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How to Cook Shrimp in an Air Fryer, Skillet, or Oven

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shrimp salad in bowl with apples how to cook shrimp
This post was sponsored by Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

Learning how to cook shrimp is one of the easiest types of seafood to learn!

Shrimp is not only affordable and delicious, but it’s also very easy to learn how to cook shrimp. Below I’ll show you how to cook it in an air fryer, on your stove top, and in the oven, each in under 15 minutes. 

The most important tip when learning how to cook shrimp

You’ll see me repeat this over and over again below in all three of the cooking methods we will discuss… shrimp needs it’s space! You do not want to over crowd them in a pan or in the oven. Make sure when you’re cooking shrimp in a pan, in the oven, or in an air fryer that it has at least 1/2 inch on all sides of it of free space. 

close up shrimp on salad how to cook shrimp

How to cook shrimp with shell on

When cooking shrimp, at some point you’ll need to remove the shells and “devein” them, if you didn’t already buy them deveined. Deveining refers to removing the thin black line you see running down the middle of a raw shrimp.

You can remove the shell and devein the shrimp before you cook it (I prefer this way) or after you cook it (makes for a fun less formal meal option!). Whether or not the shell is on will not impact the cooking time and technique all that much. The size of the shrimp itself is more indicative of how long to cook it. 

I buy my shrimp frozen already shelled, but if you find yourself needing to remove shells or devein them, this is very helpful video

How long to cook shrimp

Shrimp doesn’t take long to cook at all. Depending on which method you’re using, it can be ready in 5-10 minutes. You know it’s done when it has turned pink or opaque and is firm to the touch.

Shrimp typically cooks faster than other types of seafood.

shrimp and apples in salad how to cook shrimp

How to cook frozen shrimp

One of the other great things about learning how to cook shrimp  is that it doesn’t matter if it’s frozen or thawed, we’ll use the same cooking methods. The only thing that is different is the time. (This is assuming we’re cooking raw shrimp. Frozen shrimp is available both raw and cooked. If you purchase frozen, cooked shrimp, your cooking method will be quite different.)

If you want to thaw your shrimp before cooking: Place your desired number of shrimp in a bowl and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. For a quick thaw, place your shrimp in a colander under cold running water for 5 minutes, stirring carefully to ensure even thawing.

 How to cook shrimp at home

And, make sure to rinse off your shrimp under cold water to remove sodium used in preserving. Make sure to pat dry to ensure crispness when cooking.

What different shrimp sizes are sold in stores?

This toolkit from Seafood Nutrition Partnership has several good tips on best practices for buying shrimp and questions you should ask. 

Shrimp is sold in many different sizes, from small to jumbo to everything in between (these phrases are even regulated so you know what you’re getting!). And as you’d expect, we don’t need to cook the tiny ones near as long as the larger ones. 

What does “16-20” or “41-50” mean on a frozen shrimp package? These numbers refer to how many shrimp are in a pound – so you guessed it, Jumbo are the 16-20 and Medium are 41-50. The largest ones are great for grilling going down to the smallest, which are perfect for perfect for tacos, stir-fry or pasta salad.

For the methods of how to cook shrimp I describe below, were assuming standard size medium/large shrimp. If yours are bigger or smaller adjust your cooking time accordingly.

How to marinate shrimp

If you want to add even more flavor to your shrimp, you can toss it in a marinade before cooking it. I love to use pesto, my favorite salad dressings, bbq sauce… anything really. Simply add your raw shrimp to a large plastic bag along with 2-3 Tbsp of your sauce/marinade. Shake the bag to fully coat the shrimp and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before cooking. 

cooked shrimp saute on pan how to cook shrimp

How to cook shrimp on the stove

Learning how to cook shrimp on the stove is very easy!

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in your fat of choice and let it warm/melt for 4-5 minutes, making sure it coats the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat it dry. Arrange them on a plate and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice (if using).

Transfer the shrimp to the skillet making sure to not over crowd the pan. You want them to be at least a 1/2 inch apart from each other. Cook the shrimp for 4-5 minutes, flip them (I find this is easiest and makes less mess if you use a pair of kitchen tongs), and then cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

How to make air fryer shrimp

Rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat them dry. Arrange them in the air fryer basket and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice (if using). Make sure to not over crowd the basket. You want them to be at least a 1/2in apart from each other. Run the air fryer for 5 minutes on 400 degrees. You can drizzle the shrimp with some oil or melted butter after they are done cooking, or skip it.


 How to cook shrimp at home

How long to cook frozen shrimp in air fryer

Depending on the size of your shrimp, you’ll want to add a few minutes if your shrimp are frozen. I recommend 8-10 minutes total cooking time in an air fryer for frozen shrimp. 

How to make baked shrimp

Learning how to cook shrimp in the oven is equally as simple as on the stovetop and in the air fryer. 

Rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat dry. Arrange them on a foil lined pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oil/melted butter, and lemon juice (if using). Make sure to not over crowd the pan. You want them to be at least a 1/2in apart from each other. Cook the shrimp for 8-9 minutes, on 400 degrees.

 How to cook shrimp at home

How long does cooked shrimp last in the fridge

Cooked shrimp will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in your refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. 

My favorite cooked shrimp recipes

Blackened Shrimp and Veggie Taco Salad

Creamy Spinach Pasta with Shrimp

 How to cook shrimp at home
cooked shrimp saute on pan how to cook shrimp
Learning how to cook shrimp is one of the easiest types of seafood to learn!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Keyword: shrimp
Servings: 1
Carbohydrates: 4g

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. raw shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp fat avocado oil, coconut oil, or butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Juice from ½ lemon optional

Instructions

Stovetop instructions:

  • Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in your fat of choice and let it warm/melt for 4-5 minutes, making sure it coats the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat dry. Arrange them on a pate and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice (if using).
  • Transfer the shrimp to the skillet making sure to not over crowd the pan. You want them to be at least a 1/2in apart from each other. Cook the shrimp for 4-5 minutes, flip them (I find this is easiest and makes less mess if you use a pair of kitchen tongs), and then cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Air fryer instructions:

  • Rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat dry. Arrange them in the air fryer basket and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice (if using). Make sure to not over crowd the basket. You want them to be at least a 1/2in apart from each other. Run the air fryer for 5 minutes on 400 degrees. You can drizzle the shrimp with some oil or melted butter after they are done cooking, or skip it.

Oven instructions:

  • Rinse your shrimp with cold water and pat dry. Arrange them on a foil lined pan and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, oil/melted butter, and lemon juice (if using). Make sure to not over crowd the pan. You want them to be at least a 1/2in apart from each other. Cook the shrimp for 8-9 minutes, on 400 degrees.

Notes

The nutrition facts presented here are estimates only. The brands you use and product types chosen can change the nutritional information presented. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 833mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @milknhoneynutrition or tag #milknhoneynutrition!

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