Peel ‘n eat shrimp are the ultimate appetizer—flavorful, easy to make and fun to eat. This recipe for smoky peel ‘n eat shrimp comes together in 10 minutes. 

large in-shell shrimp coated in spices and in a green glass serving bowl with orange glassware set around and a dipping sauce in a white bowl

Why I Love this Peel and Eat Shrimp Recipe

First and foremost, for the amount of “wow factor” these have, they’re awfully easy to make. Plus, they’re a blast to eat and make a great stand in for chicken wings at any game watch or summer hang. 

Grocery List:

  • 1 pound extra-jumbo shell-on shrimp (16/20): not sure how to look for these? Check out this shrimp size chart. Make sure you buy shrimp that still have their shell intact! Fresh or frozen shrimp work here. Just thaw the shrimp prior to cooking if frozen.
  • Unsalted butter: just a couple tablespoons. If you have salted butter, that’s fine.
  • 1 fresh lime
  • Mayonnaise: I love avocado oil mayo from Sir Kensigntons, but olive oil mayo or regular mayo are also great. 
  • Greek yogurt: whole milk is best for texture and flavor. 
  • Canned chipotles in adobo sauce: you can find these in the same area as the enchilada sauce and chiles. You only need on chipotle for this recipe, so store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze portions in ice cube trays in the freezer for another use. Use leftover chipotles in this recipe for Tempeh Tacos.

Pantry ingredients:

How to Cook Peel and Eat Shrimp

This method for cooking peel and eat shrimp is simple and straightforward. 

  1. Rinse the shrimp under cold water. 
  2. Add the shrimp to a large nonstick skillet. 
  3. Place the skillet over medium heat and cover. Cook until the shrimp are nearly cooked through, this should take about 3 minutes. 
  4. Remove the lid and toss in the butter, spices, lime zest, and salt. Toss to coat and continue to cook until the shrimp turn pink and firm, about 1 minute more. 
  5. Serve the shrimp warm.
large in-shell shrimp coated in spices and in a green glass serving bowl with orange glassware set around and a dipping sauce in a white bowl

How to Serve Peel and Eat Shrimp

Eating peel ‘n eat shrimp is messy so I recommend serving them with quite a few napkins and an extra bowl for the shells. You can also dump the shrimp out on a table covered with a large piece or brown paper (like a seafood boil). It’s festive and makes for easy clean up.

Peel ‘n eat shrimp are a great game day or summer BBQ appetizer when served with a creamy dipping sauce. They also make a great dinner when served with a quick slaw and cornbread. It’s like the seafood shack, just better!

Variations on this Recipe

Swap the spices out for lemon zest, minced fresh garlic and parsley. Serve the shrimp with my favorite Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce.

Instead of the mexican-inspired spices, opt for dill, garlic and capers. Finish the shrimp with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve with homemade tartar sauce

Toss the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning (instead of the spice blend listed in the recipe) and serve with cocktail sauce.

Print
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large in-shell shrimp coated in spices and in a green glass serving bowl with orange glassware set around and a dipping sauce in a white bowl

Smoky Peel and Eat Shrimp + Chipotle Dipping Sauce

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings + ½ cup sauce 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Peel ‘n eat shrimp are a great game day or summer BBQ appetizer. They also make a great dinner when served with a quick slaw and cornbread.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil mayo
  • 1 small chipotle in adobo, minced
  • 1 lime, zest and juiced
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound 16-20 shrimp, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. For the dipping sauce, whisk together, yogurt, mayonnaise, chipotle, and 1 teaspoon lime juice; season with salt to taste.
  2. For the shrimp, add shrimp to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook until shrimp are nearly cooked through and pink, 3–4 minutes.
  3. Uncover and add butter, coriander, 1 teaspoon lime zest, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cayenne; stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer shrimp to a serving bowl.
  4. Serve shrimp with sauce on side.

Notes

16/20 shrimp are often labeled extra-jumbo. Make sure you get shell-on shrimp. Fresh or frozen work, just make sure to thaw frozen prior to cooking.

Keywords: peel and eat shrimp, peel n eat shrimp, How to cook peel and eat shrimp, peel and eat shrimp recipe

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Note: this recipe is based off of a recipe I originally developed for Sir Kensington’s.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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