Can You Freeze Cooked Shrimp?

Shrimp is a delicious addition to many meals, and it can be incorporated into your recipe in a large number of ways.

It comes raw and cooked, and can then be cooked in different ways according to your own personal preference. However, what happens if you’ve cooked too much shrimp?

Once cooked, the shrimp doesn’t last very long, even if stored in the fridge. Throwing it away is the last option, as it would be a shame to waste the food.

So you might ask yourself, can shrimp be frozen? The answer, thankfully, is yes!

Shrimp is, in fact, quite easy to freeze, and it’s the perfect way to store it for safe consumption at a later date. That way, you ensure that none of the cooked shrimp goes to waste, and you have a tasty addition waiting for you in the freezer for a future meal.

As with all food, you have to freeze and defrost it in the correct way to ensure that it is safe for consumption and still as enjoyable and as up to quality.

To do so, we’ve put together some easy to follow steps, so that you know exactly what to do to get that cooked shrimp frozen and stored for later!

How to freeze cooked shrimp:

If you’ve cooked and handled your shrimp properly and safely, then it is very easy to store for a later date.

In the refrigerator, cooked shrimp can last up to four days. Meanwhile, if you store your cooked shrimp in the freezer, it can last up to six months. It really is worth freezing, as you can then ensure that it won’t go off before you get the chance to think up a meal for it. 

To freeze cooked shrimp safely, you can follow this step by step guide:

Step 1:

Allow for the cooked shrimp to cool to room temperature.

Keep in mind that cooked shrimp can’t be left out at room temperature for more than two hours, as it will quickly become unsafe to consume. This step should take very little time. 

Step 2:

Once your cooked shrimp has cooled to room temperature, it’s time to pack it away for safe storing in the freezer. Place your cooked shrimp into a freezer bag, they are very commonly sold in supermarkets and come in very handy as a kitchen tool.

If you don’t have one, you can wrap your cooked shrimp in foil and place it into an airtight container. 

Step 3:

You should label your packaged shrimp and write down the date on which you are placing it in the freezer.

Make sure that the shrimp is defrosted and consumed within 6 months, or else it won’t be safe for consumption.

Step 4:

Place the cooked shrimp in the freezer to freeze. It’s always best to place it on a flat surface or against one of the edges so that it takes up less space.

It’s also good to leave it so it is visible, as it can be very easy to forget the things you have in the freezer, and shrimp will go off within 6 months. 

How to defrost cooked shrimp:

Once you’ve frozen your cooked shrimp, for consumption at a later date, you need to know exactly how to defrost it in a safe way so that it remains safe to consume after having been frozen.

If done wrong, you might risk your cooked shrimp developing bacteria, making it unsafe to eat. 

When done right, cooked shrimp is very easy to defrost. These are the steps you should follow:

Step 1:

Take the cooked shrimp out of the freezer where it has been stored, and remove it from its packaging (the airtight container and the foil, or the sealable freezer-bag). 

Step 2:

Place your shrimp on a plate, and place the plate in the refrigerator.

Leave the cooked shrimp to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and it will be ready to be consumed the following day.

Alternate Step 2:

If you don’t want to leave it in the refrigerator overnight, or you want to be able to eat the cooked shrimp on the same day you’re defrosting it, you can follow this alternative step for a different way of defrosting. 

Place the frozen cooked shrimp in a colander, then place it in the sink. Run cold water over it until it has thawed. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, this should only take around 30 minutes for every pound of shrimp. 

Under no circumstance must you leave your frozen cooked shrimp to thaw at room temperature. If the shrimp is left out at room temperature for more than two hours it won’t be safe to consume, as shrimp is a magnet to bacterial growth and very easily goes off when left out. 

Factors to consider before freezing cooked shrimp:

Before freezing shrimp you should first ensure that it has been handled and cooked correctly.

If it hasn’t, it might already be developing into something that is unsafe to be consumed, and freezing it will just turn it into a problem to be faced with at a later date, because as you defrost it you’ll realize that it’s not suitable for eating. 

Cooked shrimp can only be left out at room temperature for a maximum of around two hours. This is because, if left any longer, it will quickly develop bacteria and it will no longer be apt for consumption. It’s really important to take extra care with foods such as shrimp.


Cooked shrimp can be stored away to be consumed at a later date, by being frozen. It is very easy to freeze, as you simply have to leave it cool to room temperature before you package it in a sealable freezer-bag or wrap it in foil to be placed in a container.

Then you have to place it into the freezer and let it wait out until you’re ready to eat shrimp again.

When defrosting shrimp, you have to be very careful not to leave it out to thaw at room temperature. If shrimp is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, it will develop bacteria and will no longer be safe to consume.

You must defrost it by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight, or by running cold water over it. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, this should only take around 30 minutes for every pound of shrimp.


Hi there! My name is Caroline Stevens, and I am an American mom of three wonderful children. I started this blog to help everyday families be more sustainable and save money by preventing food waste. I currently live in Wisconsin, and enjoy crafting, cooking at home, and traveling. I have a degree in art and previously worked in the restaurant business.