Thai Inspired Creamy Coconut Shrimp

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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


Add a little spice to your life with this Creamy Coconut Shrimp! 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. Besides, we all agree that one-skillet meals are near perfection!

It’s also healthy, and there’s a ton of luscious sauce to serve over a bed of rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles.

More Shrimp Recipes to Try

What You’ll Need

  • 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.
cooking chopped onions with fresh herbs


  • 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.


  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.
  5. Enjoy!
cooked shrimp in a skillet


  • What Size Shrimp? Keep in mind that shrimp can be purchased in a number of sizes and that smaller shrimp will cook even faster than large 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: 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


  • Rice: Any saucy dish like this coconut shrimp recipe pairs perfectly with rice. You can use any rice you like, even Cauliflower Rice!
  • 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.


  • 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.
close up overhead shot of coconut milk shrimp



Tools Used in this Recipe

4.92 from 12 votes
overhead shot of cooked shrimp in a coconut milk sauce


7 9 7
WW Freestyle: 7
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
A one-skillet meal of seasoned sauteed shrimp prepared in a sauce with coconut milk, diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and basil.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 462


  • 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
  • 1 (14-oz can) diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, (shake can before opening)
  • Lime juice, to serve
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh basil, for garnish, optional


  • 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.


Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 462 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 572mg191%
Sodium 1778mg74%
Potassium 638mg18%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 1115IU22%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 360mg36%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

Keywords: coconut shrimp, easy shrimp recipe, healthy shrimp recipe, shrimp recipes, thai recipes

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25 Responses
  1. Sujata

    Amazing! I didn’t have fresh basil but it still turned out very very good. Served with white rice. Many thanks for the recipe.

  2. Nashty

    This recipe is great-I needed a few adjustments to make it delicious for my diners but it’s a super Asian coconut shrimp Italian tomato basil infused dish!
    I used sun dried tomatoes. We needed a little more salt, spice & extra sweet. Next time I’ll use sweetened coconut milk & something spicy.
    Thank you!!!

  3. Mindy

    This one’s a keeper. I added a teaspoon of red curry paste to the mix. And used dried basil. It was superb. Thanks for a great recipe. (I don’t like to waste anything, so I put the leftover coconut milk in ice cube trays and plan to add them to smoothies).

  4. Jessica

    This was really delicious. I usually have to make many adjustments to a recipe to make it just right for me, but this one was virtually perfect as is. I added some cayenne pepper to the shrimp to give it some kick and had to use lemon instead of lime, but wow! So much flavor and so so easy to put together. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Sara Welch

    Loving all the rich flavors in this dish! Can practically smell all the aromas through my computer; worthy of a restaurant, indeed!

  6. Natasha

    I made this tonight for dinner and my family loved it! It is so tasty and very easy to prepare and make. Shrimp is one of my husband’s fave so this was a hit! I need to double the recipe next time.

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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