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This garlic butter shrimp has HUGE flavor in under 10 minutes! A fast and easy dinner for weeknights or entertaining, it will become your go-to.

Garlic butter shrimp

Here’s your new go-to shrimp recipe: garlic butter shrimp! The shrimp come out impossibly juicy with the best garlic flavor. The sauce it just the right amount of buttery: deliciously savory but moderate enough to be a healthy dinner idea. The best part? It takes under 10 minutes to make. Yep, that’s pretty unheard of in dinnertime territory. Alex and I have devoted our expertise to easy healthy dinner recipes, and this one tops the list. And it works for both weeknights or entertaining. And it’s kid friendly (our son loves it). Really, what can’t this recipe do?

What’s in a garlic butter shrimp recipe?

The great thing about shrimp is: it tastes incredible when prepared simply! There’s not much you need to add to make shrimp taste like a million bucks. Here’s all that you need for this garlic butter shrimp recipe:

  • Large shrimp: It can be fresh or frozen, peeled or unpeeled. It’s nice to buy deveined so you don’t have to bother with that step.
  • Garlic: Only use fresh garlic: no dried here!
  • Butter: Salted butter is perfect; unsalted works in a pinch.
  • Lemon: A few lemon wedges are key to get the perfect flavor: don’t skimp here!
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, optional: It looks beautiful for a garnish!

Skip the garnishes (lemon and parsley) and it’s an easy 3 ingredient recipe!

Saute pan with shrimp

This shrimp cooks in 3 to 4 minutes!

The biggest mistake home cooks make with shrimp? Overcooking it. Overcooked shrimp is tough and rubbery, and it can go from perfect to overdone in just a minute. Pay close attention while you’re cooking the shrimp so you remove it from the heat at just the right time. Here are a few pointers:

  1. If using frozen shrimp, thaw it completely (see the section below). Pat the shrimp dry and mix it with the garlic and salt.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side on medium high heat (3 to 4 minutes total). Remove it from the heat as soon as it turns opaque.
  3. Spritz with fresh lemon juice and serve immediately!
Garlic butter shrimp

What to serve with garlic butter shrimp?

Of course, just making garlic butter shrimp doesn’t make a meal in itself. But whip up a whole grain or a veggie to go alongside, and it’s dinner! Here’s what we’d suggest serving it with:

Love garlic? Try more Great Garlic Recipes, like Garlic Butter Sauce Pasta or Garlic Broccoli.

Best shrimp recipe

Fresh vs. frozen shrimp: which is better?

Is there a preference between fresh vs frozen shrimp? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Both fresh and frozen shrimp work! A myth about fish is that “fresh is best,” but frozen isn’t necessarily lower quality. In fact, it might be higher.
  • Explanation: As soon as an animal dies it begins to decompose; freezing suspends this process. If a fish is frozen when it was caught and stays frozen until it gets to your kitchen, it will be higher quality than a raw fish that has taken a week to get to your plate.

How to thaw frozen shrimp

How to thaw frozen shrimp? There are a few different options:

  • Day before: If you think ahead, simply place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day of: Place the frozen shrimp into a large bowl with very cold water. Stir the bowl every 5 minutes to break up clumps of shrimp that freeze together. The shrimp should be defrosted in about 15 minutes.
Garlic butter shrimp

Looking to buy sustainable shrimp?

It’s hard to figure out how to buy sustainable fish at the grocery store. Here are a few pointers when you’re out shopping:

  • Look for wild-caught fish if possible. If you live in the US, look for US caught. 90% of the seafood eaten in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.
  • How your fish is caught matters. Look for hook and line as one example of a sustainable gear type. Bottom trawling is considered the most destructive and least sustainable method.

This garlic butter shrimp recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian. For dairy-free, use vegan butter.

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Garlic butter shrimp

Garlic Butter Shrimp (Fast & Easy Dinner!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This garlic butter shrimp has HUGE flavor in under 10 minutes! A fast and easy dinner for weeknights or entertaining, it will become your go-to.


  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish


  1. If frozen, thaw the shrimp (see the notes above).
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the garlic and salt.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  5. Spritz with juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Shrimp
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Garlic Butter Shrimp

Favorite shrimp recipes

If you love sauteed shrimp, here are some of our top easy & healthy shrimp recipes:

  • Quick Shrimp Tacos A fast dinner recipe for weeknights or entertaining. They taste stunning drizzled in a creamy cilantro sauce!
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp Dinner in 10 minutes! Zesty and fresh, serve with rice, in tacos, or on a salad.
  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta Easy to make with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan. A home run dinner idea!
  • Garlic Grilled Shrimp This easy grilled shrimp recipe is full of serious flavor, with a zesty marinade of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. At first bite: “Wow.”
  • Coconut Shrimp Curry Tastes better than a restaurant in under 30 minutes! It’s a Thai red curry flavored with coconut milk and curry paste.
  • Easy Baked Shrimp The very best flavor, seasoned with garlic and herbs. Add a crispy breading for an irresistible crunch!

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for your delicious recipes, l can’t wait to try your garlic shrimp and your garlic veggies. I sometimes need help for different ideas. You seem to have them.