Head-on Shrimp Recipe

In search of a perfect recipe for the summer season? Look no further than our tried-and-true Head-on Shrimp Recipe. It’s the perfect casual, just-dig-in, recipe for summer nights when you don’t want to scarf down something super heavy, and don’t want to skimp on flavor either.  
Shrimp is a staple ingredient for our go-to beach weekend menu because it’s so versatile. It lends itself so well to many different recipes and also many different courses – lunch, appetizers, or the main course. No matter how you plan to prepare, shrimp doesn’t take long to cook, which is perfect for summer nights where you’re squeezing out every minute of sunshine from the day and don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking for longer than you have to. 

One of our favorite parts of our Head-on Shrimp Recipe is most of these ingredients are ingredients you may have on hand {besides the fresh shrimp, of course!}, and all of them can be picked up easily on the way to the beach. You can use cleaned shrimp if that’s what you have on hand – don't let that deter you from not making this dish! Just know, head-on = more flavor. You can typically call ahead to order shrimp to be cleaned depending on what your recipe calls for. 

Good, crusty bread is mandatory to sop up all of the buttery sauce – don't be shy! 

A Few Key Ingredients: 

  • Fresh, Head-on Shrimp - For this recipe, head on shrimp is key because of the fat and richness that the heads add to the sauce. 

  • Pure Ground Black Pepper - The large amount of pepper makes this dish unique and takes the flavor profile to the next level. 

  • Butter – The perfect complement to fresh seafood. 

Pro tip: Have a big stack of napkins at the ready – you'll need them. 



Head-on Shrimp 

Serves 6-10  



3 - 5 pounds fresh head-on shrimp, large or jumbo  

1 large onion, sliced  

24 tablespoons (3 sticks) butter, cut in tablespoon pieces  

1 (2 ounce) can pure ground black pepper  

1 (16 ounce) bottle zesty Italian dressing  

3 lemons, halved  


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty roasting pan, create three layers using shrimp, onion, butter, and at least half the can of pepper. Pour Italian dressing over shrimp, and place lemon halves on top. Cover Dutch oven with lid or pan with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Open oven door, uncover and use a large spoon to carefully redistribute the shrimp and check for doneness. When done, the shrimp should look opaque and start to pull away from the pink shell. Do not overcook. 
The shrimp may need an additional 10 minutes in the oven, or move them to the stovetop and finish cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook. 
Pour shrimp and sauce onto a large serving platter, and squeeze with roasted lemon halves. 


Serve It Up 

Our Iris Blue Burst Large Pasta Bowl is the perfect portion for this recipe and the shallow depth let’s the shrimp sit in the sauce as it’s served. 
For a slightly smaller (11” Diameter versus a 14” Diameter) serving option that has a neutral palette, our Signature White Ruffle Pasta Bowl is your best bet.
For a more formal and unexpected presentation, our Deco Gold Scallop Oval Handled Bowl would make for a beautiful “boat” of shrimp and would be a space-saver on a full serving table with lots of other dishes. 


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