Thai Inspired Creamy Coconut Shrimp

4.62 from 47 votes
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This Creamy Coconut Shrimp is full of Thai inspired flavors! An easy shrimp recipe bursting with coconut milk, basil, ginger, garlic, and fresh shrimp. Made in only one skillet and ready in 20 minutes!

overhead shot of cooked shrimp in a coconut milk sauce


One Skillet Creamy Coconut Shrimp

Add a little spice to your life with this creamy Coconut Shrimp recipe! I love how easily recipes like this garlicky, gingery, coconut shrimp skillet come together, with super-minimal cleanup to go with that super-delicious flavor. This dish is another favorite in our household, and we often switch between it and our beloved Shrimp Shumai. What’s important is that we all agree, even the littles, that one-skillet meals are near perfection!

Coconut shrimp is also healthy, and there’s a ton of luscious sauce to serve over a bed of jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, or these extra slurpable teriyaki noodles.

Ingredients You’ll Need

We will use a few basic ingredients to create this delicious shrimp and coconut recipe with Asian inspired flavors. These simple staples combine to make a flavorful coconut sauce shrimp that’s just so good!

  • Olive Oil: This is for sautéing the ingredients. You can also substitute coconut oil or even avocado oil.
  • Shrimp: You’ll need two pounds of fresh raw shrimp, peeled and deveined. (It’s up to you whether you want the tails on or off.)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Smoked Paprika: For seasoning the shrimp.
  • Diced Onion: I use a yellow onion, but you can substitute white, red, or sweet onions if you like.
  • Fresh Garlic and Basil: Mince the garlic (or use a garlic press), and chop the basil leaves.
  • Ground Ginger: As always, make sure your ground spices are fresh.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes: Drain the tomatoes well before using.
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk: I use canned coconut milk. Be sure to shake it well before measuring and using.
  • Lime Juice: For tangy flavor!
  • Garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro and basil are wonderful garnishes for this light and fragrant dish.

    Can You Use Frozen Shrimp?

    You can definitely use frozen raw shrimp in this dish. Thaw them first by placing them in a colander under cold running water for several minutes. Then, peel and devein (if necessary), rinse and pat dry with paper towels, and continue with the recipe.

    How To Make Creamy Coconut Shrimp

    1. Cook the Shrimp. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season your raw shrimp with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Cook them for about two minutes per side, or until pink and cooked through. Then, remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
    2. Cook the Aromatics. After wiping down the skillet, set it over medium-high heat and add the remaining oil. Add the onions and cook until softened. Then stir in the garlic, basil, and ginger, and cook for about 20 more seconds, or until fragrant.
    3. Add the Tomatoes and Coconut Milk. Stir the drained, diced tomatoes into the onion mixture and cook for 3 minutes, or until just softened. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer; continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Return the Shrimp to the Skillet. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, or until heated through. Remove from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over the shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and basil, and serve.

    How To Cook Shrimp

    • What size shrimp do I need? Keep in mind that shrimp can be purchased in a number of sizes and that smaller shrimp will cook even faster than larger ones, which already cook very quickly.
    • Cook until pink. Raw shrimp are a dull grayish color but turn firm and pink when cooked. It can be difficult to take the temperature of shrimp correctly, but you’ll know that they are done when they are completely opaque and a nice pink color.
    • Don’t overcook them. Shrimp curl up tightly and even appear to “shrink” when overcooked, so avoid cooking to that point. Overcooked shrimp have an unpleasantly tough and chewy texture.
    wide overhead shot of shrimp in a skillet with coconut sauce

    What Goes with Coconut Shrimp

    • Rice. Any saucy dish like this coconut shrimp recipe pairs perfectly with rice. You can use any rice you like, even Cauliflower Rice or my Lemon Rice!
    • Salad. For a refreshing side dish, serve the shrimp with my spicy Asian Cucumber Salad or this fabulous Sesame Cucumber Salad.
    • Coconut Mojitos. If you’d like to serve a cocktail, what could be better than a delicious, tropical drink like Coconut Mojitos?
    • Chocolate Banana Popsicles. So maybe they’re not exactly seasonal, but Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas are just so good! I love how the light sweetness of the fruit contrasts with the indulgently rich chocolate, and both flavors are a welcome complement to the main course.
    close up overhead shot of coconut milk shrimp

    How To Store and Reheat Leftovers

    • To refrigerate. Store leftover coconut shrimp in airtight containers, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
    • To freeze. Place leftovers in airtight storage bags or containers, leaving about 1 inch of “headspace” for the sauce to expand during freezing. Keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. The texture of the sauce may degrade somewhat due to freezing and thawing.
    • To reheat. First, thaw the leftovers in the refrigerator (if frozen). Then place in a covered saucepan over low heat. While stirring frequently, cook until heated through.


    Shrimp Recipes To Try

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    4.62 from 47 votes

    Creamy Coconut Shrimp

    This easy creamy coconut shrimp is a one-skillet meal made with seasoned sauteed shrimp prepared in a sauce with coconut milk, diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and basil.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 4


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on or off
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 14 ounces can diced tomatoes, well drained
    • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, (shake the can before opening)
    • Lime juice, to serve
    • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    • Chopped fresh basil, for garnish, optional
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    • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
    • Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and paprika.
    • Add shrimp to the hot oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until pink and cooked through.
    • Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.
    • Wipe down the skillet, set it over medium-high heat and add remaining olive oil.
    • To the heated oil add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until softened.
    • Stir in garlic, basil, and ginger; cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
    • Add diced tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, or until just softened.
    • Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer; continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
    • Add shrimp to the coconut milk and cook for 1 more minute, or until heated through.
    • Remove from heat.
    • Squeeze lime juice over the shrimp.
    • Garnish with cilantro and basil.
    • Serve.


    Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 572mg | Sodium: 1778mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1115IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 360mg | Iron: 6mg

    Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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    4.62 from 47 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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    1. Inger says:

      Not something I would make again. It seemed like the tomatoes mixed with the coconut milk created a weird flavor. My family did not like it.

      1. Katerina says:

        I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. Thank you for the feedback! 🙂

    2. Peter Groth says:

      Really simple, really delicious, great summer meal when friends are over. Fresh basil is amazing in this as cilantro is not liked by many in my family. They think I’ve worked for hours but little did they know!! I served it with Arroyo Rice and a salad. Always positive comments from everyone who’s tried it.

      1. Katerina says:

        Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m glad it was a hit with your family and friends. Fresh basil sounds like a great substitute for cilantro. Your pairing with Arroyo Rice and a salad sounds perfect! 😊

    3. Isabel says:

      Alright, I don’t think I’ve ever left a review, but woah. This stuff is absolutely fantastic. Maybe it’s the beers, but it is so sweet, yet tangy, and everything I could have ever hoped for. I added more seasoning than recommended and threw some rice as a side. 10/10, will eat again.

    4. Deb says:

      Delicious! I’m craving for more. Definitely will make this again.

    5. Anna says:

      This recipe is very bland…very. I wouldn’t recommend and wish I’d read these reviews before cooking this.

    6. Heather G says:

      This recipe was tasteless sure didn’t taste any coconut and was really watery.

      1. Margaret Dinan Miller says:

        Sooo good!! Did shrimp and chicken and add more veg!! Will be in the rotation ❤️❤️

    7. Janine says:

      This recipe was excellent it was restaurant quality.

      1. Katerina says:

        That’s a wonderful compliment to the recipe! It sounds like you really nailed it to achieve restaurant-quality results. Great job! Thank YOU! 🙂

    8. Nayla says:

      I did this recipe yesterday and it was really good and easy. I added a red pepper thinly sliced that I sautéed before the shrimps and set aside to add to the sauce at the same time as the shrimps.

    9. Inez says:

      The response from my friends elicited cries of stunning! terrific! awesome! scrumptious!!
      This will become a regular dish to share with friends and glasses of wine!

      1. Katerina says:

        It’s great to hear your dish was a success and that you’re planning to make it a regular feature at your gatherings with friends and wine. Thank YOU! 🙂