11 Surprising Substitutes for Shrimp – What to Use Instead

I was planning on making shrimp scampi for dinner, but when I went to the store, I realized that they were out of shrimp. Not wanting to give up on my scampi dreams, I decided to try some substitutes.

I ended up using surimi and chicken as substitutes for shrimp. The results were amazing and I want to share my findings with you all!

So if you’re craving shrimp but don’t want to break the bank?

Or maybe you’re just feeling a little crabby. (Get it? Crabby?)

No worries

We’ve got you covered with some delicious shrimp substitutes that will have your taste buds doing the happy dance.

Because when it comes to shrimp substitutes, the options are endless.

Here is a list of our favorite substitutes that will taste just as good (if not better) in your dish.

Substitutes for Shrimp:

  1.  Scallops
  2. Crayfish
  3. Langostino
  4. Lobster tails
  5. Surimi
  6. Fake shrimp
  7. Mussels
  8. Chicken
  9. Whitefish
  10. Clams
  11. Tofu


Scallops may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for a shrimp substitute, but these little chunks are actually a pretty good swap.

They have a similar fishlike flavor and can be used in many of the same dishes.

Plus, they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health.

So, what dishes can you make with scallops instead of shrimp?

Fajitas are a great option – just swap out the shrimp for scallops and you’re good to go.

Or, if you’re feeling creative, try scallop pasta. Just cook the scallops in a pan with some garlic and olive oil, then add them to your favorite pasta dish.

Just be sure to cook them properly.

Over-cooked scallops can be rubbery and tough to eat. But if you get them just right, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious and healthy meal.


Crayfish make a great substitute for shrimps. They are sweet and tender, and they are a great 1-to-1 alternative for most dishes that require shrimps.

These succulent little sea creatures are not always easily sourced and can be a bit costly, however, their taste and health benefits make them well worth the price.

They boast excellent benefits for our body such as strong bones and smooth skin.

When preparing dishes with crayfish substitutes, it is important to cook them properly. Crayfish should be simmered in water for three to four minutes until they are cooked through.

Or you may cook them following the shrimp recipe directions.

I particularly love them curried or simply pan-seared.


Cries of “Eureka!” and “I’ve found it!” can be heard around the world as amateur and professional alike have solved the millennia-old question of what to do when there’s no shrimp for dinner.

The answer, of course, is langostino.

This delicious little seafood is not only a great 1-to-1 substitute for shrimp in terms of taste and texture, but it also has some impressive health benefits to boot.

For one, langostino is a super protein, packed with all the essential amino acids that your body needs to function at its best.

What’s more, this seafood is also good for your brain, helping to improve cognitive function and memory.

They are a sure healthy way to spruce up your stir-fry or pasta dishes.

Lobster tails

Did you know that lobster tails make an excellent substitute for shrimps?

Yup, they do!

While they may be pricier than their crustacean cousins, lobster tails offer a taste of the sea that is simply unmatched.

In addition, their stretchy texture makes them perfect for dishes where you want a bit of extra bite.

And did I mention that lobster tails are also rich in selenium, which fights anemia and helps to keep your immune system functioning properly?

Not to mention, they’re an excellent source of protein.

One of the best ways to enjoy lobster tails is to grill them. This gives them a lovely smoky flavor that is perfect for summer BBQs and a seafood boil.


In many cases, surimi can be used as a great substitute for shrimps.

Surimi is low in fat and is a great source of zinc. It is also easy to sauté and can be used in many Asian dishes.

One of my favorite dishes that surimi can be used in place of shrimp is Sticky Lettuce Wraps. The surimi has a similar texture to shrimp, making it a great replacement.

In addition, the surimi is less likely to fall out of the wraps than shrimp. For this dish, simply sauté the surimi in a little oil and add it to the wraps with your favorite vegetables.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to using surimi as a substitute for shrimp.

So get creative and enjoy!

Fake shrimp

Now here’s a shrimp substitute that works well in any dish, is identical in flavor, and is healthier for you.

Meet konjac: the new hotness in the world of fake shrimp.

Konjac is a root vegetable that’s a primary ingredient used to make fake shrimps as well as a thickener in dishes like stews and soups.

It’s also biotin-rich, which means it’s good for your hair, skin, and nails. And because it’s low in calories and high in fiber, it’s a great option for people who are looking to lose weight.

That’s why I always keep a bag of fake shrimp in my freezer.

Fake shrimp is a great seafood substitute that has a matching flavor profile to shrimp so it works well in any dish, from stir-fries to salads.


Mussels have been a longtime staple in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, but in recent years, they’ve started to make their way into dishes from all over the world.

And for good reason!

Not only are mussels rich in DHA and EPA (two essential fatty acids), but they’re also an excellent source of vitamin B12.

Plus, they’re usually a fraction of the price of shrimp.

So if you’re looking for an economical seafood option that’s also packed with nutrients, mussels are a great choice.

And don’t worry if you’ve never cooked with them before.

Mussels are incredibly versatile and can be used in any dish that calls for shrimp.

So whether you need to add some extra protein to your stir-fry or you want to switch things up at your next seafood boil, mussels are an excellent 1-to-1 trade-off for shrimp.


Chicken makes a great substitute for shrimp in many dishes.

It mimics the texture and flavor of shrimp pretty well.

You can use this as a 1-to-1 substitute in pasta, soups, salads, and burgers.

The main benefits of using the substitute are that you get the same taste and texture without the shrimp.

You also don’t have to worry about allergies or cholesterol.


Whitefish is another suitable alternative to shrimp in many dishes, from stir-fries to salads

While the texture of whitefish is almost identical to shrimp, it differs in taste.

However, this difference is often not noticeable when the fish is cooked in a sauce or stew.

In addition, whitefish is a suitable alternative for those who are looking for immune-boosting food. This is because whitefish are rich in vitamin B6, which is known to support the immune system.

Overall, whitefish is an affordable and versatile seafood option that can be used as a 1-to-1 substitute for shrimp in many dishes.


Clams can be used as a delicious and nutritious substitute for shrimp.

That’s right!

These stinging, soft-bodied creatures are not just good for making paella, they’re also an excellent source of B12 and male fertility.

While they may not have the same silky feel as shrimp, they make up for it in taste and nutrition.

Simply use them as a 1-to-1 replacement in any of your favorite shrimp dishes.


Tofu is a great replacement for shrimp in many dishes, and it can give you near-perfect results.

Plus, it’s a great choice for vegans and those who are looking to add more fiber to their diet.

To get the best results with tofu, be sure to soften it first.

You can do this by boiling it or soaking it in hot water for a few minutes. Once it’s soft, it will be much easier to work with and will absorb flavors better.

There are many great dishes that you can make using tofu as a shrimp substitute.

Whether you need a vegan version of shrimp scampi or just want to try something new, tofu is a great choice.


What is a good vegan alternative for shrimp?

Tofu is a great vegan shrimp alternative. It has a similar texture to shrimp and can be easily flavored to taste like shrimp.

What is the best shrimp substitute for those with allergies?

If you have a shrimp allergy, chicken is a good substitute.

It has a similar texture and flavor to shrimp but doesn’t contain any of the allergens that shrimp does.

What is the best shrimp substitute for those on a budget?

Whitefish is a good shrimp substitute for those on a budget.

It has a similar texture to shrimp but is often cheaper than shrimp.

Additionally, whitefish is a good source of immune-boosting vitamin B12.

In Conclusion

When it comes to shrimp substitutes, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for a seafood option that’s similar in taste and texture, or you need an allergy-friendly alternative, there’s something for everyone.

So the next time you find yourself feeling crabby, don’t worry!

There’s no need to reach for the shrimp. Just try one of these shrimp substitutes instead.

You won’t be disappointed!