Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Ridiculously easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp exploding with bright, zesty, citrus, garlic flavor on your table in less than 30 minutes!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest ways to prepare shrimp and also one of the most divine! The shrimp is tossed with fiesta seasonings before cooking and garlic cilantro lime butter after cooking so the juicy shrimp is exploding with flavor. This easy shrimp recipe can be cooked on the stove, in the oven or grilled (all instructions included) and it can be served with anything!  Cilantro lime shrimp is a meal in itself with a side of veggies and rice/quinoa or instantly transforms tacos, salads, burritos, wraps, etc. (tons of ideas included) into the most epic meal ever! 

If you love quick-and-easy shrimp recipes, then you’ll also love these favorites: Roasted Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, Jerk Shrimp, Lemon Butter Grilled Shrimp, Lemon Garlic Shrimp, Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil, Kung Pao Shrimp and Shrimp Fajitas.

top view of cilantro lime shrimp in a skillet

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EASY SHRIMP RECIPE

If you’re a cilantro love, chances are you are already obsessed with my cilantro lime chicken recipe and cilantro lime chicken taco salad.  Today, I bring you one more reason to be obsessed with cilantro – this easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe!   

This shrimp recipe is one of the simplest, most ridiculously easy meals on the planet – definitely beginner level but tastes expert level.  You will especially love this shrimp recipe because the marinade does most of the work! 

To make this cilantro lime shrimp, simply marinate the shrimp for 15-60 minutes, cook the shrimp for just a few minutes per side, sauté the garlic in some butter then add the cilantro and lime – that’s it!  The succulent morsels drink up flavor and emerge hot, juicy and exploding with flavor. Of course, you can skip the butter and just toss with lime and cilantro, but shrimp loves a lavish butter bath!

What If I don’t like cilantro?

If you know people who can’t stand cilantro, studies show it is actually a genetic predisposition!  All those haters out there (4-14% of the population) who insist cilantro tastes like, soap, dirt or bugs actually have a gene called OR6A2 that enables them to detect aldehydes in the leaves of the cilantro. The rest of us who can’t detect aldehyde chemicals are left with the pleasant aroma of fresh, zesty, citrusy cilantro.  Sometimes not knowing is better :).

If you or someone in your family can’t stand cilantro, swap the cilantro for parsley and the lime juice for lemon juice. If you’re a house divided, you can toss half of the shrimp with the cilantro/lime and the other half of the shrimp with lemon/parsley – now everyone wins!

TIPS FOR BUYING SHRIMP

This cilantro lime shrimp recipe is made with just a few ingredients, the star, of course, being the shrimp!  Here’s what to look for:

  • Purchase wild caught shrimp.   Look for wild caught shrimp versed farm-raised for the best flavor and texture.
  • Purchase raw, deveined shrimp.  Look for shrimp that is raw (not precooked), peeled and deveined.  Buying prepared shrimp saves you TONS of time and makes your job a snap because all you have to do is defrost the shrimp. 
  • Frozen shrimp is awesome!  Frozen shrimp is frozen shortly after it’s caught which means it’s frozen at peak freshness.  So, unless you live coastal (and even then), it is even more fresh than the seafood counter by the time it’s purchased and you actually use it.  Frozen shrimp is also more economical than fresh which means you can keep it stocked and read to use any time. 

WHAT SIZE SHRIMP SHOULD I BUY?

Purchase jumbo shrimp.  Use jumbo or extra jumbo shrimp, 16-21 count (which means there are 16-21 shrimp in a pound). Jumbo shrimp boasts a more appealing texture and stays super juicy because it doesn’t overcook as easily so it’s harder to dry. This easy shrimp recipe can still be made with smaller shrimp, but you will need to cook the shrimp in more than two batches or you can halve the recipe.

cilantro lime shrimp in a skillet showing with cilantro lime butter sauce

HOW TO PREP SHRIMP

If you are new to cooking shrimp, here is some helpful information to prepare and cook shrimp perfectly every time, whether for this cilantro lime shrimp recipe or any of my other fabulous easy shrimp recipes:

CAN I MAKE THIS SHRIMP RECIPE WITH FROZEN SHRIMP?

Yes!  I use frozen shrimp all the time just like I did in this cilantro lime shrimp recipe.  Just make sure you thaw the shrimp completely and pat it dry before using.

HOW to thaw frozen SHRIMP

There are two options for thawing your frozen shrimp:

  • Easy Thaw Method: The most hands-off method to thaw your shrimp is to transfer your bag of shrimp to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
  • Quick Thaw: Method: Is super convenient, and honestly what I use the most. To quickly thaw your shrimp, transfer the shrimp to a freezer size bag and tightly seal. Add the bag to a large bowl and submerge with cold tap water; place a heavy bowl (you can fill it with cans) over the shrimp so it doesn’t float and stays completely submerged. Let the shrimp sit for 10-20 minutes.   After 10 minutes, replace the water with new cold tap water and submerge the shrimp again.  Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes.  If the shrimp isn’t completely thawed, then repeat. 

WHAT’S THE EASIEST WAY TO PEEL AND DEVEIN SHRIMP?

I like to purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined so all the work is done for me!   If you purchase shrimp that is not deveined, it will still have the dark, sandy intestinal tract running along the back of the shrimp just beneath the surface.  Sometimes it will be very dark and sometimes it will be harder to spot depending on when the shrimp ate last.

While eating the shrimp with the veins won’t harm you, it can add grittiness and distract from the clean shrimp taste so I highly recommended removing it.  To devein shrimp:

  1. First, locate the vein in the shrimp running along its back.
  2. Make a shallow cut and use the tip of the knife to lift it out.
  3. The veins and shells can then be thrown away.
  4. Rinse the shrimp and lay on a paper towel to dry.
DO I HAVE TO DEVEIN BOTH SIDES OF THE SHRIMP?

You may have noticed a second dark tract running along the shrimp’s belly even if you have purchased “deveined” shrimp. This tract is NOT another digestive tract but the nerve cord and does not need to be removed. 

INGREDIENTS for this easy shrimp recipe

In addition to shrimp, you will need the following to make this cilantro lime shrimp recipe:

  • Cilantro: Is an herb from the fresh leaves of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum). Ground coriander, on the other hand, is ground seeds of the plant with a different flavor profile.  Cilantro tastes pungent, bright, lemony, and a little peppery. For this recipe you will need 1 cup loosely packed cilantro which you will then chop. Of course, you can use more or less if you wish.  
  • Butter:  Melts to create a light sauce to mingle with the chopped cilantro and garlic which is then tossed with the shrimp.  Use unsalted butter so you can control the salt or reduce the salt in the marinade.  You can skip the butter if you wish, and add an extra splash of olive oi so there’s enough to coat the shrimp.
  • Olive oil:  Use quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.  You may also use another favorite cooking oil.
  • Lime juice:  Please use fresh lime juice for this recipe!  I like to freeze extra lime and lemon juice by the 1 tablespoon ice cubes so it’s always handy.  
  • Seasonings:  The shrimp needs to be stand alone delicious with a robust flavor profile before being tossed with the cilantro and lime. This recipe uses chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, salt and pepper to season the shrimp. If you don’t have coriander stocked, it’s okay to skip it.
  • INTERNATIONAL WARNINNG:  American chili powder is a blend of chilies, cumin, garlic powder, and herbs with a ratio of one-part cayenne to seven parts the other spices.  Chili powders sold in other parts of the world, however, are 100% chile pepper and 8X hotter than chili powder! So, please use American-style chili powder to make this recipe or your mouth will be on FIRE!

IS THIS CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?

Yes, this cilantro lime shrimp recipe is gluten free!  Serve it with gluten free sides and you’re good to go.

top view showing how to serve cilantro lime shrimp by adding to a bowl with rice, avocado and black beans

HOW TO MAKE CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP

Now that we’ve covered all of the basics – let’s get to the main event – how to make cilantro lime shrimp!

STEP 1:  MARINATE SHRIMP

  • Add marinade ingredients to a freezer bag or medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 15-30 minutes at room temperature or up to 60 minutes in the fridge.
a collage showing how to make cilantro lime shrimp by whisking spice together in a bowl then adding shrimp and stirring to evenly coat in marinade

STEP 2:  COOK SHRIMP (oven & Grill methods to follow)

  • Melt one tablespoon butter with one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add half the shrimp and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or just until opaque and cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a plate and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Cook shrimp in batches so your shrimp can comfortably fit in a single layer. 
showing how to make easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe by cooking shrimp in a skillet in a single layer

STEP 3:  Make cilantro lime butter

  • To the now empty skillet, add 3 tablespoons butter and garlic. 
  • Cook until the butter melts and is bubbling, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the cilantro and lime juice and stir to combine into a sauce. 
  • Add shrimp back to the skillet and stir to evenly coat.  Taste and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and/or lime juice to taste.
showing how to make easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe by cooking garlic in butter in a skillet then adding lime juice and cilantro to make sauce
showing how to make easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe by adding shrimp to cilantro lime butter sauce and tossing to combine

how to cook cilantro lime shrimp on the grill

You can also make this cilantro lime shrimp on the grill by threading the shrimp onto skewers.  Here’s how:

  • Soak wooden skewers.  Wooden skewers should be submerged in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. I prefer metal skewers because you don’t have to plan ahead, they never catch on fire and are reusable.
  • Generously CLEAN grill before adding shrimp skewers.  Heat your grill to 400 degrees F with the lid closed.  Once it’s fully heated, clean it thoroughly with a wire grill brush.  A clean grill ensures direct contact with the heat to create a beautiful sear and helps prevent sticking. 
  • Grease your grill with vegetable oil.  Make a wad of paper towels, drench them in oil, then use tongs to rub it along the grill grates.
  • Make shrimp skewers. Thread the shrimp onto skewers by piercing just above the tail and again through the head so one shrimp is skewered in two places.  This prevents the shrimp from turning on the skewer so it’s easier to handle and so it cooks evenly.
  • Grill shrimp.  Evenly space skewers on the clean grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the shrimp are golden – no more!  Remove grilled shrimp to a plate.
  • Make cilantro lime butter.  Microwave the butter and garlic in a microwave safe bowl then stir in cilantro.  To serve, dip shrimp in the cilantro lime butter or remove shrimp form the skewers and toss with the cilantro lime butter.

how to cook cilantro lime shrimp in the oven

You can cook the cilantro lime shrimp in the oven by itself or you can even add some veggies and roast for 20 minutes or so then add the large shrimp and finish cooking it together.  To make this easy shrimp recipe in the oven:

  • Marinate shrimp according to recipe directions but add minced garlic directly to the marinade OR add 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Line shrimp in a single layer so it isn’t touching, then top with 3 tablespoons of cubed butter.
  • Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or just until opaque.
  • Remove from the oven and stir in cilantro.

HOW TO COOK SHRIMP PERFECTLY

Shrimp is very simple to cook – and literally takes minutes! The key to success is to not overcook your shrimp. Here are a few tricks:

COOK SHRIMP WITH TAIL ON

Cook your cilantro lime shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor, much like cooking meat on the bone.  Once your shrimp is cooked and resting you can remove the tails if you desire. 

DON’T OVERCOOK SHRIMP

There are two indicators of cooked shrimp -the color and shape. Here’s what to look for:

  • Color:  Raw shrimp starts off translucent gray and as it cooks, it turns pink and opaque with some pink and bright red accents.  You will want to remove the shrimp from the skillet as soon as it is fully opaque without any gray left.  Look at the crevice in the back of the shrimp where the vein was removed.  When the base of this crevice becomes opaque, the shrimp is done. If your shrimp isn’t charred but is still opaque, it is done – don’t be tempted to cook it a second longer!  To achieve more charred shrimp next time, heat your skillet or grill to a higher heat. 
  • Shape:  You can also check the shape of your shrimp but this is not as good of an indicator as color.  As shrimp cook, their muscle contract which cause them to curl.  As soon as the shrimp begin to curl, they are usually done cooking.  Some claim that perfectly cooked shrimp have “C” shape while over cooked shrimp have an “O” shape.  I think you’ll find that almost all shrimp, still have an “O” shape without being overcooked.
up close of cilantro lime shrimp showing how juicy they are

HOW LONG CAN YOU MARINATE SHRIMP?

Shrimp is such an easy protein to work with because it doesn’t need long to marinate at all!  I typically marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes while I prep the garlic and cilantro.  Shrimp should not be marinated longer than 60 minutes because the seasonings will draw moisture out of the shrimp and make it dry and the acid (lime juice in this case, can also be lemon or vinegar in other recipes) can break down the delicate meat and make it mushy. Larger shrimp is more forgiving, but I still wouldn’t push it.

TIPS FOR easy SHRIMP RECIPE

Make shrimp is pretty straightforward, but there are a few helpful hints to guarantee the juiciest cilantro lime shrimp every time:

  • Purchase prepared shrimp.  Use shrimp that is already shelled and deveined which saves you TONS of prep time.
  • Use jumbo shrimp.  Using large shrimp is an insurance policy for juicy shrimp.  It is slightly more forgiving when overcooked than smaller shrimp.
  • Thaw shrimp. It might sound obvious, but it isn’t to some 😉.  Make sure you thaw the shrimp before marinating.  Also, gently thaw the shrimp using my above detailed methods – never the microwave!  
  • Don’t overmarinate shrimp.  Don’t marinate the shrimp longer than 60 minutes or it won’t be as juicy.
  • Wait until the skillet is hot.  Don’t let “hot” be confused with high heat – we are using medium-high heat. Wait until your skillet is very hot before adding the shrimp to achieve the coveted golden sear.  
  • Use a large skillet.  Use a large enough skillet so the shrimp can be spread into an even layer to sear and not just steam. 
  • Cook shrimp in two batches. Even with a large skillet, you will need to cook the shrimp in two batches so the shrimp don’t overlap.
  • Don’t over-cook shrimp.  Cook shrimp just until opaque for the juiciest shrimp.  As soon as the shrimp turn pinkish white and start to curl, they’re done-don’t be tempted to cook them a second longer! This only takes a few minutes so have a plate ready to transfer the shrimp to so they stop cooking.
  • Cook shrimp with tails on.  I recommend cooking your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting you can remove the tails if you desire.
  • Scale recipe.  If you’re cooking just for two or for small eaters, this cilantro lime shrimp recipe is easy to cut in half. The cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Adjust to taste.  As with all recipes, make it your own!  Play with the wet rub seasonings, add more or less garlic, more or less cilantro, butter, etc.

CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP VARIATIONS and substitutions:

This cilantro lime shrimp recipe is delicious as written or it is easy to customize.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Spice it up.  You can make the shrimp spicier by adding additional cayenne pepper.  
  • Add veggies.  After you remove the shrimp from the skillet, cook any vegetables of your choosing in the leftover juices such as zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Skewers.  Make cilantro lime shrimp kabobs by adding shrimp, pineapple, bell peppers and other vegetables of choosing to the skewers.
  • Swap cilantro:  Use the same cooking method but swap the cilantro for parsley and the lime juice for lemon juice.  With this combo, you can also add other herbs such as fresh basil, dill, and tarragon.
  • Swap seasoning.  Use the same cooking technique but mix up the flavor profile by using your favorite spice mix such as Old Bay Seasoning, Cajun Seasonings or Taco Seasoning.

HOW TO SERVE CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP

This cilantro lime shrimp recipe can be served plain with any of the below side ideas such as rice, pineapple and veggies or it can be served in tacos, salads or and bowls.  

  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad: Go as simple as tossing the shrimp in a green salad with avocado and creamy cilantro lime dressing, or adding it to any Mexican inspired salad such as Southwest Salad, Mexican Salad, Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing or Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad). It can also be swapped in for the chicken in any salad such as Mango Salad, or Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad.                                                  
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos or Lettuce Wraps.  Pile the shrimp in tortillas or bib lettuce and top with mango salsa, pineapple salsa, corn salsa, or black bean and corn salsa and avocado crema.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp quesadillas.  Sandwich shrimp, Monterrey Jack Chees and black beans in between two flour tortillas and toast in a skillet to golden, cheesy perfection. Serve with pineapple salsa or mango salsa, pico de gallo, salsa, chopped avocados, guacamole and/or avocado crema.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Burritos: Layer a burrito size tortilla with cilantro lime rice or pineapple rice, black or pinto beans, cilantro lime shrimp, guacamole, sour cream, pineapple salsa or mango salsa. Serve with additional guacamole and salsa.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Burrito Bowls: Layer cilantro lime rice or pineapple rice with black beans, shrimp, chopped lettuce or slaw, pineapple or mango salsa and your favorite creamy topping such as sour cream/Greek yogurt or I highly recommend either Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Grain Bowls:  Add your favorite grains to a bowl and pile with shrimp and your favorite veggies. The veggies can be roasted/cooked or raw such as fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts etc.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tostadas.  Layer a tostada with refried beans or avocado mash, top with shrimp, lettuce or slaw, avocados, sour cream, cotija cheese or queso fresco etc. and pineapple salsa or mango salsa.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Nachos:  Pile thick restaurant style tortilla chips with cheese and beans and bake.  Top with shrimp and toppings such as jalapenos, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and pineapple or mango salsa.
top view of easy cilantro lime shrimp recipe showing how to serve easy shrimp in a taco bowl

WHAT sides GO WELL WITH SHRIMP?

This cilantro lime shrimp can be added directly to various dishes, as mentioned above, or it is stand-alone scrumptious alongside veggies and rice.  Here are a few ideas:

HOW LONG IS cilantro lime shrimp GOOD FOR?

Cilantro lime shrimp should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When properly stored, it is good for up to three days.

CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME?

This cilantro lime shrimp is best served fresh, hot from the skillet because the lime and cilantro flavors mellow when refrigerated and reheated. Still, extra-large shrimp are more forgiving than smaller shrimp so they reheat nicely but you may need to amp up the flavor with additional lime juice and cilantro after reheating.  

HOW DO I REHEAT SHRIMP?

  • Microwave:  Microwave for 30 seconds, then continue to heat at 20 second intervals until warmed through. Toss with additional cilantro and lime if desired.
  • Stove:  For larger portions, reheat gently on the stove just until warmed through.  The key is to warm the shrimp and not cook the shrimp any further. Toss with additional cilantro and lime if desired.

IS SHRIMP HEALTHY?

Shrimp is low in calories, contains zero carbs and provides a high amount of protein and healthy fats.  It is also an excellent source of iodine, an important mineral required for proper thyroid function and brain health as well as selenium, a mineral that may help reduce inflammation and promote heart health. 

Shrimp is also a good source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids as well as the antioxidant astaxanthin, all of which promote heart health.   It is also high in other nutrients, for example, four ounces of shrimp contains over 75% of the daily value for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline and copper, as well as phosphorus, niacin, zinc, and magnesium.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

  • Roasted Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp is one of my most popular recipes for a good reason–it’s an entire meal-in-one baked on a sheet pan with 5 minutes of hands-on prep!  Dinner is literally on your table in 15 minutes!
  • Jerk Shrimp utilizes pantry friendly ingredients to create a taste of the islands right in your own kitchen in minutes! It’s juicy, smoky, spicy, earthy, bright, and tangy all at the same time. Serve it with rice and veggies or in salads, bowls, tacos, etc.
  • Grilled Shrimp is rubbed in pantry friendly spices then grilled to juicy perfection to create restaurant quality shrimp in minutes – PLUS it’s dunked in Lemon Parsley Butter!
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest ways to prepare shrimp and also one of the most divine – shrimp loves lemon!   Serve it with veggies or alone or over pasta, rice, risotto, spaghetti squash, zoodles etc.
  • Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil is the best and easiest way to make shrimp boil at home!  Toss all the ingredients with olive oil and seasonings then bake in a single sheet pan for easy cleanup and superior flavor.  
  • Old Bay Shrimp can be made on the grill or stove top, served hot or cold and is super simple to make but bursting with flavor! 
  • Shrimp Fajitas are spice rubbed and oven roasted to perfection along with bell peppers and onions for a fiesta dinner on your table in 30 minutes – all made in one sheet pan!
cilantro lime shrimp in a bowl garnished with cilantro and lime

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro Lime Shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest ways to prepare shrimp and also one of the most divine! The shrimp is tossed with fiesta seasonings before cooking and garlic cilantro lime butter after cooking so the juicy shrimp is exploding with flavor. This easy shrimp recipe can be cooked on the stove, in the oven or grilled (all instructions included) and it can be served with anything!  Cilantro lime shrimp is a meal in itself with a side of veggies and rice/quinoa or instantly transforms tacos, salads, burritos, wraps, etc. (tons of ideas included) into the most epic meal ever! 
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Shrimp

  • 2 pounds jumbo or extra jumbo shrimp (16-21 ct) peeled with tails left on and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

15 Minute Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tsp EACH chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, ground coriander, salt, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cilantro Lime Butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (measure before chopping)
  • 3-4 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions

  • Add marinade ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 60 minutes (no more!). Note, this is a wet rub marinade and will be thick without extra liquid.
  • Melt one tablespoon butter in one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium-high. Once very hot and sizzling, add half the shrimp in a single layer and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or just until opaque and cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a plate and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • To the now empty skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the cilantro and lime juice and stir to combine. Add shrimp back to the skillet and stir to evenly coat. Taste and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and/or lime juice to taste.

Notes

cooking TIPS 

  • Purchase prepared shrimp.  Use shrimp that is already shelled and deveined which saves you TONS of prep time.
  • Use jumbo shrimp.  Using large shrimp is an insurance policy for juicy shrimp.  It is slightly more forgiving when overcooked than smaller shrimp and has a better texture.  You can still make this recipe with smaller shrimp but it will need to be cooked in more than two batches or you can halve the recipe. 
  • Use a large skillet.  Use a large enough skillet so the shrimp can be spread into an even layer to sear and not just steam. 
  • Don’t over-cook shrimp.  Cook shrimp just until opaque for the juiciest shrimp.  As soon as the shrimp turn pinkish white and start to curl, they’re done-don’t be tempted to cook them a second longer! 
  • Adjust to taste.  As with all recipes, make it your own!  Play with the wet rub seasonings, add more or less garlic, more or less cilantro, butter, etc.
  • How to use cilantro lime shrimp:  See the post for TONS of ways to use cilantro lime shrimp. 

HOW TO COOK cilantro lime SHRIMP IN THE OVEN

  • Marinate shrimp according to recipe directions but add minced garlic directly to the marinade OR add 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Line shrimp in a single layer so it isn’t touching, then top with 3 tablespoons of cubed butter.
  • Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or just until opaque.
  • Remove from the oven and stir in cilantro.

HOW TO GRILL cilantro lime SHRIMP

  • Marinate shrimp according to recipe directions with the addition of 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Take care to soak wooden skewers (if using) for at least an hour so they don’t catch fire. Thread shrimp onto skewers. 
  • Grease and heat grill to 400 degrees F.
  • Add shrimp skewers in a single layer without touching.  Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side or until shrimp has become pink and opaque.
  • Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl (careful so the butter doesn’t explode!) then stir in cilantro.
  • To serve, dip shrimp in the cilantro lime butter or remove shrimp form the skewers and toss with the cilantro lime butter.

HOW TO STORE and reheat

  • Storage: Cilantro lime shrimp should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When properly stored, it is good for up to three days.
  • Microwave: Microwave for 30 seconds, then continue to heat at 20 second intervals until warmed through.
  • Stove: For larger portions, reheat gently on the stove just until warmed through.  The key is to warm the shrimp and not cook the shrimp any further.

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2 Comments

  1. Ramya says

    Will be making this soon with few subs perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Ramya, excited for you to try it!