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Butterflied Shrimp (Baked)

These delicious baked butterflied shrimp are plump, herb-y, buttery and a little crunchy.  And, best of all, no frying and smelling up the kitchen.

They take a bit more work than your basic shrimp cocktail, but worth it for a special occasion. The shrimp can either be served as an appetizer or a main dish.

3 breaded butterflied shrimp on plate with lemon 3

The recipe is adapted from a 5-star Food Network recipe created by Wolfgang Puck.

  • I adjusted the amount of bread crumb coating (there was way too much in Puck’s original recipe).
  • I also like to add lemon zest in the crumb coating, but that’s optional. 

What to serve with butterflied shrimp

As an appetizer, I like to keep it simple and serve them with an easy cocktail sauce or lemon wedges.

As a main dish, the butterflied shrimp are lovely with curried rice, lemon herb cauliflower rice (for a lower calorie option), a nice salad or easy creamed spinach.

How to make baked butterflied shrimp

raw jumbo shrimp, melted butter, parsley, bread crumbs, garlic, herbs
Ingredients: raw jumbo shrimp, melted butter, parsley, bread crumbs, garlic, herbs
Dip shrimp into melted butter. Then dip open butterflied side into bread crumb mixture.
Place shrimp on lined pan, bread crumb side up.
baked butterflied shrimp on pan
Bake for 4-5 minutes, depending on size of shrimp.
pile of breaded baked butterflied shrimp on plate
Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
3 breaded butterflied shrimp on plate with lemon 1
3 breaded butterflied shrimp on plate with lemon p

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Herbs:
    • use the ones you like best – basil, parsley, thyme, oregano. Feel free to leave one out and use more of another.
    • in the summer, I use fresh herbs. In the winter, I use dried herbs except for parsley.
  • Bread crumbs:
    • use plain bread crumbs or Panko crumbs for extra crunch.

FAQ about shrimp

What kind of shrimp should I buy?

For this recipe, it’s best to use jumbo shrimp which are labeled 16-20 on the package. The numbers mean there are 16-20 shrimp per pound (450 grams). The jumbo shrimp are less likely to get over cooked. If you can’t find that size, go for large shrimp of 25-30 per pound/450 grams and cook them a minute less.

Are fresh or frozen shrimp best?

It’s safest to buy frozen shrimp as they are frozen very soon after they are fished. Shrimp that are sold as ‘fresh’ are often just defrosted and it’s difficult to know how long they have been sitting there.

Why butterfly shrimp?

Butterflied shrimp make a pretty presentation, they look bigger and they cook more evenly and quickly.

What is the easiest way to defrost shrimp?

Put them in a colander and run cold water over them until defrosted. This is the quickest way – only a few minutes. Instead, you can put them into a bowl of cold water to defrost. This will take a little longer. In both cases, dry them well once defrosted.

Shortcut

  • Buy peeled, deveined shrimp with tails on.
  • Buy seasoned breadcrumbs (or crush up seasoned croutons) 

Make Ahead

  • You can prep the shrimp a couple of hours ahead of time by butterflying and breading them and laying them on the baking sheet. Then they will be ready to pop in the oven 5 minutes before serving.
  • Caution: I wouldn’t make them too far in advance, though, as the shrimp can release moisture which may make the crumb topping soggy. That’s why it’s important to pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. 

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3 breaded butterflied shrimp on plate with lemon 3
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Butterflied Shrimp (Baked)

These delicious baked butterflied shrimp are plump, herb-y, buttery and a little crunchy.  And, best of all, no frying and smelling up the kitchen. They take a bit more work than your basic shrimp cocktail, but worth it for a special occasion. The shrimp can either be served as an appetizer or as a main dish.
Prep Time18 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 appetizers (2-3 main dishes)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, shrimp tails left on Note 1 (about 16-20 size per pound/450grams)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1/4 pound) (1` stick)
  • garnish: lemon wedges

Bread Crumb coating

  • 1/2 cup plain Panko or bread crumbs (I use plain panko to make the shrimp crunchier)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (2 small cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 400F/204C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter for 30 seconds in a small bowl in the Microwave on High.
  • TOAST CRUMBS and SEASON: Spread Panko or bread crumbs evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Watch them carefully and stir halfway through, making sure they don't burn. Remove from the oven and transfer to shallow dish to cool. Add garlic and seasonings to bread crumbs and stir to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  • INCREASE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 500F/260C. Line baking sheet with tin foil and spray with peanut oil or olive oil.
  • BUTTERFLY SHRIMP: Here's a video on how to peel, devein and butterfly shrimp. Using a sharp paring knife, make a deep slice (but not all the way through) along the top of each shrimp where the black vein was (the humped part). Turn the shrimp over and make 3 small shallow slits horizontally across the shrimp (1/2 inch/1.27 cm apart) to help prevent the shrimp from curling during cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel (don't skip this step!).
  • BREAD ONE SIDE OF SHRIMP: Dip each shrimp in melted butter and then dredge butterflied open side in bread crumbs, pressing so it sticks. Place shrimp, bread crumb side up, in foil-lined pan in a single layer. Repeat with all shrimp. Drizzle shrimp with a little more of melted butter. (hmm, I know what you're thinking…more butter?… go for it or skip it – up to you – I go for it). At this point, you can let the shrimp sit for an hour or so until you're ready to bake them.
  • BAKE AND SERVE: Bake in center of oven for 5 minutes (for jumbo shrimp) and 4 minutes (for large shrimp) until just cooked through. Don't over cook. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, lemon wedges or cocktail sauce. Sprinkle on additional chopped parsley for color.

Notes

  1. What kind of shrimp to buy: For this recipe, it’s best to use jumbo shrimp which are labeled 16-20 on the package. The numbers mean there are 16-20 shrimp per pound (450 grams). The jumbo shrimp are less likely to get over cooked. If you can’t find that size, go for large shrimp of 25-30 per pound/450 grams and cook them a minute less. Fresh or frozen are fine. Frozen, in fact, may be ‘fresher’. To defrost quickly, run shrimp under cold water until defrosted – about 5 minutes. 
  2. Make ahead
    • You can prep the shrimp a couple of hours ahead of time by butterflying and breading them and laying them on the baking sheet. Then they will be ready to pop in the oven 5 minutes before serving.
    • Caution: I wouldn’t make them too far in advance, though, as the shrimp can release moisture which may make the crumb topping soggy. That’s why it’s important to pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. 
Nutrition values are estimates for a shrimp appetizers (about 3 per person).

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 671IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This butterflied shrimp recipe, originally published in 2016, has been updated. 

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