fresh prawn in freezing process

Can You Freeze Prawns?

If you love seafood, there is no way you could maintain your regular diet without some prawns. They are enriched with nutrients, and you can eat them in several ways. Prawns are also available in stores in different forms, cooked, shelled, unshelled, fresh, and whatnot.

You can’t keep buying fresh prawns every other day. So, if you buy in bulk, how do you store them? Are questions like ‘Can you freeze prawns?‘ and ‘How long can you freeze prawns?’ etc., is wandering in your head, then you are in the right place.

Yes, you can freeze prawns for up to 3 long months. It is a must to freeze them as soon as you buy fresh prawns from the store. However, there are some processes and tips for freezing and cooking with frozen prawns. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is the Right Way to Freeze Prawns?

This section will tell you how to freeze fresh or raw prawns. If you need to freeze some cooked prawns, then scroll to the next section to know the proper way.

1st Step: Wash and Peel Off

So, you’ve bought a bulk of fresh prawns. As you get home with them, immediately wash them with cold water. If you don’t want to keep the shells on, peel them off and rewash them after de-shelling. 

2nd Step: Dry 

Take a paper towel to dry off their extra water and moisture.

3rd Step: Put Them in an Air-tight Container

Bring out your Tupperware box and lay the prawns into the container evenly. If you need to lay them in different layers, make sure to put a sheet of greaseproof paper between them, so they don’t stick together. You may want to use bags for the preservation, but it is not recommended, considering the odor of the prawns will spread in the whole freezer.

4th Step: Label and Put into the freezer

Finally, it is essential to add a label on the box lid with the purchasing date and the use-by date.

How to Freeze Cooked Prawns Properly?- The Best Way

Don’t worry; freezing cooked prawns properly is no big deal. Let’s see the steps-

  • The first step is to cool down the prawns because freezing warm prawns will not only result in spoiling but will also spoil other food in the freezer, increasing the overall temperature.
  •  Next, take your Tupperware air-tight container and place the prawn pieces carefully. If you need to make more than one layer, use greaseproof paper.
  •  And finally, put them in the freezer with a label containing the date on the lid.

Why Do You Need to Freeze Prawns? 

Freezing prawns is essential as soon as you buy them from the store. Why so? Because you have no idea exactly how fresh these prawns are. You do not know when these were caught unless you caught them yourselves.

Even if you catch them, it is essential to freeze them without delay. If left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, raw shrimps and prawns don’t remain edible with the rapid bacterial growth.

Again, in the case of storing them in the standard refrigerator, you cannot hold them for more than 2-3 days. Even for cooked prawns, you cannot keep them in the fridge for more than 3-4 days.

So, what if you want to store the prawns in bulk for about a month? That’s when you freeze them!

Tips for Freezing Prawns

Heap of frozen ocean king prawns on big white dish on a white background, top view

Okay, you now know how to freeze the prawns properly; however, that’s not enough. To show some pro skills in freezing them and not risking any casualties, follow these 3 steps we recommend for the best results.

The Right Temperature 

When freezing prawns, check the freezer temperature and round it up to 18 degrees Celsius or below. It is the optimum temperature for freezing the prawns. Since most of the freezers used in a daily household have a higher temperature, it is vital to check them.

Keeping them Intact

Although you can peel off the prawns before freezing, as mentioned above, it is certainly not the best solution. Prawns, when left with head and tail on, will work as an insulator and ensure fresh prawns during the freezing process. Hence, it is recommended to freeze them shelled.

Defrosting Begins in the Refrigerator

When you are up for defrosting the frozen prawns, you need to be very careful. If you do not handle the seafood properly, there is every possibility of bacterial growth on it. Leaving your frozen prawns to defrost on the countertop is not a good idea.

So, how do you defrost properly? Keep reading; you’ll know in a minute!

How Long Can You Freeze Prawns?

Well, you have gone through the little hassle of putting your prawns in the freezer, but how long can you store them there? You can store fresh or raw prawns in the freezer for 3 months. Some say even six months of freezing is possible but not let’s stay on the safe side.

In the case of cooked prawns, you can freeze them for around four months or so. Seafood freezes quite well even when cooked; prawns are the same.

Although some may say freezing the prawns for longer is okay, we wouldn’t recommend it, considering the decline in quality with raged bacterial growth. Following the proper way of freezing your prawns will be completely safe to eat for months.

What is the Right Way to Defrost Prawns?

No doubt that prawns are lovely delicacies. To preserve the freshness and for a long bulk, you must freeze the prawns in the freezer. So, when you need to cook them, what do you do? Defrost!

To retain the quality of the seafood, it is crucial to be very careful about the prawns. Here are three methods that’ll render the best results for you-

Defrost in the Refrigerator 

The safest way to defrost any food items is to keep them in the refrigerator, but in that case, you’ll need to plan your meal about half-day ahead. For prawns, complete defrosting in the refrigerator can take up to 8-24 hours.

  • First, take out the frozen prawns a day before you want to enjoy the delicacies.
  •  If they are in an air-tight container, you can directly put them in the refrigerator and if they are not, replace them with one and then put them in the fridge. It can take up to 24 hours for your prawns to defrost, so be patient!
  • Once the defrosting process is complete, you must rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Voila! They are ready to cook!

Defrosting in Cold Water

For defrosting using cold water, follow these steps-

  • Take the frozen prawns out of the freezer and put them in a large-size colander. 
  • Place the colander beneath cold running water for a few minutes. The trick to even defrosting is moving them constantly. 
  • In no way should you use warm water because not only will it result in uneven defrosting, but it may even heat the outside and cook some bits of it.

Defrosting in Cold, Briny Water

The steps to defrosting cold, salty water are as follows-

  • Take a large container and fill it with enough water or all your prawns. 
  •  For 4 cups of water, add about 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix the water and salt generously.
  • Bring out your frozen prawns and place them in the container without the packaging.
  • It will take about 15 minutes to defrost them evenly. Remember to move them regularly if necessary.
  • And after you’re done with the defrosting, drain the water. Before you start cooking with them, rinse them with cold water. 

Is It Possible to Refreeze Prawns?

Frozen shrimps in refrigerator, closeup

It is common to wonder if you can refreeze the frozen prawns after you thaw them. The answer is no. Whether fresh or cooked prawns, it would be best if you weren’t refreezing them.

Why so? Refreezing the prawns will make them all mushy after you defrost them. This applies to both fresh and cooked prawns. So, whatever quantity of prawns you defrost, you should use them all in one go for a meal.

Another way of freezing prawns in bulk is to flash freeze them. This way, the seafood will not stick together and can prevent waste.

4 Best Recipes Using Frozen Prawns

So, what can you make with this bulk of frozen prawns? Worry not, folks; shrimps are one of the most versatile seafood items. Whether you want to make a salad or cook a curry, prawns have you covered. And the best part is they are super easy to cook as well.

Let’s not waste a second and check out some delicious recipes you can make using frozen prawns.

Shrimp Scampi in 15 minutes!

It is one effortless recipe you can make with shrimp or prawns that takes just as long as boiling some pasta. The ingredients you’ll need are-

  • Prawns
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • White wine or chicken broth
  •  Parsley
  •  Salt 
  •  Pepper
  •  Crushed red pepper if you like it spicy!


The first step is to cook garlic and butter until they release a pleasant aroma.

  1.  Next, add the prawns you have defrosted and cook for a few more minutes until a slight brown color is seen. Keep them aside after cooking.
  2. Pour some wine and take a couple of minutes to reduce. If you do not want to use wine or don’t have it, replace it with chicken broth.
  3. Put your cooked shrimp back into the pan with the wine or broth and toss a couple of times to heat them evenly.
  4. Serve it on a plate with parsley. You may combine it with some pasta or crusty bread if you’re up for appetizers. 

Grilled Prawn Tacos

If you plan on feeding your guests some seafood in the dinner part, these grilled prawn tacos can make them lick their fingers.


Let’s see the basic steps-

  1.  For frozen shrimps, you’ll first need to defrost them. 
  2. Preheating the grill carefully is the secret to making the dish perfect. The heat should be at medium-high direct, within 375 to 400 degrees.
  3. While waiting for the grill to preheat, make the delicious toppings with Mexican slaw and some spicy mayo drizzle.
  4. Bring out your boxes of seasonings, like salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and some olive oil. Mix the prawns with the herbs and the oil.
  5.  Put them on the grill and grill each side for about 2 minutes to ensure they are cooked.
  6. Take out your tortillas and put the prawn mixture on them. Then add some coleslaw, spicy mayo, lime juice, and cilantro, and serve them right up!

Fried Rice with Cauliflower Prawn

Whether you feed a toddler or your office guests, they’ll devour this cauliflower prawn fried rice. Ingredients you’ll need are-

  • Peeled shrimp
  •  Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  •  Grated cauliflower 
  •  Diced onion
  • Scallions
  • Frozen peas 
  • Medium carrots 
  • Garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Rice Vinegar 
  • Soy sauce with low sodium
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Sriracha, if you like it, tangy and spicy!


  1. The first step is to heat a large pan and season the thawed prawns with salt and pepper before putting them into the pan. 
  2.  Cook the prawns evenly, about 2 minutes per side, until pink. Set the cooked prawn aside.
  3. While you leave the prawns to cook, make the rice with a food processor and set it aside.
  4. Take a small bowl and whisk the eggs with a bit of salt. Reduce the pan heat to medium and cook the eggs in the pan with frequent stirring.
  5.  Take out the cooked eggs and put them together with the shrimp. 
  6. Add the veggies and seasonings to the pan and cook them till they are soft, which will take about 5 minutes. 
  7.  Add the cauliflower to the cooked veggies, and pour soy sauce and vinegar. Stir them up regularly and let them cook for about 10 minutes.
  8.  Finally, put the cooked prawns and eggs into the pan and heat them. Serve them with a nice drizzle of sesame oil, Sriracha, and scallion greens.

Brazilian Prawn Soup

It is a treasured dish in Brazil with the perfect combination of taste and nutrition. Let’s look at the ingredients first-

  •   Olive oil
  •  Bell pepper
  •  Onion
  • Garlic
  •  Crushed tomatoes 
  •  Rice
  • Coconut milk
  • Red pepper flakes
  •  Lemon juice
  •  Parsley
  •  Salt and pepper 
  •  And, of course, the Prawns


  1. Heat a large soup pot with olive oil over low heat.
  2.  Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and stir them at intervals. It takes about 5 minutes till the ingredients are soft.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, tomatoes, and rice to the pot and cook them for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  4. Next, add coconut milk to it and bring it to a simmer. Put the shrimp in and stir them. It will take about 5 minutes of simmering and stirring till the prawns are done.
  5.  Finally, put in the lemon juice, parsley, and black pepper, and stir them. And you’re ready to serve the signature Brazilian dish!


Do cooked prawns freeze well?

Prawns, just like most other seafood, freeze very well. All you need to do is be careful with it while you freeze and defrost them. Not being able to handle the prawns properly will make it harmful to your health.

Can you freeze prawns in shells?

Yes! You can freeze them both in shelled or unshelled conditions. If you freeze them shelled, take your time to defrost them well before cooking so you can peel them off easily later.

Is it safe to cook with frozen prawns?

Yes, it is safe to cook with prawns adequately frozen. You must carefully defrost them and heat them thoroughly when cooking to be on the safe side.

How to defrost frozen prawns quickly?

You can use the defrosting with cold water method to defrost the prawns in about 10 minutes. 

Last Thought

If you’ve bought a bulk of fresh prawns and worrying about storing them by now, you should know that freezing them is an option. And don’t worry about the safety issue either. You must follow the proper steps for freezing, defrosting, and then cooking the prawns. 

And when it comes to shrimp recipes, you can make anything with the frozen prawn once you have thawed them properly. Again, you can also freeze the prawns after cooking. Trust me, the taste will not change, and you can enjoy your favorite meals even after a couple of weeks! So, if everything is ready, put those shrimps in the freezer and bring them out after some days to make delicious seafood meals!

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