Table of Contents

  • Benefits of eating shrimp
  • Recipe: Cast Iron–Seared Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon
  • FAQs about cooking shrimp
  • How to clean a cast iron skillet after cooking seafood

Quick, energizing, and healthy, cast iron shrimp makes an ideal weeknight dinner, especially when you’re short on time. Your skillet is the ultimate sidekick, perfectly searing those shrimp while keeping them crisp and juicy. Read on four our easy, lemony garlic shrimp recipe and our best tips for cooking shrimp in cast iron.

Benefits of eating shrimp

Rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and high in protein, the health benefits of eating shrimp are numerous. Below, we walk you through some of the major benefits of eating shrimp. It’s important to note the best way to ensure you’re receiving optimal health benefits from eating shrimp is by purchasing fresh, high quality, wild-caught shrimp.

Shrimp are low in calories and high in protein

Combining lots of protein (18 grams)* and a low caloric content (84)*, shrimp is a great option for those looking to maintain healthy body fat and/or build muscle.

Shrimp’s calorie content is much lower than other foods. A 3-ounce serving of grilled chicken breast, for example, contains 125 calories—almost 1.5 times more per serving than shrimp. Plus, 90 percent of the calories in shrimp come from protein.

Protein is essential for growing and maintaining muscles and organs. Increasing protein intake has been found to increase lean muscle mass, reduce blood pressure, and fight diabetes.

Shrimp contain antioxidants

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant found in shrimp thanks to the algae they consume. Astaxanthin’s many benefits include preventing inflammation caused by free radicals, and promoting heart health by increasing HDL (aka good) cholesterol levels and strengthening arteries.

Shrimp contain Omega-3s

The omega-3 fatty acids found in shrimp support heart health by reducing triglycerides and lowering blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.

Some studies have found omega-3 intake is also linked to fighting autoimmune diseases and age-related mental decline, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Shrimp are nutrient-rich

Shrimp are quite literally brimming with nutrients, more than 20 vitamins and minerals are found in each serving.

Among the many health-promoting nutrients found in shrimp are the following:

Nutrients found in shrimp

  • Selenium (48% of the RDI)*: Promotes healthy thyroid function and acts as an antioxidant, helping to rid the body of free radicals.
  • Vitamin B12 (21% of the RDI)*: An essential vitamin that your body cannot produce itself, B12 supports nerve function and red blood cell production.
  • Iron (15% of the RDI)*: Necessary for the creation of the hemoglobin that carries oxygen throughout your body, iron also helps maintain healthy hair and nails.

*All nutritional information below is per 3 ounce serving of wild shrimp.

Recipe: Cast Iron-Seared Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon

Yield: 4 servings

The combination of lemon zest, garlic and olive oil make this delicious dish refreshing and flavorful. Plus, cooking them up in your cast iron skillet gives you beautifully seared, tender shrimp.

We love this recipe served over an arugula and baby greens salad with a side of warm, crusty bread. The slight bitterness of arugula is the perfect complement to the lemon and salt on the shrimp, and the bread is great for soaking up any garlicky sauce left on your plate.



Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Add the lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil and toss again.


Heat a Field No.8 Skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. When the butter has melted and begins to foam, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook without disturbing until the bottom of the shrimp is golden brown, about 1 minute.


Turn the shrimp over and cook until the other side is brown and the shrimp is just opaque throughout, about 1 minute longer. Turn off the heat and squeeze the lemon wedges over the shrimp.


Transfer the shrimp to a platter and pour the contents of the skillet over. Serve immediately.

Quick Tips


If you’re working with frozen shrimp, you can defrost them overnight in the refrigerator in a bowl of cool water, or according to package directions.


If you’re deveining the shrimp yourself, you can use a toothpick to help lift the veins up and out.

FAQs about cooking shrimp

What to serve with shrimp?

One of the best things about cast iron shrimp recipes is that they pair well with so many side dishes, allowing you to create a variety of delicious and satisfying meals.

We recommend serving shrimp dishes (like the one above) with one of the following sides: fettuccine or similar pasta, couscous, salad, rice (fried or steamed), grilled asparagus, quinoa.

How to tell if shrimp are fresh?

The best way to tell if shrimp are fresh is smelling them and looking them over—don’t wait to taste them. Fresh shrimp should either not smell at all or have a slightly salty smell, like sea water.

If shrimp smell like ammonia or bleach, toss them: this is a sign they are spoiled and bacteria is growing on them. Shrimp that have a slimy texture and/or a strong “fishy” smell (or just smell “off”) should also be discarded, these are often signs that shrimp have gone bad.

If you’re cooking with frozen raw shrimp, you may want to discard any that are freezer burned as they’ll likely be tough when cooked. Freezer burn looks like white splotches—ice crystals—directly on the shrimp. If thawed shrimp smell fishy or off, throw them away. After thawing, give them a good rinse in cool water. You can also opt to briefly soak thawed, cleaned shrimp in salt water to refresh them.

How long can you store shrimp?

Shrimp should be properly stored (in a shallow airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap) and refrigerated within 2 hours of being cooked. When properly stored, cooked shrimp should last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

When it comes to reheating, pan frying leftover shrimp will help them retain the best texture. Microwaving is a quick alternative.

How to clean a cast iron skillet after cooking seafood

When cooking seafood in your cast iron skillet it’s especially important to try and rinse it right after you finish cooking. You can pour a glass of hot water into the pan while it’s still hot on the stove—this will start lifting any stuck-on bits right away. Once it’s cool enough to handle, hand wash your pan in the sink thoroughly with soap and hot water. You can opt for a scrubbing brush with nylon bristles if needed. (Important: Don’t leave your pan soaking in water, this can cause rust.)

Once it’s clean, wipe your skillet down with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. After a thorough wash and scrub it’s best to reinforce your seasoning. Warm your pan on the stove over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and, when it’s cool enough to touch, apply a light coating of Seasoning Oil with a paper towel. Once your pan has cooled completely, wipe away excess oil and store it.

To deodorize a cast iron pan that has held onto seafood smells, simply preheat your oven to 400°F and bake the empty pan for 10 minutes. This method is quick, easy, and super effective thanks to the fact that the two sources of that fishy smell—trialkylamines and oxidized fatty acids—both get zapped at temps over 350°F.