinners. 

  • 01 of 20

    Thai Shrimp Coconut Curry

    Thai Red Curry and Coconut Soup With Shrimp
    TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Images

    Your guests or family alike will love this flavorful coconut curry, which includes sweet chunks of pineapple, succulent shrimp, and tomato. Don’t be scared off by the list of ingredients—it all comes together easily once you get started. Garnish it with a handful of cilantro and serve with a side of rice.

  • 02 of 20

    Shrimp Scampi with Garlic

    Diana Rattray

     

    Garlic fans will love this easy, elegant shrimp scampi. Lemon juice, white wine, and garlic make a light and bright sauce that complements the tender shellfish perfectly. Serve over pasta to soak up all of that delicious sauce.

  • 03 of 20

    Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

    Spicy Italian Shrimp
    Credit: Georgina Palmer

    This light and spicy Italian dish is a classic, made with shrimp, pasta, and red pepper for kick. Add additional pepper if you want to up the heat and serve it with a green salad, some crusty bread, and a nice white wine to round out your meal.

  • 04 of 20

    Classic Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich

    Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich
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    If you’ve never had a classic New Orleans po’ boy sandwich, you’re in for a treat. Crispy fried shrimp, crusty French bread, and cool lettuce and tomato slices work together to create the perfect bite. Soaking the shrimp in milk, egg, and hot sauce gives it a nice zesty note. These sandwiches are perfect for your next game day viewing or casual get-together!

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  • 05 of 20

    Citrus-Marinated Grilled Shrimp

    Spicy Orange Grilled Shrimp
    Roderick Chen/Getty Images

    Smoky grilled shrimp are great however you prepare them, but an orange marinade gives these a little something extra. The sauce is deliciously sweet, tangy, and spicy all at once. Take care not to marinade the shrimp too long—the acid will start to cook them after more than 30 minutes, making them too tough.

  • 06 of 20

    Sweet and Sour Shrimp Stir-Fry

    Sweet and Sour Shrimp

     

    Melanie Acevedo / Getty Images 

    You may know Chinese takeout for its sweet and sour dishes. Thai sweet and sour shrimp stir fry uses fish sauce and slightly more spice than its Chinese-American counterparts, but you and the kids will both fall in love with the combination. Best of all, the stir fry comes together in under half an hour.

  • 07 of 20

    Simple Grilled Shrimp Burgers

    Grilled Shrimp Burgers
    Susie M. Eising/Getty Images

    Sick of beef or veggie burgers? Try this shrimp version for a twist on your standard patty. The easy-to-prepare burgers make great lettuce wraps too, if you’re trying to avoid carbs. If you do use a bun, give it a griddle before serving to keep it from getting soggy.

  • 08 of 20

    Thai Coconut-Lime Shrimp

    Grilled shrimp in savory sauce
    Getty Images/Krit of Studio OMG

    These Thai-accented shrimp skewers work great on your grill or in the oven, and the sauce doubles as a marinade and a tasty dipping sauce. Add more or less red chili to adjust the spice level, depending on your preference. Serve with white rice or naan to sop up the sauce.

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  • 09 of 20

    Garlic-Marinated Grilled Shrimp

    Grilled Garlic Rosemary Shrimp
    Robert Ingelhart / Getty Images

    An herbaceous rosemary and garlic marinade gives these grilled shrimp a lovely flavor. They’re perfect over rice or pasta, in shrimp tacos, or other preparations. Squeeze a little fresh lemon over the finished shellfish for a bright zip.  

  • 10 of 20

    Southern-Fried Shrimp

    Southern Fried Shrimp
    Diana Rattray

    A light cornmeal, egg, milk, and flour batter gives these shrimp a crunchy texture that’s perfect for snacking or an easy meal. Add your favorite seasonings once you master the technique—try Old Bay seasoning for extra kick.

  • 11 of 20

    Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham

    Jambalaya (rice stew with shrimps from New Orleans, USA)
    Paul Poplis / Getty Images

    Cajun-style shrimp jambalaya makes a great down-home meal that sticks to your ribs. Add a ham hock for flavoring, andouille sausage, or even chicken to mix up the protein. Serve it with crusty bread and a green side salad.  

  • 12 of 20

    Slow-Cooker Shrimp and Grits

    Shrimp and Grits

     Nicole S. Young / Getty Images

    Put this easy shrimp and grits recipe together in 10 minutes, then let your slow cooker do the work. The long cook time mellows out the spicy jalapeno, but if you prefer a spicier dish, add a few drops of Tabasco hot sauce. Cook the shrimp just until they turn pink, so you don’t end up with tough protein.

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  • 13 of 20

    Simple Shrimp Fried Rice

    This simple fried rice uses leftover cooked rice for a flavorful weekday dinner. Feel free to experiment with different fresh or frozen vegetables, or add additional shrimp or ham if you don’t have one or the other. Garnish with a little sliced green onion for a pretty presentation.

  • 14 of 20

    Seafood Newburg with Shrimp

    shrimp and scallops newburg
    Diana Rattray

    Use any combination of seafood that your family prefers in this versatile seafood Newburg recipe. The creamy, rich sauce can also be made with cheddar, Parmesan, or another mild cheese you prefer. It goes beautifully over rice, buttered noodles, biscuits, or even toast. 

  • 15 of 20

    Savory Shrimp Potstickers

    Shingo Tosha/AFLO/Getty Images

    Yes, you really can make your very own gyoza or Japanese potstickers. This recipe is a great main dish or a side for a Japanese meal. Find the potsticker wrappers at your local Asian grocery store, where you can also pick up a bottle of ponzu for dipping. Make putting together the wrappers a whole family event for a fun weekend activity and keep a batch in the freezer for dinner emergencies.

  • 16 of 20

    Oven-Baked Seafood Spaghetti

    Seafood spaghetti
    Keat Soo Lee/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Experience a traditional Mediterranean dish in this al cartoccio, which is boiled, sauced, and then baked in parchment paper. The packet preparation keeps the seafood from getting overcooked and makes an impressive presentation on your table. Don’t shuck the shellfish before adding to the cartoccio—they’ll look pretty and add delicious flavor.

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  • 17 of 20

    Simple Shrimp and Greens Sauté

    Shrimp and Greens Sauté
    Katie Workman / themom100.com

    Vitamin-rich greens and tender shrimp make a simple saute for this healthy weeknight meal. Hatch chiles vary in both heat and color, but tend to be pretty assertive. Remove the ribs and seeds to control the spice level. Spinach and bok choy are a lovely combination, but you can also add kale or Swiss chard.

  • 18 of 20

    Shrimp Cakes with Sriracha Mayonnaise

    Shrimp Cakes
    Diana Rattray

    Serve these tasty shrimp cakes with the Sriracha mayonnaise as a dip for an appetizer or on buns with the same mayo as a main dish. Old Bay seasoning gives the cakes a great zesty flavor and you can add cayenne pepper if you want a little more spice. Seasoned salt also makes a good substitute for Old Bay if you can’t find it.

  • 19 of 20

    Cold Pasta and Shrimp Salad

    Shrimp and Pasta Salad
    Jonelle Weaver/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Whether you’ve got a barbecue to go to, need a nice warm-weather side, or a light lunch or dinner, this cool shrimp pasta salad is a nice change from the usual tuna macaroni. Brown mustard adds a nice tanginess to the mayonnaise dressing, but you can also use whole-grain for extra texture. Use rotini, elbow, or other small shaped pasta and chill it for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

  • 20 of 20

    Savory Shrimp Pie

    Shrimp Pie
    Diana Rattray

    A twist on chicken pot pie, this rich shrimp version will have everyone wanting seconds. Pre-cook the shrimp just until opaque, since they’ll finish in the pie and you don’t want to end up with tough seafood. You can make your own pie crust, but pre-made also works just fine.