How to Cook Perfect Shrimp Every Time!

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Let’s talk shrimp!! Specifically how to cook perfect shrimp every single time you whip ’em up!  In this post we cover how to shop for shrimp, how to prep the shrimp, how to cook the shrimp, and how to properly season the shrimp like a pro.

How to Cook Perfect Shrimp Every Time from (@whatsgabycookin)!

Shrimp is a perfect addition to all sorts of dishes. If you’re a regular here on What’s Gaby Cooking, you know that I throw it on pasta, add it to salads, use it for tacos, roll it up in spring rolls… the list goes on! (here’s a full run down on shrimp recipes in case you want some extra inspiration!)

Here’s the run down.

How to shop for shrimp:

  • Buy shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined – it makes it so much easier to prep. Up to you if you want the tail on – but I find it makes for a prettier presentation!
  • There’s nothing wrong with buying “fresh” or frozen shrimp! Most shrimp has been frozen previously even if it’s being sold thawed. Either works great. Just be sure that when you’re cooking frozen shrimp, you let it really thaw out before putting it over any heat.

How to thaw shrimp:

  • If you’re thinking ahead, you can take shrimp out of the freezer and transfer it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
  • If you need the shrimp faster, take it out of the freeze and let it thaw in a bowl of cold water on the counter. WARM WATER will mess with their texture so make sure it’s cold!
  • Regardless of which way you use to defrost, once they are thawed, lay them out on a paper towel to dry them off and then get cooking.

Tips for cooking shrimp:

  • I use a combo of olive oil and butter as my base with sautéing shrimp, it gives it the most flavor!
  • Shrimp cook SO quickly – so don’t take your eyes off of them otherwise they can overcook.
  • They’re perfectly done when they are pink with bright red tails.

How to know when shrimp is done cooking:

  • As a general rule here’s what shrimp should look like in it’s cooking process: undercooked shrimp are a wide and flexible “U” shape, overcooked shrimp are an”O” shape and completely curls up on itself in a tight O, and perfectly cooked shrimp are a “C” in shape and ready to eat!

How to properly season shrimp:

  • You need plenty of seasoning on top of the olive oil and butter. I add plenty of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice etc. Shrimp have a mild flavor so they take on whatever flavor you’re serving them with. I also love using a seafood seasoning that has everything listed above plus more!!

Amazing recipes that are perfect for shrimp:

  1. The Ultimate Garlic Shrimp Scampi

  2. Spicy Shrimp Tacos

  3. Shrimp and Crab Seafood Rolls

  4. Shrimp Fajitas

  5. Arugula Pesto Pasta with Garlic Shrimp

  6. Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto

  7. Avocado Shrimp Tostadas

  8. Avocado Shrimp Spring Rolls

  9. Summer Corn Risotto with Shrimp

  10. Creamy Goat Cheese and Shrimp Pasta

How to Make Perfectly Cooked Shrimp Every Time!

5 from 1 vote
Get the run down on How to Cook Perfect Shrimp Every Time and then use them in salads, pasta, wraps, quinoa bowls and more!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, American, French, Italian
Servings 2 -3 people


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes more as needed
  • 1 pound large shrimp cleaned, de-veined and shelled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives or cilantro
  • 1 lemon juiced, plus more as needed


  • In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, a pinch of salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine cook down for about 2 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 3 to 5 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and extra pepper as needed.


  1. Help Gaby, my freezer went out, everything was still very cold, but I wanted to know if you can re-freeze shrimp? If not, can I cook it, then freeze it? Thanks, Candace

    1. Did it get totally thawed? If so, I wouldn’t re-freeze it. And I don’t know about cooking it and then re-freezing. I usually try and eat it right after cooking because it can go bad quickly

  2. My husband avoids butter for health reasons. Would you change the process at all if you were to just use olive oil? Would you double the amount of olive oil?

  3. Question. How long do you cook the larger shrimp. The 13 to 15 count size, I afraid I’ll not cook them long enough and then over cook them. They too expensive to waste, so I want to cook them properly!

  4. I pride myself of my grill meals (for many years) but this is by far the best cook I have ever tasted. So delicious as presented and the marvelous shrimp tacos afterwards.

  5. This was a great recipe! I made jambalaya rice to go with it plus an avocado and tomato salad with oil and vinegar. Delicious meal and I will definitely make this recipe again!

  6. 5 stars
    I love that the shrimp can go with so many other recipes. Great way to add variety to so many dishes! Also super helpful information in this post. Thanks!

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