Shrimp is one of the most beloved seafoods and even one of the most beloved foods on the planet.
It enters all manner and variety of cuisine from Cajun Po’boys to Thai Tom Yum soup, and despite being used in different dishes for thousands of years, we are still finding new ways to serve up this tasty grub to our loved ones.
However, when you are throwing a fancy dinner party or even a friendly get together, you want to know that what you are serving is going to be loved by all.
This can be achieved if you know what kinds of shrimp recipes everyone loves and what kind of shrimp recipe is the best.
As such, we have decided to put together a list of the 30 best shrimp recipes that everyone would love to have for dinner.
The first dish is one that is beloved for its simplicity and the fact that it can be eaten almost anywhere at any time.
It is a beautiful mix of tender meat, crispy coating, and a spicy yet creamy sauce that will hit all the flavor points.
Soaked in buttermilk, dredged in cornstarch, and fried to a deep golden brown, it is the perfect dish to accompany a beer in the garden or just have on the go.
With a dipping sauce of sriracha, mayonnaise, and chili on the side, there is no way anyone wouldn’t enjoy this dish.
The best recipes and sauces in history sometimes come from the simplest sauces.
A lot of people will forgo a fancy lunch for a simple sandwich, because there is very little you can do to mess it up and so much potential for flavor. This is the same with garlic shrimp.
All you really need is garlic, butter, shrimp, stock, parsley, and lemon, with the last three of those ingredients being optional. Melt the butter, fry off the garlic and shrimp, add the stock and parsley and reduce down to a sinful delight.
Szechuan sauce is one of the spicy crown jewels in the Chinese cooking crown. It can be made into many different dishes, like Mapo Tofu, but it can also be made into a simple shrimp dish.
Doing this is amazing and provides a burst of spicy flavor that slowly recedes into a refreshing aftertaste from the ginger and soy, all in the bite of a bunch of tender shrimp.
Shrimp Alfredo is a take on the normal Fettuccine Alfredo that is a delight for a lot of people.
Alfredo is one of those dishes that is simple and sinfully delicious, but by adding a bit of shrimp, you can take the dish to a whole new level.
All you have to do is make your Alfredo sauce, as per usual, and fry off the shrimp with some butter and garlic in another pan.
After it is cooked, toss the sauce, pasta, and shrimp together, making this delectable combination.
Any curry is already a wonderful dish with a diverse palette of flavors, however it can take a while to do.
If you want a quick curry that is simple and easy without having to cook the meat for hours to make it tender, then you should make curried shrimp.
You can cook off the spices as usual, turning them into a paste, then add the shrimp. Shrimp takes between 7 and 10 minutes to cook, giving you a quick, delicious curry dish on the go.
Back with the garlic shrimp, but this time in the form of a stir-fry. Stir-fries are famous for being quick, delicious, and being able to be made with anything in a fridge or cupboard.
You can add literally any semi compatible sauce or vegetable into the mix with the shrimp, garlic, and noodles, cook for 10 minutes, and you’re done.
Enchiladas are one of the cornerstones of Northern Mexican cuisine, and they are served to the customer piping hot and bubbling.
Normally, this dish uses chicken or pork as the main meat, but by roasting shrimp in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, you can create a delightful dish that is much lighter than the cheese on top would suggest.
Maybe you haven’t heard of this before, but Honey Walnut Shrimp has been fed to workers on the streets of Hong Kong for many years. It is food that is defined by the diversity and speed eating nature of the metropolis.
Served in a flash, it is sweet with undertones of savory and has a delightful crunch that makes it wonderful to a fault.
There are some things you just can’t leave out of a barbecue, whether it be a cold drink or a slab of something sizzling away.
One thing you should always bring though are skewers and if you don’t have shrimp on those skewers, you, my friend, are missing out.
A shrimp skewer salted with lemon juice, and parsley makes even the fullest person’s mouth water.
Back to another linguine pasta, this time though with a refreshing and beautiful sauce, perfect for a warm summer evening or a cold winter’s night.
Making a quick marinara sauce with fire roasted tomatoes will always add bounds of flavor, but adding shrimp to the simmering sauce and crumbling feta over the top at the end will make it the best quick evening sauce that you’ve tried in a long time.
11. Shrimp Fajitas
We covered shrimp enchiladas, now to meet its simpler, but more successful cousin.
Fajitas are just roasted meat and vegetables loaded with sauce, cheese, and or cream, before being wrapped in a warm tortilla. They are a fantastic food for on the go or a fun, hands-on, and picky dinner.
You can also add whatever you want to them, including replacing the standard chicken or pork with shrimp.
Fried rice has been a staple of Chinese takeaway restaurants since they first began opening in other countries.
It is a perfect way to introduce people to delicious Chinese cuisine without bringing too much unfamiliar flavor and by adding shrimp to it, you can add a delicate, fresh taste to cut through the heavy nature of it that comes about from frying it in the oil itself.
Everyone’s heard of a low country boil with its potatoes, crayfish, lemons, sweetcorn, onions, and Cajun seasoning. But not all of us have the time or the equipment to create this southern delicacy.
However, if you have the ingredients, a sheet pan, and an oven you can whack together something similar in the oven in only 30 minutes and everyone at the dinner table will not only love you, but get a taste of that true southern flavor.
This southern dish is a lighter take on the classic Jambalaya from good old Louisiana, however it uses less ingredients with most of those ingredients easier to procure (Andouille can be a bit difficult to find sometimes).
All you really need is an ovenproof pot, shrimp, rice, butter, garlic, stock, and seasoning with a free hour and a willingness to give it a go.
Shrimp on its own has a delicate flavor and a tender texture that looks to be combined with other foods and flavors, which can be done with coconut.
Both their flavors are delicate, but coconut has a unique crunchy texture and can work in tandem with the shrimp’s slightly salty taste with its own slightly sweet taste.
Combining these foods in a fusion and baking them together can create a plate of food that people will just keep popping into their mouths until they are gone.
16. Shrimp Scampi
A dish well known and beloved in the United Kingdom is scampi. This is simply a shrimp coated in a traditional beer batter and fried to golden perfection, before being served on a plate of thick-cut fries (or chips in the UK) and with a lemon slice.
It is the perfect greasy dinner dish that people love to pig out on when cutting loose, while scratching that seafood craving itch (see also ‘23 Amazing Langostino Recipes That Every Seafood Lover Will Savor‘).
17. Shrimp Tacos
Completing our trifecta of Mexican tortilla dishes, we have the humble, but absolutely divine shrimp taco.
Tacos are open tortillas with layers of ingredients on top, but all you really need are fried shrimp, onion, cilantro, chipotle chilies, lime juice, and some bacon.
As any fan of Mexican cuisine knows, the hard-shelled tortillas are far inferior to the fresh, soft ones, so fry up a soft one, plate the whole affair, and dig in with your hands for a fantastic dinner and a great dining experience.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just need some food that is quick and available. Often, this means ready meals, but you can prepare the classic dish of pesto in such a short time.
You can either buy a jar or make your own by blending fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and salt.
It will keep in a tub for a week or two as well, so all you need to do is to fry the shrimp, boil the pasta, and tosh the pesto with both. A quick meal in under 15 minutes that is delightful.
Keeping with our quick and easy, but delicious theme, we have the shrimp salad sandwich.
For this recipe, you should buy some frozen, but cooked and deveined shrimp. They are available at most big stores, and having them in your freezer makes this a lot easier.
Defrost them, then throw them in a mixing bowl with dill, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and whatever else you desire, before tossing them together and slavering them on a roll.
It is a quick meal that all the family or your partner can enjoy with barely any effort from you.
A fun take on the classic nachos that you would normally get. Simply spread a bunch of nachos on an oven tray, before cooking the shrimp with oil, pepper, and salt in a pan.
Place a dollop of sour cream, avocado, and lemon juice that has been blended together and the shrimp on each of the nachos and throw them under the grill for a few minutes.
The result will be a huge plate of nachos with perfectly seasoned toppings. It can be enjoyed on game day or just as an unhealthy alternative to dinner. The choice is yours.
Paella is one of the most beloved dishes to ever come out of Spain, and Spanish people take their Paella very seriously.
In fact, there are many lists online that dictate what you can and cannot put in your Paella before it stops being a Paella.
One thing that has to go in every time is an assortment of seafood, with shrimp being one of the most important ingredients.
The taste of this dish takes you out of your home and directly to the salty air of the Valencian coastline. It is simply sublime in flavor, texture, and cultural importance.
There are many people who have turned or need to turn to a gluten-free diet. The problem is that a lot of the best foods are full of gluten, including bread and rolls.
In some cases, the roll has been replaced with lettuce leaves, and that is exactly what has happened in this recipe.
The lettuce is wrapped around the lightly fried shrimp, julienne carrots and cucumber, chopped parsley, and with a sensual peanut sauce drizzled over the top to create oodles of flavor. It is healthy and incredibly easy to make.
If you are sitting in the dead of a cold winter on the coast, there is nothing that you are going to want more than a warm, creamy bisque.
Although it is traditionally made from lobster, unless you live in Maine, lobster is expensive and hard to get a hold of. Instead, you create plenty of flavor by using crab and shrimp, with the strong crab flavor tempered by the sweet, subtle shrimp.
The taste and texture will make you feel better physically and will take you back to your childhood home emotionally.
Garlic and butter just work so well with shrimp, it is impossible not to put them together.
This Tuscan dish involves making a sauce out of shrimp, garlic, butter, wine, cream and sun-dried tomatoes, before adding spinach and Parmesan and letting the whole thing simmer.
The slow simmer creates an impossibly creamy blend that takes you to the fields of Tuscany with one swallow of a spoonful.
Although it presents impossible decadence, it is also the perfect sauce to eat by the spoonful from the pot in your pajamas, while watching a nonsense show on the TV.
While we have mentioned deep-fried shrimp before on this list, this time we are going to talk about deep-frying shrimp Japanese-style.
It may not seem like much of a difference, however while the flavors are similar, the textures are something completely different.
By coating the shrimp in an egg slurry and panko breadcrumbs before frying, you get a super crispy outside that is unmatched by any other batter.
The combination of the crispy outside and the soft, tender inside is incredible and something well worth trying for your next dinner, even if you are eating alone.
26. Shrimp Cocktail
If you’ve ever been to a swanky New York gallery opening or a London apartment party, then this was one of the items that was probably on the menu, and not without good reason.
A shrimp cocktail was – and still is – an incredibly popular appetizer that came to prominence in the 60s. It is a great and quick way to give party guests a lovely dish.
However, it is so simple and easy – being only cold, poached shrimp, drizzled in lemon, with a Marie rose sauce – that you can plate up a lot of it and have it as a picky dinner that can be enjoyed anywhere in the house.
Normally, garlic bread is made from a round loaf with all the buttery garlic goodness in the middle.
However, if you want to make an extra special garlic bread with delightful shrimp, a cheesy top, and herby goodness, then you need to start making your garlic bread more like a focaccia.
First, get a ciabatta and cut it horizontally, so the bottom is still crusty, but the top is soft. Then you can add whatever you want to the top, including shrimp, cheese, and garlic butter, before popping it in the oven.
It is basically a massive, delicious toastie that no one on earth can resist, and we are here for it.
28. Gambas Al Ajillo
A dish famous amongst the aficionados of Spanish tapas, Gambas Al Ajillo appears on many restaurants throughout the coastal regions of the Latin world (see also ‘24 Of The Most Popular Latin Foods‘).
It involves whole shrimp cooked in a pan sauce of olive oil, thyme, garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and red pepper flakes, garnished with lemon slices and parsley with crusty bread on the side to dip in the sauce.
It is a great picky food that can be made quickly and can be enjoyed as a part of any kind of dinner.
Although the whole shrimps may be a bit tough to get into or look at, it is part of the experience, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
29. Shrimp Lo Mein
Lo Mein is a type of Chinese dish that is made with egg noodles and uses a sauce that – while getting the noodles wet – makes the noodles only a little moist.
Normally, it is served with vegetables, but it can have various types of meat in it and one of the best is shrimp.
The reason shrimp is so good in this context is that it is not overpowering, as everything else in the dish normally gives way to the more prominent dark meat flavors.
Instead, the shrimp complements the nuttiness of the sesame, the savoriness of the soy, and the sweetness of the vegetables, with a fresh fish flavor that is just absolutely perfect.
An incredibly easy recipe that will take no longer than 20 minutes and involves no more than three ingredients: shrimp, honey, and chili sauce.
Mix the honey and chili sauce in a bowl, toss the shrimp in the bowl of mixed ingredients, stick it on a skewer, and throw it in the grill.
For about 10 minutes, the result is a deliciously sticky, gooey sauce dripping off a perfectly cooked and tender shrimp.
It is a wonderful dish that can be served to anyone for dinner, but more importantly it can be made really quickly if you are late back from the office or just as a midnight snack for when the chocolates aren’t cutting it anymore.
Once again, we are back in Louisiana for the state’s best known and most beloved dish: Gumbo.
This sauce (or soup depending on who you ask) is beloved for many reasons, but mostly because its rich deep flavor is out of this world.
Normally, Gumbo is made with a meat or a shellfish, with the shellfish of choice being shrimp.
It takes a while to make this dish, several hours if you’re doing it for your first time. This is because the roux is darkened without it burning, which is a skill learned over years.
But there is nothing better for the family at dinner time than a pile of rice with a rich gumbo dripping over the top of it.
Italian flavors just work really well with shrimp and seafood in general, to the point where you can kind of make up your own dishes with Italian seasoning, and it will just work.
That is the way of some newer dishes, like the Tomato-Basil Shrimp Skewer.
Like most skewer recipes, it is really easy to do with nothing more than a marinara sauce mixed with fresh basil, garlic, cayenne pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
You simply lather the sauce onto the shrimp, stick them on the skewer, and throw them under the grill for 10 minutes.
Before you know it, your kitchen will be blessed with a symphony of smells that will make your mouth water, and for good reason. Do it a favor and take a bite of one of these skewers.
Finally, if you are looking for something that is a little lighter, but still has that beautiful shrimp flavor, then try a Thai shrimp salad.
It involves throwing together a salad out of a few dishes you would find in your fridge, but then searing the shrimp, so they have a crispy outside, but tender inside.
It is perfect for hot summer nights when eating hot food seems a bit too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Shrimp Easy To Cook With?
Yes, it is. The hardest part is deveining the shrimp or taking it out of its shell. However, if you buy them pre-peeled, then you can ignore this step, and they will only take a few minutes to cook, making them incredibly easy to cook with.
What Is The Best Seasoning To Pair With Shrimp?
Garlic, butter, and lemon are the best seasonings for shrimp. Shrimp has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and so it can be overpowered. These three flavors complement the shrimp without overpowering its own delicious flavor.
Shrimp is a wonderful food that you should definitely include in more of your meals. It is the perfect meat for almost any kind of dish, and any dinner you make with it will be all the better for it.