This easy grilled shrimp recipe is full of serious flavor, with a zesty marinade of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. At first bite: “Wow.”
Is there anything more delicious than succulent, garlicky shrimp right off the grill? Here’s a seriously easy recipe for garlic grilled shrimp, using a zesty lemon herb marinade. It’s simple to whip up: just give it a 30 minute marinade and it’s good to go on the grill. And it takes only 2 to 4 minutes! There’s really nothing faster on the grill, and it makes for a simple, healthy dinner. After Alex made this for me, I took one bite and said “WHOA.” Yep, it’s that good. Here are all our tips for the best grilled shrimp, and what to eat with it!
Related: Best Shrimp Dinner Ideas
What’s in this grilled shrimp?
You don’t need many ingredients to make seriously flavorful grilled shrimp. Our homemade grilled shrimp marinade packs in lots of fresh flavor without using any special ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need for the grilled shrimp marinade:
- Fresh herbs
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- Red pepper flakes
Note that you should use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. The red pepper flakes are optional, but we like the kick they give to this grilled shrimp marinade. Leave it out if you’re sensitive to spice!
How to make grilled shrimp
Grilled shrimp is one of the easiest things you can make on the grill. It’s fantastic for entertaining, or just a simple evening on the patio. Now, for the bare bones easiest recipe, you can grill it with just olive oil, salt, and pepper — and a few squeezes of lemon. Go to Easiest Grilled Shrimp.
But if you have time for the marinade—and we hope you do—this recipe is absolutely worth it! This recipe features our grilled shrimp marinade made with lemon, olive oil, herbs, and garlic. It adds huge flavor to this shrimp. The only thing is that you’ll marinade the shrimp 30 to 45 minutes before you’d like to grill it. Try not to go any longer than this, because the marinade almost “cooks” the shrimp, similar to a ceviche.
Here are the steps for how to grill shrimp:
- Defrost the shrimp (if frozen) and shell it: the marinade soaks in best if the shrimp is shelled.
- Mix up the grilled shrimp marinade: lemon juice, zest, olive oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs, soy sauce, and salt.
- Place the shrimp in a bowl with the marinade and let it stand in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat a grill to medium high. Grill the shrimp 1 to 2 minutes per side, until bright pink and cooked through.
10 side dishes to eat with shrimp
Now that you’ve got this beautiful grilled shrimp, what to eat with it? Here are a few ideas:
- Pesto Quinoa: Grilled shrimp looks beautiful with quinoa; for this one we make up our Perfect Quinoa and stir in some basil pesto. Yum!
- Easy Bean Salad: The perfect easy side, this one is full of protein with beans, chives and feta cheese.
- Grilled Romaine Lettuce: If you have the grill fired up, grill up some romaine and top with Parmesan as a smoky salad.
- Parmesan Potato Wedges: Oven roasted potatoes covered in crispy Parmesan? Sign us up!
- Grilled Avocado: Grilling avocados takes only 4 to 6 minutes: they’re a delicious and healthy side dish! Top them with something Mediterranean inspired, like the caprese topping for these mushrooms.
- Strawberry Spinach Salad: This tangy and sweet salad would be a fitting contrast to savory shrimp.
- Incredible Chopped Salad: An Italian-style chopped salad would accessorize well with the lemon and garlic in the shrimp marinade.
- Favorite Potato Salad: Go American classic and accessorize with potato salad! This French potato salad and vegan potato salad are also great choices.
- Creamy Polenta: Grilled shrimp are delicious atop a bowl of creamy polenta (for dairy-free, use Creamy Vegan Polenta). It’s very similar to American shrimp and grits.
- Farro with Mushrooms & Parmesan: This filling whole grain is accessorized here with sauteed mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Perfection!
How to grow fresh herbs
This grilled shrimp recipe uses a handful of fresh herbs: and it’s so much more fun to grow them yourself! We grow herbs all summer long, and it’s one of the most satisfying things to run out to the garden and harvest a few herbs. You don’t even need garden space: you can just grow herbs in pots as long as you have a sunny ledge! And adding herbs to your cooking is a healthy flavor addition, without adding calories.
For this recipe, we used a mixture of dill, basil and chives: but you could use any that you like. We loved the dill though: it’s a natural complement to the grilled shrimp! So if can find dill, it’s absolutely worth it.
For all of our tips on fresh herbs, see this post on How to Grow Herbs.
How to buy sustainable shrimp
Finally, a little note on how to buy sustainable fish for this grilled shrimp. Alex and I try to buy sustainable seafood where possible. We eat a mostly plant-based diet, but flex occasionally to eat sustainable fish. In researching how to buy sustainable seafood, Alex and I have learned to look for wild-caught fish if possible. Also, frozen is good too! A myth about fish is that “fresh is best.” 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.
Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?
Outside of this recipe, here are a few more healthy seafood recipes:
- 5 Minute Seared Tuna Recipe
- Seared Salmon Poke Bowl
- Baked Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce
- Truffled Egg with Smoked Salmon
- Shrimp Cocktail (How to Boil Shrimp + Cocktail Sauce)
- Broiled Salmon with Bourbon Glaze
- Baked Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
- Roasted Tomato Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta
- Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous
- Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers
- 6 Grilled Seafood Recipes
- Salmon en Papillote with Roasted Potatoes
- Related: 10 Romantic Dinner Recipes
This grilled shrimp recipe is…
Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.Print
This easy grilled shrimp recipe is full of serious flavor, with a zesty marinade of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. So easy and so good!
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used 26–30 per pound size)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as dill, basil and chives
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- Defrost the shrimp and peel it, as necessary.
- Mince the garlic. Finely chop the herbs.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients: lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, soy sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and herbs.
- Add the shrimp to the bowl with the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
- Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side until bright pink and cooked through.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Grilled shrimp, Preheat a grill to medium high heat. Garlic grilled shrimp, What to eat with grilled shrimp
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.