This simple and easy Pan-Seared Shrimp recipe is bursting with flavor! Jumbo shrimp cooked in a cast iron skillet and tossed in a mouthwatering garlic butter sauce! Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a delicious meal the whole family will love!
This pan seared shrimp is one of those easy recipes that you can make in under 30 minutes that everyone will LOVE. It's a great recipe for weeknight meals AND meal prep but also an incredible main dish for get togethers, especially during holidays.
The juicy shrimp is cooked to perfection in a large skillet and coated in a sauce loosely based on my seafood boil sauce recipe - and if you've tried that sauce, you KNOW it's delicious! A few simple ingredients come together to make this quick meal and I'm here to give you ALL of the tips and tricks on how to pan sear shrimp perfectly Every. Single. Time. Let's eat!
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Jumbo Shrimp - the type of shrimp that you use is important. I recommend using jumbo shrimp, preferably frozen. Frozen shrimp is typically caught and frozen at peak freshness. It's also easy to find at your local grocery store. Fresh shrimp can be difficult to keep fresh if you're not cooking it immediately. Also, the best shrimp to use are wild-caught shrimp that's been deveined.
Seasonings - we're using old bay seasoning and red pepper flakes to keep this recipe pretty simple. Old bay is a seasoning blend that has a nice mix of spices and adds so much flavor to seafood recipes. Red pepper flakes add a tiny bit of heat but a bunch of flavor - don't skip this one.
Butter and Olive Oil - we're using a mix of both because butter has a low smoke point. Mix with olive oil and it's perfect for pan searing. I used salted butter and extra virgin olive oil. However, you can use unsalted butter and any neutral oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil etc.
Fresh Garlic Cloves - use fresh garlic cloves diced finely to release all of the garlic flavor.
Herbs - fresh rosemary and fresh parsley leaves. Both of these go into the quick garlic butter sauce for some earthy flavors.
Chicken broth - you only need a little bit of chicken broth. This is also for the garlic butter sauce. Feel free to make it fancy and use a little white wine instead.
Lemon - a squeeze of lemon on top maks this recipe even better!
The secret to a nice sear is getting the pan nice and hot AND also patting the shrimp dry with a paper towel. This ensures that the shrimp browns nicely while cooking.
Do not overcrowd the pan. Adding too many shrimp to the pan will take longer to cook and the shrimp won't brown as nicely.
Don't touch the shrimp until you're ready to flip them! Let the shrimp sit in the hot oil undisturbed until you're ready to flip them. This will make sure the shrimp gets a nice brown sear.
Don't overcook the shrimp! Overcooked shrimp is rubbery and unpleasant. Shrimp cooks quickly! Cooking time is about 3-5 minutes. Once the shrimp is pink and has curled slightly - it's done. It should be in the shape of a "C" as opposed to an "O".
Be sure to use a large non-stick or cast iron skillet. Stainless steel pans work too, but my preference are non-stick pans as the shrimp is less likely to stick to the pan when searing, cast iron skillets being my top pick.
How to make Pan Seared Shrimp
(If using fresh shrimp, skip this step) If using frozen shrimp, let shrimp thaw for about 15-20 minutes in cold water.
Then remove the shells and pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Season Shrimp with old bay seasoning. (Image 1 and 2)
Add 2 tbsps of butter and 2 tbsps olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and allow the pan to warm.
Once the pan is warm, add shrimp to the hot skillet in a single layer. Leave plenty of room between the shrimp. It's important not to overcrowd the pan and cook in batches if needed. Let the shrimp cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until the shrimp is pink and slightly curled. (Image 3)
Remove shrimp and place in a serving dish.
Make the garlic butter sauce. Reduce heat to medium heat and remaining butter. Melt butter and then diced garlic and rosemary. Saute for 3 minutes, until fragrant. Then add red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and parsley. (Image 4)
Continue to cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce slightly thickens. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Squeeze 1-2 lemon wedges into the sauce.
Coat shrimp in the sauce and serve with remaining lemon wedges. (Image 5)
What to eat with Pan Fried Shrimp
We LOVE seafood recipes so you know I have a bunch of recommendations on what to eat with this cast iron seared shrimp! Some of favorite sides to serve with pan seared shrimp are:
Add some veggies! Make a quick and easy side salad to go with the shrimp. It's a tasty way to add veggies to make a healthy eating enjoyable.
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Juicy pan seared shrimp in a garlic butter sauce that's made under 30 minutes! It's easy, flavorful, and the perfect dish for any occasion!
Prep Time: 15 minutesmins
Cook Time: 13 minutesmins
12 inch Nonstick Skillet
1tspRed Pepper Flakes
1Lemon(cut into wedges)
If using frozen shrimp, place in cold water for 15-30 minutes until thawed. Drain and Remove the shells if applicable.
Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel to remove excess water. Season with old bay.
Allow a skillet to warm on the stove over medium high heat. Once warmed, add olive oil and 2 tbsps of butter and allow it to melt together.
Place shrimp in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, until pink and slightly curled. (Tip: cook shrimp in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan) Add more butter to the pan as needed.
Once shrimp is finished cooking, remove the shrimp from the pan. Add remaining butter to the pan and add diced garlic and rosemary. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Then add red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and parsley. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring until a sauce forms. Squeeze 1-2 lemon wedges into the sauce.
Coat shrimp in the sauce and serve with lemon wedges.