Spicy honey shrimp is a quick dinner recipe that's ready in about ten minutes!
Serve these sweet and spicy honey shrimp over a bed of rice with steamed veggies for a complete meal.
These flavorful shrimp are coated in an easy homemade sauce made with soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic. The best part - they're ready in only ten minutes!
They make the perfect quick weeknight meal when paired with your favorite cooked rice and roasted broccoli. Plus, it's easier to make them hotter or milder to suit your tastes.
Serve as an appetizer, over a salad for a quick lunch, or with rice and veggies for a light dinner. Makes a perfect summer meal that's light and filling!
Ingredients and substitutions
Shrimp can be fresh or frozen and thawed. I recommend using large or jumbo shrimp for this recipe, but any shrimp will work.
Honey can be substituted with maple syrup or brown sugar.
Red pepper flakes give this recipe its spicy flavor. For even spicier shrimp, add more red pepper flakes and/or cayenne pepper, or even a dash of hot sauce. For milder shrimp, cut the red pepper flakes in half.
Should I remove the tails?
Should I serve my shrimp with the tails on or off?
I generally recommend serving shrimp with the tails off, especially for a quick weeknight meal. It's easier to eat with everything else on your plate, like rice or pasta. Plus, you don't have to dirty your hands by picking up your shrimp by the tails.
However, leaving the tails on your shrimp can make a beautiful and impressive presentation for a fancy meal or gathering.
In short - your choice! Either way works.
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, frozen shrimp can be used in this recipe. If you don't live near a coastal area that frequently has fresh fish available, frozen shrimp is the way to go. It's easy to keep on hand to have shrimp any time of the week.
If you have frozen shrimp on hand, add them to a colander in the sink and gently rinse with warm water until thawed. Shrimp will thaw quickly in a bit of warm (not hot) water. If needed, peel, devein, and remove the tails.
Or, transfer your shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight.
What to serve with shrimp
Spicy honey shrimp can be served as an appetizer, over a salad as a quick lunch, or with rice and steamed veggies as a light dinner. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:
- Cooked rice
- Pasta (like spaghetti aglio e olio)
- Steamed veggies
- Roasted zucchini
- Roasted broccoli
- Pineapple salad
- Fried rice
- Kale apple slaw
- Green beans and onions
Spicy Honey Shrimp
- 16 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined (optionally, remove tails)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- In a bowl, add your sauce ingredients: water, soy sauce, honey, garlic, cornstarch, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes on the first side. Flip shrimp to the opposite side.
- Pour prepared sauce over shrimp and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on second side, or until shrimp are pink. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Shrimp can be served as an appetizer, over a salad for a light lunch, or with steamed rice and veggies for a light dinner.
- Add more red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or a dash of hot sauce for hotter shrimp. Reduce red pepper flakes for mild shrimp.
- Recipe makes enough sauce to pour over rice.