Homemade Pickled Shrimp

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious appetizer that’s sure to impress your guests, look no further than homemade pickled shrimp. This Southern delicacy is not only flavorful and zesty but also incredibly easy to prepare. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to make your own pickled shrimp, share some tips for customization, and suggest ways to serve this tasty treat.

What is Pickled Shrimp?

Pickled shrimp is a marinated seafood dish typically made from shrimp that are boiled, then marinated in a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and a variety of spices and herbs. The result is a tangy, slightly sweet, and savory appetizer that’s perfect for gatherings, picnics, or as a flavorful addition to salads.


To make homemade pickled shrimp, you will need:

  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley


Step 1: Cook the Shrimp

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until they are pink and opaque.
  3. Drain the shrimp and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Once cool, drain the shrimp and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Marinade

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, kosher salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Whisk until well combined.

Step 3: Marinate the Shrimp

  1. In a large jar or airtight container, layer the cooked shrimp, sliced red onion, and lemon slices.
  2. Pour the marinade over the shrimp, ensuring that all ingredients are well coated.
  3. Add the chopped dill and parsley.
  4. Seal the container and gently shake to mix the ingredients.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, shaking occasionally to redistribute the marinade.

Serving Suggestions

Pickled shrimp can be served in several delicious ways:

  • As an Appetizer: Serve on skewers or in a bowl with toothpicks for easy eating.
  • With Salad: Add them to a fresh green salad for a protein-rich addition.
  • With Cocktails: Offer pickled shrimp as a savory side with your favorite cocktails, especially during the summer.

Tips for the Best Pickled Shrimp

  1. Freshness Matters: Use the freshest shrimp available for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Customize Your Flavors: Feel free to adjust the spices and herbs according to your taste preferences. Adding ingredients like bay leaves, peppercorns, or fresh thyme can create a different flavor profile.
  3. Marinating Time: For the best results, let the shrimp marinate for at least 24 hours. The longer they marinate, the more flavorful they will be.
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Homemade pickled shrimp is a versatile and delightful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With this easy recipe, you can prepare a gourmet-style appetizer that is both refreshing and rich in flavor. Whether you’re hosting a party, looking for a new addition to your meal prep, or just want to try something different, pickled shrimp is an excellent choice.

Serving and Storage Tips for Homemade Pickled Shrimp

Homemade pickled shrimp is not only a flavorful addition to your culinary repertoire but also a dish that requires some know-how when it comes to serving and storing. To ensure you get the most out of this delicious appetizer, here are some essential tips for serving and storing your pickled shrimp:

Serving Tips

  1. Serve Chilled: Pickled shrimp tastes best when served chilled. Remove it from the refrigerator just before serving to maintain its crisp, refreshing flavor.
  2. Presentation Matters: For an attractive presentation, consider serving the shrimp in a clear glass bowl or jar to show off the layers of shrimp, lemon slices, and herbs. Garnish with extra sprigs of dill or parsley to enhance the visual appeal.
  3. Accompaniments: Offer crusty bread, crackers, or crostini alongside the pickled shrimp. These pair wonderfully with the tangy marinade and provide a satisfying crunch.
  4. Offer a Variety: When serving as part of a larger meal or buffet, include other pickled vegetables, cheeses, and cold meats to create a balanced and vibrant selection.

Storage Tips

  1. Keep Refrigerated: Store pickled shrimp in the refrigerator at all times. Use an airtight container or a jar with a tight-fitting lid to keep the shrimp fresh and prevent the marinade from absorbing unwanted flavors from other foods in your fridge.
  2. Marination Time: For optimal flavor, let the shrimp marinate for at least 24 hours before serving. The flavors will continue to develop over time, so longer marination can often result in a more flavorful dish.
  3. Shelf Life: When properly stored, pickled shrimp can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Beyond this point, the shrimp should be consumed to ensure both safety and quality.
  4. Do Not Freeze: Freezing pickled shrimp is not recommended. Freezing can change the texture of the shrimp and affect the quality of the marinade, leading to a less desirable dish when thawed.
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Health and Safety Tips

  1. Check for Allergies: As shrimp is a common allergen, always check with your guests for seafood allergies before serving.
  2. Keep It Cool: If you’re serving pickled shrimp at a buffet or outdoor event, keep the dish cool by placing the serving container over a bowl of ice. This not only keeps the shrimp at a safe temperature but also keeps them fresh throughout the event.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your homemade pickled shrimp remains delicious, safe, and visually appealing from the moment it’s prepared until it’s enjoyed by your guests. Happy eating!

1. Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for making pickled shrimp. Ensure that the shrimp are fully thawed and properly drained before cooking them. Pat them dry to remove any excess moisture. Using fresh shrimp is recommended for the best texture and flavor, but frozen shrimp can be a convenient and effective alternative.

2. How long can I keep pickled shrimp in the refrigerator?

Pickled shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure it’s kept in an airtight container or a jar with a tight seal to maintain its best quality and prevent it from picking up odors from other foods. Always use a clean utensil each time you serve the shrimp to avoid contamination.

3. Are there any variations to the traditional pickled shrimp recipe that I can try?

Absolutely! Pickled shrimp is versatile and can be customized based on your flavor preferences. You can try adding different herbs like thyme or bay leaves for a unique twist. Incorporating other spices such as coriander seeds or peppercorns can also alter the flavor profile. For a spicier kick, increase the amount of red pepper flakes, or add slices of jalapeño peppers.

4. What are the best ways to serve pickled shrimp?

Pickled shrimp is incredibly versatile. It can be served as an appetizer on a platter with cocktail picks, mixed into a fresh salad for added protein, or used as a topping on crackers or toast points for a light snack. Additionally, it pairs wonderfully with cocktails and is perfect for gatherings as a sophisticated yet easy-to-prepare dish. For a festive look, garnish with additional fresh herbs or lemon slices when serving.

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