This quick and easy Grilled Shrimp recipe is perfect for serving over rice, on top of a tossed salad, or even as an appetizer! Ready in just 15 minutes, with only 5 simple ingredients, you’ll be firing up the grill for these shrimp all summer long.
The Best Grilled Shrimp Recipe
You don’t have to be an Aussie to enjoy some delicious shrimp on the barbie! Sorry – we had to. I mean, we can’t talk about grilled shrimp without throwing in at least one little shrimp joke! All jokes aside, this really is the BEST quick and easy grilled shrimp recipe!
All you need to make these shrimp are the following simple and inexpensive ingredients (that you likely already have on hand!) – olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and minced garlic. Yes, really! Grilled shrimp only need a few flavorful additions to help them develop the best flavor.
While these shrimp are full of flavor from the bold ingredients they’re coated with, they’re not too overpowering. They’re actually quite versatile, and can be served with an array of various side dishes, or all by themselves! They are also seriously delicious in tacos or on top of a salad!
- Shrimp – You’ll need large shrimp that are peeled and deveined. You can use frozen shrimp, just make sure they’re fully thawed prior to seasoning and cooking them.
- Olive Oil – As always, use a good quality olive oil that’s green in color! Avocado oil is great too.
- Lemon Juice – To really create the best flavor here, use freshly squeezed lemon juice! The bottled alternative is full of preservatives and doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real deal.
- Cajun Seasoning – Yes, you can buy a store-bought container of this seasoning mix. However, our homemade recipe for Cajun Seasoning is seriously the BEST!
- Garlic – We promise, freshly minced garlic will always yield much more flavorful results than the pre-minced stuff.
How to Make Grilled Shrimp
In just a few steps, your shrimp will be hot and ready in minutes:
Prepare. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using them. Preheat the grill to 400°F. Clean the grates and spray it down with nonstick cooking spray, or you can rub oil on grates.
Season the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a medium size bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and garlic. Gently toss the shrimp until they’re all evenly covered in oil and seasoning.
Grill the shrimp. Thread the seasoned shrimp on skewers and place them on a hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. You’ll know the shrimp are done cooking when they curl around skewers and are no longer translucent. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Grilled Shrimp
- Use 2 skewers. To keep the skewers from flipping around as they’re grilled, use 2 for each set of shrimp. It’s an old trick that really helps!
- Soak the skewers. Soak the wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes before using them, or they will catch on fire. Save even more time by using metal skewers instead!
- Watch out for hotspots when grilling. Most grills tend to have spots that are hotter than others. Be careful while grilling shrimp and move the skewers away from any extra hot spots. Shrimp cook very quickly and if they over cook, they will be chewy instead of tender.
- Don’t flip shrimp too many times. I try to only flip my shrimp once or twice as they cook. The more you flip them, the less likely they will cook evenly. Since they cook quickly, it shouldn’t be hard to not flip them more than once or twice.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. And the biggest tip we can give you, DO NOT OVERCOOK YOUR SHRIMP! Overcooked shrimp are rubbery and that would be a crime. Keep a close watch on your shrimp and remember they cook very quick. Shrimp are done cooking once they are no longer translucent, are light pink in color and have curled.
Variations to Try
We love these shrimp just the way they are! However, there are a few ways to customize this recipe while still keeping it true to form. Here are just a few ways to add your own flair to these shrimp!
- Make them smoky. The grill will already provide the shrimp with a slightly smoky, charred flavor. If you want to enhance that flavor, toss some smoked paprika into the mix with the other seasonings!
- Make them spicy. Turn up the heat with your shrimp by adding some cayenne powder and/or crushed red pepper flakes to the seasoning mix. You can also add a little Sriracha hot sauce.
- Swap the citrus. Swap your lemon for a lime or even an orange. Just as delicious as a classic lemon, but slightly different in flavor.
How To Serve With Shrimp
These grilled shrimp can be served in a ton of different ways with all kinds of different sides. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Dip: These grilled shrimp are delicious all on their own, but they are also delicious served with a yummy dip to dunk them in: Cilantro Lime Crema, Bang Bang Sauce, or Homemade Tartar Sauce.
- Vegetable Side Dishes: There isn’t a single vegetable that wouldn’t go well next to these grilled shrimp! These Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Skillet Fried Corn, Southern Green Beans with Bacon, and Grilled Okra would all pair wonderfully.
- Salad: Over a light and fresh green salad, these shrimp will shine!
- Rice: They would be excellent over our Cilantro Lime Rice for a filling dinner.
Should I Soak The Skewers?
If you are using wooden skewers, YES, you must soak them in water to prevent them from catching on fire on the grill. If you are using metal skewers, you do not have to have to soak them.
How To Soak Skewers: I usually fill a 9×13 casserole dish with about an inch of water and then place the skewers in the water. Place something heavy, like a plate or bowl, on top to keep the sticks submerged in the water. They need to soak about 30 minutes and then will be ready to go!
Storing Grilled Shrimp
We prefer to enjoy these shrimp when they’re fresh off of the grill. However, you can store any leftovers you have in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure that the shrimp have cooled to room temperature prior to storing.
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- If using wooden skewers soak in water for 30 minutes before beginning.
- Preheat grill to 400°F. Clean grates and spray with nonstick cooking spray or rub oil on grates.
- Place shrimp in a medium size bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, cajun seasoning and garlic. Gently toss shrimp until they are all covered in oil and seasoning.
- Thread shrimp on skewers and place them on hot grill and cook for 3 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook for additional 2-3 minutes, until cooked through. Shrimp are done cooking when they curl around skewers and are no longer translucent. Serve immediately.
More Ways To Cook Shrimp
There are a ton of ways to make shrimp, here are a few more of our favorite easy ways to prepare shrimp: