One of our favorite spots for a bite to eat on the beautiful Oregon coast is Ecola Seafood Restaurant and Market in Cannon Beach. And, unlike many others in a sea (pun intended) of mediocre touristy restaurants in the area, Ecola serves incredible seafood. Fish and chips, shrimp and crab cocktails, clam chowder, and even a whole crab dinner are among the impressive array of options you’ll find on the menu. It’s basically a seafood lover’s dream come true. 

And, as avid seafood lovers ourselves, we’re big fans of pretty much everything on the menu. However, our top pick goes to the shrimp melt. The shrimp melt at Ecola is made with bay shrimp (sometimes referred to as pink shrimp), which are adorable, nickel-sized shrimp that have incredible flavor and are native to the West Coast. Ecola’s shrimp melt is simple but surprisingly satisfying, so we set out to make a homemade version that would satisfy just as much (if not more).

Tips for a Great Shrimp Melt

  • The Shrimp While bay shrimp are tiny and cute, peeled, deveined, and pre-cooked cocktail shrimp are a great substitute. Give them a quick rough chop to mimic the texture of their smaller friends.
  • The Bread Yes, the shrimp are essential, but the vessel they are nestled on is also important. A shrimp melt is the perfect place to use a hearty piece of bread, something with a nice crust to hold up all that seafood goodness you’re going to pile on top. Don’t be afraid to use something seedy, whole grain-y, or otherwise quite toothsome – the textural contrast will be welcome against the soft, succulent shrimp.
  • The Cheese We love a good sharp cheddar here and recommend grabbing a block and grating your own. Freshly grated cheese melts better, and we are absolutely interested in high melt-ability.

Serving Suggestions

Shrimp melts are the ultimate weeknight workhorse – they can go from freezer to full-blown meal in basically 20 minutes (thaw frozen shrimp under cool running water). Do yourself a favor and double the recipe – nothing puts a pep in your step like knowing you have a great lunch waiting. Or prep a sheet pan full cut into slices for game day. Seriously, what’s not to love.


Shrimp Melts

Brooke Eliason
Servings: 2 servings
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Our shrimp melt, made with flavorful bay shrimp and topped with sharp cheddar, is simple but surprisingly satisfying.


  • ½ lb. bay shrimp; cooked, peeled, deveined, and patted dry*
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons full-fat mayo, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste
  • 2 large, thick slices sourdough bread or country bread
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated


  • In a medium-sized bowl combine the shrimp, lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons of mayo, paprika, fresh cracked pepper, and salt.
  • Spread the remaining mayo on one side of each slice of bread (about ½ Tablespoon per slice). Place the bread in a skillet, mayo side face down, and then turn the skillet to medium heat, allowing the bread to toast slowly while the pan heats. While the skillet warms, divide the shrimp salad evenly between the two pieces of bread. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Cook the toast until the bread is a deep golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). While the toast is cooking, heat oven to broil (high if you have the option), and place one oven rack in the middle and the other rack at the top of the oven.
  • Transfer the entire skillet** with toasts inside into the oven on the middle rack. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Transfer skillet to top rack and cook for 30 seconds-1 minute, until cheese is nice and bubbly. Watch your toasts carefully so they do not burn. Remove from oven and serve immediately.


*You’ll almost always see bay shrimp sold cooked, peeled, and deveined. If you don’t have access to bay shrimp, purchase cocktail shrimp at the best seafood market you have access to and coarsely chop into smaller pieces. You’ll want to buy the cocktail shrimp already peeled, deveined, and cooked for this recipe. 
**The easiest way to make these shrimp melts is to use an oven-safe skillet, which will allow you to complete the first and second portions of making the melts in one pan. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, follow the recipe through step 2 using any kind of nonstick pan. Then transfer the melts to a cookie sheet and complete step three. 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @femalefoodie so we can see what you’re cooking!