Shrimp Stir Fry with Vegetables is an easy weeknight dinner that takes 20 minutes to throw together with only a few ingredients! You can use any veggies you want, fresh or frozen, for this deliciously simple, healthy, and low calorie shrimp stir fry recipe, and you can make it spicy or mild depending on preference. Plus it’s gluten-free and dairy-free as well!
Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins to cook. Why? Because it’s super healthy, and takes about 3 minutes (literally – three minutes) to cook through. I always keep some in my freezer for fast, healthy, and easy weeknight dinners.
And this shrimp stir fry packs a nutritious, healthy punch with the addition of LOTS of vegetables. Four whole cups of veggies! And the best part? You can use any veggies you want – fresh or frozen – for this recipe (I used asparagus, bell pepper, and shredded carrots).
The stir fry sauce is super simple. I tried to steer away from lots of pre-made condiments for those with a more minimal kitchen – you only need a few ingredients you probably already have to whip up the easy, simple sauce (though you can use any stir fry sauce you like for this recipe as well).
And any intense flavor the sauce is lacking due to its simplicity is made up by the addition of LOTS of fresh garlic and ginger in this shrimp stir fry recipe. Don’t skimp on these ingredients!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shrimp – to save time, try to find them already peeled and deveined. I used frozen easy-peel shrimp (and saved the shrimp peels in my freezer to make seafood stock later). I like using “jumbo” sized shrimp for this recipe but you can use any size you like.
- Vegetables – I used a mixture of fresh asparagus, red bell pepper, and shredded carrots. You can use any veggies you like- frozen or fresh! Broccoli, snow peas, cauliflower, green beans, mini corn, sliced carrots… this is a great way to use what you have in your fridge to reduce food waste. If you use frozen veggies, follow the recipe as directed but cook for a little longer.
- Green onions – you’ll use the white and light green parts in the beginning and garnish at the end with the dark green parts.
- Garlic – lots of it! I used fresh finely chopped garlic. You can use pre-minced jarred garlic if you want.
- Ginger – again, lots of it! I used chopped fresh ginger. You can grate it on a microplane zester if you like or use garlic paste for a shortcut.
- Sauce ingredients: soy sauce, chicken broth (or water), toasted sesame oil, honey, lime juice, and cornstarch. You can add chili garlic paste or sriracha for a spicy version and sesame seeds if you have them for texture. For a grain-free/paleo alternative, use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. See below for other sauce options.
How to make Shrimp Stir Fry with Vegetables
- MIX the sauce and prep all your other ingredients.
- SAUTÉ green onions, garlic, and ginger in oil in a large skillet or wok until they are softened and starting to toast.
- ADD the veggies and sauté for a few more minutes until they are crisp-tender.
- ADD the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is almost completely cooked through.
- STIR IN the sauce and continue to cook until sauce is thickened and shrimp has finished cooking and is completely opaque.
- SERVE with cooked rice, quinoa, noodles, or zoodles or cauliflower rice for a low carb/paleo option.
Other Stir Fry Sauce Options
The stir fry sauce for this shrimp stir fry recipe was developed with simplicity in mind. You can use any kind of stir fry sauce you want – store-bought or homemade! Here are some authentic Easy Asian stir fry sauces you might want to try out:
- Chinese Stir Fry Sauce (from The Woks of Life)
- The Seven Best Chinese Stir Fry Sauces (from The Omnivore’s Cookbook)
- Vietnamese Stir Fry Sauce (from Vicky Pham)
- Thai Stir Fry Sauce (from Hot Thai Kitchen)
- Teriyaki Sauce (from Just One Cookbook)
Note: the above link to some of the best Asian food bloggers – you should definitely follow them for authentic East and Southeast Asian cuisine!
How to defrost frozen shrimp
There are two ways to defrost frozen shrimp to use in this stir fry recipe:
- Leave the shrimp on a plate or bowl in the fridge covered in plastic wrap, or a glass container with a lid, for 24-36 hours. This is great if you’re good at planning ahead. (Make sure you don’t refreeze the shrimp, and use the shrimp within 24 hours of fully defrosting if you use this method.)
- Put the frozen shrimp in a bowl with warm water. Change out the water once if necessary. I usually do this before prepping my veggies and by the time I’m done, about 10-15 minutes later, the shrimp is ready to go! Just drain the water out and cook the shrimp immediately (if you use this method, don’t re-refrigerate or freeze the shrimp, as this may not be safe to do).
Can I use another protein besides shrimp?
Sure! It’s easy to modify this recipe to use something else besides shrimp, for a chicken stir fry or beef stir fry, or tofu for a vegetarian option. BUT, you have to be careful of cooking times for different proteins.
For this shrimp stir fry recipe, the shrimp is added at the very end because it takes so little time to cook. Chicken takes much longer, so you would want to cook the chicken in the skillet before anything else, remove it, and add it back in at the end. So just be sure you know how to modify the cooking time for another protein!
Tips and Tricks
- Prep everything before you begin cooking. This recipe moves VERY quickly, so you’ll want to have all your veggies chopped, the shrimp defrosted and peeled if necessary, the sauce mixed, etc. before you even begin.
- To save prep time, I recommend using pre-chopped fresh veggies, or a bag of mixed frozen veggies. You can probably find a “stir fry mix” of frozen veggies at your grocery store that would work well. You can even use ginger paste and jarred minced garlic for this to save more time.
- Begin cooking rice or whatever you’re serving with the stir fry before you start making the stir fry, again because this recipe moves very quickly.
Other Easy Shrimp Recipes
- Garides Saganaki (Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta)
- Shrimp and Orzo Salad
- Blackened Shrimp Tacos
- Classic Shrimp Scampi
- Shrimp and Grits
Other Easy Stir Fry Recipes
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli
- Sesame Chicken
- Pineapple Chicken with Cashews
- Chinese Tomato Egg Stir Fry (from The Woks of Life)
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Shrimp Stir Fry with Vegetables
For the shrimp stir fry:
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or other neutral tasting oil
- 3 green onions thinly sliced, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger (from about a 2" piece)
- 4 cups mixed vegetables I used red bell pepper, asparagus, and carrots (fresh or frozen, see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb. raw shrimp peeled, deveined, tail off (fresh or frozen/thawed is fine)
- cooked rice, quinoa, or noodles for serving (optional)
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth, or water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce gluten-free if necessary
- 2 teaspoons honey or another sweetener
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha (optional, omit for a mild version)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds optional
- Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Set aside. Make sure all other ingredients are prepped (veggies chopped, shrimp peeled, etc.) before moving on to the next step, as this recipe moves quickly.
- Heat oil (2 tablespoons) in a large heavy skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the white and light green parts of the green onions, the minced garlic (4 cloves), and chopped fresh ginger (2 tablespoons). Sauté for one minute, until garlic becomes fragrant and slightly toasted.
- Turn heat to medium-high. Add the vegetables (4 cups) and the salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each) to the skillet. Sauté until vegetables are starting to brown and soften, stirring occasionally (about 3-5 minutes)
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and sauté until almost completely cooked through, stirring occasionally (about 2-3 minutes).
- Turn heat down to medium or medium-low. Pour in the sauce and stir to coat everything. Continue heating and stirring until sauce has thickened (about 1-2 minutes). Top with the reserved dark green parts of the sliced green onions.
- Serve immediately, on cooked rice, quinoa, or noodles if desired.
- Any kind of veggie, fresh or frozen, is fine for this recipe. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, corn, snow peas, zucchini, summer squash… it’s a great way to use up what you have or what’s in season. You can also buy a bag of stir fry mix veggies.
- For frozen veggies, add frozen to the pan and allow for a few minutes more cooking time.
- Use another kind of stir fry sauce, store bought or homemade, if you prefer.
- For a paleo and grain-free version, use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.
- For a lower carb version, omit the honey/sweetener.
- This recipe is best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in the microwave.
- For a lower sodium version, use low sodium soy sauce and omit the added salt.
- Large Skillet or Wok