This Old Bay steamed shrimp recipe is a great way to give a classic shrimp cocktail a little extra flavor. It’s mild in flavor, but will have everyone wondering how you made it. Serve this Old Bay shrimp recipe as a peel-and-eat appetizer or light meal, so include a bowl for the shells, it’s a DIY dish! It would also be excellent in a seafood salad. And if you’re looking for a boiled shrimp with Old Bay recipe, try my classic Low Country shrimp boil option that’s made in a large pot with beer, corn, and sausage.
So I love shrimp in Old Bay…and if you are anything like me, you also like just about any and all seafood with Old Bay. It’s a must on grilled lake trout, sprinkled over grilled kielbasa foil packets, and believe it or not, but a touch of it adds great flavor to air fryer lobster tails (we did a side-by-side test!).
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of Contents
- What You’ll Love About Old Bay Shrimp
- How to Steam Shrimp in Old Bay
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storage Instructions
- How to Serve Steamed Shrimp to the Whole Family
- What to Serve with Old Bay Shrimp Recipe
- More Easy Shrimp Recipes
- It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?
- Helpful Tools to Make Shrimp in Old Bay
What You’ll Love About Old Bay Shrimp
- Great as an appetizer or light dinner
- Delicious and savory Old Bay flavor
- Perfectly steamed shrimp
- Just 15 minutes total time
- Made with simple ingredients
This mildly-seasoned shrimp has the perfect amount of spices and a flavor that works so well with shrimp. You’ll love this upgrade to shrimp cocktail.
- Apple cider vinegar – This gives a nice bit of acidic flavor, but you could also use white vinegar or white balsamic vinegar instead.
- Old Bay seasoning – This one is a must and I consider it a pantry staple.
- Lemon – We’re slicing it and adding it to the cooking liquid, so whole lemon is best.
- Shrimp – You’re looking for raw shrimp WITH the peel on for the best flavor. Buy as large of shrimp as you can. You could also use a high-quality frozen shrimp, but make sure it is not precooked.
- Old Bay Cocktail Sauce – ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, Old Bay seasoning
How to Steam Shrimp in Old Bay
Let’s get to the good part, it’s time to steam shrimp with Old Bay!
- Mix cocktail sauce. In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, and Old Bay seasoning.
TIP: Add more or less horseradish, according to your preference.
- Prep steaming liquid. Heat water, vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon slices in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Steam shrimp. When mixture boils, add shrimp and stir into mixture. Lower heat, cover with lid and steam for 3-6 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through, opaque, and shells are pink. (See note on steaming below.)
- Serve shrimp. Drain shrimp and let cool so that you can handle and peel it, or chill it in the refrigerator before serving them peel-and-eat style. Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. Be sure to put a bowl out for the shells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you steam shrimp without a steamer basket?
You may have noticed that we are “steaming” the shrimp, but aren’t using a steamer basket. The trick to this is to use a large skillet (ideally at least 12 inches) so that the liquid is very shallow. This allows for a steaming hybrid of sorts.
How do you know when shrimp are cooked?
Shrimp cook very quickly and we don’t want to overcook them as that’s when they turn rubbery and tough. So there are a few things to watch for:
- The shells of the shrimp turn pink
- The shrimp meat will turn white and opaque instead of translucent
Store the shrimp in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
How to reheat
I think the shrimp is *possibly* more delicious served chilled, so I wouldn’t reheat it, but if you want it warm, you could gently reheat them in a hot skillet, just until warmed. Be careful to not overcook as the shrimp will get rubbery and tough. Microwaving is not recommended.
Can you freeze steamed shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze the steamed shrimp – either in our out of the shell. Chill completely before transferring to an airtight container (stasher bags work well!) and freeze for 1-2 months.
How to Serve Steamed Shrimp to the Whole Family
I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉
The Old Bay seasoning is very mild, so I think that this is a great food for little ones! If they aren’t familiar with shrimp, cut a small bite out for them to sample.
What to Serve with Old Bay Shrimp Recipe
You have a few different options, but you’ll definitely want to serve it with some Old Bay cocktail sauce (recipe is below in the recipe card). Beyond the sauce, it depends on if you’ll serve the steamed shrimp in Old Bay as an appetizer or as part of a meal.
If you’re serving it as part of a meal, serve it with a simple veggie side dish:
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
If you like this steamed shrimp with Old Bay, you might also like some of these other easy seafood recipes:
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Shrimp Quesadilla
- Buffalo Shrimp
- Moo Shu Shrimp
- General Tso’s Shrimp
- Shrimp Roll Sandwich
It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?
Menu Plans by My Everyday Table can help you out.
The plan addresses three major issues when it comes to weeknight dinners: having a plan, time, and one family meal.
You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and feel calm when 5pm hits because your dinner is already planned.
Helpful Tools to Make Shrimp in Old Bay
- 12″ Skillet – Use a large skillet to steam the shrimp so that the liquid is shallow and you aren’t boiling the shrimp.
- Stasher Bags – Store any leftover steamed Old Bay shrimp in these bags that work great for storing or freezing.
- Old Bay Seasoning – This seasoning is a kitchen staple and can be used on everything from grilled trout to chicken.
This EASY old bay steamed shrimp comes together in less than 15 minutes and makes a great appetizer or light meal.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 16 oz. jumbo shrimp (peel on)
Old Bay Cocktail Sauce:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. horseradish
- 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
- Mix Old Bay cocktail sauce. In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, and Old Bay seasoning.
- Heat water, cider vinegar, old bay seasoning, and lemon slices in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When mixture boils, add shrimp, stir into old bay mixture and cover. Lower heat and steam for 3-6 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through.
- Let shrimp cool (or chill completely) before serving and serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
- Adjust horseradish amount in cocktail sauce according to your personal preference.
Keywords: old bay shrimp, old bay steamed shrimp, old bay shrimp recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. They do not add any charge to you, but I will make a very small commission from them. I only link to products I use and recommend. Thank you for your support!
Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes