By Carrie Havranek
A well-stocked freezer is a home cook’s best friend. Fill it with frozen veggies (peas are a mainstay) and cooked rice, pizza dough and pasta sauce, and all the soups and you’ll never go hungry. But what about seafood — specifically, shrimp? Do you have a bag of frozen shrimp in your freezer?
Why Frozen Shrimp Deserves a Spot in Your Freezer
With an appealing sweetness, shrimp is a good source of protein that both kids and adults seem to like. It’s probably the most widely available seafood. You can buy it peeled, deveined, or some combination thereof, and it’s not hard to find sustainable choices. It also boasts a versatility other proteins don’t have: Grill it, poach it, put it in salad instead of chicken, toss it with pasta, pack them in tacos — the possibilities for a good clean, delicious and healthy meal with shrimp are pretty limitless. Even better, shrimp is easy to cook: It defrosts fast and cooks even more quickly.
Read on for 10 delicious ways to turn frozen shrimp into dinner.
Swapping pasta for zoodles adds a serving or two of veggies and makes this a low-carb dinner. Don’t worry: That combination of garlic, butter, and shrimp still feels plenty decadent.
A generous serving of spicy shrimp, sauteed with garlic, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, makes this salad dinner-worthy. The heat is tempered by chunks of avocado (which add even more healthy fats to the mix ) and a creamy, slightly-sweet miso dressing. Pro tip: Make extra dressing. You’ll want to put it on everything.
Shrimp and veggies on a sheet pan is super-fast, super-simple way to get dinner on the table. Mix up the veggies with whatever you have on hand, and serve with tortillas, avocado, and a squeeze of lime.
This stir-fry salad leans on another smart freezer staple: stir-fry veggies. The sesame almond dressing takes it over the top.
When lemon juice and zest, along with fresh parsley, come together, it already sounds clean, doesn’t it? Pair it with shrimp and whole wheat, gluten-free, or other plant-based pasta and you’ve got a delicious dish without the butter (or the guilt) of the classic. Shrimp scampi only sounds fancy—it really does come together fast.
6. Paleo Shrimp Tacos from Nom Nom Paleo
These might be the brightest, freshest, zestiest tacos you’ll ever eat. Blogger Michelle Tam calls for fresh butter lettuce in place of tortillas and tons of flavor in the form of cilantro, avocado, oregano, white onions, limes, and so on.
7. Clean Shrimp and Grits from Clean Cuisine
Shrimp and grits is Southern comfort food at its best, but you don’t need to load it up with milk or cream to make it taste really good. This version loads up on veggies and stock — along with good coarse cornmeal — to make the magic happen without weighing your belly down.
The beauty of this dish is how quickly it comes together. Let the shrimp marinate in honey, soy sauce, and garlic, while you prep the veggies, then throw them on the grill or in a hot skillet, and they’ll be ready in just five minutes.
Shrimp cooks quickly, so you’ll want to start the broccoli and whatever your rice of choice might be (blogger Erin Clarke suggests brown rice or quinoa) first and add the defrosted shrimp in toward the end. Ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and honey bring it all together.
Making teriyaki from scratch might seem hard, but it’s really not; it’s really about getting your ingredients lined up ahead of time, because it will cook fast. Soy or tamari, water, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, honey, garlic, and ginger form the basis of the teriyaki. Then add snap peas, green onions, peppers, carrots, and shrimp. Easy!