This easy Grilled Shrimp recipe is packed with flavor and ready in just minutes! It features tender, succulent shrimp that are bathed in a simple marinade, then grilled to perfection. Enjoy as an appetizer, main dish, or salad topper – it’s ALL good!!
Super Simple Grilled Shrimp
Shrimp is on our menu every single week, and this easy Grilled Shrimp recipe is a favorite!
This recipe is PACKED with flavor from an easy marinade made with just a few common ingredients.
And if you’ve ever grilled shrimp before (please tell me you’ve feasted on my famous margarita grilled shrimp!), you know that shrimp cooks extremely fast. This is a super simple recipe that can be enjoyed, from start to finish, in just 20 minutes!
Serve this with some of your favorite sides, some pasta, or a fresh salad. Or do like Blake and I did last weekend: we had a little stay-at-home date night out on the back patio, with a small cheeseboard and this grilled shrimp, plus a chilled bottle of rosé. It was a delightful way to spend a gorgeous fall evening!
Why This Is The Best Grilled Shrimp Recipe
Grilling shrimp doesn’t have to be difficult. In just a few minutes, you can be enjoying succulent, flavorful shrimp! Here’s why you’ll love this grilled shrimp recipe:
- Super flavorful. I really packed in the flavor for this recipe – while using only a few common ingredients.
- It’s so easy. This simply bears repeating: this recipe is SO EASY! This is easily on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- Tender and succulent. My goal is to always have perfectly cooked shrimp. For me, that means a gorgeous char on the outside with a tender, succulent texture inside. This recipe definitely achieves that goal!
- Versatile. You can serve grilled shrimp with all sorts of side dishes from rice to vegetables. You can even serve it as an appetizer. Check out some of my serving suggestions lower down in this post.
- Quick to cook. You can have grilled shrimp cooked to perfection in just minutes, meaning dinner’s on the table FAST!
- A great hot-weather option. Because these shrimp are cooked on the grill you won’t have to deal with turning on your stove or oven if it’s a hot day. But of course, we like grilled shrimp so much, that it’s an all-weather option for us – we grill shrimp when the snow is flying!
What You’ll Need
Below you’ll find an outline of all the ingredients in this easy grilled shrimp recipe.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Olive oil – I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Lemon juice – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the freshest, best flavor.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is a must in this marinade!
- Old Bay seasoning – You can find Old Bay with the other spices in the spice section of the grocery store. This flavorful seasoning has been around for ages, always in our spice drawer.
- Granulated sugar – Sugar gives a slight hint of sweetness to the marinade, plus helps the shrimp to char on the hot grill grates.
- Smoked paprika – For smoky spice flavor – so good!!
- Salt – I use kosher salt in this recipe.
- Black pepper
- Jumbo shrimp – You want to use very large shrimp for this recipe, so they don’t fall through the grill grates. Leave the tails on, make sure the shrimp are deveined.
Choosing The Best Shrimp for Grilling
How to choose the best shrimp for grilling? Here are my tips for choosing the best shrimp:
- Use fresh or frozen. If using fresh shrimp, you’ll want to grill them within 1 or 2 days from picking them up at the store. If using frozen (which is what we do since we live in Minnesota), just make sure the shrimp are fully thawed before you start.
- Use very large shrimp. The larger the shrimp, the easier they are to turn on the grill. I prefer to use jumbo shrimp.
- Buy peeled shrimp. Make your life easier and buy shrimp that has already been peeled. You want to use peeled shrimp for this grilled shrimp recipe.
- Devein the shrimp first. Leave on the tails if you’d like, but devein the shrimp before you grill them. To do this, use the tip of a sharp paring knife to pull out the black vein that runs along the inside curve of the shrimp. Just know that some shrimp are labeled “deveined”, and they truly are, while others are not deveined all that well and need a little work.
- Take a pass on any funky shrimp. If shrimp smells funky or feels slimy, definitely take a pass. You do not want to eat it!
How To Grill Shrimp
Follow my simple method for grilling shrimp below:
- Prep the grill. Heat grill to medium-high/high. Clean the grates and then rub oil on the grates.
- Make the marinade. In a low, wide bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, Old Bay, sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Marinate the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the bowl of marinade, then fold gently to evenly coat the shrimp.
- Grill the shrimp. Place shrimp on the hot grill grates and cook for 3 minutes, or until they have some char. Flip shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes, or just until shrimp are no longer translucent. Take care to not overcook. Smaller shrimp will take less time.
- Serve hot. For the best texture and flavor, serve the grilled shrimp immediately. I also recommend offering fresh lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.
How Do You Know When Grilled Shrimp Is Done?
After both sides of the shrimp have been grilled, they should be pink on the outside, white and completely opaque on the inside (not translucent), and firm to the touch.
Pull the shrimp off the heat when they are done – overcooking them can make them tough and rubbery. Remember my goal >>> tender, succulent shrimp ALWAYS!
Tips for Success + Variations
Grilled shrimp is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook shrimp. Here are a few tips to help you make it perfectly:
- Don’t skip the marinade. The marinade infuses the shrimp with so much flavor. Don’t skip this step when you are making the shrimp.
- Try a different marinade. You can experiment with different marinades, homemade or straight from a bottle, playing up or down the spice component to suit your tastes. Try a simple blend of lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, for a super duper simple yet flavorful marinade.
- Use skewers. You can thread the shrimp onto skewers rather than placing them directly on the grill if you like.
- Don’t cook the shrimp too long. As noted above, grilled shrimp are finished cooking when they are pink on the outside and white on the inside. If you cook the shrimp too long they can end up dry and tough – so very disappointing!
What To Serve with Grilled Shrimp
Succulent grilled shrimp goes so with a variety of side dishes from potatoes to grilled veggies to a simple bowl of rice. Here are a few suggestions for serving grilled shrimp:
- As an appetizer. Like my grilled shrimp cocktail, this grilled shrimp recipe works well as an appetizer. Serve the shrimp with toothpicks for easy access.
- Rice. Serve grilled shrimp atop delicious cilantro lime rice, with fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the top instead of the usual lemon wedges.
- Tucked into tacos. Just grab some small tortillas, plus sides of guacamole and pico de gallo or restaurant style salsa, and you’ve got some dang good tacos!
- All kinds of potatoes. Mashed potatoes, buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, loaded baked potatoes – even German potato salad. You can’t go wrong when you serve potatoes with grilled shrimp!
- BBQ sides. Classic barbecue sides go well with this grilled shrimp recipe. Try my mom’s macaroni salad, this super easy Hawaiian macaroni salad, or one of my coleslaw recipes like vinegar coleslaw or creamy coleslaw!
- Salad. Shrimp and salad were made for each other. My arugula beet salad, broccoli salad, or apple salad are wonderful choices to serve with grilled shrimp.
- Vegetables. Add a side of veggies when serving shrimp! Pickled asparagus or grilled asparagus are good, easy choices. Or make a lot of vegetables with grilled vegetable salad. Super greens are a simple, healthy side, too.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
To store, place leftover grilled shrimp in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, here are a few options:
- Microwave: Place leftover shrimp on a plate, lay a paper towel over the top, and microwave in 10-15 second increments until heated to your liking. Do not overcook.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 300° F. Place the shrimp in a single, even layer in a baking dish, and cover them with aluminum foil. Heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until warmed.
- Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil or butter if you like. Then add shrimp and cook, flipping after a minute or two, until shrimp are warmed throughout.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound jumbo (I use 21-25 count) raw shrimp, tails on and deveined
- Heat grill to medium-high/high. Clean grates and then rub oil on grates.
- In a low, wide medium-sized bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, Old Bay, sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add the shrimp to the bowl and fold gently to coat the shrimp evenly in the seasoned oil.
- Place shrimp on the hot grill grates and cook for 3 minutes, or until they have some char. Flip shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes, or just until shrimp are no longer translucent. Take care to not overcook. Smaller shrimp will take less time.
- Serve immediately for best texture and flavor, with fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 479mgSodium: 2922mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 52g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.