Grilled shrimp skewers are perfect for when you're ready to fire up the grill but find yourself in the mood for seafood. Learn how to make shrimp grilled to perfection, then topped with a zesty lemon herb sauce. Threading the shrimp on the skewers will keep them from falling between the grates, making grilling so much easier.
If you love fish and seafood recipes as much as I do, today's recipe is for you! After posting our grilled branzino and shrimp kabobs with avocado sauce, it's time to share this wonderful grilled shrimp recipe with you. These skewers are so simple, yet every bit of them is bursting with flavor - just how I like food to be!
Table Of Contents:
🦐Do you peel shrimp before grilling?
This really comes down to your preference. I like peeled shrimp for grilling and because all the flavors of the marinade would that soak into the shrimp. For a more beautiful presentation on the platter, I like to keep the tail on like I do when making Mediterranean style shrimp or sauteed shrimp but you can remove that as well.
🥘Ingredients and substitutions
- Shrimp: Use large or extra large raw shrimp for this recipe and make sure they are peeled and deveined.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works best for both the marinade and sauce.
- Lemon juice: I recommend using fresh lemons and lemon juice.
- Spices: Aleppo pepper and zaatar add a nice Mediterranean kick to the shrimp. You can find both in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean shops or even online.
- Herbs: You'll need parsley, cilantro and green onion.
🔪How to make grilled shrimp skewers
- Make the sauce by mixing olive oil, white vinegar and lemon juice with chopped red onion, parsley, cilantro and green onions. Season with Aleppo pepper and salt.
- Place the shrimp in a bowl and mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and zaatar. Marinate for 20 minutes and preheat the grill to medium high.
- Thread the shrimp onto skewers. Have all the skewers ready before you start grilling.
- Grill the shrimp for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. You'll know it's cooked when it's pink and opaque. Serve immediately with the lemon herb sauce.
💭Tips to make the best grilled shrimp
- Use the right size shrimp: Shrimp tends to shrink when cooked, therefore it's best to use large or jumbo shrimp.
- Don't overcook: It only takes about 5 minutes for shrimp to cook. Make sure not to overcook it otherwise it'll be rubbery and tough.
- Don't marinate for long: Shrimp would actually "cook" in the lemon juice if marinated for over 1 hour.
📖Frequently asked questions
You can use either one. However, if using bamboo or wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 30 minutes prior to using. This is to avoid them burning when on the grill.
Unless you're living close to a place where there's freshly caught shrimp available, it's best to use frozen shrimp. Thaw the shrimp overnight in the fridge or under running cold water if you're in a pinch.
I recommend using large or jumbo shrimp for grilling.
It's best to grill the shrimp right before serving for the best texture and flavor.
Yes. If outdoor grilling is not an option, heat a grill pan over medium high heat and grill the shrimp skewers in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes per side. You can also broil them in the oven for 7 minutes, flipping half way through for even cooking.
More shrimp recipes
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Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Lemon Herb Sauce
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon zaatar
Lemon herb sauce
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 green onions chopped
- ¼ red onion chopped
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- Make the lemon herb sauce by mixing the lemon zest and juice with olive oil, Aleppo pepper, parsley, cilantro, green onions, red onion and white vinegar. Set it aside.
- Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and zaatar. Mix well and cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
- When you're ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium high.
- Thread the shrimp on the skewers (I used metal skewers, check the notes if using wooden skewers) and place them on a baking sheet. Once all is skewered, place them on a grill and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. You'll know the shrimp is cooked once it's pink and opaque.
- Place the grilled shrimp skewers on a platter and top with the lemon herb sauce.
- It's best to use peeled shrimp for this recipe since it would absorb the flavor of the marinade and sauce better.
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw them in the fridge overnight. If you're in a pinch, thaw them under running cold water.
- Aleppo pepper is available in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean stores and it's very similar to Turkish pul biber. If it's not available, use red pepper flakes.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 1 hour to avoid them burning and turning black.
- It's best to serve grilled shrimp right off the grill for the best the flavor and texture, however, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- If outdoor grilling is not an option, heat a grill pan over medium high heat and grill the shrimp skewers in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes per side. You can also broil them in the oven for 7 minutes, flipping half way through for even cooking.