Kim’s Pickled Shrimp

Perfect for summer bbq’s, snacking and a topping for salads.

My late friend Kim used to make her famous shrimp for parties and porch gatherings at her home near the beach. There is not a summer I can remember that she didn’t serve these tasty shrimp. A few years ago, at my bridal shower she finally shared the recipe. This weekend I made them in her honor as she was born on Father’s Day. 

The beauty of the recipe is that it’s a make ahead recipe. You can make them 1-2 days before and pull them out of the fridge when guests arrive. Warning, I suggest doubling the recipe as there are never any left over.


  • 4 lbs. medium to large shrimp, peeled, deveined with or without tails
  • 6 Large to extra-large white or yellow onions, peeled and sliced to 1/8” thickness
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups of light oil (canola, vegetable, safflower)
  • 2 Cups of white vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup capers, drained
  • 4 to 6 springs of fresh thyme (lemon thyme is best if you have)
  • 1 + 1/2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup prepared horseradish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. Clean the shrimp and boil until light pink with 2 bay leaves. Drain and rise in cool water and drain again.

  2. Prepare several tall containers or glass jars. (I prefer the super large canning jars) You can use left-over mayo, pickle or tomato sauce jars. Add a layer of onions and capers to the bottom of each jar and a small spring of fresh thyme. The onions should be loose but the should not be fully separated.

  3. Add shrimp to each jar in a flat layer, tightly nested. Then alternate layers of onion and shrimp until each jar is filled.

  4. In a large bowl combine the oil, vinegar, horseradish, tomato paste, salt & pepper and beat with a whisk. Add the capers.

  5. Pour the liquid over the jars of shrimp and onion and close the jars. Refrigerate for a min of 24 hours. If you are short on liquid, you can make more without the capers and horseradish.