For many college students, cooking means popping some Easy Mac in the microwave, or making Ramen. While Easy Mac and Ramen are both great, for a more sophisticated meal, try making something with shrimp. Shrimp is simpler to prepare than you might think. It’s also a great source of protein.

Try these recipes, but first, learn how to cook shrimp here.

Shrimp Scampi


Photo by Natsuko Mazany

Shrimp scampi is a classic pasta dish that is simple and quick to prepare. Even though it is loaded with butter, shrimp scampi is light and refreshing.

College Cooking Hack: Use leftover Franzia for a refreshing and crisp flavor.

Shrimp Nachos


Photo by Katherine Richter

For a new twist on nachos, try adding shrimp on top, instead of beef, or chicken. Shrimp is a great protein alternative, and this different flavor combination will surprise you and your friends with a delicious snack.

College Cooking Hack: Add cheese to everything, whenever possible.

Sriracha Shrimp


Photo by Natsuko Mazany

With this recipe, you can adjust the level of Sriracha to your taste. The shrimp tempura smothered in a Sriracha-sweet chili sauce is an explosion of flavor.

College Cooking Hack: When frying any foods, be sure to heat the oil to a high enough heat (but not so high you set off the fire alarm… which I’ve never done…) and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Shrimp Paella


Photo by Christina Robinson

Paella is a Spanish dish that is traditionally loaded with seafood. There are so many different variations of paella, try adding different ingredients to experiment with what you like best. This paella recipe takes almost an hour to prepare, so plan accordingly.

College Cooking Hack: Sometimes, fresh shrimp is cheaper than frozen shrimp. Be sure to check!

Cheesy Bacon Shrimp Grits


Photo by Samantha Yudin

Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern combination. You can never go wrong adding cheese and bacon. This recipe is based around grits, which are so versatile.

College Cooking Hack: Use instant grits to make your life easier.

Crab and Shrimp Quesadilla


Photo by Wendy Zhou

For this shrimp recipe, add crab and concoct a sensational seafood creation. Quesadillas are delicious, but this recipe is based around a crab and shrimp dip. Use the dip to make a quesadilla, or if you are feeling lazy hungry, enjoy the dip with tortilla chips.

College Cooking Hack: You can add Old Bay to anything and everything, always keep some in the kitchen.

Shrimp Risotto


Photo by Jennifer Weintraub

Risotto is a rice that is cooked in broth to create a creamy consistency. This recipe is packed with protein and super filling. Choose spinach or kale to complement the shrimp.

College Cooking Hack: Make recipes pescetarian by replacing meat-based broths with vegetable broths.