If you love Buffalo wings, then wait until you try Buffalo shrimp. Pan fried for a light and crispy exterior, then coated in a homemade buffalo sauce that has the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.
These Pan Fried Shrimp are the Best
This recipe has the perfect combination of juicy shrimp, a light and crispy coating, and homemade Buffalo sauce. They make an excellent appetizer for game day or parties, serve for dinner at the beach.
Even though they are pan fried, the coating stays amazingly light and crispy, while the shrimp are juicy and succulent.
The savory sauce is just what you want in a Buffalo sauce, a little sweet, a little spicy with just a hint of vinegar. It compliments the shrimp without overpowering them.
I use this simple homemade sauce on wings, in a creamy chicken dip, with chicken cups and in a tater tot casserole. It’s always a hit. So make a double batch to have on hand, you can keep it in the freezer.
The shrimp are pan-fried instead of deep-fried, making less of a mess and keeping the shrimp lighter. Who wants to mess with deep frying.
The coating on the shrimp is just a dusting of a flour and seasoning mixture, which means none of that messy, time-consuming three-step breading process which isn’t bad if you have a couple of chicken breasts, but with 20-30 shrimp, it can be a bother. Refrigerating the coated shrimp keeps the coating intact.
These pan fried shrimp are simple to make and clean-up is a breeze, which is always a win when you’re cooking seafood. Simple enough to make with fresh shrimp when you’re at the beach on vacation or with frozen shrimp from the grocery.
What to Serve With this Buffalo Shrimp Recipe
Wrap them in a tortilla for shrimp taco night.
What hot sauce should I use for making Buffalo sauce?
The traditional base for Buffalo sauce is Frank’s Red Hot, but using a combination of hot sauces adds more interest. I add some Texas Pete. You can use any hot sauce or combination of hot sauces that you like for the sauce.
Can I bake the shrimp instead of frying them?
While baking the shrimp in the oven is possible, it won’t be the same. I recommend pan-frying them for this recipe. They turn out perfectly crispy, and pan-frying uses much less oil than deep-frying. If you don’t want a coating then you can roast the shrimp in the oven and then toss in the Buffalo sauce after they’ve cooked.
Why You’ll Love Buffalo Shrimp
- Quick and Easy
- Buffalo sauce and shrimp are amazing
- Good warm or room temperature
- A crispy light coating
Pan Fried Shrimp Ingredients
- Shrimp: Tender and succulent shrimp are the star of this recipe. Make sure to use peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience.
- Flour: Flour makes a crispy but light coating for the shrimp.
- Olive Oil: Cooking the shrimp in olive oil gives them a great crust. You can also use canola, vegetable, or avocado oil.
- Seasonings: Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder. You can use Cajun seasoning in place of the Old Bay if you prefer or any combination of seasonings that you like.
- Sauce ingredients: Butter (for richness), Frank’s Red Hot (for tanginess and heat), Texas Pete (for an extra kick), dark brown sugar (for sweetness and balance), apple cider vinegar (for extra tanginess)
How To Make Crispy, Spicy Buffalo Shrimp
Step 1: Coat the shrimp.
Use paper towels to pat the shrimp dry. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Old Bay seasoning – a Ziploc bag works great. Shake the bag to coat the shrimp. Refrigerate to help set the coating.
Refrigerate to help set the coating.
Step 2: Make a Buffalo sauce.
While the shrimp chills in the fridge, make the sauce by combining the hot sauces, butter, brown sugar, and vinegar in a saucepan on the stove just until the sugar dissolves.
Step 3: Pan fry the shrimp.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Then add the shrimp in a single layer. That part is important so the shrimp get crispy all around, and the flour coating doesn’t get sticky and gluey. If necessary, cook them in batches to keep them in one layer as they cook.
Step 4: Toss the shrimp with the sauce.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp and the buffalo sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately while they’re hot, and enjoy.
Tips for Making Perfect Buffalo Shrimp
- Make sure to pat the shrimp dry with paper towels before coating them in the flour mixture. This ensures that the flour sticks to the shrimp and you get a crispy coating.
- Refrigerating the coated shrimp for 15 minutes helps the flour adhere to the shrimp resulting in a crispier texture.
- Don’t over cook the shrimp, remove them once they are opaque all the way through.
- Toss the cooked shrimp in the Buffalo sauce while they are still hot.
How to Store Buffalo Shrimp
These shrimp are best when served hot just after they are made, but you can store any leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
I don’t recommend freezing the shrimp after they have been cooked and coated in sauce.
What size of shrimp should I use?
For pan fried shrimp, you can use any size shrimp, just adjust the cooking time. I used a medium size. You’ll find that the larger the shrimp the more expensive they are so I lean toward the medium, but any size will work.
Buffalo Shrimp FAQs
Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?
You can definitely use frozen shrimp for this recipe. You can either thaw them in the refrigerator, or thaw them in a bowl of cool water in the sink. Even large shrimp will thaw very quickly using this method. Make sure to pat them dry before beginning the recipe.
Can I make the Buffalo sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the buffalo sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or make a large batch and freeze it so that it’s on hand for Buffalo chicken dip or baked wings. Warm it in the microwave before tossing the cooked shrimp in it.
Can I grill the shrimp instead of frying them?
Grilled shrimp are delicious and would be awesome with the Buffalo sauce. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and cook the shrimp without the coating for about 2-3 minutes per side until they are opaque and cooked through. Then toss them in the buffalo sauce and enjoy.
More Shrimp Recipes to Love
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Crispy Pan Fried Buffalo Shrimp
For the Shrimp
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Buffalo Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup Frank’s RedHot Original sauce
- 2 tablespoons Texas Pete hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Combine flour and dry seasoning in a Ziploc bag.
- Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Add to the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake until the shrimp are coated. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- SAUCE: Add butter to a small saucepan and cook over low heat until melted. Add Frank’s RedHot, Texas Pete. brown sugar and vinegar and simmer until the sugar has melted.
- Add oil tow1es a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add shrimp in a single layer and cook on each side for about 2 minutes until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from the heat to a bowl and toss with Buffalo sauce and serve while they are hot.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Refrigerating the coated shrimp for 15 minutes helps the flour adhere better during cooking, resulting in a crispier texture.
- Cook the shrimp in batches to ensure they cook evenly and maintain their crispy coating.
- Don’t over cook the shrimp, take them out as soon as they are opaque all the way through.
- Toss the cooked shrimp in the Buffalo sauce while still hot.