Honey Walnut Shrimp – WellPlated.com


Crispy pan-fried shrimp, honey-glazed walnuts, and a sweet, creamy sauce make this Honey Walnut Shrimp a wow-worthy weeknight dinner. Who needs takeout when you can get this succulent shrimp recipe on the table in just 30 minutes?!

Why You’ll Love This Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

  • Takeout Fakeout! Whether it’s Shrimp Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Chicken or General Tso Tofu, I love a good takeout remake. Not only is it fun to recreate my favorite restaurant dishes at home, it’s also a fantastic way to enjoy all those familiar flavors in a slightly healthier form.
  • 30-Minute Dinner. Shrimp always makes for a quick meal—see shrimp dishes like Air Fryer Shrimp and Grilled Shrimp for examples—and this honey walnut shrimp is no exception. After 20 minutes of prep time, you only have 10 minutes of cooking and dinner’s ready!
  • Creamy (and Healthy!) Sauce. There are many versions of this dish, but most rely upon mayo and either sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream and sweetener for the sauce. I’ve used plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey, which gives the sauce the creamy texture you love, without the heaviness. A little bit of lemon juice or vinegar adds a hint of acidity to bring it all into balance. (Psst—If you love creamy honey walnut shrimp, you’ll love Bang Bang Shrimp and Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos!)
  • Sweet and Savory. If you’ve got a soft spot for sweet-and-savory flavor combinations, you will adore honey walnut shrimp. Shrimp works surprisingly well with sweet flavors, which is why I love pairing it with pineapple to make Shrimp Kabobs too!
easy honey walnut shrimp recipe in a bowl

How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp

The Ingredients

Candied Walnuts

  • Honey. Adds just the right amount of sweetness to our candied walnuts.
  • Water. To thin the honey so the walnuts are well-coated.
  • Walnut Halves. The crunchy complement to the succulent shrimp and creamy sauce!

Substitution Tip

Cashews would work in this recipe too if you happen to have them on hand. (Use any extra for Thai Cashew Chicken.)

Stir Fry Sauce

  • Plain Greek Yogurt. Full-fat will give you the richest sauce, but any variety works.
  • Honey. Enough to flavor the sauce without being overwhelming.
  • Kosher Salt. For balance.
  • Black Pepper. Freshly ground is best.
  • Lemon Juice or White Vinegar. Also adds balance and a bit of tangy flavor.


  • Extra-Large Raw Shrimp. Leave the tails off or on, but peel and devein the shrimp so they’re easy to eat.
  • Cornstarch. For crispy coating.
  • Kosher Salt. My favorite salt for cooking!
  • Egg Whites. The final ingredient for our batter.
  • Canola Oil. Or another oil suitable for high-heat like vegetable oil.
  • Rice. Cooked brown rice or white rice for serving.
  • Green Onions. Optional, but adds color and flavor to the honey walnut shrimp.

The Directions

toasting walnuts for honey walnut shrimp
  1. Make the Candied Walnuts. Transfer the walnuts to a parchment-lined cutting board or plate.
easy honey walnut shrimp sauce
  1. Make the Sauce. Stir together all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.
whisking together ingredients for honey walnut shrimp

3. Make the Batter. Whisk until foamy.

coating shrimp for honey walnut shrimp recipe

4. Batter the Shrimp. Stir the shrimp in the batter until they’re coated.

pan frying shrimp for honey walnut shrimp recipe

5. Cook. Use medium-high heat and cook in batches.

coating honey walnut shrimp

6. Toss and Serve. Add the cooked shrimp and walnuts to the sauce, gently toss, and serve over rice. Garnish honey walnut shrimp with green onions and ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, but note that the shrimp will be much less crispy as it sits in the sauce. (This really is a dish made for eating right away!)
  • To Reheat. Warm leftover honey walnut shrimp in a skillet set over medium heat.

Meal Prep Tip

Make the honey-glazed walnuts up to a few days in advance. Let them cool completely, then store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Leftover Ideas

Use leftover honey walnut shrimp as a filling for lettuce wraps, a la my Asian Lettuce Wraps recipe.

What to Serve with Honey Walnut Shrimp

healthy honey walnut shrimp recipe
  • Wok. A worthwhile investment if you cook a lot of Asian-inspired recipes like honey walnut chicken at home.
  • Paring Knife. The perfect knife for deveining shrimp.
  • Chopsticks. They’re not just for eating with! If you’re nimble with chopsticks, they’re a great way to flip shrimp in the pan.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Dry the Shrimp Well. This will help the batter stick instead of sliding off!
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan. If you do, your shrimp will steam and it won’t get that delightfully crispy exterior you want in honey walnut shrimp. Cook the shrimp in two batches to keep them crisp.
  • Know When Shrimp Is Done. Shrimp cooks quickly, which means it’s very easy to over-cook. Finished shrimp is pink in color and it curls into a C-shape.
  • Devour Immediately. As the shrimp sits in the creamy sauce, the crispy exterior will start to soften, so honey walnut shrimp is a dish best enjoyed right away.

For the Walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves

For the Shrimp

  • 1 pound extra-large 26/30 count raw shrimp peeled and deveined, tails off or on
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil divided
  • Cooked brown rice or white rice for serving
  • Green onions optional for serving

  • Make the walnuts: Set a sheet of parchment paper on a cutting board or plate near your stove. In a small skillet, heat the honey and water over medium, whisking to combine. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, add the walnuts. With a spoon, stir to coat the walnuts in the sizzling liquid, until the skillet is almost dry (resist the urge to taste a walnut, they are HOT). Transfer the walnuts immediately to the parchment paper, spreading them into a single layer. Set aside to cool.

  • Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey, and lemon juice or vinegar.

  • Make the shrimp: With paper towels, pat the shrimp dry. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cornstarch, and salt until no lumps remain. The mixture will be thick, sticky, and reminiscent of Elmer’s glue. Add the shrimp. Stir gently to coat.

  • Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, swirl to coat the pan with the oil, then with tongs, add half of the shrimp, placing them one at a time so they aren’t touching each other (if they do touch, it’s OK but they’ll stick together, so use a spatula to break them apart). Pan fry on the firsit side for 2 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the shrimp is golden outside and cooked through. Immediately remove to the plate with the walnuts. Repeat with the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil and remaining shrimp.

  • Add the shrimp and walnuts to the bowl with the sauce. Stir to coat. Serve immediately over piping hot rice with a sprinkle of green onions.

  • TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, but note that the shrimp will be much less crispy as they sit in the sauce. (This really is a dish made for eating right away!)
  • TO REHEAT: Warm leftovers in a skillet set over medium heat.

Serving: 1(of 3)Calories: 530kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 28gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 192mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 278IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 1mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp Made Of?

Panda Express honey walnut shrimp is made with tempura-battered shrimp, a honey sauce, and glazed walnuts. Unlike many other versions of honey walnut shrimp, the sauce at Panda Express is not made with mayonnaise (so it shares that in common with this recipe).

Where Is Honey Walnut Shrimp From?

Honey walnut shrimp is a Western-inspired recipe that originated in Hong Kong, then crossed the Pacific to the United States, where it began popping up on Chinese restaurant menus in the 1980s and 90s.

Can You Reheat Honey Walnut Shrimp in the Microwave?

You can, but it’s not ideal—the microwave is more likely to give you rubbery, unappetizing shrimp. It’s best to gently reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop.

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