Shrimp is the ultimate ingredient for weeknight cooking. Not only is it high in protein, but it’s also low in calories, super versatile, and cooks quickly, so you can get dinner on the table in no time. From grilled shrimp tacos to Thai shrimp curry, these shrimp recipes are easy to make, packed with flavor, and family friendly — there’s something for everyone!
20 Best Shrimp Recipes For Weeknight Dinners
In this easy one-pot recipe, orzo pasta is cooked like risotto, an Italian dish of rice slowly cooked in broth with other ingredients like meat, seafood, and vegetables. However, unlike traditional risotto, orzo “risotto” doesn’t require constant tending to and stirring – all of the broth is added at once and the pasta cooks almost unattended. My starting point for the recipe was a simple shrimp and orzo risotto from The Ultimate Meal Prep Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, but I added crispy bacon, peas, and Creole seasoning to amp up the flavor and give the dish a little Southern flair. Get the recipe.
To me, Old Bay seasoning is the quintessential summer flavor. It’s great on blue crabs and peel n’ eat boiled shrimp, but we shake it on everything here in Maryland, from fried chicken to popcorn to shrimp salad. Serve this classic shrimp salad for lunch or a light supper, either piled onto a croissant or scooped over lettuce. You can also dice the shrimp and serve it as a dip with crackers. Get the recipe.
In this shrimp recipe, large shrimp are quickly sautéed with garlic and onions and then simmered in a Vietnamese-style shortcut caramel sauce made from fish sauce, brown sugar, scallions, and cilantro. Every time I make this recipe, my family literally scrapes the pan clean. Get the recipe.
Filled with juicy grilled shrimp and spicy avocado salsa, these shrimp tacos make a delicious and fun (not to mention healthy) weeknight dinner. You can prepare most of the recipe ahead of time — although it comes together so quickly, there’s really no need to — and then just fire up the grill and lay out all of the fixings for everyone to assemble their own tacos. Since you’re eating with your hands already, round out the meal with some fresh boiled corn on the cob or grilled Mexican street corn, and dinner is done! Get the recipe.
Brimming with fresh seafood in a tomato and wine broth that tastes like the sea, cioppino (pronounced cho-pee-no) is a rustic Italian-American fish stew. The dish originated with Italian immigrant fishermen in San Francisco. To save time, I cut back on the variety of seafood called for (crab, lobster, and mussels would all make wonderful additions). Serve it with garlic bread, focaccia, or a baguette for sopping up the broth — and don’t forget a second bowl for shells and plenty of napkins. Get the recipe.
There are endless ways to use pesto — the Italian sauce made from olive oil, basil, garlic, nuts, and Parmesan cheese — but this grilled shrimp recipe is one of my favorites. Whether you serve the dish for dinner with pasta and a vegetable or as an appetizer all alone, the shrimp disappear in a flash. Trust me, no matter how much you think you’ll need, make extra! Get the recipe.
It can be a challenge to source some of the ingredients for traditional pad Thai, but this shrimp pad Thai is made with ingredients from the Asian food aisle of any neighborhood grocery store. It’s easy to make and tastes pretty close to the version we all know and love served at most Thai restaurants. Get the recipe.
One of my family’s favorite summer pastimes is eating at ramshackle seafood shacks, where we sit around brown paper-covered picnic tables and feast on peel-and-eat boiled shrimp. Even better is recreating this experience at home in the backyard. Boiled shrimp are not only quick and easy to make but also so much fun to eat. My favorite way to prepare them is Maryland-style: simmered in beer and Old Bay seasoning with homemade cocktail sauce on the side. You’ll be amazed by how much cooking shrimp in the shell maximizes flavor and helps retain moisture (it’s also less work for the cook!). Get the recipe.
Inspired by the lovely cookbook Salads: Beyond the Bowl by Mindy Fox (Kyle Books, 2012), this main course black bean shrimp salad is the perfect light weeknight dinner or summer potluck dish. The recipe does involve a bit of preparation – first, you quick-pickle the onion, boil the corn, and sauté the shrimp – but it all comes together quickly and easily. And it’s worth the effort: each separate element really makes this recipe sing. Get the recipe.
Shrimp recipes don’t get any easier than this! Made almost entirely from pantry and freezer staples, this Greek-style shrimp is one of my go-to meals when I have to hit the kitchen running. You begin by making a quick Greek-spiced tomato sauce on the stovetop. Then you nestle the shrimp in the sauce, top it with chunks of feta, and slide it into the oven to bake. Before serving, you flash the pan under the broiler to brown the cheese and sprinkle the whole lovely dish with fresh mint. All that’s left to do is set the pan in the center of the table for everyone to help themselves. The sauce is plentiful and packed with flavor so be sure to serve lots of crusty bread or pasta on the side to sop it up. Yum! Get the recipe.
This Thai-style shrimp recipe is easy to make at home, and you can find all the ingredients at your neighborhood supermarket. The flavor comes from lots of fresh ginger, garlic and, one of the best bottled sauces you can have in your kitchen, Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce. Get the recipe.
You can’t have a list of shrimp recipes without shrimp and grits. This version incorporates bacon, which gives the dish a nice smoky undertone, and plenty of sauce for spooning over the grits. I cheat and use quick-cooking grits, which I know is sacrilege in the South but they cook in 5 minutes and, most nights, babysitting a pot of grits for 30 minutes is just not in the cards. If you want to take the dish up a notch, use stone-ground grits. Get the recipe.
Grilled shrimp recipes don’t get any easier than this one. The shrimp are quickly marinated in a bright and tangy mixture of olive oil, tomato paste, lemon, garlic, and herbs and then grilled until plump and slightly charred. They’re perfect for entertaining because all of the prep is done ahead of time; all you have to do when your guests arrive is throw the skewers on the grill. Be forewarned: people will eat more than their fair share. Make extra! Get the recipe.
I’ve had coconut shrimp at many restaurants, but this homemade version beats them all. It’s remarkably easy to make: all of the preparation is done in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is quickly fry the shrimp, and the sauce comes straight out of a bottle! Serve as an appetizer or light dinner with my Asian-style slaw. Get recipe.
One of my go-to shrimp recipes, this garlicky sheet-pan shrimp takes just twenty minutes to make. What’s more, I always have all of the ingredients on hand, the kids love it as much as I do, and there’s barely any clean-up. Serve the shrimp over pasta or with a lightly toasted baguette for sopping up all of the garlic-butter sauce. Get the recipe.
Chinese-style shrimp recipes are always favorites at my house. This one is a healthier version of the Chinese restaurant-style sweet and sour shrimp that is typically battered and deep-fried. It is one one of the easiest and tastiest suppers you can make. Start a pot of rice before you begin prepping and 30 minutes later, your dinner is done. I always stock up on the 2-lb bags of frozen shrimp when they are on sale at my supermarket; that makes this recipe a convenient and affordable meal, too. Get the recipe.
The inspiration for these crazy-good shrimp tacos comes from a fabulous cookbook called Taqueria: New-Style Fun and Friendly Mexican Cooking by Australian chef Paul Wilson (Hardie Grant Books, 2017). Wilson writes, “This is one of the most popular summer dishes in my kitchens. It’s fast, simple to prepare, and the three main ingredients work very well together in a warm tortilla.” My family literally devours these. Get the recipe.
In this Thai-style shrimp recipe, plump shrimp are simmered in a rich and fragrant coconut sauce infused with green chilies and fresh herbs. It’s super easy to make. In fact, with just a few essentials in your pantry — like coconut milk, green curry paste, and fish sauce — you’re never more than 25 minutes away from this delicious meal, alive with the vibrant flavors of Thailand. Serve with jasmine rice, and be sure to put the rice on first so that everything is ready at the same time. Get the recipe.
One of the most classic Southern shrimp recipes, New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp has actually very little to do with barbecue. Popular in Louisiana, the dish refers to sautéed shrimp in a Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce. Traditionally, the shrimp are served shell-on, so you eat the dish with your hands. But in this recipe, I shell the shrimp before cooking so the shrimp can be served over rice for an easy family dinner. If you keep shrimp in your freezer, this is one of those dishes you can throw together at a moment’s notice. Bonus: kids love it! Get the recipe.
In this quick and easy shrimp recipe adapted from The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, jumbo shrimp are bathed in a brine flavored with salt, sugar, and chili powder, and then sautéed with loads of fresh ginger and garlic. It appeals to kids and adults alike. In fact, the recipe headnote reads: “If there is one recipe in this book that is guaranteed to have your family moaning with gratitude, this is it. After eating these shrimp, a five-year-old has been known to say, ‘Wow, Mom, thanks!’ And they’ve driven a grown woman to shamelessly lick her plate—in front of everyone.” Get the recipe.