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16 Jul

Creamy Macadamia Shrimp

Macadamia nuts are often used as a crispy coating for seafood and that’s exactly where the inspiration for this recipe came from. We were craving something like macadamia nut crusted shrimp, but we didn’t want to take the time to dredge each little shrimp in a nutty coating and we didn’t want to deal with the mess of deep-frying. Occasionally, laziness in the kitchen can be a source of inspiration and leads us to create new dishes that take very little time to make but deliver big flavor. Creamy Macadamia Shrimp is exactly one of these dishes.

In twenty minutes or less you’ll be sitting down to a bowl of shrimp flavored by one of our favorite nuts, the macadamia. If you recall, it made the “10 Foods I Couldn’t Live Without” list where we mentioned mixing the mild, tropical-tasting nut with blackberries and Greek yogurt. This combo is perfect for breakfast or dessert, but if you want to bring macadamia nuts into your main course too, then Creamy Macadamia Shrimp is a recipe you definitely have to try.

A handful of ingredients come together to make a creamy, crunchy, rich sauce that has the slightly sweet flavor of macadamia nuts, the savory bite of shallot and a hint of coconut. It’s simple to make, but tastes complex. We can imagine serving the shrimp with a side of sautéed greens or on top of steamed cauliflower rice to make it a complete meal.

Be generous with the finishing squirt of lime – it will tie all the ingredients together and heighten the flavor of the dish.


2-3 servings

  • 1 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • Fresh lime juice to taste


Puree shallot, salt and macadamia nuts in a food processor until fairly smooth.

Melt butter in a pan over high heat and add shrimp. Saute one minute then add shallot-macadamia mixture. Stir the shrimp several times while they continue to sauté for three more minutes. Add coconut milk to the shrimp and cook one minute more.

Remove from heat and squeeze a generous amount of lime juice on top to taste.

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Oh, this was SO good!!! I forgot to buy shallots, but had a nice sweet onion so I put some of that in. Super good!

    Laura wrote on August 4th, 2011
  2. I just made this as an afternoon snack and my four kids finished it in less than two minutes! It was a hit! I think we’ll try it with chicken too. Great recipe!

    Kathy wrote on August 6th, 2011
  3. I made this last night and I had to laugh at myself. I didn’t know what a shallot was! lol Well, I had to use pre-cooked shrimp and I put the nuts and shallots in a blender instead! yeah…didn’t work well!!! but all in all it was delicious! I am eating the leftovers for lunch today. I love the recipes but can you put together a few inexpensive ones?? I love you Mark but I don’t live in Malibu and my salary isn’t anywhere near yours!!! Thanks

    Diane wrote on August 9th, 2011
  4. Hi Mark! Am I able to cook this recipe with prawns instead? Looks delicious! just listened to the pod cast with you and rob wolff

    Emily Bingham wrote on August 15th, 2011
  5. I have never considered cooking (savory) with macadamia nuts. That sounds beyond delicious.

    j3nn wrote on August 17th, 2011
  6. I made this tonight, and wow, it was fabulous! And so easy to make too! Perfect for someone like me who really doesn’t enjoy cooking — it was simple, fast, and delicious!

    Jackie Kessler wrote on August 18th, 2011
  7. We made this recipe last night for dinner, it was phenomenal!!!! I added a couple of cloves of garlic to it and the sauce was fabulous, would be fantatic over any seafood or even for a pizza sauce on a coconut flour pizza dough! WONDERFUL recipe!!!!

    Deanna wrote on August 19th, 2011
  8. Made this last night (after sitting on the ingredients for about a month).


    Not only is it DELICIOUS, but it only takes a few minutes to make.

    A new staple in our house… now if we could just find macadamia nuts for a price that doesn’t require a 2nd mortgage 😉

    Steven wrote on August 27th, 2011
  9. Tried this tonight. Used 1/4 of a red onion instead of the shallot. Was very, very tasty. Things I would do differently next time: more coconut milk! 2 T wasn’t enough of a coconut taste for me. YMMV.

    Rozska wrote on September 19th, 2011
  10. Yum! I just came across this recipe, as I have shrimp and macadamia’s. I don’t have shallots or coconut milk, so I’ll try just a bit of red onion/garlic and some coconut oil instead. Can’t wait!

    Jennifer wrote on November 4th, 2011
  11. Made this for dinner tonight and it was DELICIOUS…. but very rich! However, I am saying this after I just easily consumed a half pound of shrimp by myself. :)

    I don’t even want to see the calorie count on these puppies….

    Thanks, Mark!!!

    Heidi wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  12. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for this recipe. I used red onion instead of shallot. I did add a small amount of garlic & ginger. The bonus was the macadamia’s were off our own tree. Double bonus as I doubled the recipe & am having it cold for my lunch today.

    Sue from NZ wrote on December 13th, 2011
  13. Absolutely delicious made as stated and with cauliflower rice.

    Mallory wrote on January 31st, 2012
  14. I first did this dish almost two years ago when I started eating paleo and haven’t done it that often (shrimp and especially macadamia nuts are way too expensive were I live).

    Anyways, yesterday I was undecided between shrimp scampi and the creamy macadamia – so I just substituted the shallot for a ton of garlic. It. Was. So. Good!

    Dinis Correia wrote on October 2nd, 2012
  15. DELICIOUS! fast becoming one of mine and the hubby’s fav meals. Made it with monkfish and cashew nuts last night and was just as delish. I add a little bit of garlic, chilli and a small amount of red thai curry paste too just to up the tastiness a bit.

    MrsVB wrote on April 30th, 2013
  16. Wow! This is absolutely amazingly delicious! I highly recommend serving it with a side of grilled pineapple and asparagus. 5 stars!.. and it was so quick and easy. Great recipe, thanks!

    Carrie wrote on July 9th, 2013
  17. I made this last night – I’m on my first week of going primal. It was delicious. Even though macadamia nuts are hard to find in the UK without being mixed with something else. I put a bit of grated lime zest in the blender too. Divine!

    Sophie wrote on August 15th, 2013

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