Quick and Easy Shrimp 

These quick easy shrimp recipes come together in a snap and are simple to prepare.  All of these recipes are perfect as an appetizer course or as an entrée for lunch or dinner. 

easy shrimp cakes

Spiced Shrimp Cakes Recipe
Serves 6 as an appetizer (two each) or 4 as main course. 
Experiment with the spice blend. Use your favorite store-bought brand or your favorite combinations of cumin, hot pepper, coriander, curry powder, dried herbs, etc; plus salt and black pepper.  If you are unsure if the shrimp will thoroughly cook, partially cook shrimp by plunging into rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool slightly and chop.

1 lb red or white potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 pound peeled, raw shrimp, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
2/3 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
1½ tbsp finely chopped jalapeño chili (optional, use sweet red pepper if desired)
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons spice mix
4 Tbsp (or more) vegetable oil

Place potatoes and garlic cloves in saucepan in water to cover.  Cook 15-20 minutes until tender.  Drain well and return to saucepan.  Mash until smooth.  A touch of olive oil will help to smooth the potatoes and add flavor

Add chopped shrimp, parsley, bread crumbs, chili pepper, onion, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of spice mix. Stir to blend well. Season with salt if needed.

Form mixture into 10-12 1½ inch-diameter patties.  Alternatively, shape into 6-8 larger patties. 

Lightly coat cakes in flour.  Heat 3 Tbsp oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Pan-sear cakes in single-layer batches until brown and shrimp are pink and cooked through, adding more oil if necessary, about 2 minutes per side.

Put cooked shrimp cakes on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 300°F oven  

Crispy Garlic Shrimp 
Serves 3-4
These buttery shrimp are topped with a crunchy panko mix. Use this cooking method on any quick cooking protein for a crispy topping and perfectly cooked fish or chicken breast.

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumb or panko
1 garlic clove, grated
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano, dill or mixture
1 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 pound medium or large shrimp
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (don't chop)
1-2 Tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp cold butter, cubed

Put butter into a nonstick pan over medium high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add panko to the pan and mix into oil and butter.  Add grated garlic, zest, salt and dried herbs.  Mix it up and toast until golden brown.   

Add oil to a hot skillet and add shrimp. Toss to coat and season with a pinch of salt.  Add lemon juice, soy sauce and splash of water.  

Add cold butter and garlic cloves and keep the pan moving while the butter slowly melts.  Cook until shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, and sauce is thick and creamy.  Plate shrimp and top with crumble. Serve hot.

Easy Baked Coconut Shrimp
Serves 5-8 as an appetizer

About 25 large/extra large shrimp, peeled, tails on
2 large eggs
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
Black and red pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425F. Grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil or cooking spray.  Beat eggs in a small bowl.  In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs and coconut.  Combine flour and spices in a third bowl.

Dip shrimp in small batches in the flour mixture then the egg mixture (letting the excess drip off the shrimp) and then coat in the coconut/breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.  If you have time, place the shrimp on a wire rack and let chill for about 30 minutes before baking. 

Place the shrimp on the baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray with nonstick spray or drizzle with oil. Bake until the shrimp are golden on the outside and opaque in the center, about 10 minutes. Serve with Remoulade or

Shrimp Rolls
Serves 4
Use these simple shrimp salad rolls on a cool outdoor party menu.

1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Dash hot sauce to taste
1 pound small cooked and cooled shrimp, chopped
4 top-split or French rolls, toasted (spread with butter before toasting for extra flavor)
2 green onions, sliced
Butter lettuce leaves

Mix the celery, ketchup, mayo, hot sauce and shrimp.  Chill at least one hour.  Fill rolls and top with green onions

Asian Shrimp Cakes
Serves 4

Courtesy of Ellie Krieger

1 pound peeled and deveined large (26-30 count) shrimp, finely chopped
1 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, or more as needed
1/4 cup finely chopped, seeded red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola or other neutrally flavored oil

Serve with Avocado Wasabi Sauce below

For the shrimp cakes: Combine the shrimp, half of the panko, bell pepper, scallions, roasted sesame seeds, egg, cilantro, toasted sesame oil, ginger, lime juice, salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. If the mixture seems overly moist, stir in more panko a tablespoon at a time. Spread the remaining panko in a shallow bowl, you will use for coating the shrimp. Add more panko if needed.  

Shape the mixture into patties about 2 1/2 inches wide and about 1/2-inch thick. Coat each patty well with the remaining panko. Place the cakes in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up before cooking.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add as many shrimp cakes as will fit in the pan without crowding. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook until the cakes are golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Just before serving, taste the avocado-wasabi sauce; add lime juice and/or wasabi, as needed. Dollop 1 tablespoon of the sauce on each shrimp cake.

Avocado Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Flesh from 1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon prepared wasabi paste, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Use a fork to mash together the avocado, lime juice, wasabi paste and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Taste, and mix in more wasabi paste as needed. The yield is 3/4 cup. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until ready to serve (or up to 2 days in advance).

 Shrimp with Salsa Verde

This is a spicy change of pace to shrimp cocktail.  Salsa Verde is Spanish for green sauce and is a simple salsa made from tomatillos.  This quick easy shrimp recipe uses canned tomatillos for a fast appetizer with dipping sauce.

The shrimp can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. If you want to serve the shrimp at room temperature, make them early, cool, cover and refrigerate. To improve flavor, take them out about thirty minutes before serving.

Substitute about 3/4 to 1 pound of bay or sea scallops for the shrimps. Cut larger scallops in half horizontally

The salsa verde can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and is delicious with fish, meats and raw vegetables


Shrimp with Salsa Verde Appetizer
Serves about 8 as an appetizer

1 11-oz can whole tomatillos
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
1/3 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/3 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, large stems removed
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, deveined, leave tails on

Toothpicks or short bamboo skewers for serving

For the salsa Verde:
Place tomatillos, jalapeños, onion and garlic in small sauce pan and heat until simmering. While heating, coarsely break up tomatillos with a spoon.

Transfer the heated mixture to a blender or food processor and puree. Return to saucepan, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Salsa will be thick, thin with water if desired.  Serve warm or at room temperature

For the shrimp:
Preheat broiler.  Brush shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper and salt.  Broil until they turn pink and lose their transparency, about 2 minutes on each side.   Skewer one shrimp onto each skewer or toothpick. 

Spoon the salsa Verde into a serving bowl set on a platter.  Arrange the shrimp on the platter around the serving bowl

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Serves 4-6 

A quick and easy twist on shrimp cocktail full of flavor and spice. Traditionally served with saltine crackers, but crisp tortilla chips would also work.  

1 pound medium cooked shrimp
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup peeled, diced cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 jalapeno or serano pepper, minced, seeds and ribs removed
1 1/2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lime juice to taste
Hot sauce to taste
Salt to taste
1 avocado, cut into chunks

Chop cooked shrimp. In a bowl combine the rest of ingredients except avocado chunks. Gently stir in the shrimp to combine. Test for salt and add if needed.  Chill for at least one hour.

To serve, gently mix in avocado chunks and place mixture in individual ramekins, parfait glasses, stemless wine glasses or decorative cups.  Serve with crackers or bread on the side. 


Spicy Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry

8 servings as main entrée or 4 as an appetizer

1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil; rotate skillet to coat sides. Add garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add shrimp; stir-fry 1 minute. Add carrots and red pepper flakes; stir-fry about 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm and carrots are crisp-tender. Stir in cilantro and serve.  Serve over brown or white rice for a main course

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

Use a store-bought spice blend in place of the spices in the recipe for faster preparation 

Serves 12 as an appetizer

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot red pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
About 2 cups canola oil for frying

Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in milk and eggs. Let stand for 30 mins to blend flavors.

Stir shrimp into batter in batches. Scoop out shrimp with a slotted spoon to allow excess batter to drain back into bowl. Place bread crumbs in a plate and coat a few shrimp at a time with crumbs.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in deep pan or fryer.  Add shrimp in batches to hot oil and fry 2-3 min or until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce

Buffalo Shrimp
Serves 4 as a meal; 8-10 as an appetizer

The seafood version of buffalo chicken! Shrimp are coated with seasoned flour and quickly pan-fried and topped with a spicy buffalo sauce. 

4 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 lb 31-40 shrimp; peeled, deveined and tails removed
3-4 tbsp of your favorite buffalo sauce 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.   Add the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Add the shrimp and shake well.  Shake off any excess flour and add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer.  

Cook on one side for about two minutes, or until the shrimp are light golden brown. Turn them over and cook for another minute or two or until both sides are light golden brown and the flesh is slightly opaque. Do not overcook, or they will be tough.   When the shrimp are done, remove to a mixing bowl and add the buffalo sauce. Stir and toss until well coated.

Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil

Easy and delightful for a summer buffet or cookout.  Full of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh shrimp.  Serve hot or warm. 

Serves 4 as a main course
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15.5 ozs.) can diced tomatoes, well drained
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup sliced black olives
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound fettuccine, angel hair of spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute.  Add shrimp, tomatoes, olives and 1/2 of the basil.  Cook until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
Place cooked pasta in serving bowl.  Pour shrimp mixture over and toss.  Sprinkle with cheese and remaining basil just before serving


Super Garlic Shrimp

Super quick easy shrimp.  Just shrimp, 6 garlic cloves, wine, lemon and herbs.  Serve over New York Strip Steaks

Serves 4

6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound small to medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine or vermouth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, juice and a little salt.  Add the olive oil to the skillet and then add the shrimp and garlic.  Cook and toss until the shrimp are firm and just pink.  Add the wine and parsley and/or basil.  Toss and turn off the heat

Serve as an appetizer with flatbread, over rice or pasta



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