Crispy Shrimp Burgers

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Make delicious homemade Shrimp Burgers in less than 15 minutes! These quick and easy burgers are made in a food processor with cilantro, garlic, and paprika for a seafood burger bursting with flavor.


These tasty Shrimp Burgers will quickly become one of your favorite burgers. Light, healthy, and packed with shrimp flavor! Serve them with some coleslaw and baked potato chips for a delicious, restaurant-worthy meal.

Who doesn’t love a good burger? It's one of my family's favorite meals but sometimes I want something different than a traditional beef burger or turkey burger. Enter this incredible shrimp burger. It's light, healthy, and one of my favorite things to make for a barbecue since it's such an unexpected option. 

If you have never made a shrimp burger, it's actually the perfect protein for burgers. The shrimp itself is slightly gelatinous, meaning you don't need to worry about the shrimp patties falling apart. They cook quickly, stay moist, and there is so much shrimp flavor.  These Salmon Burgers and Fish Burgers are also super tasty. 

The key to making a really great shrimp burger all comes down to texture. You want to make sure your burger has some nice big pieces of shrimp but also ensure it stays together and stays moist. The way to do that is by using both roughly chopped shrimp and finely chopped shrimp. This guarantees the perfect texture and makes sure you have some nice big chunks of shrimp.

One other thing I love about this recipe is that it stretches the ingredient since shrimp can be expensive. While most people in my family could easily eat a pound of shrimp cocktail alone, I can get four generous burgers from just one pound of shrimp, making it a great way to make the most of more expensive ingredient. 

Shrimp burgers with cilantro served open faced with lettuce and tomato.

Key Ingredients

  • Shrimp: No reason to splurge on the large shrimp for this recipe! Small to medium shrimp work since they are being chopped into smaller pieces anyway. Just make sure not to use bay shrimp. Make sure shrimp are cleaned with shells and tails removed. Frozen shrimp need to be defrosted. 
  • Garlic and cilantro: For aromatics in this recipe, garlic and cilantro pair nicely with the shrimp. If you don't love cilantro, swap in parsley, dill, or basil. Garlic powder will work if you don't have fresh garlic on hand. 
  • Spices: Onion powder, paprika, kosher salt, and a pinch of cayenne round out the flavors in this shrimp burger. This is an area to get creative and try out different combinations of herbs and spices. Just be careful not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the shrimp.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Panko will give you the best texture since they are lighter and "fluffier" than traditional breadcrumbs.  If you only have regular, they will also work, the texture will just be a bit denser. 
  • Egg: Egg works as a binder for the burgers. If you need an egg-free option, just finely chop a bit more shrimp to help the burgers stick together. 

How to Make Shrimp Burgers

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make homemade shrimp burgers.

  1. Pulse the shrimp: This is the most important step! Start by adding half of the shrimp to the food processor and coarsely chop it. Leave some bigger chunks so that the burgers have some nice, meaty pieces of shrimp. Set that aside. Then add the remaining shrimp with the garlic and cilantro. Pulse that longer to make a chunky paste. It should look like a binder. Add this to the coarsely chopped shrimp.
  2. Make the shrimp burger mixture: Add the whisked egg, breadcrumbs, and spices to the shrimp mixture. Mix it gently, making sure not to overmix. Overmixing makes the burgers tough. 
  3. Cook the shrimp patties: Divide the shrimp mixture into patties ad cook them in a hot skillet. They should get nicely browned and crisp on the outside and be fully cooked inside. This takes about 6-8 minutes total. Make sure not to overcook the shrimp since it can get tough. 

Ways to serve shrimp burgers

  • Classic burgers: My favorite way to serve this is as a classic burger. Usually, I reach for a whole wheat burger bun or English muffin and add lettuce, tomato, red onion, and avocado. If I am craving something spicy, I also add some pickled jalapenos or a spicy spread like harissa or Sriracha. My family also likes it with a thin layer of mayo or tartar sauce.
  • Lettuce Wraps: For a healthier option, these are fantastic wrapped up in some butter lettuce leaves. You could also use a portobello mushroom bun. 
  • Salads: I love anything crunchy on my salads so these crispy shrimp options are a great option. I love them with a coleslaw-style salad like this Asian Kale and Apple Slaw.
  • Tacos: If you end up with some leftover shrimp burgers, they make an excellent taco. Just chop them up and add some avocado, cabbage slaw, and salsa. It's a yummy take on a fish taco.
  • Side dishes for shrimp patties: Looking for side dish inspiration? We love serving these burgers with spicy cabbage coleslaw, grilled corn on the cob, baked fries, potato salad, or a nice green salad.

Can I use frozen shrimp for shrimp burgers?

Absolutely! In fact, pretty much all shrimp that you find in supermarkets is previously frozen. Even if it isn't frozen when you purchase it, chances are it was defrosted in the supermarket for convenience. 

If your shrimp is frozen, simply place it in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes, swapping out the water once while it defrosts. You can also defrost it overnight in your fridge.

How to make low-carb and gluten-free shrimp burgers?

If you want to make these low carb, simply leave out the breadcrumbs. As long as you have processed the shrimp into a paste, the shrimp burgers will hold together without any breadcrumbs. You could also use some almond flour if for any reason they aren't holding together.

Shrimp burgers with cilantro, breadcrumbs, and garlic on a piece of lettuce.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

  • Make it spicy: If you want a spicy shrimp burger, add some extra cayenne pepper or chili powder to the mix. You can also add a chipotle pepper to the food processor to really kick up the spice and smokiness of this burger.
  • Use Old Bay: Old Bay is one of my favorite seasonings for burgers and this shrimp burger is no different. Instead of using the spices in the recipes, just substitute 1-2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning. You could also make an Old Bay mayonnaise by combining light mayonnaise and Old Bay seasoning to add on top.
  • Try Cajun seasoning: Another seasoning option for a little spice and smokiness is Cajun seasoning. Simply substitute it for the spices already included in the recipe. 
  • Add lemon: If you love the combination of shrimp and lemon, add some fresh lemon zest to the burgers. You can also squeeze in some lemon juice.

How to make grilled shrimp patties?

If you prefer to make these burgers on the grill, it is extremely important that you use a piece of foil to ensure they don't stick to the grill and fall apart. Simply spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cook the shrimp burgers right on the foil. They will take about the same amount of time, 3-4 minutes per side.

Shrimp burgers are made with a combination of coarsely chopped shrimp and finely pulsed shrimp combined with breadcrumbs and spices.  There are many versions but the most common include Panko breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, and fresh herbs. Old Bay is commonly used for the spice component. 

Start by preheating the air fryer to 400 degrees. Add the shrimp burger patties in a single later and cook them for 10 minutes, flipping them after 5 minutes. 

The Recipe
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Crispy Shrimp Burgers

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  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

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Take half the shrimp and coarsely chop it. Add it to a bowl. Take the other half and add it to a food processor with the garlic and cilantro. Pulse to create a chunky paste. Mix in with the chopped shrimp.


Add the salt, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, Panko breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix until just combine.


Divide into patties.


Heat a skillet over medium high heat with the vegetable oil. Add the burgers and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve on a roll as a burger, wrapped in lettuce, or as a burger bowl.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 patty
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177
Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 229mg
Sodium 754mg
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 25g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Crispy Shrimp Burgers
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November 15, 2022 - 04:34
can the shrimp burgers be frozen before cooking, then fry later?
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November 15, 2022 - 11:41
I have only tried freezing them after cooking but I imagine it would work.
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June 15, 2022 - 18:26
Add a Rating:
Easy recipe the shrimp burgers were amazing
I used coconut flour instead and a touch of safflower mayo
I fried in Coconut oil

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Debra Stein
May 14, 2021 - 11:06
oops sorry....should of watched the video first!!

Thank you for the recipe!!
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Debra Stein
May 14, 2021 - 11:04
So is the shrimp raw when you form it into patties?

and then it cooks when your cooking it in the skillet?

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May 17, 2019 - 13:19
Add a Rating:
If you don’t have a food processor, how would you do it? Just chop them much much finer?
I love your suggestions, recipes.
Thank you!
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Susan Davis
May 20, 2020 - 10:50
I use a Pampered Chef Food Chopper and chop them up 30 or 40 times. It does wonders at getting any pent up frustration or anger out too. :)
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June 25, 2019 - 13:59
You maybe able to use a blender and pulse it until the shrimp are like a paste.
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