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Honey Walnut Shrimp

This Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe features juicy shrimp with a lightly crispy exterior, in a sweet and sticky sauce, plus honey glazed walnuts for some delicious crunch. A lighter version of the takeout classic, it’s ready in 30 minutes!

Honey walnut shrimp over rice on a white plate

Quick & Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp

This Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe is a little lighter than most. It features juicy shrimp with a lightly crispy exterior, in a sweet and sticky sauce, plus honey glazed walnuts for some delicious crunch!

I’ve always liked the honey walnut shrimp entrees at Panda Express and our favorite local takeout, Thanh Truc. But many times when I order from their menus, I’m wishing this dish was made a little lighter, with shrimp that didn’t have so much breading.

So this easy honey walnut shrimp recipe has all that same delicious flavor as the restaurants, but with shrimp that is much lighter. The shrimp have a delicately crispy exterior – and I think it’s PERFECT!!

This dish is quick and easy to make, ready in just 30 minutes or so. I like to serve the saucy shrimp over rice with some steamed or sauteed vegetables. This recipe makes me SO HAPPY – I hope you like it, too!

Looking for more easy shrimp recipes? Don’t miss my shrimp tempura, garlic toast with shrimp, and air fryer shrimp recipes!

Overhead view of a bowl of honey walnut shrimp

Why You’ll Love This Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

Here are a few reasons to love this shrimp recipe.

  • Ready in 30 minutes. From start to finish, you can have this recipe on the table in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights and easier than ordering takeout.
  • Lighter and healthier than takeout. While this recipe was certainly inspired by Panda Express honey walnut shrimp (and similar restaurants), it has a much lighter coating on it and is a healthier version of the dish.
  • Made with common ingredients. The sauce for this honey walnut shrimp is made with ingredients that you can easily find at the store or may even already have on hand.

What You’ll Need

Each part of this recipe requires just a few ingredients. See the recipe card below for measurements.

For the Walnuts

  • Water – Water helps form a syrup to coat the walnuts.
  • Honey – Honey adds an earthy sweetness to this recipe. I recommend a good quality honey that has a robust flavor.
  • Walnuts – Walnuts add a rich, nutty crunch to the shrimp. Use roasted, salted walnut halves or pieces for the best flavor, crunch, and appearance. If using roasted, unsalted walnuts, simply add a little salt (I’ve included that part in the recipe card). Just do not use raw walnuts – unless you roast them first.

For the Sauce

  • Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is the base of the sweet, creamy sauce. I use Kewpie mayonnaise, a Japanese mayo that has a richer flavor and texture than regular mayo. But regular mayo will work in a pinch.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – A classic ingredient for this recipe. It adds sticky sweetness to the sauce.
  • Lemon juice – Adds bright flavor and acidity, and loosens up the sauce a bit.
  • Rice wine vinegar – This adds a bit more acidity to contrast with the richness of the sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes – For a fun little kick of heat! Sriracha or garlic chili sauce would also work.

For the Shrimp

  • Vegetable oil – Vegetable oil is used to fry the shrimp. You can also use a combination of 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil to enhance the nutty flavor notes in this recipe – this is really good!
  • Shrimp – Use large peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • Spices – Kosher salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, and black pepper season the shrimp so it tastes extra delicious!
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch sticks to the shrimp and fries into a lightly crisp coating.

Easy Variations

  • Make it like Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp. I also want to add that sometimes I do crave that battered shrimp, like Panda Express features in their honey walnut shrimp. If that’s you, then swap the shrimp preparation in this recipe for shrimp tempura. This tempura-battered shrimp will give you a true copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp!
  • Make it spicy. When I’m in a spicy mood, I like to sprinkle in more dried red pepper flakes. I also like to offer thin slices of fresh jalapeno – it goes really well with the sweetness of the sauce!
  • Can I use frozen shrimp? Yes, frozen shrimp will work in this recipe (it’s what I use) but you do want to thaw it completely first. Be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel very well to remove any excess moisture.

How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp

This easy shrimp recipe comes together in a few simple steps and is ready in 30 minutes!

  • Make the honey glazed walnuts. Toast walnuts in a small skillet for 2 minutes. Combine water and honey in a small bowl. Stir the honey mixture into the walnuts. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until honey mixture has dissolved. Transfer walnuts to a parchment-lined pan to cool.
  • Make the sauce. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Overhead view fo a plate of honey walnut shrimp over rice
  • Make the shrimp. Dry the shrimp with a paper towel then season with salt, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Cook in oil for 2 minutes per side, until firm, opaque, and lightly browned.
  • Toss the ingredients. Add the cooked shrimp and half the honey glazed walnuts to a large bowl and quickly toss with half of the sauce until evenly coated.
  • Enjoy! Then it’s time to enjoy your beautiful shrimp dish! Serve it over rice, with additional sauce and honey glazed walnuts on the side.

Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips for making the best honey walnut shrimp.

  • Cook the shrimp in batches. It’s important to not overlap the shrimp in the pan, so that they all cook evenly and get a crisp texture. Crowding the shrimp will take away from the crispness. If you don’t have a large enough skillet to cook the shrimp all at the same time without crowding, then cook the shrimp in batches.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp. Shrimp does not take long to cook. Cook until it’s just firm, opaque, and lightly browned. If cooked too long, the tenderness vanishes and you’re left with dry shrimp.
  • Combine with the sauce, enjoy right away . Once the shrimp have finished cooking, you want to combine with the sauce and enjoy while it’s still hot. This will give you the best texture possible.
Chopsticks grabbing a piece of honey walnut shrimp

What to Serve with Honey Walnut Shrimp

Panda Express honey walnut shrimp is served with rice (either steamed white rice or fried rice), chow mein noodles, or “super greens” vegetable mix.

When we make this at home I typically serve it over white rice with a mixture of garlicky vegetables that I’ve sauteed in toasted sesame oil.

You could also serve this shrimp dish with noodles, like the noodles featured in yaki udon. Just toss the shrimp, sauce, and walnuts with some of the cooked udon noodles.

I also like to garnish this dish with some fresh green onion (it’s amazing what a little bit of fresh green onion does to finish the dish!), sesame seeds, and/or red pepper flakes – whatever I’m in the mood for!

Overhead view of a plate of honey walnut shrimp over rice

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. This honey walnut shrimp dish is best on the day it’s made, but any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. I recommend storing any rice separately, to prevent it from soaking up all of the sauce.
  • Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave or in a skillet, keeping in mind that leftovers won’t be as crispy.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes:

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Overhead view of a plate of honey walnut shrimp over rice

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 30 minutes
This Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe is a little lighter than most. It features juicy shrimp with a lightly crispy exterior, in a sweet and sticky sauce, plus honey glazed walnuts for some delicious crunch. Ready in 30 minutes!
5 Stars (3 Reviews)


For the Honey Glazed Walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup roasted salted walnut halves or pieces

For the Sauce

  • cup Kewpie mayonnaise – or use good quality regular mayo
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Shrimp

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined (16-20 count)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • For the honey glazed walnuts: Line a plate or small baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Heat a small skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add walnuts and toast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, taking care to not let them burn. In a small bowl or cup, combine water and honey. Add the honey mixture and stir to combine. If using unsalted nuts, then sprinkle them with a little salt now (or just sprinkle anyway, I like the little bit of extra saltiness!). Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until honey mixture has dissolved. Take care to not let the walnuts burn.
  • Pour the walnuts onto the parchment lined plate and use 2 forks to quickly separate the walnuts. Let cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients – the walnuts will get crunchier as they cool.
  • For the sauce: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
  • For the shrimp: Pat the shrimp very dry with a paper towel, then place them in a wide shallow bowl or on a plate.
  • In a small bowl or cup, combine the salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, and black pepper. Sprinkle half of this mixture evenly over the shrimp. Then sprinkle half of the cornstarch evenly over the shrimp. Flip the shrimp and repeat this process with the remaining spices and cornstarch.
  • Heat a large skillet with tall sides over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking.
  • Add prepared shrimp to the hot oil, making sure not to overlap any of the shrimp. If needed, cook shrimp in batches, to not overcrowd. I use a 12" skillet, which works great to cook this size & amount of shrimp in 1 batch. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, or just until they are firm, opaque, and lightly browned/crisped.
  • Add cooked shrimp and half of the glazed walnuts to a large bowl. Drizzle half of the sauce over the shrimp and walnuts, and quickly toss until evenly coated.
  • Serve over white rice or fried rice, with additional sauce and glazed walnuts on the side. Garnish with fresh green onion, sesame seeds, and dried red pepper flakes, if desired.


This makes enough for 4 smaller servings, with another side dish or two. Or 2 larger servings – we often make this for date-night-in!

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 580kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 20g Fat: 46g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 38g Cholesterol: 152mg Sodium: 1099mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 16g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
Overhead view of a plate of honey walnut shrimp over rice

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