Shrimp Butter

Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 20
Shrimp Butter

Homemade shrimp butter not only tastes great, it's also affordable and simple to make. You can use it for sandwiches or to add a shrimp flavor to vegetable and fish dishes. You can even use shrimp butter as a filling for eggs, a sauce or soup addition, or a garnish for cold dishes. When refrigerated, shrimp butter can last up to one week or up to one month if frozen. Prepare shrimp oil for salad dressing using shrimp shells.


  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shell on
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 small white onion, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for salting the water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


Recipe instructions Shrimp Butter

  1. Step 1

    Soak the onion. In a small bowl, add the chopped onion and cover with cold water and an ice cube. Allow onion to sit in water for at least 5 minutes to let the flavor mellow. Afterward, drain from water, pat dry with a paper towel, and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice water for shocking the cooked shrimp. Set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp are completely pink and firm to the touch, 5-7 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer to the bowl of ice water and let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel and, if necessary, devein. Then pat dry and transfer to a cutting board.

  5. Step 5

    Chop the shrimp very finely until it’s nearly a paste.

  6. Step 6

    In a large bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth.

  7. Step 7

    Add the chopped shrimp and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, lemon zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, pepper, and celery seed.

  8. Step 8

    Mash with the back of a fork (or continue using the wooden spoon) until all of the ingredients are well distributed.

  9. Step 9

    Serve immediately with saltines (or any light, crisp cracker), or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Let come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving; when pliable, re-beat until spreadable and creamy.

To make smoother and more sophisticated shrimp butter, chop all the ingredients finely. Shrimp cooked with shells on give a better flavor and are easy to peel. Look for shell-on, deveined shrimp and pat them dry. Wet shrimp won't mix properly with the butter.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 191
Fat: 19 g
Carbs: 1 g
Protein: 5 g