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This garlic shrimp recipe is easy and bursting with bright flavor! Lemon and butter are the perfect match for this succulent seafood.

Garlic shrimp

In need of a quick and easy dinner? Here’s an idea that’s so quick, simple and bursting with flavor, it will become a family favorite in no time: this Garlic Shrimp recipe! It’s amazing what a little garlic, butter, and lemon juice can do for a pile of shrimp. Throw them in the pan and it makes absolute magic in under 15 minutes of prep time! This one is a quick dinner that’s on repeat at our house, and it always goes over well with everyone (even kids!).

Ingredients in this garlic shrimp recipe

This garlic shrimp recipe is similar to shrimp scampi, but even easier with less ingredients. SautΓ© the shrimp in a hot pan with olive oil, butter, garlic, and lemon, and it comes out like a dream. We like using 1 ½ pounds of shrimp to make sure there’s a generous portion for everyone: and it disappears quickly! Here are the ingredients for this garlic shrimp recipe:

  • Medium shrimp, deveined and tail on
  • Olive oil
  • Salted butter
  • Garlic
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Salt and pepper
Garlic shrimp recipe

What to look for when buying shrimp

There’s lots of variation when it comes to buying shrimp at the store: the size, sustainability, freshness, and type of peel all matter! Here are a few things to look for when buying shrimp for this garlic shrimp recipe:

  • Medium shrimp: Medium shrimp is our favorite size for a dish like this, though you could also use larger or smaller shrimp if you prefer. Medium is labeled as 41 to 50 count, which signifies the number of shrimp per pound. (Got jumbo shrimp? Try this recipe.)
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Peeled and deveined: Tail on shrimp has the best appearance, and it works well in this recipe! If you’d like, serve with a bowl for discarded tails.
  • Fresh or frozen: Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh, especially if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught. If frozen, make sure to leave time to thaw the shrimp before you start.

Tips for garlic shrimp

Shrimp are the ideal seafood protein because they are so quick to cook. Shrimp cook in under 5 minutes on the stovetop! There are a few things to keep in mind when you go to make this shrimp recipe:

  • Use your largest skillet. Make sure your skillet is large enough to fit all the shrimp in a single layer without stacking. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, cook the shrimp in batches.
  • Prep all ingredients before cooking. The cook time is so fast for shrimp that you’ll want to have everything measured out and ready to go before cooking. The cooking term for this method is mise en place in French or “everything in its place,” and it’s especially important for this recipe.
  • Avoid overcooking the shrimp! Shrimp is notoriously easy to overcook, which makes it rubbery and unappetizing. Pull the heat when the shrimp just turns opaque, indicating that it is cooked through.
Garlic shrimp recipe

Ways to serve it

How to serve this garlic shrimp recipe? It’s fast and easy to make it into a meal with these simple grains and sides. Here are some of our fastest side dish recipes to pair with it:

More shrimp recipes

Shrimp is one of our favorites for easy dinners: because it’s so quick to whip up! Here are a few more quick and simple shrimp recipes to try out:

This garlic shrimp recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian.

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Garlic shrimp

Easy Garlic Shrimp

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This garlic shrimp recipe is easy and bursting with zingy flavor! Lemon and butter are the perfect match for this succulent seafood.


  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)*
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon


  1. Thaw the shrimp, if frozen. Pat the shrimp dry. Place it in a bowl and sprinkle it with the kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Prepare all the remaining ingredients as noted above.
  3. In a very large aluminum or cast iron skillet*, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer (without stacking it) and cook for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes, until cooked on one side.
  4. Flip the shrimp with tongs. Add the salted butter and allow it to melt. Add the minced garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook for another 1 to 1 ½ minutes until the shrimp is opaque and just cooked through. Serve immediately. Leftovers store well for up to 3 days.


*Make sure your skillet is large enough to fit all the shrimp in a single layer without stacking. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, cook the shrimp in batches.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Garlic shrimp, garlic shrimp recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. LOVE IT! shrip is heaven!! yum yum in my tum tum!!πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹