Can You Reheat Shrimp in the Microwave? (Answered)

Categorized as Microwave
reheat shrimp in the microwave

Shrimp is popular seafood that is often enjoyed as part of a meal. Although it is typically cooked fresh, there may be times when you have leftover shrimp that needs to be reheated. In some cases, you may wonder if it is safe to reheat shrimp in the microwave and how long it will take.

This article provides information on reheating shrimp in the microwave as well as other methods, what goes well with shrimp as a side dish, and how to store leftovers.

Can You Reheat Shrimp in the Microwave?

In most cases, it is not recommended to reheat leftover shrimp no matter which method you use. Reheating shrimp can lead to issues like overcooking which can result in a tough, rubbery texture. If you have leftover shrimp, there are many other options you can try.

One idea would be to use them in a salad or pasta dish. By adding shrimp to a salad or pasta dish, you’ll add flavour and protein while also helping to stretch the leftovers further. Another option is to make seafood paella or gumbo. These dishes are perfect for using up leftover seafood and they can both be made in a relatively short amount of time.

While reheating shrimp may not be ideal, there may be times when you need to do so such as if your recipe calls for shrimp to be reheated or if you are susceptible to foodborne illness.

In either case, using the microwave is the easiest and most convenient way to reheat shrimp. Just be careful to keep an eye on your shrimp during the reheating process and to keep the cooking time as short as possible to ensure that it does not overcook.

How Long Does it Take to Reheat Shrimp in the Microwave?

The time it takes to reheat shrimp in the microwave will depend on a number of factors such as the size and quantity of shrimp, and how many pieces are in the microwave at once. Generally speaking, you can expect to reheat shrimp in the microwave for around 1 or 2 minutes.

I recommend starting with 1 minute and checking your shrimp periodically to ensure that it heats evenly and does not overcook. If the shrimp is still a bit cool then continue cooking in 15-second increments until it is fully reheated.

How to Reheat Shrimp in the Microwave

Now that you know the basics about reheating shrimp in the microwave, let’s go over the steps for doing so.

  1. Place your leftover shrimp in a microwave-safe dish and arrange them in a single layer.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of water or stock to the dish.
  3. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel and set the microwave to 30% power.
  4. Heat your shrimp in 15-second increments, checking periodically to see if they are fully heated.
  5. Once the shrimp is warm, carefully remove the dish from the microwave and allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Tips for Reheating Shrimp in the Microwave

To make the most of your reheated shrimp, consider following these tips:

1. Use a microwave-safe container. The first step to successful microwaving is using the right kind of container. Make sure that you only use microwave-safe dishes, like glass or ceramic bowls. Not only does this help to prevent accidents, but it also ensures that your shrimp heats evenly.

2. Splash a little water or stock over the shrimp before reheating. This will help keep the shrimp moist and prevent it from drying out. Simply pour a little water or stock (whatever you have on hand) over the top of the shrimp before reheating.

3. Don’t microwave for too long. You don’t want to overcook your shrimp as it is easy to do in the microwave. Heat them in 15-second increments, checking them periodically to see how they are doing.

4. Avoid stacking the shrimp on top of each other. This will also help prevent uneven cooking. If possible, try to lay the shrimp out in a single layer so that each piece gets an equal amount of heat.

5. Cover the dish. Another way to prevent your shrimp from drying out is to cover the dish while you are heating it. This will trap moisture and help keep your shrimp from getting tough and chewy. Just be sure to remove the dish from the microwave before it gets too hot, as this can cause damage to your container.

How to Store Leftover Shrimp and How Long it Stays Good

When you have leftover shrimp, there are a few different ways to store it. First, you can wrap the shrimp tightly in plastic or aluminium foil and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the shrimp for up to 3 months by storing it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.

When you are ready to eat your frozen shrimp, there are a few different ways you can thaw it out. The best way is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight, but you can also submerge it in cold water.

While reheating shrimp in the microwave is fine, thawing it out this way is not recommended. Thawing shrimp in the microwave can make it bouncy and partially cook it, which can affect both the texture and flavour. So skip the microwave, and go for one of the other methods instead.

Other Methods for Reheating Shrimp

In addition to reheating shrimp in the microwave, there are a few other methods that you can use. These include:

1. In a Hot Water Bath

One of the best ways to reheat shrimp is by using a hot water bath. Simply fill a pot or bowl with hot water or stock and submerge the shrimp in it. The gentle heat of the water will help keep the shrimp moist and tender, without causing it to go rubbery or tough.

2. In a Sauce

Another proven method for reheating shrimp is to reheat them in a sauce. This is a great option if you want to preserve the shrimp’s succulent juices and don’t mind a little bit of extra sauce. To reheat shrimp this way, first heat up some sauce in a pot or pan. Then, add the shrimp and let it simmer for a few minutes until it is heated through.

3. In a Steamer

Yet another way to reheat shrimp is by using a steamer. If you opt for this method, you will need to set up your steamer beforehand and fill the pot with water or stock. Then, put the shrimp in the steamer, spread it out in a single layer, and set the timer to 2 -3 minutes. Once the shrimp is heated through, remove it from the steamer and pat it dry before serving.

What Goes Well with Shrimp? 5 Side Dishes to Try

Shrimp is a staple in many diets because it is so versatile. It can be cooked in so many different ways and paired with an array of flavours. When it comes to side dishes, there are endless possibilities. Here are a few of my favourites:

Caesar Salad

For something on the lighter side, a Caesar salad is always a good option. The crisp romaine lettuce, fresh Parmesan cheese, and croutons all come together to create a refreshing salad that goes well with just about any entree. And the best part? You can easily find Caesar salads at most restaurants.


Coleslaw is another great option for those looking for something lighter. This crunchy cabbage slaw is usually made with mayo, vinegar, and sugar, and then topped with shredded carrots and green onions. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavours that will round out any shrimp dish nicely.

Macaroni Salad

If you’re looking for a more hearty option, macaroni salad is always a good choice. This mayonnaise-based salad is typically made with elbow macaroni, diced celery, onion, and pickles. It’s the perfect picnic food or potluck dish because it can be made ahead of time and served cold or at room temperature.

Baked Potato

A baked potato might not seem like an obvious choice, but trust us on this one. The starchy potato makes a great base for all sorts of toppings, from sour cream and chives to grilled shrimp and salsa. Plus, it’s a filling option that will leave you satisfied long after your meal is over.

Coconut Rice

For a more exotic flair, coconut rice is a perfect choice. The creamy coconut milk pairs beautifully with the savoury shrimp to create the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavours. It’s also incredibly easy to make and goes well with pretty much any main dish.


All in all, it’s probably best to just avoid reheating shrimp altogether. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to reheat leftover shrimp, the microwave provides one of the easiest ways to do so. By following the simple tips that I’ve outlined above, you can be sure that your shrimp will stay moist and tender.

And if you need some ideas for what to serve with your shrimp, check out these five side dishes: Caesar salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, baked potato, and coconut rice. Whether you’re looking for something light or hearty, there’s a side dish out there that will complement your shrimp perfectly.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!