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Easy How to Cook Shrimp with Shell (& Garlic Butter)

This Easy How to Cook Shrimp with the Shell (& Garlic Butter) is the BEST way to cook up some simple shrimp in 15 minutes! That’s Easy!

Shrimp with the shell on.

How to Cook Shrimp With the Shell On

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy shrimp recipes for how to cook raw shrimp shell-on Shrimp is the way to cook supper for tonight, NO DOUBT! It’s really ready in literal minutes and with that garlic butter shrimp sauce, you’ll be good to go!

Just give it a little squeeze of lemon and boom! Dinner is ready and the shrimp shells are off!

You may also like our Shrimp in a Pan (so easy and yummy) or our How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail or even How to Cook Shrimp in Butter too!

If you would like to try a different type of shell fish, next time you might want to try this great recipe for the Best Way How to Cook Frozen Crab Legs Recipe (Easy)!

pan of how to cook shrimp in butter.

Here’s What You’ll Need for How to Cook Shrimp With the Shell On

  • a lb of pre cooked shell off and deveined shrimp
  • 4 Tbs of Butter
  • Seasonings: (Italian seasoning, Old Bay, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, etc. Tastebuds rule!

Here’s How You Do It

  1. Thaw the shrimp if they are frozen and if not just jump in now.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan and as soon as it’s melted, toss the shrimp and seasonings in.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp is bright pink and slightly curled. The meat should be opaque.
lemon pepper butter sauce in pan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does Shrimp Last?

Shrimp are best when cooked and immediately eaten, however, they are safely kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I Freeze This Shrimp?

Once your shrimp are cooked, do not freeze them. It’s safe to freeze fresh shrimp.

What Do I Need to Know about Shrimp?

When you are at the grocery store, you will have a choice of shrimp pre-prepared several different ways. 

  • Fresh whole shrimp with the shell on
  • Ez peel shrimp with the shell on
  • Flavored Shrimp
  • Prepared and frozen shrimp

What Does Prepared Mean?

Before you eat a shrimp, most people like to have the head removed, the shell off and the vein in the back removed.

This procedures is called “to devein the shrimp”.

If the shrimp you are looking at are “head-on shrimp” and haven’t been deveined, you can ask at the seafood counter if they can devein shrimp for you. It usually involves a fee and takes a while to do. 

Shrimp Come In Different Sizes

Shrimp comes in sizes. The size is really a personal preference and will depending on your cooking method, cooking time and shrimp recipe.

Larger shrimp have fewer per pound. Medium shrimp have more per pound, obviously, but may not work if you are going to do something like a shrimp skewers but would work perfectly well for a shrimp boil or a baked shrimp recipe.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Shrimp With a Shell

You won’t need many tips and tricks to make perfect pan cooked shrimp! The best ones follow here.

  • It’s best to heat the butter in the pan, add the fresh herbs seasonings and then put the shrimp in the pan. Don’t try to put the butter and seasonings in a bowl with the shrimp because the shrimp are cold and they make the butter hard and it becomes too difficult to stir.
  • When it turns opaque, pink and curls slightly, the shrimp is fully cooked.
  • Cooked Shrimp only needs warming. Lower the temp and let it warm slowly.
  • Thaw the shrimp. Remove the shrimp from the bag and drain well. You do not want to add that juice to the pan.
  • Thaw the shrimp by placing the frozen shrimp into the refrigerator the night before. If you forgot, you can quick thaw shrimp fast by placing the bag from the freezer section into a large bowl of cool water (not warm or hot water). Change the water every 20 minutes while thawing.

Substitutions

Shrimp – You can substitute any format of shrimp you have, raw, precooked, head on, head off, shell on, shell off, etc. This also works for any size of shrimp:  large shrimp, jumbo shrimp, smaller shrimp

Seasonings – you can substitute any seasonings you prefer in any amount you like. Try garlic and onion powders, Old Bay seasoning, red pepper flakes, Tony Cacheries, black pepper, soy sauce,  hot sauce and butter, Lemon Pepper, etc. Get the idea?

Butter – feel free to substitute an equal amount of olive oil, margarine or whatever oil you prefer.

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How to Cook Shrimp with the Shell On

Easy How to Cook Shrimp with the Shell (& Garlic Butter)

This fast and easy recipe for how to cook shrimp with a shell will have you cooking up a delicious dinner in no time at all!
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Cook Shrimp with the Shell On
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 478kcal

Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 4 Tbs Butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon for squeezing juice

For the Sauce

  • 3 Tbs Butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Instructions

For the Shrimp

  • Thaw the shrimp by placing frozen shrimp into the refrigerator the day before you prepare.
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet or heavy pan over medium heat on the stove top.
  • Once preheated, put the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, old bay, salt and pepper into the pan. Heat until the butter is just melted.
  • Add the shrimp all at once (but do not include any juices from the container) to the preheated skillet. Stir the shrimp continuously until the shrimp is cooked through. (Flesh is opaque, the shrimp becomes a bright pink color and the tails begin to curl).
  • Remove from the heat, squeeze lemon over the top of the shrimp and reserve some for serving at the table with the shrimp.

For the Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  • Add the minced garlic and allow to heat over very low heat.

Notes

  • It’s best to heat the butter in the pan, add the seasonings and then put the shrimp in the pan. Don’t try to put the butter and seasonings in a bowl with the shrimp because the shrimp are cold and they make the butter hard and it becomes too difficult to stir.
  • The main thing to understand about cooking shrimp no matter if you start with raw, precooked, shell on or shell off, the shrimp is done with the meat is opaque and the shrimp turns bright pink and curls a bit. Take it off the heat immediately.
  • If you are using precooked shrimp, just understand that because the shrimp is already cooked, you simply need to warm it up in the pan so lower the temp and let it warm slowly.
  • If you thawed the shrimp in the bag that it was frozen in, remove the shrimp from the bag and drain well. You do not want to add that juice to the pan.
  • Thaw the shrimp by placing the frozen shrimp into the refrigerator the night before. If you forgot, you can thaw shrimp fast by placing the bag from the freezer section into a large bowl of cool water (not warm or hot water). Change the water every 20 minutes until the shrimp is thawed.
SUBSTITUTIONS
Shrimp – I don’t know of a substitution for the shrimp in this recipe, however, you CAN substitute any format of shrimp you have, raw, precooked, head on, head off, shell on, shell off, etc. Just understand from the notes section when the shrimp is done.
Seasonings – you can substitute any seasonings you prefer in any amount you like. Try garlic and onion powders, Old Bay, Tony Cacheries, hot sauce and butter, Lemon Pepper, etc. Get the idea?
Butter – feel free to substitute an equal amount of olive oil, margarine or whatever oil you prefer.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy How to Cook Shrimp with the Shell (& Garlic Butter)
Amount Per Serving (0.25 lb)
Calories 478 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 1323mg441%
Sodium 4374mg182%
Potassium 64mg2%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 87g174%
Vitamin A 422IU8%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 473mg47%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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A Verse To Share

I often struggle where love is concerned, do you? Selfishness works its way in. But that isn’t how love is, is it?

Ephesians 4:2

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love

If you are wondering how to cook shrimp with the shell on, you’ll be glad to know that it’s EASY and FAST! No trouble at all! You’ll have dinner ready in minutes!

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

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