Shrimp Curry

Deeply flavorful, not-too-spicy, and diet-friendly… what more could you ask for? This delicious and easy shrimp curry is sure to be one of your new go-to weeknight meals.

This recipe is so flexible, you can adapt it to suit your preference or your diet restrictions. You can substitute chicken for the shrimp if you’re not a fan of shellfish (or have a shellfish allergy) and you can swap out coconut cream for heavy cream if you want to make it dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, or Whole30 compliant.

Overhead focus. White bowl sits to the right showing partial view of being filled with rice and shrimp curry.

One quick note: I like to use passata instead of regular tomato sauce. Passata is basically an uncooked tomato puree that has been strained to remove the skins and seeds. Tomato sauce, on the other hand, is cooked and often has additives like spices, onion, and garlic.

If you can’t find passata, you might be able to find strained tomatoes in your grocery store. Otherwise, the can of tomato sauce (that’s sold in the same section as the canned tomatoes) should work, just check to make sure there are not a lot of extra ingredients.

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Overhead side angle view of a white bowl filled with rice and shrimp curry.

What Is Shrimp Curry Made Of?

For The Shrimp

Olive oil – Or any light-flavored oil.

Shrimp – Raw shrimp, the larger the better.

Chili powder

For The Sauce

Olive oil – Or any light-flavored oil.

Red onion – In a pinch, yellow onion will do. But red is better for this.

Garlic cloves – Choose the largest cloves you can find.

Passata – Or tomato sauce, no sugar added.

Curry powder

Chili powder

Ground coriander

Granular sweetener – Any type you are comfortable using. Try Sucanant, coconut sugar, date sugar, or even monk fruit.

Ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper – To taste.

Heavy cream – Or coconut cream.

Lime wedges – For garnish. Squeeze the juice over your bowl of food for extra flavor.

Cilantro – Or parsley, for garnish.

How To Make Shrimp Curry

Raw shrimp and oil with spices added to a skillet.
Shrimp sautéing in a skillet with oil.

The first thing you’re going to do is cook your shrimp. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it’s nice and shimmery, add your shrimp. Sprinkle the shrimp with the curry and chili powder and cook for about one minute per side. Do not stir; you want to develop a nice sear on both sides of the shrimp.

Onions sautéing in a skillet with oil.

Once they’re cooked, go ahead and transfer them to a plate and set them aside until later. Use the same skillet to build the sauce, so don’t turn off the heat or wash the pan out. Just drizzle in a little more olive oil and then add your chopped red onion.

Garlic added to sautéing onions.

Cook until the onion is nice and translucent, which usually takes about 5 minutes or so. Once you get there, add your garlic and just cook for another minute until you can smell it.

Passata added to onions and garlic in a skillet.

Add your passata or canned tomato sauce, coriander, turmeric, brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce has darkened.

Cream and ingredients added to curry sauce in a skillet.
Curry sauce in as skillet.

Stir in the heavy cream or coconut cream and bring back up to a gentle simmer. Add your cooked shrimp back in and toss it to coat. Remove from heat and serve with rice, noodles, or naan bread.

Shrimp added to curry sauce in as skillet.
Shrimp curry sauce in a skillet.

I almost always serve my shrimp curry with fresh lime wedges. Squeeze a little bit on top to make it zesty and give it even more depth of flavor.

A side view of a white bowl filled with rice and shrimp curry.

How Long Does Shrimp Curry Last?

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.


If packed well, this can be frozen for up to three months.


Reheat this in a skillet over low or medium heat until warmed through.

More Dinner Ideas

Are you looking for more quick and easy weeknight meals? I’ve got you covered. Check out these family-friendly favorites:


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Overhead focus. White bowl sits to the right showing partial view of being filled with rice and shrimp curry.

Shrimp Curry

Looking for something a little bit different to serve this week? Try this flavorful shrimp curry! It’ll be sure to shake you out of your boring meal routine and might just become a new family favorite.
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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 412kcal


  • 1 Large Skillet


For The Shrimp

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp (peeled)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 pinch chili powder

For The Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • cups chopped red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced or pressed)
  • cups passata (or tomato sauce, no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. granular sweetener (consider Sucanat, coconut sugar, date sugar, or monk fruit)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • lime wedges (for garnish)
  • fresh, chopped cilantro (for garnish)


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and season with the curry and chili powder. Sear the shrimp for around 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 lb. shrimp, 1 tsp. curry powder, 1 pinch chili powder
    Shrimp sautéing in a skillet with oil.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the same pan and cook the onion until translucent, which will take around 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1 more minute or until fragrant.
    1 tbsp. olive oil, 1½ cups chopped red onion, 2 large garlic cloves
    Garlic added to sautéing onions.
  • Add the passata (or tomato sauce) and the remaining spices and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has darkened, around 6 minutes.
    1½ cups passata, 1 tsp. curry powder, ¼ tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. ground coriander, ½ tsp. ground turmeric, 1 tsp. granular sweetener, 1 pinch ground cinnamon, salt and pepper
    Cream and ingredients added to curry sauce in a skillet.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Remove from heat and serve.
    ¾ cup heavy cream
    Shrimp curry sauce in a skillet.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1191IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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