How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

Sometimes, you can’t find fresh shrimp in your local store. Other times, you might have too much to store in your fridge or eat in one meal.

You’ll inevitably end up freezing shrimp at some point in your life, and you’ll need to cook them eventually.

However, it can be hard to know what to do with these delicious morsels. Can you cook them in different appliances?

Should you fully thaw the shrimp before you cook them, or can you cook them frozen solid? Is it safe to cook frozen shrimp?

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

While everything seems so confusing, there are many ways you can prepare shrimp. They will spice up your dinner and be so easy to pull together. Shrimp are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and all kinds of other nutrients.

We’ll go through all your biggest questions about how to cook frozen shrimp, what the best methods to cook them are, how to cook them and what to do with fresh shrimp. If you have questions about frozen shrimp, you’ll find the answers here!

We’ll even throw in a great recipe that anyone can make at the end to get you going down the path. Let’s get started!

Is It Safe to Cook Shrimp From Frozen?

Yes, it is safe to cook shrimp from frozen. Frozen shrimp are no more dangerous than any other type of seafood. Danger only shows up when the shrimp has been improperly thawed, left out, or cooked poorly.

Due to modern advances, frozen shrimp are safe to eat. While you might notice some differences in texture or flavor, there is nothing less safe about frozen shrimp.

They are still held to the same standards as other seafood producers and are regulated by the FDA.

It is always recommended to cook fresh for the best results. That being said, frozen ingredients have significantly improved the longevity of certain foods, which can result in more dollars in your pocket.

How Do I Cook Frozen Shrimp?

Cooking frozen shrimp isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it. While it might seem intimidating, there are quite a few simple tricks you can learn to get the best results every time.

The number one thing is not to overseason. Shrimp have a delicious flavor naturally, so you don’t want to drown that out with too much lemon or red pepper.

The second tip is that you can sometimes ignore the first tip given. Occasionally, some recipes call for more intensive flavor palettes, but you should opt for moderation even then.

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

How Long to Cook Shrimp

The best time to cook shrimp is about four to six minutes, depending on size. This will ensure they are cooked through and give them a consistent texture. This

Can I Cook Shrimp Without Thawing?

 Yes, you can cook shrimp straight from frozen and without thawing them. However, you may end up with inconsistently cooked shrimp, lots of extra water, and a worse result.

The best thing to do is to thaw your shrimp all the way and then cook them.

No matter what cooking method, thawing your shrimp is the best way to get the best results. This goes even if you are trying to freeze the final product at the end of it all.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

Thawing frozen shrimp isn’t a complicated process. All you need for a simple thaw setup is a bowl of cool water and your frozen shrimp.

Fill the bowl and place the container of the frozen shrimp into the water or the frozen shrimp themselves into the water. Let them sit and carefully thaw for as long as it takes. However, do not let the water reach room temperature or get too hot.

Do not use hot water to thaw your shrimp. Not only could this start the cooking process as the shrimp thaws, but it can also foster dangerous bacteria growth. The longer a dish stays in the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria, the more likely bacteria grows.

These bacteria can cause all kinds of issues, including gut issues, nausea, and fevers.

Some might be even more dangerous, especially for the immunocompromised. You should cook thawed meat quickly to prevent danger for yourself or others.

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

Best Ways to Cook Shrimp

There are so many great ways to cook shrimp. Some are easier than others, but all can give you incredible results.

No matter if you’re using an air fryer, boiling them on the stove, using an Instant Pot, or using the sous vide method, you can make a delicious meal in relatively no time at all.

1. Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp

Let’s go through how to cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer. Air fryers are a great way to cut down on heavy fried foods, and shrimp can be a perfect, light option.

Cooking shrimp in the air fryer depends on several things. Not only will it depend on how thawed your shrimp are, but it will also depend on what temperature setting your air fryer is set at. When shrimp are fried, they can lose a lot of moisture, which can be a delicate process.

An air fryer will give the best results when treating the shrimp-like other typically fried things. Battered or breaded shrimp will get the best flavor through the frying process and preserve moisture.

You should not fry your shrimp for too long, or they might dry out and take on a rubbery texture. This is not ideal for cooking or eating and should be avoided.

The best time to spend on air-fried shrimp at 385 degrees Fahrenheit is about 10 minutes. This includes flipping the shrimp halfway through the cooking process.

2. Boiling Frozen Shrimp

Boiling frozen shrimp is a great way to cook shrimp in one pot with little to no work.

You can fill the pot and let it go for a few moments, leaving them while you work on other essential parts of dishes. Not only that, but you can significantly reduce the number of containers you end up going through

The simplest way to boil shrimp is in a pot of salted water with a dash of lemon juice. This will give you a simple and not overpowering flavor. That is, as long as you don’t put too much lemon in.

You could also go all out and fill the water with all kinds of different spices to get a traditional boil flavor.

Season heavily with Old Bay, paprika, garlic, lemon, and anything else your heart desires. You can even throw in vegetables and other seafood to cook all of your meals in one pot.

3. Instant Pot Frozen Shrimp

Frozen shrimp can also be cooked in your Instant Pot!

You can prepare them raw or if they have already been cooked. It’s speedy and can save you so much time.

Cooking shrimp in the Instant Pot can take less than five minutes, putting a delicious meal on your table in moments.

The best way to do this is to seal the valve and set the pressure cook to zero minutes for pre-cooked shrimp.

If you prepare frozen, raw shrimp, you should put it in your Instant Pot for one minute. This will give you shrimp that are not rubbery and have an excellent flavor.

4. Sous Vide Frozen Shrimp

Sous vide cooking is difficult, so this process might require a few test rounds to get right.

Not only that, but you’ll also need an immersion circulator. You’ll need to find a store that sells specialty kitchen equipment to use this method.

Once you’ve acquired everything you need to sous vide the shrimp, you’ll need to prepare your pot and follow the six major sous vide safety steps. Not only will these keep you and anyone in your kitchen safe, but they will give you the best results while cooking.

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp on the Stove (My Favorite)

In my opinion, the best way to cook frozen shrimp is on the stove. You can pan-fry or steam your shrimp, and either of those will give you the best flavor and texture. Not only that but there are several different ways you can enjoy them, making this one of the most versatile cooking methods.

Pan-frying has so many different applications, and you can create all sorts of flavors.

Pan-fried shrimp can be found in all kinds of international cuisine, so there is something for everyone. You can toss them with pasta, serve them over rice, and serve them as tacos!

Boiling is another excellent stovetop method, but it can be risky. Boiling can quickly overcook the shrimp, so you need to time this correctly. No one likes a rubbery texture with their seafood, and it can make even the best shrimp taste like nothing.

The best way to do this is to have an ice bath prepared next to your pot. You can dunk the shrimp in the bath to stop them from overcooking and cool them down faster. This is ideal for dishes like a shrimp cocktail where you should serve the shrimp cold.

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

How to Cook Raw Shrimp

Sometimes, your local store might not carry frozen, cooked shrimp.

They might only have frozen raw, so you’ll need to cook them yourself. Other times, you might have bought the shrimp raw from the seafood case. Let’s go through how to cook frozen raw shrimp.

The best way to cook frozen, raw shrimp is to thaw them thoroughly and pan-sear them. You should cook them for four to six minutes, so they are cooked all the way through.

Flip halfway through so they are evenly cooked. Not only will this give them an even sear, but it will also make sure the shrimp is cooked consistently. Their texture will be perfect if you follow this method.

Cooking raw shrimp will give you a much better texture than most. Not only that, but you can have better control over the cooking process and how well done the shrimp are. You won’t overcook them as quickly as pre-cooked shrimp can be.

Final Thoughts

Cooking shrimp from frozen doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It can be dealt with efficiently when you have the proper training and know what to do. No matter if you have an air fryer, an Instant Pot, or if you’re working on your stovetop, there are so many great ways to prepare shrimp.

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 ½ tbsps olive oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tbsps caper brine
  • 1 ½ tsp cold butter
  • ⅓ c chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1 ½ tbsps cold butter
  • water, as needed


  1. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to smoking.
  2. Place one pound of peeled and deveined shrimp in a flat layer in the pan and cook for one minute without stirring.
  3. Sprinkle with salt to taste and stir as the shrimp cook until they start turning pink or for another minute.
  4. Stir in six cloves of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. of caper brine, 1 ½ tsp. cold butter, and 2 ½ tbsp. parsley to the mix.
  5. Continue cooking until the butter has melted and then lower heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoon of cold butter and cook until the new butter has melted.
  6. Once the shrimp are pink and opaque, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  7. Continue to cook the butter sauce and add water slowly if too thick —season with more salt.
  8. Serve with the pan sauce and garnish with more fresh parsley.

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