Zesty Shrimp Burgers with Homemade Horseradish Sauce

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shrimp burgers

What’s Up, Hungry People!

Fish fries might be the go-to dish during Lent, but let’s be real, the same ol’ fish can get a bit boring after a few weeks. Fret not, because I’ve whipped up a shrimp burger that’s not just for Lent—it’s a year-round pleaser!

shrimp burger with toppings

I have a soft spot for turning anything that’s not hamburger meat into a burger. You name it, turkey, salmon, and now—shrimp! I tried a shrimp burger at a local haunt last year, and let’s just say, it left me wanting more. I’ve been reminiscing about that burger and knew it was time to make my own killer version.

Seasonings are the soul of this dish. I went with Old Bay and a Cajun spice blend for that extra kick. Of course, if you’re more into Asian flavors, I’ve seen versions of this recipe with curry powder that also look amazing. But that’s a tale for another time.

The real MVP here, besides the shrimp of course, is a stack of fresh toppings. Think avocado, radicchio, and a special homemade horseradish mayonnaise. Yeah, you heard that right!

ingredients for shrimp burgers

Here’s What You Need

  • Shrimp: The main protein that gives the burger its seafoody essence and juicy texture.
  • Bread crumbs: Acts as a binder, helping to hold the shrimp patties together during cooking.
  • Red bell pepper: Adds sweetness, color, and a mild crunch to the shrimp patty mixture.
  • Red onion: Gives a zesty kick to the shrimp patties and also serves as a vibrant topping.
  • Green onion: Enhances the overall flavor profile; used both in the patties and as a fresh topping.
  • Garlic: Infuses the shrimp patties with a robust, aromatic depth of flavor.
  • Egg: Serves as a binding agent that keeps the shrimp patties from falling apart.
  • Old Bay seasoning: Adds a touch of spice and seafood-friendly seasoning to the shrimp patties.
  • Lemon juice: Provides a burst of acidity that lightens up and balances the richness of the shrimp.
  • Mayonnaise: Base for the horseradish tartar sauce, adding a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  • Creamy horseradish: Adds a spicy kick to the tartar sauce for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Pickle juice: Sharpens the tartar sauce with a salty, acidic note.
  • Sesame oil: Used for frying; imparts a subtle nutty aroma to the cooked shrimp patties.
  • Radicchio: Adds a pop of color and a slightly bitter taste, serving as a unique lettuce substitute for topping.
  • Tomato: Offers juiciness and natural sweetness as a fresh topping on the burger.
  • Burger buns: The vessel that holds all the delicious components together for a perfect bite.
ingredients in food processor

Let’s Cook!

The most efficient way to make these burgers is to throw everything in a food processor. It’ll chop the shrimp into a ground-meat-like texture. But if kitchen gadgets aren’t your thing, or you’re yet to get one, finely chopping the shrimp works too. It’ll just take a bit longer.

shrimp in food processor

All About the Binder

Once you’ve mixed the shrimp with veggies and spices, add breadcrumbs. Without breadcrumbs, the shrimp mixture is basically a loose cannon. That’s where the egg comes in; it’ll act as a glue to hold your shrimp patty together. Science, right?

egg in with blended shrimp

Patties 101

Shape the shrimp mixture into quarter-pound patties, about half an inch thick. This will ensure they cook evenly.

shrimp patties

Quick Cooking Time

One of the best parts about these shrimp burgers is how fast they cook. Seriously, dinner will be ready in a flash. Planning a BBQ? Make the patties ahead of time, then grill ’em up. They’ll need just 2-3 minutes to cook through.

cooked shrimp patties

Horseradish Tartar Sauce Time

For the sauce, mix your go-to mayo with a creamy horseradish sauce. I experimented with garlic aioli and also tried a simple tartar sauce. Both were hits! If you’re not into spicy stuff, the milder tartar could be your new best friend.

ingredients for toppings

Assembling the Burger

Finally, put it all together. Layer your patty with slices of avocado, tomatoes, and red onions. Swap out the regular lettuce for radicchio to make your burger pop with color. And please, don’t forget to drown it in that horseradish tartar sauce!

Tips for Shrimp Burgers

  • Use Fresh Shrimp: For the best flavor and texture, opt for fresh shrimp rather than frozen if possible.
  • Food Processor Alternatives: If you don’t have a food processor, a good chef’s knife will do for chopping the shrimp; it’ll just take a bit more time.
  • Patty Formation: If the patties aren’t holding together well, try refrigerating the mixture for about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Cooking Temperature: Make sure your skillet is hot but not smoking; you’re looking for a medium-high heat for an even sear on the patties.
  • Substitute for Old Bay: If you’re out of Old Bay seasoning, you can make a simple mix of paprika, celery salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Sauce Variations: Don’t limit yourself to horseradish tartar sauce; other options like garlic aioli or a spiced yogurt sauce can work wonders too.
  • Bun Options: For a healthier twist, you can use whole grain buns or even go bun-less and wrap the patty in lettuce.
  • Topping Variability: Feel free to get creative with the toppings—sliced jalapeños for heat or even a dollop of guacamole for extra creaminess.
  • Prep Ahead: These patties can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge, covered, to make dinner prep even faster.
  • Freezing the Patties: These can also be frozen before cooking. Just place a sheet of parchment paper between each patty and store in an airtight container.
  • Grilling Option: If you’re planning a BBQ, these patties grill beautifully. Just make sure your grill is well-oiled so they don’t stick.
  • Cooking Time: Shrimp cooks quickly, so keep an eye on the clock to avoid rubbery patties. The color should turn from translucent to opaque when done.
assembled shrimp burger

And there we go, Hungry People! From the juicy shrimp patties to that spicy horseradish tartar sauce, this burger is a seafood lover’s dream come true. Switch up your dinner routine or stun your BBQ guests with this off-the-hook dish. Don’t forget those colorful toppings; they take the flavor to a whole new level. Enjoy!


Shrimp Burgers with Horseradish Tartar Sauce

The Starving Chef
This shrimp burger recipe jazzes up your dinner with tender patties, zesty horseradish tartar sauce, and a burst of colorful toppings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Batch Cooking 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine Burgers, Seafood
Servings 4


  • 16 oz shrimp peeled
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cup red onion chopped + more for topping
  • 3 tablespoon green onion + more for topping
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning or cajun spice blend
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil for frying
  • 1 radicchio chopped for topping
  • 1 tomato sliced for topping
  • 4 burger buns for serving
  • avocado for topping
  • pickles for topping


  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and horseradish sauce. Add the pickle juice. Stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Using a food processor, finely chop the shrimp, red onion, red bell pepper, green onions, and garlic. Then add the Old Bay seasoning and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Pulse well to combine and remove any large chunks.
  • Transfer the ground shrimp to a bowl and add the breadcrumbs and egg. Stir to combine. Form the shrimp mixture into quarter-pound patties, about a half-inch thick.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil and heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp burgers in batches and cook on both sides for 1-2 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through (about three minutes total).
  • Serve the shrimp burgers on burger buns and top with avocado, tomatoes, radicchio, and of course, the horseradish tartar sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!
Keyword burger, shrimp
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