How to Grill Shrimp

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Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 mins

Cooking Shrimp on the Grill with this easy technique never fails to produce the meatiest, most succulent results! Coated in a lightly spicy lemon seasoning and served with garlic herb butter, you’ll fall in love with this seafood favorite all over again.

Looking for more shrimp recipes? You have to try my Honey Garlic Grilled Shrimp, Creamy Tuscan Shrimp or my Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits.

How to Grill Shrimp Perfectly Every Time

Grilling shrimp isn’t difficult by any means, but these crowd-favorite shellfish do tend to be a little finicky. If you’ve ever tasted shrimp that were too tough or disappointingly rubbery, you probably know this all too well. No longer! With the help of this trusty guide, you’ll never have to worry about undercooked or overcooked shrimp again.

I like to season my shrimp with fresh lemon zest, minced garlic and red pepper flakes before I load them onto skewers and sear them over the grill. After that, I’ll brush them with a simple garlic herb butter that your taste buds will worship. Once you experience the amazingness of this approach, you can replicate the reliable grilling process using any flavoring method you can think of.

Here’s to flawless grilled shrimp forevermore!

A bunch of skewers of grilled shrimp on a sheet of parchment paper placed on a marble countertop

What You’ll Need

Let’s discuss what you’ll need to make the most drool-worthy garlic lemon grilled shrimp. The amounts are included in the recipe card toward the end of this post.

For the Grilled Shrimp

  • Large Shrimp: Remove the shell from each shrimp by pulling off the head and legs, then peeling off the shell from the top down, leaving the tail intact for decoration if desired. You’ll then want to peel off the vein that runs along the back of the shrimp. Use the tip of a knife to loosen it and tweezers to grasp it if necessary.
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh-Minced Garlic: Don’t use a bottled version here – it won’t give you the same robust flavor that freshly minced garlic provides.
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh Lemon Zest: Be sure to zest only the yellow skin of the lemon and not the white pith underneath.

For the Garlic Butter

  • Unsalted Butter: Melted and slightly cooled.
  • Salt
  • Fresh Parsley: Finely chopped.
  • Fresh-Minced Garlic
Grilled shrimp skewers laid down on a sheet of parchment paper

Can I Use Frozen Shrimp?

You sure can! Oftentimes, frozen shrimp are actually preferable to fresh ones. This is because they’re frozen as soon as they’re caught, immediately preserving their texture and flavor. Just remember to thaw out the shrimp before you use them.

I usually do this by transferring my shrimp to the fridge the night before I plan to grill them. If you need to thaw them more quickly, you can submerge the frozen shrimp in cold water for 15-20 minutes (or until defrosted), stirring occasionally to break up any shrimp that have clumped together.

Let’s Get Grilling!

Want an easy way to grill shrimp indoors? I highly recommend investing in a stovetop grill pan. That way, you can enjoy grilled shrimp rain or shine!

Preheat Grill: Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Season Shrimp: Add the shrimp to a medium-sized bowl along with the olive oil, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Toss until all of the shrimp are evenly coated.

Thread Onto Skewers: Thread the shrimp onto your skewers starting from the bottom and going through the top so the shrimp stays on and doesn’t fall off. Here are some of my favorite skewers to use because they are double-pronged and hold everything still instead of spinning around the skewer.. If you’re using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for 30 minutes before you do so.

Seasoned raw shrimp threaded onto skewers and resting on top of a parchment-lined cutting board

Grill: Place the prepared shrimp skewers onto clean grill grates and grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the grill once they turn pink. Do not overcook them.

Shrimp cooking on a grill with one side done

Make Garlic Butter: While the shrimp are resting, combine the melted butter, salt, chopped parsley and garlic in a small bowl.

Parsley, butter, salt and garlic inside of a small bowl on a kitchen countertop

Brush Onto Shrimp: Brush the homemade garlic butter onto the grilled shrimp and enjoy!

A close-up shot of garlic butter being brushed onto grilled shrimp

How Long to Grill Shrimp

Large shrimp take about 4-6 minutes to grill over medium-high heat, or 2-3 minutes per side. Once the shrimp turn from clear to pink, they’re ready to go. They will also curl into a C shape once they’re fully cooked, while overdone shrimp will form a full circle. Make sure you remove your skewers from the heat once you see the Cs.

Shrimp become rubbery quickly – watch out for these signs so you never overcook them again.

Tips for Success

Now that we’ve covered the indications of perfectly cooked shrimp, it’s time to touch on some other helpful tips. Here they are!

  • Wild-Caught Shrimp Are Best: Farmed shrimp are more prone to contamination than wild-caught shrimp. They’re also generally more fatty and less flavorful. Use wild-caught shrimp for top-notch results.
  • Do I Have to Devein the Shrimp? The “vein” that runs along the back of each shrimp is not actually a vein at all – it’s the shrimp’s digestive tract. While leaving it on won’t make your shrimp inedible, they’re more appetizing when the vein is removed. If you notice that some of the shrimp don’t have this vein, don’t worry about it.
  • Always Soak Wooden Skewers: Wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before they’re used for grilling. Otherwise, they will go up in flames, so make sure you don’t skip this step.
A close-up shot of garlic lemon shrimp threaded onto metal skewers

Ways to Season Your Shrimp

Looking for another way to flavor your shrimp? I’ve got you covered with some fail-proof options.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled shrimp can be used in tons of yummy ways, especially when they’re infused with versatile flavors like garlic and lemon.

Garlic lemon shrimp on a piece of parchment paper beside a small bowl full of homemade garlic butter

Storage and Reheating

Don’t let your grilled shrimp sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. As soon as they’ve cooled, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for 3-4 days (remove the shrimp from the skewers before storing them if you haven’t already).

Warm them up over medium heat with a little extra butter to keep them nice and juicy. They should heat through in about 3 minutes.

Can I Freeze Cooked Shrimp?

You can! Spread the shrimp out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flash-freeze them for about an hour, or until they’re solid. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze them for up to 4 months. Thaw out frozen shrimp in the fridge overnight before you reheat them.

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Five grilled shrimp skewers on a sheet of parchment paper with fresh lemon wedges beside them

How to Grill Shrimp

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 17 minutes
  • yield Yield: 6 1x
  • category Category: Dinner
  • method Method: Grill
  • cuisine Cuisine: American

Description

Cooking Shrimp on the Grill with this easy technique never fails to produce the meatiest, most succulent results! Coated in a lightly spicy lemon seasoning and served with garlic herb butter, you’ll fall in love with this seafood favorite all over again.

Scale

Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 1.5 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the Garlic Butter

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp to a medium bowl with olive oil, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Toss to coat everything.
  3. Thread the shrimp on the skewers, starting from the bottom and going through the top so the shrimp stays on and doesn’t fall off. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak for at least 30 minutes prior to using.
  4. Place shrimp skewers on clean grill grates and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove when shrimp is pink. DO NOT overcook or it will turn rubbery fast.
  5. While shrimp is resting, in a small bowl mix together melted butter, salt, chopped parsley and garlic.
  6. Brush the garlic butter mixture on grilled shrimp and serve.

Notes

  • Makes 4-6 servings.
  • To Store: Don’t let grilled shrimp sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. As soon as they’ve cooled, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days (remove from skewers before storing if you haven’t already).
  • To Reheat: Warm shrimp over medium heat with a little extra butter to keep them juicy. They should heat through in about 3 minutes.
  • To Freeze: Spread shrimp out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flash-freeze for about an hour, or until solid. Once frozen, transfer shrimp to a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Keywords: grilling shrimp, garlic butter shrimp, shrimp on the grill

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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