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Easy Southern Pickled Shrimp

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These Southern pickled shrimp are one delicious and easy appetizer! Fun and colorful to serve, they are perfectly briny with just a little spice. They make for a wonderful addition to serve at a party.

The pickled shrip drained and served in a bowl.

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I’m a big fan of anything pickled, the salty brine just does something for me! Let me tell you, these pickled shrimp did not disappoint!

They are the ultimate make ahead appetizer that can be made in minutes, and there is minimal cooking and prep involved. If you are hosting they are a great option, and I love how fresh and colorful they are. They can of course be enjoyed all year round, but they are so delicious to serve in the summer months.

Seasoned with fresh dill, crisp red onion, and pepper…every bite is truly delicious!

Be sure to try my Shrimp Cocktail and Air Fryer Crispy Fried Shrimp too!

How to make pickled shrimp

  • Gather your ingredients. The bay leaves are optional. Sometimes I add them, sometimes I forget.
Ingredients to make the pickled shrimp.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Place the shrimp in the water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp is pink on the outside. Remove the shrimp from the water and place in a 32 oz mason jar.
The cooked shrimp being drained.
  • Add distilled vinegar, water, onion, dill, white sugar, black peppercorn, salt, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves if using to the mason jar. Cover and shake it up.
The shrimp and brine in a mason jar.
  • Place in the refrigerator and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, remove shrimp from brine and enjoy.
Overhead shot of pickled shrimp in a bowl ready to serve.

How long can you brine the shrimp?

For the best flavors, I recommend that you brine the shrimp for at least 6 hours, and preferable overnight. Make sure that the shrimp are fully covered in the brine, and they will keep well for up to a week, though I enjoy them most within 4 days. Keep them refrigerated at all times.

What’s the best shrimp to use?

I prefer to use raw jumbo shrimp for this recipe. I like to keep the tails on so that they are easy to pick up to eat, and they also add more flavor. You can use pre-cooked shrimp, but I find that they can be a little chewier to eat.

It’s best not to use frozen shrimp for this pickle recipe, frozen seafood tends to hold onto a lot of water, so the flavor can be quite diluted. If you are in a pinch and only have frozen shrimp, thaw them completely and pat as dry as you can before cooking and brining.

How to serve

This pickled shrimp is a great finger food appetizer. They can be enjoyed by themselves or with a dip like tartar sauce or aioli. They are great to add to crostini as an impressive topping with a spread, and you can even add them to salads and pastas for fuller meals. Or, do as I do, and eat them straight out of the jar!

Close up of the pickled shrimp ready to serve.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • You can use pre-cooked shrimp in place of boiling the shrimp. However, it’s best to cook the shrimp yourself as pre-cooked shrimp can be a little tougher.
  • Store the pickled shrimp in your refrigerator. It can keep for up to several days if the shrimp sits in the vinegar brine. I prefer to eat them within 4 days.
  • When brining the shrimp, make sure that they are fuller covered with the vinegar.
  • You can add your non-edible ingredients (like black peppercorns and bay leaves) to the mixture by creating a bouquet garni and adding them to the mason jar. This will allow your brine to be seasoned without these getting in the way.

More Seafood Recipes

Pickled Shrimp

These Southern pickled shrimp are one delicious and easy appetizer! Fun and colorful to serve, they are perfectly briny with just a little spice.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword easy pickled shrimp, how to pickle shrimp, refrigerator pickled shrimp
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Pickling time 8 hours
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 101kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

For the shrimp:

  • 1 lb large jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined, with tail on*
  • 4 qts water*

For the brine:

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • ½ cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Bay leaves optional

Instructions

  • Shrimp preparation – Bring the water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Place the shrimp in the water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp is pink on the outside. Remove the shrimp from the water and place in a 32 oz mason jar.
  • Brine preparation – Add distilled vinegar, water, onion, dill, white sugar, black peppercorn, salt, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves if using to the mason jar. Cover and shake it up.
  • Place in the refrigerator and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, remove shrimp from brine and enjoy.

Notes

  • You can use pre-cooked shrimp in place of boiling the shrimp. However, it’s best to cook the shrimp yourself as pre-cooked shrimp can be a little tougher.
  • Store the shrimp in your refrigerator. It can keep for up to several days if the shrimp sits in the vinegar brine. I prefer to eat them within 4 days.
  • You can add your non-edible ingredients (like black peppercorns and bay leaves) to the mixture by creating a bouquet garni and adding them to the mason jar. This will allow your brine to be seasoned without these getting in the way.

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 1374mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 2mg
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