Ridiculously delicious, quick and easy Grilled shrimp recipe in 30 minutes dunked in lemon parsley butter!
This Grilled Shrimp recipe is a back-pocket ace that utilizes pantry friendly ingredients to create restaurant quality shrimp in minutes The shrimp is spice rubbed with smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper then dunked in Lemon Parsley Butter – gah, so good! It’s then grilled to golden perfection so it’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and exploding with flavor all over. This simple grilled shrimp recipe can also be cooked on the stove or in the oven (all instructions included) and it can be served with practically anything! Serve it plain as an appetizer or with potato, salad, fruit salad and cornbread for the perfect summer meal.
GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE
With 4th of July this weekend, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite summer recipes from steak kabobs and honey sriracha chicken to Mexican salad and strawberry shortcakes. Today, I’m excited to bring you another easy summer recipe – Grilled Shrimp! It’s unabashedly flavorful, speedy, pantry friendly and requires minimal effort. WINNING!
REASONS TO LOVE GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE:
- Quick and easy. Shrimp is one of the easiest proteins to grill up and requires very little prep or forethought so it’s perfect if you’re running low on time or didn’t plan ahead – or simply want succulent shrimp that’s hot, juicy and dripping with flavor – and optional butter. This speedy grilled shrimp recipe only requires a 15 minute “marinade” then just a 4-minute cook time! And bonus, no chopping any raw protein!
- Flavorful. Even though this grilled shrimp is simple and easy to throw together, it’s out of this world flavorful with hints of smoky, salty and spicy all brightened by the luxurious, vibrant Lemon Parsley Butter.
- Texture. Grilled shrimp boasts texture like no other. The outside chars and crisps while the inside remains tender and juicy.
- Pantry friendly. Keep some frozen shrimp stocked and you’re ready to make this grilled shrimp recipe any time!
- Versatile. These grilled shrimp skewers are super versatile. You can serve them with rice, cauliflower rice, pasta, veggies, grits, potatoes and salad OR serve them IN salad, pasta wraps, grain bowls, etc. – the possibilities are limitless!
- Healthy. If you want a healthy grilled shrimp recipe, just skip the Lemon Parsley Butter and drizzle with extra lemon juice.
- Easy to double. You can double or triple the recipe for entertaining, or purposeful leftovers or scale it in half for backyard barbecue date night.
MORE SHRIMP RECIPE FAVORITES!
Some of my favorite shrimp recipes include: Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp with Greek Orzo, Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi, Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa, Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine, Kung Pao Shrimp, Old Bay Shrimp, Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, Shrimp Fajitas, Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo, Cajun Shrimp Pasta.
WHAT SHRIMP to BUY FOR GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS?
You can purchase either fresh or frozen raw shrimp for these grilled shrimp skewers. 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 large shrimp. Use large shrimp, 21-25 count (which means there are 21-25 shrimp in a pound), so your shrimp don’t easily overcook and you achieve the juiciest shrimp with the most appealing texture. This is especially important when grilling shrimp because they can go from juicy to dry very quickly. Large shrimp are slightly more forgiving.
Can I grill cooked shrimp?
You can grill cooked shrimp but I don’t recommend it because it won’t be as juicy. Essentially grilling cooked shrimp is warming up already cooked shrimp. Raw shrimp already cooks super quickly, so cooked shrimp will require even less time so you are at a high risk of drying out the shrimp.
HOW TO PREP SHRIMP FOR GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE
If you are new to cooking shrimp, here is some helpful information to prepare and cook shrimp perfectly every time, whether for this grilled shrimp recipe or any of my other fabulous 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 grilled shrimp recipe. Just make sure you thaw the shrimp completely and pat it dry before using.
HOW DO I DEFROST SHRIMP?
You will want to use raw shrimp for this grilled shrimp recipe. I typically use frozen shrimp and just defrost it before using. There are two options for defrosting your shrimp:
- Easy Defrost: The easiest way to defrost your shrimp in the refrigerator overnight. Simply remove one-pound frozen shrimp (if it’s more than a one-pound package) to a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- Quick Defrost: Place the frozen shrimp in a colander then place the colander in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold tap water and let it sit for 10 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 defrosted, 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:
- First, locate the vein in the shrimp running along its back.
- Make a shallow cut and use the tip of the knife to lift it out.
- The veins and shells can then be thrown away.
- 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 shrimps 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.
GRILLED SHRIMP MARINADE
I use the term “grilled shrimp marinade” very loosely because the shrimp only marinates for 15-30 minutes. In fact, you should not marinate the shrimp for any longer because the seasonings will draw moisture out of the shrimp and make it dry and the lemon juice can break down the delicate meat and make it mushy. The grilled shrimp marinade includes the pantry friendly ingredients of:
- Olive oil: use quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor. You may also use another favorite cooking oil.
- Lemon juice: you may use fresh or bottled, but fresh is best 😉. I like to microwave my lemons for 30 seconds prior to juicing form maximum yield. If you have excess lemon juice, you can freeze it by the 1 tablespoon in ice cubes – super handy!
- Smoked paprika: rich, mild, sweet, and smoky made from smoked pimento peppers dried over oak fires. It tastes quite a bit different (AKA all that smokey flavor) than regular paprika so it’s worth investing in.
- Garlic powder: is dehydrated fresh garlic and is my preferred method for adding garlic to shrimp because it evenly clings to the shrimp and isn’t prone to burning.
- Onion powder: adds onion notes without overwhelming the shrimp.
- Dried oregano: adds earthy, minty notes. We want both dried oregano and dried basil because you need 1/3 the amount as fresh and it’s finer so it distributes evenly. Most importantly, it won’t burn when grilled.
- Dried Basil: is earthy, minty with hints of pepper and citrus.
- Cayenne pepper: adds a kick to awaken the flavor profile. If you want subtle kick, use 1/4 teaspoon, if you want to really taste the heat, go 1/2 teaspoon.
- Salt and pepper: enhance all the flavors.
IS THIS GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?
Yes! This grilled shrimp recipe is gluten free – no substitutions needed!
What is the best way to grill shrimp?
The best way to grill shrimp is to toss the shrimp in a marinade with olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, and dried herbs. Let the shrimp rest for 15 minutes to soak up the flavor. Next, skewer the shrimp and grill just until opaque, about 2 minutes per side. For detailed step by step instructions, see my section below.
HOW TO GRILL SHRIMP STEP BY STEP
- 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.
- Make lemon parsley butter. While your skewers are soaking, make the luscious Lemon Parsley Butter. The butter is optional but shrimp LOVES butter – and so will your tummy and all your guests. To make, melt the butter in a small bowl. Mix in lemon juice and parsley. Add additional lemon juice if desired. The butter will start to solidify slightly at room temperature so reheat it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so just prior to serving. Make sure you watch it closely so the butter doesn’t explode all over you microwave!
- Generously CLEAN grill before adding shrimp skewers. Heat your grill to medium-high heat 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 olive, canola or vegetable oil. Even though the marinade contains oil, it is important to still grease your grill. To do this, first clean grill per directions above. Next, make a wad of paper towels, drench them in oil, then use tongs to rub it along the grill grates.
- Make grilled shrimp marinade. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature (no more!).
- 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 minutes per side or until the shrimp are golden – no more! Remove grilled shrimp to a plate.
- Serve. To serve, dip shrimp in Lemon Parsley Butter or remove shrimp form the skewers, drizzle on the butter and toss to combine. Serve with additional fresh lemon wedges.
SHOULD I GRILL SHRIMP WITH THE TAIL ON OR OFF?
I recommend grilling the shrimp with the tails on because grilled shrimp is meant to be eaten more like buffet finger food so the tail allows you to easily pick the shrimp up. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting, you can remove the tails if you wish.
Should grill shrimp with the shells on or off?
Shrimp can be grilled with or without their shells. Some people swear by grilling shrimp with the shells on to keep them juicy, but I swear by grilling them without the shells to make them incredibly flavorful. Shelled shrimp ensures the marinade can penetrate the meat so you can actually taste the robust seasonings.
Should grilled shrimp be on skewers?
I recommend skewering the shrimp because it:
- Cooks evenly
- Cooks all at once
- Is easy to quickly rotate with a few flips of the tongs
- You don’t run the risk of the shrimp falling through the grates.
HOW LONG DO YOU GRILL SHRIMP ON SKEWERS?
Shrimp takes less time to cook than you think! It is crucial not to overcook you shrimp or it won’t be as juicy. Grill large shrimp UNCOVERED for just 2-3 minutes per side using medium-high direct heat (375 to 400 degrees F). The shrimp skewers are done when the shrimp change from pink to opaque. The exact timing will depend on the size of shrimp, exact temperature, and if you’re grilling with the shell on off.
How do I know when my shrimp is done?
Raw shrimp starts off translucent gray and as it cooks, it turns pink and opaque with some pink and bright red accents. 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 grill it a second longer! To achieve more charred shrimp next time, heat your gill to high heat then turn the heat down to medium-high once you add the shrimp skewers.
You can also grill our shrimp on an indoor grill pan. Take are care to grease the pan and heat to medium-high heat. Follow the same instructions, grilling 2-3 per side, just until opaque.
CAN I COOK THIS SHRIMP IN THE OVEN?
You can cook this grilled shrimp recipe in the oven and it will still be flavorful but it won’t boast the characteristic smokey char. To bake:
- 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.
- Roast for 6 to 8 minutes or just until opaque.
CAN I COOK THIS SHRIMP ON THE STOVE?
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet.
- Working in batches, add shrimp in a single layer and cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or just until opaque and cooked through.
How many people will this Grilled shrimp recipe serve?
As a general rule of thumb, a quarter pound of shrimp per person is considered acceptable, so this grilled shrimp recipe will serve 4 people, which comes out to roughly 10 pieces of shrimp per person. Of courses, you’ll want to take into consideration who you are serving (large eaters/small eaters/children) and what else you are serving with the grilled shrimp skewers such as other grilled proteins or a feast of side dishes and adjust accordingly.
GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE TIPS AND TRICKS
- Purchase prepared shrimp. Use shrimp that is already shelled and deveined which saves you TONS of prep time.
- Use large shrimp. Using large shrimp is an insurance policy for juicy shrimp. It is slightly more forgiving when overcooked than smaller shrimp.
- Pat shrimp dry. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels before marinating so the marinade can evenly cling to the shrimp and you can achieve that coveted char.
- Don’t over–marinate shrimp. Don’t marinate the shrimp longer than 30 minutes or it won’t be as juicy.
- Don’t over-cook shrimp. Cook shrimp just until opaque for the juiciest shrimp- don’t be tempted to cook them a second longer!
- Scale recipe. If you’re cooking just for two or for small eaters, this grilled shrimp recipe is easy to cut in half. The grilling instructions remain the same.
GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWER VARIATIONS:
These grilles shrimp skewers are delicious as written or they are easy to customize. Here are a few ideas:
- Spice it up. Make the grilled shrimp spicier by adding ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or swapping with chipotle chile powder.
- Swap seasoning. Use the same grilling technique but mix up the flavor profile by using my chili lime marinade, chipotle marinade, jerk marinade, honey sriracha marinade or buffalo marinade instead. You can also use your favorite spice mix such as Old Bay Seasoning, Cajun Seasonings or Taco Seasoning and swapping the lemon juice for lime juice.
- Add sausage. Add fully cooked chicken sausage to the skewers because they just need to warm through. You don’t want to use another protein because they won’t cook in the same amount of time as the shrimp.
- Add potatoes. Use starchy potato such as baby red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes chop them into 1 ½-inch chunks. Steam them in a microwave safe dish with a tight-fitting lid with about 3 tablespoons water for approximately 5 minutes or just until fork tender. Drain the water, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Skewer with the raw shrimp and cook per recipe instructions.
- Add bell peppers. Use two bell peppers (any color) chopped into 1 ½-inch pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and skewer along with raw shrimp.
- Zucchini. Use one large zucchini or two smaller zucchini. Slice the zucchini on the thick side, 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and skewer along with raw shrimp.
- Tomatoes. Drizzle grape or cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and skewer along with raw shrimp.
- Add pineapple. Skewer fresh pineapple along with the shrimp.
- Add other fruit. Other fruits that hold up well on the grill include many stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries), melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe), pears and grapes.
WHAT SIDE DISHES TO SERVE WITH GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS?
Grilled Shrimp Skewers are wonderfully versatile. Keep it simple and serve them with a green salad, watermelon and chips or offer up a summer feast. Here are some of our favorite sides to serve with this grilled shrimp recipe:
- Potatoes. Serve grilled shrimp with Mashed Potatoes, polenta, grits, Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Red Potatoes, Pesto Mashed Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
- Green Salad: my Cucumber Tomato Salad with Italian Dressing is crisp and refreshing as well as my Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch, Mexican Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing, Green Bean Salad or sweeter Strawberry Avocado Broccoli Salad or Strawberry Spinach Salad.
- Pasta Salads: are always a fabulous addition especially because you can prep them ahead of time. I LOVE my Italian Pasta Salad with Tortellini as well as BLT Pasta Salad with Lemon Chive Dressing, Greek Orzo Salad and Creamy Bacon Pea Pasta Salad with Lemon Chive Dressing. Salad.
- Fruit: sweet, refreshing fruit pairs beautifully with the savory shrimp skewers. You can go as simple as plain pineapple, grilled pineapple or my Caramelized Grilled Pineapple is sensation. You can also serve this grilled shrimp recipe with a symphony of fruit in fruit salad form such as Pina Colada Fruit Salad, Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Tropical Fruit Salad, or Creamy Grape Salad.
- Potluck comfort food: Stovetop Mac and Cheese, Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon, Slow Cooker Creamed Corn or Corn Casserole for the win!
- Bread: is the easiest side to add and perfect to mop up the leftover lemon parsley butter. Go simple with a side of crusty bread or we’re obsessed with my Moist Sweet Cornbread, Dinner Rolls, Garlic Bread, Parmesan Breadsticks, or Pesto Pull Apart Bread.
- Vegetables. Grilled, roasted, or steamed veggies are fantastic with grilled shrimp. Some of my favorites include: Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Asparagus, Glazed Carrots, Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, Parmesan Roasted Root Vegetables.
HOW LONG IS GRILLED SHRIMP RECIPE GOOD FOR?
Grilled 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?
Grilled shrimp skewers are best served fresh, hot off the grill because shrimp can become rubbery when reheated. That being said, if you don’t initially overcook your shrimp, I have had success reheating shrimp. You should not marinate the shrimp ahead of time but you may whisk the marinade ingredients together without adding the shrimp.
HOW DO I REHEAT GRILLED SHRIMP?
- 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.
HOW TO SERVE GRILLED SHRIMP
This grilled shrimp recipe can be served plain with any of the aforementioned sides or it can be served in pasta, salads or wraps. Here are a few ideas but don’t let this limit your imagination!
- Grilled shrimp Salad. Pick your favorite greens and load with grilled shrimp and your favorite veggies such as sweet grilled corn and peppers. Throw in some nuts for crunch, buttery cheese and drizzle with Italian dressing. You can also add shrimp to any of your favorite salads such as Corn Salad or Green Bean Salad or swap it for the chicken in my Cobb Salad, or Buffalo Chicken Salad.
- Grilled shrimp Pasta. Toss some grilled shrimp with pasta such as angel hair or spaghetti along with some hot melted butter. If you’re feeling a little fancier, it also is AMAZING with Cacio e Pepe (highly recommend), Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine or Fettuccine Alfredo. You can also go low carb and serve garlic shrimp with zoodles or spaghetti squash.
- Grilled shrimp Mac and Cheese: stir shrimp into your favorite Mac and Cheese recipe at the end of cooking
- Risotto: stir into any of your favorite risotto recipes: Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan Risotto, Spinach Risotto – yum!
- Pasta salad. Toss with cold pasta or tortellini along with additional olive oil or Italian dressing.
- Soups. Add to your favorite soups at the end of cooking.
- Pizza. Top your favorite pizza dough with marinara or Alfredo followed by cheese, peppers, shrimp, etc. You can also make shortcut pizza using French bread or mini pizzas using bagels.
- Greens. Keep it extra healthy by serving grilled shrimp over sautéed or fresh spinach or any of your favorite greens. Top with a fried or soft-boiled egg.
- Scrambled eggs or omelettes. Chop up shrimp then add to scrambled eggs along with mozzarella cheese when the eggs are almost set.
- Frittata. Add chopped shrimp to this scrumptious frittata recipe.
- Grain Bowls: add your favorite grains to a bowl and pile with grilled shrimp and your favorite veggies. The veggies can be roasted/cooked or raw such as fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts etc.
- Wraps: serve grilled shrimp in a flatbread with lettuce, veggies and any desired toppings.
- Lettuce wraps: go low carb and load bib lettuce leaves with grilled shrimp and veggies.
- Baked Potatoes: poke holes in washed, dried potatoes. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and the skin is crispy. Slice open the potatoes, top with grilled shrimp and cheese then place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream, green onions, etc.
IS SHRIMP HEALTHY?
Grilled Shrimp is one of the healthiest ways to consume shrimp because it doesn’t cook in any butter and there is minimal oil in the marinade.
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.
LOOKING FOR MORE EASY SHRIMP RECIPES?
- Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Shrimp with Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- Mesquite Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Coconut Cashew Shrimp with Pineapple Dip
- Coconut Honey Lime Shrimp with Sriracha Mango Dip
- Lemon Garlic Cream Ravioli with Shrimp and Asparagus
- Roasted Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
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