How many pieces of shrimp is 1lb?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 41-50 pieces of medium sized shrimp in 1 pound. The exact number can vary based on the size of the shrimp. Large shrimp may have 30-35 pieces per pound, while small shrimp can have 55-70 pieces per pound.

What Factors Determine How Many Shrimp are in a Pound

Several factors determine how many individual shrimp make up a pound:

Shrimp Size

The most significant factor is the size of the shrimp. Shrimp are classified by count-per-pound. The larger the shrimp, the fewer needed to make a pound. Common shrimp sizes include:

– Colossal: 10 or less per pound
– Jumbo: 11-15 per pound
– Extra Large: 16-20 per pound
– Large: 21-30 per pound
– Medium: 31-40 per pound
– Small: 41-50 per pound
– Miniature: over 70 per pound

So colossal shrimp may only have 6-10 pieces per pound, while miniature shrimp could have over 60.

Shell Condition

Shrimp are typically sold either with shells on or peeled. Shells can account for up to half the weight. So for a given size, peeled shrimp will have more pieces per pound than shell-on shrimp.

Individual Shrimp Weight

Even shrimp categorized in the same size range can vary in their individual weight. This causes some fluctuation in the counts per pound. Larger shrimp within a given size will result in fewer pieces per pound.

Moisture Content

If shrimp have higher moisture content, they may weigh slightly more. So drier shrimp would potentially increase the number of pieces per pound.

Processing Method

Processing factors like deveining, salting, or brining may alter moisture content, affecting the pieces per pound.

How Many Pieces in a Pound of Medium Shrimp

Medium shrimp are the most common size sold, typically labeled as 36-40 or 41-50 count per pound.

For medium 36-40 count shrimp, there will be approximately 41-45 shrimp in a pound.

For medium 41-50 count shrimp, there will be approximately 46-50 shrimp in a pound.

So as a general rule, expect about 41-50 individual medium shrimp in a 1 pound container.

Typical Serving Sizes for Shrimp

Knowing approximately how many shrimp are in a pound helps determine appropriate serving sizes.

Here are some common serving sizes for medium shrimp:

– 4-5 shrimp – Appetizer
– 8-12 shrimp – Side dish
– 12-16 shrimp – Main entree protein
– 25 shrimp – Main dish when shrimp is primary protein

For a typical main entree with shrimp as a secondary protein, plan on about 8-12 medium shrimp per person.

How to Get Exact Counts

To get an exact count for a specific package of shrimp:

1. Obtain bag of shrimp

2. Count pieces in a small sample, such as 10 shrimp

3. Weigh that sample amount

4. Estimate the total number using the ratio:

Total shrimp = (Total weight / Sample weight) * Sample count

So for instance:

– 1 lb bag of shrimp
– Count 10 sample shrimp
– Weigh sample and it is 0.25 lbs
– Total estimate is then:
– (1 lb / 0.25 lbs) * 10 shrimp
– 4 * 10 = 40 shrimp

This will provide a precise shrimp count for that particular bag.

Factors That Impact Cost of Shrimp Per Pound

Several factors impact the cost per pound of shrimp. These include:

Shrimp Size

In general, larger shrimp are more expensive per pound. This is because bigger shrimp require longer to raise and have higher feed costs.

Shrimp Source

Wild-caught shrimp are typically more expensive than farm-raised shrimp. Availability of wild shrimp is limited by seasons and quotas.


Processed shrimp such as peeled, deveined, cooked or breaded shrimp cost more than raw shell-on shrimp. More processing increases labor and production costs.


Some shrimp species are highly desirable and command higher prices. These include white shrimp and red shrimp. Brown and pink shrimp are more affordable.


Shrimp from certain regions known for quality may have higher prices. These include Key West pink shrimp and Gulf Coast white shrimp. Importing also increases costs for non-local shrimp.


Prices can vary between grocers, fish markets, warehouse clubs and specialty retailers. Higher-end retailers often charge more.


Shrimp prices fluctuate seasonally, with peak availability in late summer. Prices usually rise in colder months when shrimp harvests are lower.

Average Cost of Shrimp Per Pound

Based on national averages from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, average prices for common shrimp products are:

Shrimp Product Average Cost Per Pound
Raw shell-on medium shrimp $7.99
Raw peeled & deveined medium shrimp $9.99
Cooked peeled & deveined medium shrimp $11.99
Raw jumbo shrimp $11.99
Breaded shrimp $7.99

Of course, prices often depart from these averages based on retailer, location, seasonality, and specific details like wild-caught vs farm-raised. When buying shrimp, larger sizes will have higher per-pound costs.

How Much Shrimp to Buy

When determining how much shrimp to purchase, consider:

– Number of people eating
– Typical serving size based on shrimp size
– Whether shrimp is the main protein or a side
– Appetizers or other usage occasions
– Event duration – if over multiple meals

For example, for a dinner main course of medium shrimp for 4 people:
– 12-16 medium shrimp per person
– So approximately 48-64 total shrimp
– At 41-50 shrimp per lb, buy 1.5 – 2 lbs to have enough

Allow for some extra if using shrimp across multiple recipes, meals or days. Raw shell-on shrimp stores well frozen.

Storing Shrimp

Proper storage preserves freshness and shelf life. Recommendations:

– Keep raw shrimp chilled at 32-38°F

– For short-term storage up to 2 days, refrigerate raw shrimp in original packaging or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap

– For longer storage, freeze shrimp in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag with as much air removed as possible

– Freeze at 0°F or below; shrimp may be stored frozen for up to 9 months before noticeable quality decline

– Thaw frozen shrimp overnight in the refrigerator or by placing sealed bag in cold water; cook thawed shrimp within 1-2 days

– Cooked shrimp lasts 3-4 days refrigerated; it does not freeze well after cooking

Follow safe handling practices and cook fully to an internal temperature of at least 145°F.


A 1 pound bag of medium shrimp will typically contain approximately 41-50 individual shrimp. Larger shrimp have fewer pieces per pound, while smaller shrimp contain more. Factors like shrimp size, shell status, source and processing impact cost per pound. Store raw shrimp chilled or frozen and cook fully for food safety. Knowing how many shrimp come in a pound helps in meal planning and purchasing the right quantities for recipes and menus.

Leave a Comment