How To Cook Frozen Shrimp

updated Aug 29, 2023

Straight from the freezer to the sheet pan, these shrimp are coated with Cajun seasoning for a spicy, savory take on broiled shrimp.

Serves4 to 6

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook5 minutes

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Discovering that I could cook shrimp straight from the freezer has to be one of the happiest accidents to come out of my kitchen this summer. You see, the resulting shrimp are so juicy and flavorful that I can hardly believe I’ve ever taken the time to thaw shrimp, however easy and short the thawing may be. Straight from the freezer to the sheet pan, these shrimp are coated with Cajun seasoning for a spicy, savory take on broiled shrimp.

Quick Overview

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

These steps will get the shrimp ready to broil — they’ll need just 5 minutes in the oven.

  • Preheat the baking sheet and the oven. Get the sheet nice and hot under the broiler while you prep the shrimp.
  • Make a spice blend. You can also use your favorite packaged spice blend (just make sure that you also have salt in the blend or on hand to season the shrimp).
  • Rinse the frozen shrimp. A quick, cold rinse removes ice crystals from the shrimp and loosens any shrimp that are stuck together.
  • Toss the shrimp with the spice blend. The moisture from rinsing the shrimp will help the spice blend adhere.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Is It Safe to Cook Shrimp from Frozen?

Totally! According to FDA seafood guidelines, shrimp should be cooked until the flesh is firm and clear. But shrimp are so small and fatty, they reach that point from frozen in a matter of a few minutes. In fact, cooking shrimp from frozen actually helps prevent overcooking, leading to juicer, more tender shrimp.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Tips for Cooking Frozen Shrimp

  • This recipe calls for extra-large sized shrimp (21-25 shrimp per pound). For ease of cooking and eating, go for peeled (or shell-off) shrimp. You can use anywhere from one pound to a pound-and-a-half, which is one (24-ounce) bag.
  • Preheat a baking sheet under the broiler and your shrimp will only need about 5 minutes of cook time. Yup, they are that fast.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why You Should Broil Frozen Shrimp

I learned the joy that is sheet pan broiling shrimp from this recipe for shrimp and broccoli. It is hands-down the fastest, easiest way to cook shrimp. The secret is to preheat the oven and the sheet pan while you make the spice blend and coat the shrimp with it. Be sure to use a stainless steel baking sheet.

Serving Your Super-Juicy Shrimp

This shrimp-cooking method is my new favorite for serving shrimp over slow cooker grits, but they could easily serve as an appetizer with a cool, creamy sauce for dipping. Alternatively, toss with pasta for shrimp scampi or add to grain salads.

How To Cook Frozen Shrimp

Straight from the freezer to the sheet pan, these shrimp are coated with Cajun seasoning for a spicy, savory take on broiled shrimp.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    uncooked cleaned and peeled extra-large frozen shrimp (21 to 25 shrimp per pound)


  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Small mixing bowl

  • Colander

  • Medium mixing bowl

  • Rimmed baking sheet


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  1. Make a Cajun spice blend for the shrimp. Place the salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and cayenne in a large bowl and stir to combine.

  2. Preheat the oven and a baking sheet. Arrange a rack about 6 inches under the broiling element and place a rimmed baking sheet on it. Set the broiler to high and let the the baking sheet heat for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Rinse the shrimp under cold water to remove ice crystals. Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and rinse under cool running water for about 1 minute — you want to remove any ice crystals and separate any shrimp that are frozen together. Shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.

  4. Season the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the spice mixture and toss to combine.

  5. Broil the shrimp on the preheated baking sheet. Carefully take the preheated baking sheet out of the oven. Quickly pour the shrimp onto it. You should immediately hear the shrimp sizzle. Use tongs to arrange any shrimp that are too close or on top of each other so that they sit in a single layer, evenly spaced apart.

  6. Broil for 5 minutes. Return the baking sheet to the rack under the broiler. Broil until the shrimp curve slightly and become opaque, about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The spice mixture can be made up to 3 months ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.