For a quick weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes to make, try this recipe for Creamy Coconut Shrimp. This easy skillet recipe is a family favorite that is so versatile. Serve this gluten-free and dairy-free meal with cooked rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles.

coconut shrimp served over rice

This easy coconut shrimp dish is ready in 30 minutes! You can steam a packet of rice to go with it or cook the rice before you start the shrimp. For a lower carb but equally delicious meal, serve with zucchini noodles or roasted vegetables.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • It’s gluten-free & dairy-free! Coconut milk replaces heavy cream in this dish.
  • An easy recipe is a huge selling point for most people. When life gets busy, easy recipes are necessary. This one is super simple! See all of my 30 minute meals.
  • This creamy coconut shrimp recipe is so delicious that it probably won’t make it to the next day, but it does make incredible leftovers.

Key Ingredients

Large raw shrimp – Be sure to buy already peeled and deveined shrimp for this recipe. If you have extra time, you can peel and devein them yourself. Frozen shrimp can be more cost effective and tastes just as delicious as fresh. Be sure to defrost the shrimp in the refrigerator first before following the recipe.

Full-fat coconut milk gives the sauce it’s rich and creamy tropical flavor. Be sure to buy the canned version as it’s much thicker than coconut milk from the carton.

Limes add an acidic element to the rich sauce that brings out all the different flavors. Be sure to use fresh limes and not bottled lime juice for best results.

Coconut sugar adds a slight sweetness to the sauce. If you are on a very strict sugar-free or low-carb diet you can leave it out.

Cornstarch will thicken the sauce. Be sure to add it once the sauce is simmering so it can work it’s magic.

Spices including ground ginger, salt, and pepper will boost the flavor of the delicious sauce.

ingredients for creamy coconut shrimp

Recipe Steps

Step One

In a medium or large skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat and cook the shrimp on both sides for 3 minutes. They will turn opaque and curl up when cooked. Transfer shrimp to a clean plate.

Step Two

Pour the coconut milk and lime juice into the skillet. Turn the heat on high to bring to a gentle simmer.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

photo collage with how to make coconut shrimp

Step Three

Whisk in the cornstarch, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper.

Step Four

Once the mixture starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.

Step Five

Turn off the heat and add the shrimp back into the pan. Stir to coat the shrimp with the creamy coconut milk sauce and then serve over rice or noodles. Top with green onions and enjoy!

two plates of coconut shrimp with rice

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • You can buy fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. If using frozen, place the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight to thaw completely before using. Rinse and drain the defrosted shrimp before using (to get rid of any excess liquid). I prefer to buy frozen shrimp for the best price (as opposed to fresh). Look for bags of frozen shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. My personal preference is to use shrimp with the tails off.
  • You can use coconut cream, but you will need to thin out the sauce with about ¼ cup of water.
  • You can use olive oil or coconut oil to sauté the shrimp.
  • If you want to add more veggies to this dish, feel free to include some thinly-sliced bell peppers when you add the shrimp.
  • This recipe calls for large-sized shrimp. You can also use medium size, but you’ll need to reduce the overall cooking time so that the shrimp doesn’t get overcooked.
  • For sugar-free diets, feel free to leave out the sugar.

FAQs

What can I serve with creamy coconut shrimp?

This recipe tastes delicious with rice or noodles because it has such an incredible sauce but you can also serve it with cauliflower rice, roasted vegetables, or zucchini noodles for a low-carb option. You could also serve it with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce.

creamy shrimp texture with green onions on top

Other Shrimp Recipes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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coconut shrimp over rice

Creamy Coconut Shrimp


Description

For a quick weeknight dinner, try this recipe for Creamy Coconut Shrimp. This easy skillet recipe is a family favorite that is so versatile. Serve this gluten-free and dairy-free meal with cooked rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (if using frozen, defrost completely before using)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cooked rice, sauteed cauliflower rice, or cooked noodles (optional, for serving)
  • Green onions, sliced (for topping)

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the shrimp to the other side and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the shrimp have curled up and are opaque in color.
  3. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a clean plate.
  4. Then, pour in the coconut milk and lime juice to the skillet. Turn the heat to high to bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  5. Whisk in the cornstarch, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper.
  6. When the mixture start to simmer, reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.
  7. Turn off the heat and carefully add the cooked shrimp to the sauce. Stir to coat the shrimp and serve over your choice of cooked rice, sautéed cauliflower rice, or cooked noodles.
  8. Sprinkle the top with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Notes

  1. You can buy fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. If using frozen, place the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight to thaw completely before using. Rinse and drain the defrosted shrimp before using (to get rid of any excess liquid). I prefer to buy frozen shrimp for the best price (as opposed to fresh). Look for bags of frozen shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. My personal preference is to use shrimp with the tails off.
  2. You can use lite coconut milk, but the dish will not be as flavorful.
  3. You can use coconut cream, but you will need to thin out the sauce with about ¼ cup of water.
  4. This recipe calls for large-sized shrimp. You can also use medium size, but you’ll need to reduce the overall cooking time so that the shrimp doesn’t get overcooked.
  5. For sugar-free diets, feel free to leave out the sugar.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: creamy coconut shrimp recipe, skillet shrimp recipe, 30 minute meal

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