How to Cook Frozen Shrimp in a Pan

Because shrimp is highly perishable, it is often sold frozen in large bags. Shrimp defrosts quickly during the cooking process and retains its flavor. Buy deveined frozen shrimp if you plan to cook it without thawing it first. Otherwise, thaw the shrimp and devein them yourself prior to cooking. Bags of frozen shrimp are labeled according to how many shrimp are in 1 pound. Large shrimp are labeled as 20 shrimp per pound. These are suitable for main dish recipes. Use shrimp labeled as 60 shrimp per pound for casseroles and pastas. Save shrimp labeled 90 shrimp per pound for salads or soups.


Step 1

Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them. This will thaw the shrimp slightly and remove ice crystals before cooking. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 3

Remove the shrimp from the heat when they turn pink. Overcooking shrimp causes them to become rubbery.


Step 1

Heat a pot of water over high heat to boiling. Add the shrimp directly to the water. There is no need to drain and dry the shrimp in a colander.

Step 2

Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes only, or until it turns pink. Avoid overcooking it.

Step 3

Drain the shrimp in a colander and serve. Put the shrimp on ice if you plan to serve it cold.


Step 1

Fill a saucepan half full with water and heat on medium-high to simmering.

Step 2

Place the frozen shrimp in a steamer basket and place the basket in the saucepan. Replace the lid.

Step 3

Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink. Remove the shrimp and serve warm.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander

  • Paper towels

  • Skillet

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

  • Spoon

  • Stockpot

  • Saucepan

  • Steamer basket


For a traditional Southern shrimp boil, add carrots, celery, onions, lemons and spices to the boiling water.

When sauteing shrimp, add lemon juice, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper to make shrimp scampi.

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