Have you ever found a bag of frozen shrimp tucked away in the back of your freezer only to realize dinnertime is fast approaching? We’ve all been there. As I hurry to get a meal on the table, how do you cook frozen shrimp always crosses my mind. Over the years, I’ve tried countless ways to prepare frozen shrimp without thawing it first to save time. From baking and air frying to stove-top sautéing and pot cooking, I’m sharing all my tried-and-true methods for cooking frozen raw shrimp with ease.
Cooking Frozen Shrimp Saves Time When You’ve Forgotten to Thaw
We lead busy lives, and remembering to plan ahead and thaw shrimp doesn’t always happen. I’ve found that cooking frozen raw shrimp can be just as quick and easy as thawed shrimp with the right techniques. These kitchen hacks for prepping shrimp straight from the freezer will ensure you still get dinner on the table on time, prevent hanger, and enjoy a tasty seafood meal without hassle or frustration.
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp in the Oven
Baking frozen shrimp in the oven is one of my long-time favorite go-to methods. Here’s how to achieve tender, juicy shrimp in just minutes using this simple oven method:
Step 1) Preheat oven to highest temperature setting, usually 500°F to 550°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet inside while preheating.
Step 2) Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Quickly spread frozen shrimp in a single layer onto the pan. Spreading out allows for even fast cooking.
Step 3) Broil the shrimp for only 5 to 6 minutes. Halfway through, stir or flip shrimp over.
Step 4) Check doneness after 5 minutes. The shrimp will turn solid pink when cooked through fully.
Step 5 (Optional) Once cooked, toss the hot shrimp with melted butter or olive oil and desired seasonings.
The initial hot pan helps sear and partially thaw the frozen shrimp quickly while broiling cooks it in just minutes. So easy!
How Long to Bake Frozen Shrimp
I’ve found cooking frozen raw shrimp in the oven takes only 5 to 6 minutes under the broiler. The key is using high heat to rapidly thaw and cook the outside while gently heating the insides.
Overcooking leads to rubbery, chewy shrimp. But pulling them as soon as the flesh turns solid pink results in tender, juicy perfection.
Quickly broiling on a preheated pan is all you need to enjoy baked shrimp in under 10 minutes flat – no defrosting required!
Cook Shrimp From Frozen in an Air Fryer
My new favorite kitchen appliance for making crispy foods without loads of oil is the air fryer. Just toss frozen raw shrimp straight into the air fryer basket from the freezer for an effortless crunchy, golden shrimp dish in minutes.
Step 1) Set air fryer to 390°F. Allow to fully preheat.
Step 2) Pat frozen shrimp dry so exterior gets ultra crispy.
Step 3) Mist shrimp lightly with oil spray. Sprinkle with choice of seasoning blend.
Step 4) Air fry for 5 to 7 minutes, checking frequently and stirring halfway.
The hot circulated air will crisp up the outside while gently cooking the inside. Don’t overcrowd the shrimp or they won’t get as crispy.
I like to toss the finished crispy shrimp with some buffalo sauce or honey mustard sauce for a game day appetizer. This air fryer method is so easy yet impresses guests every time!
Cook Frozen Shrimp in Instant Pot
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that cooking frozen raw shrimp in the Instant Pot takes the same short cooking time as thawed shrimp. The pressurized environment gently cooks the frozen shrimp in just 1 minute!
Step 1) Add 1 cup water to pot. Insert steamer basket. Add seasonings below water line if desired.
Step 2) Add frozen shrimp directly on top of basket. No need to thaw!
Step 3) Pressure cook manual setting for just 1 minute. Quick release pressure.
Step 4) Stir shrimp gently. All should be pink and curled up when fully cooked.
The great thing about Instant Pot shrimp is you can toss in corn, potatoes, sausage and more for an easy seafood boil. Everything cooks together in the same short time thanks to the pressurized environment.
Best Way to Thaw Frozen Shrimp
While the quick cooking methods above allow skipping the thawing step, I still prefer thawing shrimp when I plan ahead. Thawing first helps ensure even cooking.
For food safety, the best way to thaw frozen raw shrimp is in the refrigerator overnight. Place sealed bag on a plate or bowl to catch drips.
If short on time, place the sealed bag under running cold tap water for 15 to 20 minutes until thawed. Never use hot water to speed thawing.
Once thawed, use the shrimp within 1 to 2 days and store covered in the fridge.
Now you’re ready to take on any frozen shrimp recipe without fear or hassle! No matter which cooking method you try – oven, air fryer, Instant Pot or more – perfectly cooked shrimp is just minutes away thanks to these simple frozen shrimp tips and tricks.
With hectic schedules, it’s easy to forget that package of shrimp tucked away in the freezer. But as you can see, cooking frozen raw shrimp is quick and easy with the right techniques. Oven broiling, air frying, Instant Pot cooking and more allow you to skip the thawing step altogether for tender results when racing against the clock.
So next time you uncover a frozen shrimp bag at dinnertime, have no fear! Throw them straight into one of these easy cooking methods for stress-free shrimp on the table in under 10 minutes. Simply cook until the shrimp turn solid pink and curl up, indicating perfect doneness. Now you’re all set for last-minute shrimp dishes without the defrosting headache or hassle.