How to Thaw Shrimp

March 20, 2017   11 Comments

Do you know how to thaw shrimp if you forget to take it out of the freezer? I do (because I always forget).

How to Thaw Shrimp

After the popularity of my how to cook salmon from frozen post, I decided it would be fun to talk about shrimp.

Shrimp is the ultimate fast food because it is low in calories, high in protein, tasty, and takes mere minutes to cook. I can find wild, frozen, deveined, and peeled shrimp at my supermarket for $9 per pound – not bad.

When you realize that you haven’t got thawed shrimp – don’t panic. Toss the shrimp into a colander and rinse with cold water. Then, put them in a bowl of cold water while you do the other prep for your recipe. It should take about 10 minutes for them to thaw. If it isn’t going fast enough for you, feel free to use room temperature water.

Don’t use hot water because you might cook the shrimp! These little guys are very sensitive.

Now that you got your thawed shrimp, what do you do with it? You can make my super simple roasted shrimp recipe or try my one pan shrimp fajitas.

This is simple, delicious and the fastest weeknight meal I can think of. I think it is done from start to finish in 20 minutes. Take THAT Domino’s delivery guy.

All you do is mix together shrimp, peppers, and spices and cook for 10 minutes. Dinner done.

My kids love this as does my husband. I love that I can store the ingredients for a few days ahead so it is a great go-to meal when I don’t have time to make it to the supermarket.

How do you thaw shrimp? Do you eat it often? Please share your favorite recipe ideas below.

One Pan Shrimp Fajitas

1.8 from 25 reviews

Makes 6 servings

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1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and thawed
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
limes (optional)
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix together shrimp, bell peppers, onion, olive oil, salt, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Spread shrimp mixture onto the baking sheet and cook at 450 F for 8 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and cook another 2 minutes.

Serve immediately with fresh limes (for juice), cilantro (as a garnish). This pairs well with rice, tortillas, or potatoes.

Nutrition Facts

For one serving = 186 calories, 5.7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8.8 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g sugar, 26.9 g protein, 1.7 g fiber, 482 mg sodium, 3 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Could you talk about oil smoke points? I thought extra virgin olive oil had a very low smoke point (lower than 425 degrees) and heating an oil beyond it's smoke point could produce carcinogens in the food. However, I have noticed that this recipe uses extra virgin olive oil heated to 450. Should we be using extra virgin olive oil this way? Thank you!

Like the roasting shrimp idea ... I need to cook it more! One of my sons (the one at home) and I love shrimp, but my husband doesn't like any seafood, so if I'm cooking two separate things, it has to be easy! I also sometimes saute the shrimp directly from the freezer with a little butter & garlic; not sure it saves time vs. thawing first ...

This recipes sure is quick and easy.

I'm thinking olive oil is okay with this because it is only 1 TBLS. mixed with all the rest of ingredients.

Thanks lisa for posting this one..

Oh , it it is 6 servings would that be about 1and a half cups per serving???

Where did you purchase your American wild shrimp? I have a hard time finding wild caught shrimp from USA.

Thanks! Btw, I enjoy reading your posts!

Where do you buy "Wild" shrimp? I'm always looking for it! According to the company 'World Classics Trading Company', they carry farm-raised, but don't show the bag you bought.

For decades I bought raw in-shell shrimp [which was wild], until 3-5 years ago, post BP Oil spill, when I could no longer find any shrimp without a 'farm raised' label.

I find a distinctly undesirable consistency and taste and inability to achieve that familiar texture of wild caught shrimp. That led me to research farm-raised which is horrible and an insult to the word 'farm'.

If you have found true wild shrimp, I will travel to get it!!

@Kim good question! my understanding is that the nicer the olive oil (extra virgin) - the higher the smoke point. It is only cooking for 10 minutes so it shouldn't break down. I think if it was cooking for 20 or 30 - you might have a problem.

@Annie - yes, 1 1/2 cups is right

@Beth and BarbL - you can always find wild shrimp at Whole Foods but it runs about $20 per pound. I was shocked to find this at Big Y (local to New England) and as you can see it says "Wild" shrimp for $9 per pound. It doesn't seem to be listed on the World Classics website but there it is. Go figure.

Thank you for your questions!

Thank you Snack Girl! I appreciate the additional information. :)

A staple of this Weight Watcher's go-to food list, Kirkland Signature cooked, tail-off shrimp is low calorie, no sugar/carb, high protein, 0 SP for 3 oz.

I defrost in fridge; under cool water; or in bowl of water in microwave on low power for short time (monitor closely).

I add shrimp to salads & stir-frys, sometimes nibbling on it plain or lightly dipped in reduced-sugar ketchup (0 SP).

Yum. Love, love, love shrimp. 👍🏼

Lisa, thank you so much for Big Y tip; I'll be looking into my Big Y in CT soon. Maybe its something new as I had given up on shrimp long ago. I recently tried FR again and found it still to be inedible. I miss shrimp; have substituted lobster for preferred shellfish of choice in the meantime. You never know what you'll learn on Snack Girrrrl!! :)

This way helps thaw shrimp faster, thanks for sharing, I will apply you guide.

I tried the above, only I took out Cumin & chili powder.

I did add bacon bits. Everyone loved it. Now I did again for the Guys & added the Chili Powder w/Bacon Bits, they loved it. Thank You, A real nice treat! Have a wonderful & safe day! anneippi

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