Summer just isn’t summer without shrimp to eat.

These little crustaceans might just be up there with the best proteins for cooking. They’re less expensive than some other shellfish, they’re hard to screw up (as long as you pay attention), and you can enjoy them in about a million different ways. And these recipes highlight those qualities to a T.

Just ask Bubba (from “Forrest Gump”) — you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it…

Since we don’t have all day, we’re cutting to the chase and giving you 11 simple shrimp recipes to kick off your spring and summer dining (outside, whenever possible).

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1. Shrimp and greens salad with yogurt-avocado dressing

This is the simplest on the list. For this recipe, you’ll pair pan-fried shrimp with our freshly made yogurt-avocado dressing (which you can learn to make here).

The most time consuming part of this recipe? Carrying it from the kitchen to your dining room table. It’s that simple.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 cups chopped butter lettuce
  • 1/3 cup Yogurt-Avocado Dressing, plus a little extra for passing around

Get our shrimp and greens salad with yogurt-avocado dressing recipe.

2. Vietnamese grilled shrimp salad

Anyone who thinks salads are boring has never tried the Vietnamese take.

Featuring Thai flavors like lemongrass, fish sauce, and sriracha along fresh vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, and peanuts, this could easily become your favorite spring and summer recipe.

For the shrimp, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced, with outer leaves removed
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8–10 basil leaves (Thai basil if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails attached

The salad has these ingredients:

  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head red or green leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 large handful of mung bean sprouts
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (leaves and small stems)
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • Sriracha, for drizzling (optional)
  • A dipping bowl’s worth of nuoc cham sauce

Get our Vietnamese grilled shrimp salad recipe.

3. Open-faced shrimp salad sandwich

If you’re getting bored of the standard tuna salad, switch up your seafood and try our recipe for shrimp salad. Loaded with veggies and herbs, it’s a nice change of pace for a quick lunch.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup finely diced radishes
  • 3/4 cup seeded, finely diced English cucumber
  • 4 slices dark rye bread, toasted

Get our open-faced shrimp salad sandwich recipe.

4. Shrimp scampi sandwich

Buttery, garlicky shrimp scampi is always great, whether you serve it with rice or over pasta. But have you tried making it into a sandwich? If not, now is the time.

It takes less than 30 minutes to put together, and the fluffy brioche bun soaks up all that lovely sauce. (Make sure you completely remove the shells.)

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or broth
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 brioche bun for each person you’re serving

Get our shrimp scampi sandwich recipe.

5. Har gow shrimp dumplings

Whether you’re looking to become the next Iron Chef or you’ve just gotten tired of heating up frozen dumplings, you’ll want to check out our recipe for har gow (traditional Chinese dumplings). The technique is a breeze once you get the hang of it.

Just in case you need some extra practice, this recipe includes enough ingredients to make 30 dumplings. You’ll need:

  • 9 ounces raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fatty bacon
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 2 teaspoons minced scallions (white parts only)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 recipe Har Gow Dumpling Dough
  • Soy sauce, for dipping
  • 1 recipe Chile Garlic Sauce

Get our har gow shrimp dumplings recipe here. (You’ll also need the recipes for har gow dumpling dough and chile garlic sauce at your disposal. We’ve linked them in the list of ingredients — thank us later.)

6. Greek-style shrimp and feta tacos

Along with May flowers, April showers bring another important harbinger of summer: the start of grill season.

You can easily adapt this recipe for the grates. This fusion take on tacos uses Greek flavors like feta, oregano, and roasted red peppers but also brings in familiar taco flavors like cumin and lime.

You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (preferably Greek)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh raw shrimp, deveined
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, thinly sliced and well drained
  • 1 cup roasted corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 ounces Greek feta, in small chunks (we suggest choosing a sheep’s-milk feta for this recipe)
  • 1/2–1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 8 corn tortillas

Get our Greek-style shrimp and feta tacos recipe.

7. Shrimp and fresh corn grits

Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern combo. But this take is a lot lighter, more texturally interesting, and perfect for summer — ya know, when sweet corn is at its peak. It’s also dairy-free.

You’ll need:

  • 7 ears fresh corn
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened roasted cashew butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup ale, such as Anchor Steam

Get our shrimp and fresh corn grits recipe.

8. Shrimp and asadero quesadillas

You know that rule about not pairing cheese with seafood? Break it.

These cheesy quesadillas are studded with tender tequila-drenched shrimp, and the relatively mild asadero doesn’t drown it out.

For the quesadillas, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups grated asadero cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas (10-inch is best)
  • 1 batch Tequila Shrimp

Wait, Tequila Shrimp? Don’t worry, we’ve got you there too. You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • About 1 1/2 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes), plus extra limes for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

You can add some pico de gallo and guac for the full flavor spectrum.

Get our shrimp and asadero quesadillas recipe.

9. Sesame shrimp with cilantro-lime sauce

Looking for a quick recipe for entertaining? These easy shrimp skewers are a crowd-pleaser. Toss them in a fresh salad, serve them in tacos or over rice or an Asian noodle salad, or just eat them straight from the skewer with the zesty dipping sauce. This recipe gets you 36 sesame shrimp.

You’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from about 1/2 a lime)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 36 small metal skewers or wooden toothpicks

Get our sesame shrimp with cilantro-lime sauce recipe.

10. Pickled prawns

Think vegetables (or eggs) are the only things you can pickle? You’ll think again after trying our recipe for pickled shrimp. Tangy and crisp, these prawns are the perfect snack for a crisp spring afternoon.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup lime juice (from about 6 limes)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 pound large prawns or shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails attached

Get our pickled prawns recipe.

11. Shrimp ceviche

Another super-easy way to prepare shrimp? Ceviche.

Simply toss it with a mixture of lime and lemon juice plus onion, cucumber, and avocado. For this version, you’ll need to briefly poach the shrimp first. But it’s still a breeze.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (from 4–6 limes)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (from 2–3 lemons)
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Feel free to mix things up with tomatillos for extra tartness. Get our shrimp ceviche recipe.

No, it’s not a music festival for crustaceans. Check out the video below to find out how to quickly whip up shrimp stock.