New England Shrimp Rolls

Shrimp roll with chips

New England Shrimp Rolls are the stuff foodie memories are made of…jumbo chunks of shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn’t get any better.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

these meaty shrimp rolls have a sweet taste that resembles lobster

One of my greatest food memories are the amazing lobster rolls I enjoyed every summer on the coast of Maine. If you’ve ever spent any time in New England you’ll know all about lobster rolls. People look forward to them for months, and they’ll drive all day and all night just to satisfy their craving. But since I no longer live in an area where I can get them, I’ve come up with a new summer memory-maker ~ shrimp rolls!

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

the secret to great shrimp rolls

You don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavor or texture with lots of extras. Purists will tell you that the classic New England roll is done in one of two ways ~ dressed with drawn butter, or with mayo ~ that is, with nothing else to interfere with the enjoyment of the pure shellfish. Today I’m going the mayo route, but I’ll jazz it up a little bit ~ I can’t help myself.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

what you’ll need

  • shrimp ~ either fresh or frozen
  • mayo
  • celery
  • onion
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • hot dog buns (top split if possible!)
  • butter

frozen shrimp makes summer shrimp rolls so convenient

I love this meal because I don’t have to think very far in advance to get it on the table. If I don’t have fresh shrimp, no worries, I always have a bag of frozen peeled and deveined shrimp in the freezer. Fresh shrimp only lasts a day or two, but I can have shrimp at the ready in my freezer for a month or more. And frozen shrimp is often ‘fresher’ than the so called fresh shrimp in your supermarket. It has been flash frozen right on the boats, and stays that way, while ‘fresh’ shrimp has been thawed, and you can’t be sure how long it’s been hanging around.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

how to thaw frozen shrimp

  • method #1: Put your shrimp in a colander and run cool water over it until thawed, this will take just a few minutes, depending on how much shrimp you are thawing.
  • method #2: Place your shrimp in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. You can also place your shrimp in a zip lock bag first, before immersing in water.

how to cook frozen shrimp for shrimp shrimp salad

  • I just put my thawed shrimp into the steamer insert of my big stockpot and add just enough water to come up to the holes of the basket.
  • Then I bring it to a boil, let it steam for a minute or two until the shrimp have started to curl and turn opaque, then shut off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. The shrimp are perfectly tender and delicious.
  • You could also saute them in butter for a more decadent flavor, but either way it takes just minutes.

TIP: Pat the shrimp dry before you add them to the bowl. Excess moisture will make the dressing watery.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

how to make a classic shrimp roll

1. I want to have nice chunky pieces of shrimp for my rolls, so I only cut them in half for this recipe. Easy peasy. If your shrimp is larger, cut them in a large dice. Make sure they’re nice and dry.

2. Toss the shrimp in a simple dressing: mine is just mayo, onion, celery, and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper.

3. The next step, and it’s an important one ~ is to brush your rolls with melted butter and then grill or toast them. That buttery crunch of the toasted roll is a big part of the magic of this dish, so don’t skip this step!

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

TIP: Use top split buns for a great shrimp roll. Don’t ask me why, you just do, it’s tradition. But as you can see I couldn’t find any around here, so I went with a regular hot dog bun. Still great.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

4. Then stuff ~ and I do mean stuff ~ your bun with the shrimp salad.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

5. Add chips, dill pickles and a wedge of lemon. You’re set.

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

the ‘thing’ about New England shrimp rolls is their simplicity.

So for this salad I’m going for the absolute minimum, the basics, like good mayo, some finely minced onion and celery, a squeeze of lemon, a good handful of snipped chives, salt and pepper, and that’s it. Could you get more creative? Sure, check out my ‘Make it your own’ suggestions under the recipe. But I suggest making the classic shrimp rolls before you mess with perfection 😉

New England Style Shrimp Rolls ~ this is the stuff foodie memories are made of...jumbo chunks of wild caught shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.

coleslaw is a classic accompaniment to shrimp rolls.

Any of mine from the blog would work perfectly, I’d suggest my Vidalia onion slaw, (remember you can use any sweet onion for this) my red cabbage and dill slaw, or, if you like a little kick, my classic vinegar slaw. Line your buns with the slaw before loading up with shrimp salad, or serve it on the side.

New England style shrimp roll with chips

more summer shrimp recipes

shrimp rolls in a basket
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3.70 from 210 votes

New England Style Shrimp Roll

New England Shrimp Rolls are the stuff foodie memories are made of…jumbo chunks of shrimp simply tossed with mayo and lemon and then stuffed into a butter toasted bun ~ life (and lunch!) doesn't get any better.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 502kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted

garnish

  • paprika or Old Bay seasoning
  • snipped chives

Instructions

  • If your shrimp are frozen, thaw the shrimp under cool running water for a few minutes until softened, and then steam it or sauté it just until cooked through. Let cool then give them a rough chop.
  • Put the shrimp in a bowl and toss with the mayo, onions, celery, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Taste the salad to adjust any of the seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Melt the butter and brush onto the open buns. Grill for a few minutes until toasty.
  • Serve the shrimp salad in toasted buns, topped with a sprinkle of paprika or Old Bay, and some snipped chives.

Cook’s notes

  • To cut the fat in these New England style shrimp rolls use low fat mayo, or half Greek yogurt and half mayo.
  • For an extra kick, top with pickled jalapeños.
  • For a low carb option line small bowls or glasses with lettuce and or diced avocado, and then spoon the shrimp salad over top.

Nutrition

Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 320mg | Sodium: 1352mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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92 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chris
    August 10, 2022 at 11:12 am

    5 stars
    My husband (of 43 years) is not a big one for shrimp. I love it. So I fixed this thinking that with a salad it would squeak by his “it’s okay” meter. Wrong. I fixed him one roll. I looked up and he is standing at the kitchen counter, plate in hand, pretending to be Oliver Twist. “More, please.”

  • Reply
    Niki
    July 25, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    5 stars
    This is the third day in a row I’ve made 5* dinners of yours. My husband and son both raved over this and are expecting me to make it often. Such an easy dinner! I quickly pan fried the shrimp with a little lemon pepper but otherwise followed the recipe exactly, although my son decided to top his with chipotle mayo, and it was delish! (When my husband was commenting again how much he liked this I told him all the things of yours I make, he was very thankful 😀 )

  • Reply
    Jean
    July 19, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    5 stars
    This Shrimp Roll is definitely a repeatable recipe this summer. I used Brioche HD rolls and they were pure bliss! I also used leftover tartar sauce from a favorite Maine “clam hut” in place of mayo. I added some snipped lemon basil from my garden. It was delightful!!! Thank you for helping make my dinner tonight!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 19, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      LOVE the idea of using tartar sauce in place of mayo ~ very creative!

  • Reply
    Lorine Gantt
    June 1, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    5 stars
    My main suggestion? I read pepper and salt to taste, tasted it, and didn’t think the dish needed any. Though it was missing something, so I added it anyway and the dish improved. ???? So, I dunno, “salt and pepper, even if you don’t think it needs it”? Lol

    I used shredded lettuce with mine because I was reading in a hurry and missed “slaw”. Whoops. Still great, though for my family of small appetites, I’m going to try it with slider rolls or something next time. Not authentic, but more suited to my household.

    • Reply
      Lorine Gantt
      June 1, 2022 at 6:57 pm

      5 stars
      The “??????” was an emoticon on my phone. The “?????” seems a little rude, sorry.

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        June 1, 2022 at 7:23 pm

        lol no offense taken Lorine!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    April 23, 2022 at 4:48 am

    5 stars
    great idea and with the price of lobster shrimp is brilliant choice to sub I am making these tonight thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Anjali
    April 23, 2022 at 1:18 am

    5 stars
    This looks so yummy! I have a family of seafood lovers and I can’t wait to make this for them!

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