How to Boil Cooked Shrimp? (Complete Guide)

boil shrimp

Shrimp is one of the most used seafood with a mild and sweet flavor and soft texture. The best part? They can be prepared in different ways in no time. You can either fry, grill, sauté, stir-fry, poach, bake, boil and broil shrimp and add them in salads, soups, pasta, curries, and appetizers.

If you want to boil cooked shrimp a boil with some fresh lemon juice for about 2 minutes. Once done, place your shrimp in a bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking immediately.

Shrimp can be bought fresh and frozen in a package in different sizes labeled as raw or cooked. If you buy raw shrimp that means you will have to cook them.

If the package is labeled as cooked, you can just thaw the shrimp and use it in your dishes. You can use cooked shrimp to save some precious time even if home-cooked shrimp has a better flavor and texture.

However, if you want to use cooked shrimp it is very important not to overcook them since they are already cooked.

How Long Do You Boil Already Cooked Shrimp?

Besides raw shrimp, you can also find cooked shrimp that only needs to be heated to the serving temperature.

If you are boiling the shrimp longer, they will become overcooked and have a tough and gummy texture. First, you have to thaw the frozen cooked shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.

But if you don’t have time to thaw them in the refrigerator you can thaw the shrimp in a bowl of cold water. Put the shrimp in a plastic bag and then in the bowl and thaw for about 30 minutes.

While you are thawing the shrimp change the water in the bowl once or twice.

Rinse the thawed shrimp in a colander. Add some water to a pot and place it on the stove. It is important to add enough water to the pot so all the shrimp are well covered.

You can add a pinch of salt and some lemon juice to the water, and when it starts to boil add the shrimp and boil them for about 2 minutes.

Prepare a bowl with water and ice and place the cooked shrimp into the ice bath to cut off the cooking process. Your shrimp will be nice and tender so you can serve them in salads, pasta, and other dishes.

How Do You Boil Frozen Cooked Shrimp?


If you want to boil frozen cooked shrimp first you will have to thaw them. The best way to thaw a frozen cooked shrimp is in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day you will have a tawed shrimp ready for use. You can also thaw the frozen cooked shrimp in a bowl of cold water. Put the shrimp in a plastic bag.

Add some water to the bowl to cover the shrimp and leave them for about 30 minutes.

Change the water in the bowl to speed up the process. When the shrimp is thawed you can take off the shell and vein with scissors if they are not already deveined. Rinse the thawed shrimp in a colander. Take a pot and add water enough to cover the shrimp.

Add some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. And when the water starts to boil, just add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.

If you are serving the shrimp warm take them out of the hot water and drain off the remaining water. Serve the shrimp while still warm.

If you want to cool down the shrimp before serving you can use an ice bath. That way you will stop the shrimp to become overcooked and gummy.

Can You Use Precooked Shrimp for Shrimp Boil?

Shrimp boil is usually made in social events that take place in the coastal regions of the USA. Depending on the region this dish is prepared with various seafood and seasonings.

Some of the most used ingredients are shrimp, crawfish, crab, oysters, corn, potatoes, sausages, bay leaf, salt, lemons, and Old bay seasoning.

All ingredients are boiled in a pot on an outdoor cooker. In these events, the boil is served on a table covered with newspapers so they can be cleaned easily.

You can use pre-cooked shrimp for shrimp boil but you will have to add the shrimp at the last minutes of the cooking time to prevent them from overcooking.

For better flavor, you can rinse the shrimp and season with old bay seasoning before you add it to the shrimp boil.

How Do You Cook Already Cooked Shrimp?

If you want to cook already cooked shrimp you can do it in the microwave, oven, or on the stove. However, if the shrimp is frozen first you will need to thaw it in the fridge overnight or a bowl of cold water.


Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Place them on the microwave plate in a single layer. Cover the plate with a microwave-safe lid or cover and microwave the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on high heat. When they are cooked add them to your favorite dish.


Another way to cook already cooked shrimp is on the stove. In a pan big enough to place all the shrimp in one layer heat butter of olive oil on medium heat. Put the shrimp in the pan and cook for about two minutes on each side or until they get light brown color.


You can also cook already cooked shrimp in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 300°F-149°C. Aadd olive oil to the pan. Put the shrimp in the pan and cover them with a piece of foil to make sure that the shrimp get heated not overcooked.

Put the pan in the oven and let the shrimp cook for about 15 minutes. Serve as you wish.

What Can I Do With Precooked Shrimp?

You can use precooked shrimp in many different dishes like salads, soups, spring rolls, stir-fries, pasta, noodles, and lettuce wraps.

You only have to follow few simple rules to get a tasty dish.

The most important thing is not to cook the precooked shrimp with dry heat like an oven if you don’t protect them with foil. Because the shrimp can become rubbery and shrink.

Another key thing is to thaw the frozen precooked shrimp in cold water instead of warm or hot water so they are thawed evenly.

The last rule is that you should add the pre-cooked shrimp to the dish at the last minutes of the cooking time. This will prevent overcooking and getting tough and rubbery shrimp.

Can I Refreeze Defrosted Cooked Shrimp?

You can refreeze defrosted cooked shrimp if you have defrosted it in the fridge. However, if you have defrosted it in cold water, in the microwave, or on the counter, you will have to cook the shrimp first.

After they are cooked and cooled down place them in plastic freezer bags. Press all the air from the bags and seal them. You can store the shrimp in the freezer for 3-6 months.

Don’t refreeze the shrimp more than once because the texture and flavor can change.

Should I Wash Cooked Shrimp Before Cooking?

If the shrimp have a shell and they are not deveined the first thing to do is to remove their shell and devein them. Then you can wash cooked shrimp before cooking.

Rinse the shrimp with cold water to remove any impurities. Then, just pat dry with a paper towel. Then, use it in your favorite dish.

Let’s Get Cooking!

If shrimp is one of your favorite seafood, then you have to know how to store, clean, and cook them properly to avoid any unwanted contaminations with harmful bacteria.

But first, you have to know how to buy the right kind of shrimp since there are different types and sizes of shrimp and they can also be farmed, wild, frozen, or fresh.

Whichever you pick, make sure to cook it in the right way not to overcook or undercook it because shrimp are cooked quickly. And they can become tough and rubbery.

How do you cook your favorite shrimp dish? What type of shrimp do you prefer? We will be more than happy to read about your shrimp experience in the comments below!

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