How to Cook Unpeeled Shrimp

Unpeeled shrimp can be intimidating to cook for some people, but it's actually a simple and delicious way to enjoy this seafood. Not only does cooking shrimp with its shell on help keep it moist and flavorful, but it also makes for a beautiful presentation on the plate. In this article, we'll teach you how to cook unpeeled shrimp in just a few easy steps.

Unpeeled Shrimp


  • 1 pound of unpeeled shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Clean and Prep the Shrimp

Start by cleaning the shrimp under running water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Then, using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut off the sharp pointy part of the head and the tail. This will make it easier to peel and eat the shrimp later on.

Step 2: Season the Shrimp

Next, drizzle the shrimp with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor.

Step 3: Cook the Shrimp

There are a few different ways to cook unpeeled shrimp, but one of the easiest and most flavorful methods is to grill or broil them. Preheat your grill or broiler to medium-high heat, then place the shrimp on the rack or pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy!

Once the shrimp are done cooking, remove them from the heat and let them cool for a minute or two. Then, arrange them on a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh herbs, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pros and Cons of Cooking Unpeeled Shrimp:


  • Keeps the shrimp moist and flavorful
  • Easy to peel after cooking
  • Looks beautiful on the plate


  • Can be messy to eat
  • May require more time to prepare and cook
  • Not suitable for all recipes (e.g. shrimp scampi)


Q: Can I cook unpeeled shrimp in a pan instead of on the grill or broiler?

A: Yes, you can cook unpeeled shrimp in a pan as well. Heat up some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until pink and opaque.

Q: Do I need to devein the shrimp before cooking?

A: It's up to you. Some people prefer to devein the shrimp for aesthetic or health reasons, but it's not necessary for cooking. If you want to devein them, use a small sharp knife or a deveiner tool to make a shallow cut along the back of each shrimp and remove the vein.

Q: Can I cook frozen unpeeled shrimp?

A: Yes, you can cook frozen unpeeled shrimp, but it may take a bit longer to cook than fresh shrimp. Make sure to thaw them completely before cooking, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: What are some serving suggestions for unpeeled shrimp?

A: Unpeeled shrimp can be served as a main course with rice, salad, or vegetables on the side, or as an appetizer with dipping sauces like cocktail sauce, garlic butter, or aioli.

In conclusion, cooking unpeeled shrimp is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this seafood. With just a few easy steps, you can create a flavorful and beautiful dish that will impress your guests. Whether you grill, broil, or pan-fry them, unpeeled shrimp is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.