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Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Margarita Grilled Shrimp Kabobs are loaded with flavor and charred to perfection. A quick and easy grilled shrimp recipe that promises flavorful, succulent shrimp!

Grilled shrimp skewers on plates with white rice and fresh limes, also glasses of margaritas.

The Best Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

These Margarita Grilled Shrimp Kabobs are one of my favorite recipes EVER. And, from all the feedback I’ve gotten over the years, I know they’re a top reader favorite as well. If you love shrimp, you just have to try this!

These shrimp are tender and succulent, with a gorgeous lightly crisped exterior. They are also loaded with flavor – it’s amazing what your spice drawer can do for shrimp!

I like to serve these shrimp kabobs as both an appetizer and a meal, with or without skewers. It’s so quick and easy and fabulously delicious that Blake and I often grill up a batch just for ourselves… I’m serious when I say I crave this shrimp!

So shake up a margarita and throw some shrimp on the barbie. You’re gonna LOVE this grilled shrimp recipe!

Also, if you’re a big fan of easy shrimp recipes, you’re going to want to try shrimp ceviche, Mexican shrimp cocktail, and camarones a la diabla as well!

Margarita grilled shrimp and limes on a black plate.

Why You’ll Love This Shrimp Kabob Recipe

Shrimp kabobs are constantly on the meal plan at our house. Here’s why I think you’ll want them on yours, too:

  • Succulent shrimp. This grilled shrimp comes out so juicy and tender every time.
  • Super flavorful. Fresh jalapeno, sweet brown sugar, smoked paprika, and more combine to create a sweet and spicy shrimp marinade that will wow your taste buds!
  • Great texture. I love how the grill’s heat quickly cooks off the saucy-ness of the marinade, leaving drier bits of spices that cling to the shrimp. The little bits char so beautifully from the hint of brown sugar in the marinade, adding so much wonderful texture and flavor!
  • An appetizer or a meal. One of the best things about this recipe is how easy it is to customize. Do you fancy a shrimp dinner? Use larger skewers. Want to make a simple shrimp appetizer? Use small skewers. We like these short skewers for creating appetizers, and these long skewers for meal-sized portions.
Ingredients for margarita grilled shrimp.

Recipe Ingredients

The marinade for this grilled shrimp recipe comes together easily, thanks to your spice drawer. I bet you have all of these items on hand already – the only thing I usually need to pick up is a fresh jalapeno!

For the Shrimp Marinade

  • Olive oil – Canola oil and other neutral oils work as substitutes.
  • Fresh garlic – Freshly minced garlic provides the best flavor, but store-bought minced garlic will also work.
  • Fresh jalapeno – You could leave this out if you don’t want the marinade to be as spicy, but I love the kick of heat that it adds.
  • Brown sugar – Honey is also good if you don’t want to use brown sugar!
  • Spices – I like to use a mix of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin.
  • Kosher salt & black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper is the way to go!

For the Shrimp Skewers

  • Extra jumbo shrimp – I use raw, peeled extra jumbo-sized shrimp for this recipe. I recommend shrimp labeled “16 to 20 per pound”, which simply means there are 16 to 20 shrimp in a pound.
  • Fresh lime & cilantro: These are optional, but they offer additional flavor at grilling and serving time. I definitely like LOTS of lime!
  • Tequila: I include a splash of tequila for this grilled shrimp marinade’s margarita effect, but you can certainly leave it out if you prefer. This dish is great either way.

How Do I Choose Shrimp?

My best advice? Purchase shrimp that looks and smells fresh.

Living in Minnesota, we obviously don’t have access to just-caught seafood. We most often buy shrimp from our local Kowalski’s seafood counter or frozen seafood area, or in the Costco freezer case.

If you purchase shrimp from a seafood counter or fish market, plan to use it within a day or two.

Grilled shrimp and limes on a black plate.

How to Make Shrimp Kabobs

This shrimp kabob recipe has just a few straightforward steps for you to follow:

Shrimp marinade in a glass bowl.
  • Make the marinade. Place all of the shrimp marinade ingredients in a small bowl with tall sides. I like to use a 2-cup glass measuring cup with a spout, so I can easily pour the finished marinade over the shrimp. Use an immersion blender to blitz it all together. If you don’t have one, a blender or small food processor works well, too.
Shrimp with marinade in a glass bowl.
  • Marinate the shrimp. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and gently fold to coat them evenly. Then, cover and refrigerate your shrimp for 2-3 hours to infuse the shrimp with all that Mexican-flavored goodness.
Small plates of grilled shrimp skewers with white rice and fresh limes, also glasses of margaritas.
  • Grill the shrimp. Shrimp can be grilled with or without skewers. We do it both ways.
    • If you are using skewers: I recommend flat-shaped ones like the ones in my photo above. This will help the shrimp stay put, so they won’t twist and turn on the skewers. Soak the wood skewers in water for at least a couple hours prior to grilling, so they won’t burn up as quickly on the grill.
    • If you are not using skewers: I highly stress the importance of using Extra Jumbo shrimp, or at least Jumbo. Smaller shrimp are much more likely to fall between the grill grates when not threaded onto skewers. To grill the shrimp without skewers, simply place each individual shrimp onto the hot grill grates. Using tongs, flip each piece of shrimp over one by one.
Jumbo shrimp on the grill.

How Long to Grill Shrimp on a Skewer

Shrimp does not take long to grill, especially over medium-high heat. Once the shrimp are nicely charred and no longer opaque, they’re done. Here’s my usual routine:

  • Heat your grill to medium-high.
  • Clean the grill grates well, then oil them.
  • Grill the shrimp for 3-4 minutes per side. Do not overcook them! Remember that this timing is for Extra Jumbo sized shrimp – if you’re using smaller shrimp, do not cook them this long.
Jumbo shrimp in palm of hand to show its large size.

Tips for Success

Here are my top tips for the best grilled shrimp kabobs, margarita-style!

  • Use Extra Jumbo shrimp. Its large size allows for enough cook time on the grill to give the shrimp some char, without overcooking it. The larger shrimp cost more per pound, but this is a recipe that’s not worth skimping on. Extra Jumbo (16 to 20 per pound) will give you luscious, tender shrimp with gorgeous char. The photo above gives you a better perspective of what I mean by Extra Jumbo. They’re HUGE!
  • Marinate your shrimp for at least 2 hours before grilling. Make sure you give the margarita marinade enough time to do its magic and let the flavors set in before you grill the shrimp.
  • Watch the grill carefully while you cook the shrimp. Keep in mind that the alcohol in the tequila will cause a bit of an initial flare-up on the grill, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the shrimp. This isn’t a bad thing, though, it helps to achieve that fabulous char!
  • Soak your skewers in water if you’re using wood skewers. Soak them for at least a couple hours prior to grilling. This won’t prevent them from burning on the grill, but it will help considerably!
Grilled shrimp with charred grill lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to marinate shrimp?

I like to marinate my shrimp for 2-3 hours in the fridge because it gives the flavors in the marinade enough time to really set in. Since the marinade doesn’t have citrus in it, you don’t have to worry about the shrimp becoming mushy.

Do I have to flip shrimp when grilling?

Yes, make sure to grill your shrimp for 3-4 minutes per side. Otherwise, part of the shrimp will be underdone.

How do I know when my shrimp is done on the grill?

The shrimp should be pink, opaque, and firm by the time both sides have been grilled. Shrimp cooks really fast and can turn rubbery quite quickly, so keep a close eye on it.

Grilled shrimp skewers on plates with white rice and fresh limes, also glasses of margaritas.

Serving Suggestions

As mentioned above, you can serve this shrimp many ways, as both an appetizer and a main course. These are a couple ways that my family loves to enjoy grilled shrimp:

  • As an addition to another meal. Toss the shrimp on salads, enjoy them with grits, or tuck them into a sandwich or wrap!
  • With rice. I often make a simple small meal with white rice (shown above). I cook some rice in a rice cooker, then fold in the zest and juice of one lime when it’s finished. When serving, I sprinkle coarse salt, sliced fresh green onions, and chopped cilantro over the top.
  • With fresh lime wedges. Limes provide fresh color, a bright acidic finish, and an element of lime-squeezing fun. They just plain elevate the whole margarita shrimp experience. Trust me. You’ll love it!
Grilled shrimp with limes, piled on a black plate.

What to Drink With Grilled Shrimp

This meal just begs for a cold, refreshing margarita. With the shrimp and its Mexican flavors, and a margarita to wash it down, I am instantly reminiscing about wonderful times spent on the beaches in Mexico.

I’m a huge fan of margaritas. Thus I have a few recipes to share with you!

Nothing beats a classic margarita. But here are a few more fun variations:

Jumbo shrimp that is charred from grill, with fresh lime wedges.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Got leftover shrimp? No problem! Here’s how to properly store and reheat this recipe:

  • To store. You can store leftover grilled shrimp kabobs in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • To reheat. Simply heat up your shrimp in the microwave, or cook them in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.
A plate of margarita grilled shrimp skewers ready to eat.

More Shrimp Recipes

Looking for more easy ways to make juicy shrimp? I’ve got you covered!

Grilled shrimp and lime wedges on black plate, plus two margaritas.

Like this shrimp recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

Margarita grilled shrimp, fresh limes, and margaritas.
margarita grilled shrimp and fresh limes

Margarita Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Yield: 4
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
total time: 2 hours 36 minutes
Jumbo shrimp are marinated in bold flavors found in many Mexican dishes. A splash of tequila is included for the margarita effect, but you can certainly leave it out if you prefer – this dish is awesome either way!
4.4 Stars (409 Reviews)
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw extra jumbo shrimp 16-20 per pound, peeled and deveined
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tequila optional
  • thin slices of fresh lime if placing shrimp on skewers
  • chopped cilantro
  • wedges of fresh lime for squeezing over top of grilled shrimp

Instructions

  • Shrimp can be grilled with or without skewers. If using wood skewers, start soaking them in water.
  • Place shrimp in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl with high sides, combine all ingredients from olive oil through black pepper. Use an immersion blender to completely process until there are no sizable pieces. Or use a food processor or blender. Pour marinade over shrimp and gently stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, folding gently about halfway through.
  • Drizzle tequila over the shrimp, if desired, and gently fold to combine. If using skewers, thread shrimp onto skewers, with a folded slice of lime in between shrimp (see skewer photos in post).
  • Heat grill to medium-high. Make sure grates are clean, and then oil them well. Set shrimp on grates and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or just until shrimp are no longer translucent and have some nice char. Smaller shrimp will take less time. Place shrimp on a platter and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

Notes

  • Variations: If making skewers, create smaller appetizer-sized ones using short skewers (I highly recommend using flat-shaped skewers, as the shrimp won't twist and turn on the skewers!). I make these with 2 shrimp per skewer. Or, create meal-sized portions with long skewers that hold more shrimp. Or, simply grill the shrimp without the skewers. For this method, I highly stress the importance of using large jumbo-sized shrimp, so they don't fall through the grill grates as easily.
  • From a farmgirl's dabbles.
  • To store. You can store leftover grilled shrimp kabobs in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • To reheat. Simply heat up your shrimp in the microwave, or cook them in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 352kcal Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 32g Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 287mg Sodium: 1625mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

The Grill We Use

This post is sponsored by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

Coyote grill from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery asked if we’d like to review one of their Coyote Outdoor Living grills a few years ago.

Our grill was tired and worn out…and the Coyote grills looked awesome, so we didn’t hesitate. Especially since Ferguson is a company we’ve visited and purchased from in the past for home remodeling projects.

The grill pictured here in our back yard is a Coyote C-Series 34-Inch 3-Burner. It features durable premium stainless steel construction, 616 square inches of cooking area, and 60,000 BTUs of cooking power.

We love it!

Coyote grill from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Everything about our Coyote grill is quality through and through.

The grill canopy is double-walled. I especially like the push-and-turn ignition knobs, used in the exact same way we ignite the gas stove in our kitchen, with no additional ignition button needed. There’s even an interior light for cooking into the night.

Grilling Accessories

Coyote also sent us some great accessories to try.

Their heavy-duty Signature Cooking Grates (upper left photo) are made from diamond laser-cut solid stainless steel and weigh almost 10 pounds per grate. They’re hefty! Coyote offers three different styles, each one specifically designed for everything from sturdy cuts of meat to delicate vegetables and fish.

And then there’s the beautiful heavy-duty Drop-In Griddle (lower right photo) that includes a removable grease trap for easy cleaning. This works great for bacon and eggs in the backyard on a lazy summer weekend!

Coyote Asado Smoker from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Coyote Asado Smoker photos credit: Coyote Outdoor Living

Be sure to check out all the Coyote grill offerings at your nearest Ferguson Showroom, including this Coyote Asado Smoker.

The Coyote Asado Smoker features:

  • Coyote Signature Smoking Grate
  • Adjustable venting to maintain precise cooking temperatures
  • Smoke, sear, and grill options
  • Heat-resistant ceramic construction
  • 254 square inches of cooking area
  • Lifetime Warranty on ceramics

Find Ferguson Showroom on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz.

Find Coyote Outdoor Living on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This post was originally published in 2016, and then updated with some new photos and information in 2020.

This post is sponsored by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. They sent us a Coyote grill for our review and to share about their Summer Grilling Promotion. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this site possible.

Grilled shrimp with fresh lime wedges.

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95 comments on “Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers”

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! I cut the salt a bit because I didn’t have kosher and it was still a bit much for us but otherwise a total win. Perfect summer meal…that I’ll make all year round.

    1. SO HAPPY you liked this recipe, Ruth! Thanks a bunch for coming back to leave a comment and rating. Enjoy!!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one amazing recipe. Since I no longer grill I cook these on a cast iron stove insert. They get rave reviews from all my guests. I have even had guests fight over an extra skewer.

    1. I fight for the last shrimp, too! SO GLAD you liked this recipe – thanks for coming back to let me know! :)

  3. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight and it was FABULOUS! I did tweak it a little by adding 2 tablespoons of tequila, 1 tablespoon of triple sec and 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice, otherwise I followed your directions. We’d
    bought some big prawns at Costco yesterday and peeled and marinated them the 2 hours as you said. I used my Weber grill and oak charcoal and cooked them about 4 mins per side. My husband and son “ohed and ahed” every bite they took so it was a huge hit! Thank you!

  4. Becky Hoffman

    5 stars
    This was hands down one of the best marinades I’ve tried. Just the right amount of flavor, so balanced. I grilled my shrimp and topped a Mexican salad kit with them. I will do it again and experiment with chicken. 

  5. 5 stars
    As I was only fixing about a dozen shrimp, I used my Lodge grill pan and did them on my stovetop without skewers.   Delicious—the recipe is a real keeper.  Fortunately, since I live in Florida, the shrimp was in the ocean the day before I fixed them. Fresh is best!

  6. 5 stars
    Love the char on these while still not over cooking. Have grilled or done on the range top. Just make sure that pan is hot hot hot! I have also marinated for less than 30 minutes when crunched for time and they still had a ton of flavor. So great for a quick last min meal

  7. 5 stars
    We have made them a few times now, so good. My mother in law liked them and she doesn’t like jalapeño anything. 

  8. 5 stars
    I made these for Mother’s Day and served with Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Sauce and Corn on the Cob! The dinner was absolutely delicious. I will make again and again!

  9. 5 stars
    What a great blend of flavors.  Little bit of smokiness, heat, and sweet.  I no longer am able to grill outdoors, so did these on my cast iron grill pan.  Turned out great.  Served with cilantro rice.

  10. 5 stars
    I really, really LOVED this recipe. I followed your recipe to a tee with the following exceptions: 1. I doubled the marinade because I was not only marinating shrimp, but I had to use up 3 big bell peppers, which I had already thinly sliced. And 2. I added more jalapeño because I love jalapeños.

    I cooked the shrimp on metal skewers on my Charcoal grill until done. Then, I heated up a little oil in my cast iron skillet and placed the skillet on the grill. The temp of my grill was reading about 450F. I cooked my marinated peppers in the hot cast iron for about 4 minutes (I don’t like my vegetables mushy).

    I served the cooked shrimp on top of the cooked peppers, squeezed a little fresh lime juice on them, and tossed with some fresh Cilantro, as suggested. What an easy, quick, AMAZING low-carb dinner.

    I rarely enjoy marinades, because I feel like most do not add enough flavor or they “cook” whatever I’m marinating due to the acid. NOT this one, though! Both the shrimp and veggies were so, so flavorful. Perfect spice combination, and easily tweaked for heat level. Thank you very much!

  11. Absolutely restaurant quality recipe!!
    I bought 16-20shrimp-highly recommend 
    I also made cilantro rice & red beans 
    We live in NC now but lived in South Fl-I Miss those flavors but this will be a new go too. Especially if we host a dinner party. 

  12. 4 stars
    It was really good, but I think I’d make extra marinade to serve with the shrimp. We served it with rice and it would have been nice over that too. I’d also add some cilantro to the marinade next time.