Perfect Roasted Shrimp

updated Apr 18, 2024
Roasted Shrimp Recipe
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Cooked shrimp on a baking sheet
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Years ago, when I was just beginning to cook for myself, I felt intimidated by shrimp. Like other crustaceans from the deep, they seemed mysterious, expensive, and exotic. But then I learned that shrimp are incredibly easy to cook.

One of my favorite walk-in-the-door meals is shrimp, roasted until hot and juicy, tossed over a bowl of pasta, on top of creamy polenta, or in a hearty kale salad . The beautiful thing about shrimp is that, even if you’re starting from frozen, they don’t take but a few minutes to cook. Here’s how to cook shrimp quickly and easily in the oven — such a treat!

My favorite way to cook shrimp is in the oven; Just pop a tray in the oven while you set the table, and a few minutes later, that shrimp is ready to eat. Here’s how to roast shrimp in the oven for easy weeknight meals.

Why You’ll Love It

  • The shrimp cooks ridiculously fast. Shrimp are extremely convenient and quick-cooking.
  • Roasting is the easiest method. Roasting shrimp in the oven is hands-off, foolproof, and great for cooking larger batches.

Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Shrimp?

Unless you live near the coast and have access to really fresh shrimp (lucky you!), the shrimp you buy will have been frozen at some point in time. It may already be thawed if you buy it out of the seafood case, but it’s most frequently sold frozen.

Find out more about what to look for in sustainable shrimp at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

  • Thaw in the refrigerator. If you have time, take the shrimp out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the night before cooking to let it thaw.
  • Thaw under cold running water. You can quickly thaw frozen shrimp in about 5 minutes under cold running water in a colander.

What Seasonings Can I Add to the Shrimp?

Feel free to add your favorite spices and seasonings to the shrimp before roasting. Here are a few of our favorite blends.

How To Roast Shrimp in the Oven

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. With a rack placed in the middle of the oven.
  2. If frozen, thaw the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for about 5 minutes.
  3. The shrimp will bend easily when thawed. The shrimp is thawed when they’re no longer frozen solid but soft, easily bendable, and slightly translucent.
  4. Toss the shrimp with olive oil. Lightly drizzle the shrimp with olive oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Toss to coat with oil and seasonings. Toss lightly with your hands to ensure the shrimp is coated with oil and seasonings.
  7. Spread on a baking sheet. The shrimp should be in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake. Bake until the shrimp turns from blue-grey and translucent to white and pink and opaque, about 6 to 8 minutes for medium-sized shrimp. Adjust the cook time for larger-sized shrimp.

What to Serve with Oven-Roasted Shrimp

Like most other seafood, shrimp cooks very fast, and can be used to top pasta, rice, or grains for a quick dinner. Here are a few delicious recipes to serve roasted shrimp.

Helpful Swaps

Roasted Shrimp Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    medium-sized (17-21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Coarse kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

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  1. Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack placed in the middle of the oven.

  2. Place the shrimp you want to cook in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for about 5 minutes. Toss the shrimp occasionally to make sure they are all exposed to the cold water.

  3. You will know that the shrimp is thawed and ready when they are no longer frozen solid but soft, easily bendable, and slightly translucent. This will only take a few minutes. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.

  4. Lightly drizzle the shrimp with olive oil.

  5. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Toss lightly with your hands to ensure the shrimp is coated with oil and seasonings.

  7. The shrimp should be in a single layer on a baking sheet. The shrimp should fit on the baking sheet in a single layer, with plenty of space between the shrimp.

  8. Bake until the shrimp turns from blue-grey and translucent to white and pink and opaque. Remove and eat promptly.

Recipe Notes

Shrimp should be cooked immediately after thawing in cold water.