Pickled Shrimp

pickled shrimp in a large jar
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  • Total: 18 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Chill: 6 hrs
  • Servings: 12 to 16 servings
  • Yields: 48 pieces
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
121 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 266mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 10g
Calcium 67mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pickled shrimp make an easy and delicious appetizer because there's very little cooking time and they're ready to serve right out of the fridge. Serve the shrimp with a flavorful aioli for dipping, or with spreads and baguette slices. Spread some tapenade on a baguette slice and top it with a pickled shrimp! If you have a few leftover shrimp, add them to a tossed salad.

Chopped fresh dill and parsley give the shrimp extra color and flavor, along with the Creole seasoning and garlic. If you like spicy food, add extra sliced chile peppers or red pepper flakes.

Plan to prepare the shrimp early in the day or the day before you will be serving them. Refrigerate the shrimp and pickling mixture for at least 6 hours before serving or for up to 24 hours.

Ingredients

  • 3 lemons, divided use
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed mustard seeds
  • 1 Fresno or jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (or a dash of crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for pickled shrimp
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Zest and juice 1 of the lemons. Slice the second lemon thinly and set it aside.

    lemon zest, sliced lemon, and juice
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. In a bowl, combine zest and juice of the lemon with the vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, pepper, dry mustard, crushed mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Set aside.

    combining the vinegar, oil, and herbs
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Bring a saucepan of water with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or just until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Overcooked shrimp will be tough and rubbery, so watch closely. Drain the shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them to halt the cooking process.

    cooked shrimp draining
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Add the drained and cooled shrimp to the seasoned vinegar and oil mixture along with the red onion and lemon slices. Taste the brine and add salt, as needed. Refrigerate the shrimp for at least 6 hours or overnight.

    pickled shrimp in a bowl with lemon and onions
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Just before serving, stir in the dill and parsley. Arrange the shrimp on appetizer plates with a dip or spreads on the side.

    appetizer plate with pickled shrimp and dip on the side
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How Many Shrimp Do I Need for a Party?

Plan on at least 2 to 3 large shrimp for each guest or more if that is the only appetizer.

How to Store

Refrigerate brine-covered pickled shrimp in an airtight container for up to four days.

Tips

  • The shrimp can be pickled with or without the tails. The tails can make the shrimp look a little bigger and they make convenient handles when served with dips.
  • Use your hands or kitchen shears to peel shrimp.
  • The "vein" running down the back of the shrimp is its digestive tract, which can be gritty. Run a knife down the back and pull or scrape out the vein.
  • To crush mustard seeds, use a mortar and pestle or put them in a small plastic bag run a rolling pin over them.