Frozen shrimp are a lifesaver because they are cheap and easily obtainable everywhere.
Read on for a collection of recipes that will give you some pointers to make delicious meals from your frozen shrimp and choose the ones that you find most appealing from our list.
Can You Cook Shrimp From Frozen?
Sure you can. Frozen shrimp is still delicious if cooked properly and there are a lot of methods you can use to do so.
It will certainly not be the same as cooking fresh shrimp. Frozen shrimp are likely to have already been prepared and cleaned, so you can skip that part. However, you must thaw them correctly to ensure that the shrimp is in its best condition.
Is It Better to Cook Frozen Shrimp Without Thawing?
We wouldn’t say cooking shrimp straight from frozen is better. It is faster and more convenient because you can skip thawing.
Some methods allow you to cook frozen shrimp directly and some don’t. The ones that do include steaming, boiling, air-frying, and using Instant Pots.
Best Frozen Shrimp Recipes
Check out these budget-friendly frozen shrimp recipes and pick your favorites.
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1 of 36
Pan Fried Shrimp Recipe
This lustrous dish is so shimmery it’s sure to dazzle your world before you taste it. It’s a simple fry with carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli to complete it with crunchy bits.
Two dynamic flavors go head to head in this chili and lime recipe to create a knockout dish. Add a bit of Cajun seasoning and paprika to complete a robust flavor profile. Whenever you have 15 minutes to spare, you can whip this recipe out!
You can’t go wrong with this Rangoon. It’s simple, convenient, and ultimately forgiving. The best part is, for a dish that looks this sophisticated, it’s surprisingly effortless. You won’t regret adding this to your repertoire!
As evident, a short and quick marinade can work wonders. Paprika, sriracha, and cayenne carry the heat in this dish, leaving lime juice to mellow its flavors. By the end of the cook, the shrimp is infused with intense aromas that no one will guess it’s a 20-minute meal!
While there are several ways to beautify shrimp, a breadcrumb and parmesan topping is a popular favorite. And for a good reason. You won’t rack up these irresistible flavors anywhere else in 25 minutes!
Don’t let fear of the unfamiliar intimidate you out of taking a shot at this classic. Such a dish requires only one attempt to nail it. It’s a simple saffron-infused wine, tomato, and garlic stew teeming with floral essence and chock-full of delicious flavors.
What can you learn from a dish like this? That simplicity is indeed the ultimate sophistication. You’ll be amazed at how 20 minutes and a garlic butter sear can produce a splendid and restaurant-worthy meal.
This recipe proves that you can serve a no-fuss and no-mess meal in half an hour! It’s already a given that an omelet is delicious, and adding shrimp makes it ten times better. So it’s no surprise that this dish knocks it out of the park with unrivaled breakfast flavors.
This recipe features crispy atop crispy components; broccoli, snow peas, and a sprinkle of crunchy toasted sesame seeds. If it isn’t enough that the dish is a texture haven, it’s topped with a honey-sriracha sauce that takes it way above average.
While chow mein is well and truly Chinese, there’s no need to shy away from making it yourself. Follow our recipe to the tee, and you’ll have this meal ready quicker than it takes you to order takeout!
Fish sauce, sriracha, red pepper flakes, and red chili build an intense flavor profile in this firecracker of a treat. The meal stays true to Chinese flavors with spices like ginger and garlic that further define the dish.
The easiest way to thaw frozen food is by moving them to the fridge and letting them defrost overnight. Shrimp are no exception, but overnight may not be suitable for everyone.
There is a faster way to thaw frozen shrimp. Prepare a large bowl of cold water and transfer your shrimp to a ziplock bag. Put the entire bag into the water and cover the bowl. The shrimp will be defrosted in 20-30 minutes.
To speed up this process, place the shrimp directly into the water. Doing so will reduce the time to 10-15 minutes.
How to Tell if Frozen Shrimp Are Bad
Frozen shrimp, or seafood in general, can still spoil if exposed to warm temperatures for too long before cooking.
Don’t buy frozen shrimp if their packaging is damaged (torn or crushed). Check the shrimp for ice crystals, as they may indicate that the shrimp were thawed and then refrozen.
Smell and color are other indications that shrimp have spoiled. Spoiled shrimp may have an "off" ammonia-like scent, sour taste, discolored appearance, or slimy feeling. If your shrimp have any of those signs, don’t hesitate to discard them for safety reasons.
Best Ways to Cook Frozen Shrimp
These four methods allow you to cook shrimp directly from frozen without any precautions.
Air-fryers are very convenient because they can cook food directly from frozen. Technically, shrimp are defrosted and then cooked using the heat from the air-fryer.
Set the temperature to 400 ºF and place the shrimp in the basket. Cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. Season the shrimp and enjoy.
Prepare a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-5 minutes. Drain, season, and serve the shrimp.
Boiling being so simple, it will allow the most natural taste of the shrimp to shine. You can always customize with seasoning, or replace the water with a flavorful broth of your choice.
Similar to boiling, steaming also highlights the authentic taste of shrimp. The only difference here is that you don’t submerge the shrimp in liquid. Instead, you need a steamer basket, and the steam from the boiling water will cook the shrimp.
Steaming takes 5-6 minutes to cook shrimp perfectly.
This method is most suitable for larger shrimp because the heat can cook small shrimp too quickly.
You will also need a steamer basket for this one. Add water to the pot and place the shrimp in the basket. Put the pressure on high and adjust the time to 0 (zero) minutes.
The pressure cycle will end in 10-15 minutes. After that, open the Quick Release and let all the steam out. Season and serve.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.