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Can You Freeze Prawns?

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By Ross Young

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Prawns are a staple of any fish lover’s diet. They’re versatile, high in nutrients, and great additions to salads, curries, and pasta dishes. You can buy prawns in various forms, whether they’re fresh, cooked, shelled, or unshelled. But how do you store them for the long term?

Can You Freeze Prawns?

Yes, you can freeze prawns for up to 3 months. When buying fresh prawns, using or freezing them as quickly as possible is essential. This is mainly because you don’t know how fresh they are (unless you’ve caught them yourself)!

Do Prawns Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Prawns? No

How to Freeze Prawns

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Course: FishCuisine: InternationalDifficulty: Easy


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This is My Preferred Method for Freezing Prawns

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  • 6 Large Prawns


  • Wash and Peel
    When you get your prawns home, wash them thoroughly under cold water. If you want to remove the shells, feel free to do so at this stage, and give them another rinse once they’ve been de-shelled.
  • Dry
    Pat the excess water from your prawns with a paper towel.
  • Lay Into Containers
    Lay them in a Tupperware box. If you’re adding multiple layers you can separate them with sheets of greaseproof paper to prevent them from sticking together. In order to protect your other food in the freezer from your prawn’s odour, it’s best not to freeze them in bags.
  • Label and Freeze
    On the lid of the Tupperware box, note the date you purchased your prawns and the use-by date. 
Can You Freeze Fresh Prawns in Shells?

Yes, you can freeze prawns both in shells or peeled. If you’re freezing them in their shells then you’ll need to thaw them fully before cooking so that you can easily remove the shells.

How to Freeze Different Prawn Dishes

The reason I love prawns is how many different dishes they can be turned into. I’ve covered 3 of my favourites below and then how to go about freezing them effectively:

Prawn Curry

Freezing prawn curry can be a fantastic way to prepare a quick meal in the future. After cooking, I let the curry cool completely before transferring it into suitable containers or freezer bags.

It’s important to leave some space at the top as liquids expand when frozen.

One thing to remember is that prawns can become tough if reheated for too long, so when you’re ready to eat the curry, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat gently until it’s hot.

Prawn Toast

Freezing prawn toast is a bit tricky because of the risk of the toast becoming soggy when defrosted. After all, you need that crispy crunch from the toast.

It is possible.

After cooking the prawn toast, let it cool completely. Then, arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them before transferring to a freezer bag. This prevents the prawn toast from sticking together.

When ready to eat, I reheat them straight from the freezer in a hot oven to return some of the crunch.

Prawn Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that’s best eaten fresh, but it can be frozen if necessary. After making the prawn risotto, let it cool completely, then portion it into freezer-safe containers before freezing.

To reheat, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then reheat gently on the stove, adding a little extra liquid (stock or water) to bring it back to the right consistency.

Get It Piping Hot!

It’s crucial to ensure the food is piping hot all the way through when reheating but avoid overheating as it can adversely affect the texture of the prawns. And always remember, don’t refreeze the dishes once they have been thawed!

How Long Can You Freeze Prawns?

You can freeze prawns for around 3 months.

Some online sources state that prawns can be frozen for up to 6 months, but we would err on the side of caution.

In particular, if you’ve purchased your prawns from the supermarket, you have little to no idea of when they were caught, so you should only keep them for three months to be on the safe side.

How Long Do Prawns Last in the Fridge?

Both raw and cooked prawns will only last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge before they need to be thrown out, unfortunately.

How Do You Defrost Prawns?

It’s important that you’re careful when defrosting prawns and any other shellfish for that matter. The day before you plan on enjoying your prawns, remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge.

Leave them covered in the container in which they were frozen. It can take up to 24 hours for your prawns to thaw, so you need to give yourself enough time. Never defrost your prawns at room temperature.

Can You Refreeze Prawns?

Once they’ve been thawed, frozen prawns should never be refrozen. This is the case for both fresh and cooked prawns, so you will need to use them all in one go.

If you don’t think you will need all of the prawns in the freezer, simply pick out the ones you will need, instead of removing the whole container. This way your prawns won’t go to waste.

Can You Freeze Prawns After Cooking Them?

Yes, you can certainly freeze cooked prawns. Ensure they’re cooled after cooking, then place them in a suitable container or freezer bag before freezing for up to 3 months.

Do Prawns Freeze Well?

Prawns freeze extremely well. In fact, many fishermen freeze prawns as soon as they catch them, as this is a great way to preserve their freshness while they’re still out at sea.

But as is the case with all shellfish, just be careful when preserving it, as handling it poorly and defrosting prawns inappropriately can be dangerous to your health.

Is It Safe to Freeze Prawns?

It is safe to freeze prawns. Both raw and cooked prawns can be frozen and it’s a great way to maintain their freshness until you’re ready to use them. Just remember to thaw them properly, preferably in the refrigerator, before using them.


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