70 Cheap, Succulent Shrimp Recipes
If affordable seafood is something you seek, then having a few shrimp recipes up your sleeve is a good idea. It’s frequently on sale and affordable enough compared to other types of fresh fish, and its size makes it a flexible food item from which you can create a myriad of menu items. These seventy shrimp recipe suggestions demonstrate just that. (See also: Seafood on the Cheap)
1. Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
If you buy precooked bacon in bulk at warehouse stores such as Costco and score precooked shrimp on sale as well, then this is by far one of the easiest appetizers you can throw together. Simply place a large precooked shrimp on top of the end of one piece of precooked bacon, and roll in such a way that each layer slightly overlaps the other. This way, when you’re done, the entire shrimp will be wrapped in bacon, and the layers won’t be so thick as to not heat through properly. Broil in the toaster oven or regular oven for five to seven minutes. These can be served on their own or with a flavorful sauce such as a Thai sweet chili or horseradish.
2. Thai Shrimp Toast
I like to save calories where I can, which is why I prefer this low-fat Thai shrimp toast that I invented for us to enjoy at home. It’s baked rather than deep fried, but still packs a flavor wallop. This is fine on its own with Thai beer if you make a large batch, or paired with an Asian cucumber salad or with a spicy coconut Thai chowder made with canned corn.
3. Shrimp Cocktail
While we eat a primarily plant-based diet at home, I’m not above buying one of those shrimp rings when they go on special around holiday weekends and serving it up with my favorite brand of cocktail sauce. To be honest, that’s about as technical as I tend to get with my shrimp cocktail. Thawed, precooked shrimp with sauce. Sure, I might fancy it up by serving it in a martini glass if I’m entertaining, but I don’t stress too hard over the preparation of the snack. However, if you prefer your sauce homemade, this Alton Brown shrimp cocktail recipe from the Food Network certainly looks sassy enough to garner the attention of your guests.
4. Shrimp and Cream Cheese Appetizer
Speaking of cocktail sauce, it can also be used to create one of the more popular cream cheese appetizers in my parents’ neck of the woods. Truthfully, I have no idea if there’s an actual name for this because it has always been referred to in my presence by its description. Basically, you place a block of cream cheese on a plate and top it with a mixture of those tiny, precooked salad shrimp and cocktail sauce.
Guests use a cocktail knife to spread the mixture onto club crackers. Since cream cheese tends to go on sale quite frequently, it’s a great way for those who are looking for cheap cheese. I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t exactly the most elegant-looking party snack. That being said, people sure do wolf it down like it’s manna from heaven.
5. Shrimp Tacos
I love using tortillas to create fast meals at the end of the day. If you love shrimp and Mexican meals equally, then incorporating shrimp tacos into your menu plan might be just the ticket for summer. Pair with pineapple salsa or a seasoned rice to round out the meal.
6. Shrimp Dip
If you’re planning on hosting a few backyard barbecues this summer, consider serving shrimp kabobs at one of them. Basically, you thread alternating shrimp and vegetables of choice onto presoaked wooden skewers and toss on the grill, taking care to baste with each turn. Since this type of seafood cooks very quickly, it won’t have you slaving over the grill for the whole evening without having time for your guests. Also, if you don’t want to have to worry about presoaking your skewers, you could try stainless steel reusable ones. They make great grilling gifts and clean up easily with a Brillo pad.
8. Stir Fry
Using snow peas and shelled shrimp as my convenience foods of choice, I was able to get this dinner on the table in less than thirty minutes, including the time required to prepare a pot of rice in the rice cooker.
9. Kung Pao Shrimp
If you love the flavor of Kung Pao Shrimp, skip the takeout bill and consider making some of your own with this recipe from Handle the Heat. Pair it with a pot of white rice and perhaps some homemade crab rangoons made with imitation crab meat.
10. Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp are a fun crispy snack with that extra tropical twist that’s fun at beach and pool parties. This knock-off coconut shrimp recipe mimics the ones served at Joe’s Crab Shack. Serve them with a summer ale for a laid-back happy hour you can host in your own home.
11. Shrimp Bisque
Shrimp bisque is a sophisticated way to get the most bang for your grocery buck. Serve with your family’s favorite soup garnishes for extra flair. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with chopped scallions, but I’m probably biased since I use them to dress up nearly everything.
12. Shrimp Gumbo
Love good Cajun grub? This shrimp gumbo recipe from Taste of Home is stick-to-your-ribs good. It uses fairly common ingredients to create the flavor of the bayou, and could be served at a casual dinner party with a regional drink. Hurricane cocktails, anyone?
13. Shrimp Po Boy
14. Shrimp Pizza
I enjoy my shrimp pizza best with an alternative pizza sauce such as Thai peanut, Alfredo, or spicy cocktail. Other fun toppings to include are arugula, green onions, or chopped peppers. Try this one on the grill if you want to take things to the next level for an inexpensive date.
15. Shrimp Casserole
You can whip up a basic casserole with rice, frozen broccoli, shrimp, and cheese sauce, or go with something a bit fancier such as this recipe from the Saturday Evening Post for shrimp casserole harpin.
16. Shrimp Omelet
There are a myriad of ways to enjoy a shrimp omelet, such as this interesting Spanish omelet with chorizo from the Foodista. You could also whip one up with a bit of frozen spinach and a few mushrooms for a hearty brunch.
I’ve always thought paella was a great shrimp recipe to serve guests. This minimalist paella from the New York Times uses only the most basic ingredients, bringing this traditional dish back to its roots.
Need an easy shrimp recipe for that romantic dinner you’re planning? This scampi from Moms Who Think is extremely simple to prepare, leaving you more time to linger over wine with your significant other.
When it comes to risotto, I prefer incorporating a bit of green produce so I feel like I’m getting an all-in-one meal. This shrimp and asparagus risotto from the Los Angeles Times is just the ticket. Pair it with a nice riesling and a side salad.
20. Shrimp Caesar Salad
Definitely a light lunch option to help beat the summer heat, this reduced-calorie shrimp Caesar salad from Fitness Magazine was developed by Hungry Girl. I think this would be nice to serve with white wine spritzers and bread sticks. To save a few extra bucks, try making your spritzers from your favorite boxed wine.
21. Shrimp Creole
For low-fat dining that’s tall on flavor and short on calories, try this shrimp Creole from Skinny Taste. It’s perfect to serve over rice or even as a stew if you’re watching carbs. With all of the tomatoes included, this shrimp recipe has some serious antioxidant potential.
22. Lo Mein
I have to admit this shrimp recipe for lo mein from the people at Family Circle Magazine is a bit different from the versions I’m used to enjoying, but it keeps carbs in check by using alternative noodles. Of course, if you want to go with a more traditional type of lo mein, you can always do that too.
23. Thai Fresh Spring Rolls
I love making fresh spring rolls as a way to avoid the fat calories that come along with the fried ones. This version uses shrimp and fresh vegetables, making for an entertainingly light snack or meal. If you feel like indulging, these are also great served with homemade peanut sauce.
24. Shrimp and Grits
When considering affordable pantry ingredients, it’s important not overlook cornmeal. In addition to various baked goods and Italian polenta, it can also be used to serve up a wide range of grits recipes. These shrimp and cheddar grits from Eating Well allow you to do just that, but you could certainly try an adaption with frozen salad shrimp when pennies are tight.
25. Bud and Bay Shrimp
I first tried the Bud and bay shrimp at Mar Vista, a seaside restaurant in Longboat Key, Florida. They graciously shared their oh-so-easy recipe with me to post here on Wise Bread. Ready for the ingredient list? Shrimp, Budweiser, Old Bay seasoning, butter, and garlic. Yup; that’s it. Basically, you take 14-16 large, raw, Key West pink shrimp; 6 ounces of Budweiser beer; 1 ½ ounces of Old Bay seasoning; 2 ounces of butter; and a half ounce of ground garlic. Throw everything in a sauté pan and bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shrimp are pink and curled into a half moon shape. This will serve four people. I love that they use inexpensive beer to create this shrimp recipe, and it still tastes amazing.
26. Pad Thai
I love Greek orzo, so this recipe for shrimp and feta orzo was a must-include for this article. I think this is a great spin on traditional pasta salad and perfect for warm-weather entertaining. Consider serving this with minted lemonade and grilled lamb for a Mediterranean-inspired surf-and-turf meal.
28. Shrimp Polenta
For a bit of color, this crispy pea and shrimp polenta looks both elegant and casual. Polish off dinner with a little Prosecco and sorbet to keep things light and refreshing.
29. Pasta Salad
This macaroni and shrimp salad is a bit more rustic than some of the other suggestions in this article, but for summer food on the fly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Bring some to your next pot luck.
If you’re into making your own sushi, then tossing in some shrimp is a natural extension. Whip up a dipping sauce with tamari, sesame seeds, and wasabi and pair with your favorite Japanese beer or a saketini.
31. Lettuce Wraps
Using lettuce or cabbage in place of tortillas is a great way to save calories and cut carbs. These blackened shrimp lettuce wraps featured in the Charlotte Observer do just that. You could also experiment with different types of lettuce greens to liven things up even more.
32. Shrimp Puffs
A popular appetizer in New England, shrimp puffs are a tasty treat to serve at any gathering. These shrimp puffs, courtesy of the people at Yankee Magazine, are sure to please. Have some on hand at your next corn boil or family weekend at the beach house.
33. Shrimp Salsa
You can serve shrimp salsa over rice, with a steak for a surf and turf plate, or even the traditional way with some sturdy corn tortilla chips. Be sure to have some sangria on hand to complete your treat.
For many people, any fritter is a fave. These shrimp fritters featured in the New York Times provide a great recipe from which to start.
35. Bread Bowl Dip
One of my favorite assembly cooking strategies to make homemade bread mixes to have on hand to prepare bread bowl dinners. They are an elegant-yet-hearty way to put dinner on the table when want to have a quiet, quality meal with your significant other. There are many different types of fillings you can prepare, but this seafood bread bowl dip from Taste of Home caught my eye and features shrimp.
36. Shrimp Nachos
If beef is a bit too heavy for your tastes, consider lightening things up with these popcorn shrimp nachos from Man Tested Recipes. They are a fun party snack and a great way to incorporate seafood into a gathering if you know your guests favor that sort of flavor.
Shrimp bruschetta amps up the glam factor of an appetizer that’s popular yet rustic. Pick a white wine to serve this with, and you might be able to skip dinner altogether if the other toppings are hearty enough.
38. Fried Rice
Diabetic Living has this healthy Cajun recipe for chicken and shrimp jambalaya. I like that it has a nice tomato base and incorporates some low-calorie vegetables. Try it on its own or over rice.
40. Pot Stickers
If you love this appetizer on Chinese food buffets, then you’ll enjoy having the ability to prepare that at home whenever you want. This shrimp pot sticker recipe from Martha Stewart shows you how.
There’s no need to dish out the bucks for the more expensive types of seafood when shrimp ceviche provides plenty of punch and flavor. Chill some beer and have some flat bread on hand for a casual, simple dinner.
Tostadas are a fun Mexican food that you can make a large batch of at once in the oven. These tequila and shrimp tostadas from Food and Wine are a slightly fancier version well-suited to company and special events.
43. Thai Soup with Shrimp
I love any shrimp recipe that incorporates the flavor of Thailand. This Thai shrimp soup from the Global Gourmet uses lemongrass, one of my favorite ingredients.
44. Dim Sum
One of the foods many of my friends enjoy experiencing at happy hour is dim sum. This steamed pork and shrimp dim sum from the Smoky Wok is certainly worth a try and makes for great party food.
There’s no doubt about it; breaded shrimp is delish. It’s also typically high in calories, which is why I like this healthier baked breaded shrimp from the people at Skinny Taste.
If eating hot soup during the summer months isn’t something that appeals to you, consider this shrimp gazpacho recipe from Prevention Magazine. It is served chilled.
47. Shrimp Crepes
Crepes are a sophisticated meal to serve at any time, and adding shrimp simply puts them over the top. These shrimp and asparagus crepes from Canadian Living could be served with a white wine and some mixed greens for brunch, lunch, or even dinner.
48. Stuffed Shrimp
Stuffed foods always feel fancier, and the flavor pairings really keep your taste buds hopping if they are prepared properly. The thing is, they can be exceptionally tedious to make. That’s why these tomato pesto stuffed shrimp featured by Better Homes and Gardens made my short list; they're much more doable for the average home cook with a busy schedule.
49. Butterfly Shrimp
It’s all in the presentation, as they say. Once you butterfly a shrimp, you can broil it, bread it and fry it, bake it, or even steam it for serving with your favorite sauce. This baked butterflied shrimp from the Food Network keeps the fat calories somewhat in check.
Popular in Lousiana, shrimp etouffee celebrates regional flavors in a way that will fill you up when you are hungry. This etouffee recipe from Eat, Live, Run shows you how to prepare your own.
If you’re looking for a way to dress up your baked mussels or stuffed mushrooms, try some shrimp stuffing. It’ll jazz things up and add a little more heft to an otherwise light meal.
Hey, blackening isn’t just for red fish anymore. Ebony Magazine demonstrates this with a posted recipe for blackened shrimp and grits.
This Philippine dish is inexpensive and relatively easy to prepare, provided you have the right sized pot. There are many variations, but this pork and shrimp pancit is as good a place as any to start. Because the main vegetables are cabbage and carrots, this isn’t a dinner that will cost you very much.
I’ve always been a fan of quesadillas. They’re like grilled cheese sandwiches on 'roids. The fact that they are designed for dunking into fun sauces and spreads like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole is just a bonus. Sometimes, though, you want to dress them up a bit. Poor Girl Eats Well shows you how with this article featuring spicy shrimp quesadillas.
55. Shrimp Butter
One of the more unique shrimp recipe ideas I came across when researching this article was Bon Appetit’s shrimp butter. Basically, it’s a finishing item for things like grilled steak and fish, adding another layer of complexity to your meal.
56. Shrimp Egg Rolls
Those trying to cut calories while still enjoying their food will be thrilled to see this lower-fat version of shrimp egg rolls from Hungry Girl. These with a bit of fried rice or sushi would make a fun meal to enjoy with roommates over the weekend.
57. Shrimp Egg Foo Young
If you like the little egg pancakes on the menu at most Chinese food restaurants, then this shrimp egg foo young recipe might become one of your favorites. Knowing how to prepare some of your favorite dining-out foods at home makes it seem more like a special event when you are planning at-home meals.
58. Cocktail Accent
I recently enjoyed a spicy bloody Mary cocktail on a business trip that was garnished with two large shrimp along the top of the glass. Because so many of the Cajun recipes pair tomatoes with shrimp, it seemed like a natural extension and added a touch of class to the drink.
59. Deviled Shrimp
As a fan of spicy food, I was delighted to find this recipe for deviled shrimp on the Serious Eats web site. It’s ripe for enjoying with different carbs, such as rice, pasta, or even a rustic flatbread.
60. Asian Shrimp Chips
If you’ve always wondered how to make those puffy little shrimp chips that are so popular in Asia, then try preparing your own with this shrimp chip recipe from Big Oven. You can serve them as a snack or as an accent with a themed dinner menu.
61. Shrimp Pancakes
We enjoy having savory pancakes for dinner from time to time. It lets us enjoy a food we rarely have time to make in the morning, and make dinner something we can experience while curled up on the couch with a good Netflix movie. That's why I was excited to find this shrimp pancake recipe posted on the New York Times website.
Fondue is fun for diners of many ages. Kids love dunking, and adults enjoy having a reason to linger around the table with friends over good food and great drinks. This recipe for coconut shrimp fondue keeps things tropical and puts a fresh spin on things compared to the standard cheese, oil, and chocolate recipes.
63. Cuban-Sauced Shrimp
For those who enjoy Cuban food recipes, this sauced shrimp from Gourmet Betty should serve as a fun dinner inspiration. It uses very affordable ingredients from your pantry to create a decadent seafood meal you can enjoy any time.
64. Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp
To experience some of the flavors of Vietnam, try these Vietnamese caramelized shrimp from Once Upon a Chef. It’s recommended served with Jasmine rice, which isn’t too much of a splurge provided you have access to an Asian market.
65. Brazilian Shrimp Stew
I really like the flavor combinations present in this Brazilian shrimp stew from Epicurious. Tomatoes, garlic, coconut milk, and more combine for an ethnic treat that is sure to please.
66. Indonesian Satay
Both times I’ve been to Indonesia, I’ve enjoyed satay on a regular basis during my stays. I love foods grilled on skewers and peanut sauce...well, my opinions on that are well known. This five-minute shrimp satay from Family Oven allows one to enjoy the flavors without too much effort during the preparation.
67. West African Shrimp and Okra
Afri Chef posted this shrimp recipe that lets you explore an African dish with ingredients you can easily find in your hometown grocery store, at least if you live in the south.
68. Chow Mein
If you want to make sure you’re getting your veggies while enjoying a shrimp dinner, then chow mein is a great way to go. Easily prepared, affordable, and tasty over rice, it’s a shrimp recipe that covers all of the nutritional bases.
69. Shrimp Tempura
Looking to mix things up on the snack scene? Try a homemade shrimp and vegetable tempura. It’s a great restaurant-style treat that costs pennies to prepare compared to dining out, and is fun to dunk in a sauce with chopsticks.
70. Shrimp and Vegetable Tagine
Tagine meals are festive and fun to eat. This tagine recipe from Food and Wine features shrimp and preserved lemon, as well as a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. Great for a Monday night Moroccan meal.
Do you have a favorite dish you don’t see mentioned here? Please share your information and ideas in the comment section below.