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Easy Shrimp Peel (Shrimp Boil)

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Some families have a Christmas ham. Others carve roast beef. My family?

We have a “shrimp peel” every Christmas!!!

Yep. We’re not Southern, but somehow this wonderful little tradition found its way into our Christmas celebration, and we absolutely love it! Thanks to the delicious seasonings, the shrimp always come out full of flavor. And best of all, the process is super-simple. Which…with lots of family around…is always a plus around Christmas! (And it makes the house smell amazing!!!)

So if you’ve never tried boiling shrimp, or are just looking for a new way to prepare the little guys, you must give this a try! It’s always a favorite. :)

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Easy Shrimp Peel (Shrimp Boil)

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 lbs of flavored shrimp (or more) 1x


If you love shrimp, you’ll love this Easy Shrimp Peel (Shrimp Boil) recipe! Quick and easy to prepare, and so delicious!


  • 2 lbs. (or 2 1-lb. bags.) frozen extra-large (or large) raw shrimp, de-veined with shells on
  • 34 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. pickling spices
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 12 tsp. salt


  1. Fill a large pot about 2/3 full of water, and add vinegar, pickling spices, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes (so that the seasonings continue to sink in).
  2. Then add the shrimp (either frozen or thawed), and stir occasionally. Once the shells are bright pink, and the shrimp inside go from translucent to white, remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately. (Optional: garnish with lemon and/or melted butter.)

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8 comments on “Easy Shrimp Peel (Shrimp Boil)”

  1. I love recipes like this! Easy and delicious. My grandmother makes a brined shrimp that is simple and wonderful! She stir fries it with garlic and green onions and it’s perfect. Great recipe, Ali!

  2. i totally agree what a easy recipe and very well put together…love it.. me heart shrimps… :)

  3. I am so jealous of all those cool southern traditions. I’m so glad your family just went ahead and did it! I want to try a shrimp boil now too :D

  4. My boyfriend LOVES shrimp boils! What a great tradition!

  5. I love shrimp as well. I was born and raised in KC but moved to North Carolina 25 years ago and we have great shrimp. You might also like squeezing a lemon in your water and putting the rinds in and also some Worcestershire

  6. I’m a Pacific NW native and we eat seafood, including shrimp, all the time. I’ve poached salmon, shrimp, oysters, etc. in pickling spice for years. Really like you addition of the apple cider vinegar and bay leaves – going to try it tonight with the fresh large shrimp we just got. Another great way to serve “pickled” shrimp is to follow your process and then chill them, serving them cold on a hot summer night with homemade cold Gazpacho soup and garlic bread!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe….