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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! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

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.