How Long to Pan Sear Shrimp for Perfectly Cooked Results

This Pan-Seared Shrimp recipe is very simple and easy to make. It calls for cooking jumbo shrimp in a cast iron skillet and then adding a garlic butter sauce that will make your mouth water. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a meal that the whole family will love.

Everyone will love this pan-seared shrimp recipe, which you can make in less than 30 minutes. For weeknight meals and meal prep, this recipe is great. It’s also a great main dish for parties, especially around the holidays.

I cook the juicy shrimp in a big skillet and cover them in a sauce that is loosely based on my seafood boil sauce recipe. If you’ve tried that sauce, you know it’s delicious! This quick meal only needs a few simple ingredients, and I’ll show you how to pan sear shrimp perfectly EVERY TIME. Single. Time. Lets eat!.

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. Its also easy to find at your local grocery store. Fresh shrimp can be difficult to keep fresh if youre not cooking it immediately. Also, the best shrimp to use are wild-caught shrimp thats been deveined.

Seasonings – were using old bay seasoning and red pepper flakes to keep this recipe pretty simple. Old Bay is a sea salt blend with a nice mix of spices that makes seafood recipes taste so much better. Red pepper flakes give food a little heat and a lot of flavor; don’t skip this step.

Butter and Olive Oil – were using a mix of both because butter has a low smoke point. Mix with olive oil and its perfect for pan searing. I used salted butter and extra virgin olive oil. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and so on.

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.

Pan searing shrimp is one of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare juicy, flavorful shrimp The high heat of the pan gives the shrimp a nice sear on the outside while keeping the interior moist and tender. But getting the cook time just right can be tricky with shrimp, which goes from raw to overcooked in mere minutes So how long should you pan sear shrimp to achieve perfection every time?

In this article. I’ll share everything you need to know about pan searing shrimp. including

  • The benefits of pan searing shrimp
  • How long to cook shrimp based on size and thickness
  • Tips for monitoring doneness
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • My go-to formula for foolproof pan seared shrimp

After reading, you’ll feel confident that you can achieve tender juicy perfectly pan seared shrimp for any recipe!

Why Pan Sear Shrimp?

There are a few reasons that pan searing is one of the best cooking methods for shrimp:

  • Flavor – The high heat of the pan gives the shrimp a delicious browned and caramelized exterior full of flavor.

  • Speed – Shrimp cooks very quickly, making pan searing one of the fastest ways to prepare it. The shrimp will be ready in just a few minutes.

  • Simplicity – All you need is a skillet, some oil or butter, and seasonings. Quick and easy!

  • Control – Pan searing allows you to easily monitor the doneness of the shrimp. You can take them off the heat at just the right moment.

How Long to Cook Shrimp Based on Size

The cooking time can vary substantially based on the size and thickness of the shrimp. Here are general guidelines:

  • Colossal or Jumbo Shrimp (21-25 per pound)

    • 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side
  • Extra Large Shrimp (26-30 per pound)

    • 1 to 1 1/4 minutes per side
  • Large Shrimp (31-35 per pound)

    • 45 seconds to 1 minute per side
  • Medium Shrimp (36-45 per pound)

    • 30 to 45 seconds per side
  • Small Shrimp (over 45 per pound)

    • 15 to 30 seconds per side

As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the shrimp the less time they will need. Thicker shrimp will also take a little longer than very thin shrimp.

It’s best to err on the side of slightly undercooking, as the shrimp will continue cooking from residual heat even after removed from the pan.

How to Tell When Shrimp Is Done Pan Searing

The timing guidelines can vary a lot depending on factors like the size of your pan, stove top heat level, etc. So rather than going strictly by time, it’s best to use visual cues to monitor doneness.

Signs that shrimp is fully cooked:

  • The flesh is opaque and pearly white throughout – no more translucent flesh
  • It curls up into a tight C-shape
  • The edges are pink or orange with nice browning

To check for doneness, I recommend cutting into a thicker piece of shrimp to peek at the center and ensure it is opaque.

Undercooked shrimp will have a raw, gummy texture. Overcooked shrimp becomes tough and rubbery. Properly pan seared shrimp is tender and juicy.

Common Pan Searing Mistakes

While pan searing shrimp is a simple cooking method, there are a few common mistakes people make:

  • Overcrowding the pan – Too many shrimp will cause them to steam rather than sear. Cook in batches if needed.

  • Not drying shrimp thoroughly – Shrimp needs to be very dry before adding to the pan to promote browning. Pat extremely dry with paper towels.

  • Too high heat – If the pan is too hot, the exterior can burn before the inside cooks through. Use medium-high heat.

  • Cooking frozen shrimp – Only pan sear fully thawed shrimp. Frozen releases too much liquid.

  • Moving the shrimp too much – Let them sear undisturbed at first before flipping.

Following the tips below will help you avoid these pitfalls!

Formula for Foolproof Pan Seared Shrimp

To take the guesswork out of pan searing shrimp, follow my simple formula:

1. Pat shrimp extremely dry – Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Wet shrimp will steam, not sear.

2. Season shrimp – For flavor, coat the shrimp with oil and spices, herbs, or sauce ingredients before adding to the pan.

3. Use a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat – Avoid overcrowding for an even sear.

4. Add shrimp flat side down in a single layer – Work in batches if needed to avoid crowding.

5. Let sear undisturbed for 1 minute – This initial sear helps build fond (browned bits) for extra flavor.

6. Flip and cook 1 minute on second side – Adjust time up or down based on size.

7. Check doneness and cook longer if needed – The shrimp should be opaque throughout when fully cooked.

8. Immediately remove from pan – Shrimp overcooks quickly. Enjoy right away!

By following these simple steps, you’ll be rewarded with perfect pan seared shrimp every time. No more guessing on cook times!

While the exact pan searing duration depends on the size of your shrimp, using visual cues for doneness and avoiding common mistakes will help you achieve ideal results. I recommend starting with the basic cook times provided based on shrimp size, then adjusting up or down as needed after testing doneness on the first batch.

With practice, you’ll be able to gauge the right pan searing duration for different shrimp sizes in your own kitchen. Soon this quick cooking method will be a staple in your seafood repertoire! Give it a try and enjoy tasty pan seared shrimp on the dinner table in under 10 minutes.

how long to pan sear shrimp

How to make Pan Seared Shrimp

  • (If the shrimp are fresh, skip this step.) If the shrimp are frozen, put them in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes to thaw.
  • Then take the shrimp out of their shells and use a paper towel to dry them. Season Shrimp with old bay seasoning. ( 1 and 2).

how long to pan sear shrimp

how long to pan sear shrimp

  • Put a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the pan warm up.
  • As soon as the pan is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer. Leave plenty of room between the shrimp. It’s important not to crowd the pan, and if you have to, cook in batches. To make the shrimp pink and slightly curled, cook them for two to three minutes and then flip them over. Cook for another one to two minutes. ( 3).

how long to pan sear shrimp

  • 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. ( 4).

how long to pan sear shrimp

  • Keep cooking over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until the sauce gets a little thicker. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Squeeze 1-2 lemon wedges into the sauce.
  • Cover shrimp in sauce, and serve with the rest of the lemon wedges. ( 5).

how long to pan sear shrimp

Easy & Crispy Pan Seared Buttery Shrimp Recipe –

How long do you cook shrimp in a frying pan?

Bring a medium sized pan to medium high heat. Add butter and melt. Add olive oil. Place shrimp in a single layer into the pan and cook for 1 ½ – 2 minutes or until one side is seared. Don’t disturb the shrimp before seeing a sear on the bottom side. Flip shrimp and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute or until shrimp is cooked through.

How long does it take to Pan sear shrimp?

Quick: use this recipe to learn how to pan sear shrimp in a cast iron skillet in less than 5 minutes. Perfect for a range of healthy ways of eating: this main protein fits with those looking for shrimp as a main dish on Whole30, Paleo, low-carb, keto and more.

How do you cook pan seared shrimp in a cast iron pan?

Making pan seared shrimp in a cast iron pan or other skillet with browned bits is super easy. Here are the directions: Pat the raw shrimp dry with paper towel and toss the shrimp in the spices. Preheat your pan so that you have a hot skillet or cast iron pan. Add the butter, then place the shrimp in a single layer in the pan.

How do you cook raw shrimp?

Pat the raw shrimp dry with paper towel and toss the shrimp in the spices. Preheat your pan so that you have a hot skillet or cast iron pan. Add the butter, then place the shrimp in a single layer in the pan. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side of the shrimp to get a nice sear. You can see my note below about the type of pan to use.

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