These flavorful shrimp dishes are a guaranteed hit at any dinner party and are easily prepped ahead of time. Buttery, grilled, roasted, and even prosciutto-wrapped shrimp are all fantastic solutions to the eternal question of what’s for dinner. Try any one of these nine shrimp recipes (plus our easy Greek Pasta with Shrimp, Feta, Tomato, and Olives dish shown above) for a standout dinner or passed appetizer and you won’t regret it.
Warm grilled shrimp tossed in lime, olive oil, chipotle powder, salt, and cumin make for a tasty taco filling that pairs beautifully with CHOW’s recipe for avocado-corn salsa. If corn isn’t in season you can feel free to substitute frozen (and defrosted) corn or try black beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans instead.
This Sri Lankan–inspired shrimp curry is packed with flavor. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and imparts a lovely yellow color to the curry. Cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, ginger, and garlic make for a mouth-watering combination that complements the crumbled creamed coconut. Try this over rice and make enough for leftovers—this gets even better after a day or so in the refrigerator.
Roasting shrimp is one of the best ways to bring out the flavors of the marinade or spice rub if you don’t have access to an outdoor grill. This adaptation of Ina Garten’s recipe is easy to prep ahead of time and you can pop it into the oven and have dinner on the table in about a half hour. Try a different cheese if the feta is too salty for you, and you can substitute store-bought breadcrumbs in a pinch.
A restaurant standby, shrimp scampi is far simpler than you thought to make at home and impress your guests. This version has baby mushrooms, crushed red pepper, fresh parsley, garlic, and white wine. With a full pound of shrimp, this recipe makes great leftovers. Be sure to garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.
These spicy shrimp are intended to be served as an appetizer but are so good that you can pile a few on your plate and make them into an entrée. Seasoned liberally with cayenne pepper, curry powder, black pepper, and Parmesan, they are lightly fried in oil to the perfect level of crispness.
6. Shrimp Toast
It’s way easier than you think to make your favorite Chinese takeout dish at home with this recipe for shrimp toast. This dish has a ton of flavors—scallions, fresh ginger, parsley, red and black pepper, garlic powder, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt—and you mix these ingredients together with water chestnuts and shrimp to make a delicious paste to apply to the toast. Fry up a few slices and sprinkle with sesame seeds and you’re ready to go.
This recipe from Serious Eats breaks down the basics of a popular tapas dish. A quarter teaspoon of baking soda is the secret weapon to keeping the shrimp crunchy, and combined with a little salt it makes the perfect brine. Be generous with the olive oil (you can always sop it up with a crusty baguette) and don’t rush while sautéing the garlic so it doesn’t burn.
A great soup for winter, shrimp and corn chowder is good for your stomach and good for the soul. Use frozen corn (and frozen shrimp if you’re in a rush) and you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour. You can blend more than a third of the soup to make a smoother consistency, and it freezes well.
This shrimp take on surf-and-turf is imbued with the flavors of Spain: Two full teaspoons of paprika combined with thinly sliced prosciutto are reminiscent of a well-seasoned slice of chorizo. You can broil these or cook them on the grill, but make sure to soak the skewers in water ahead of time if you’re grilling so they don’t catch fire. Leave the skewers in so your guests can munch on these delightful appetizers without getting messy.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.