Perfect Grilled Shrimp

This grilled shrimp is perfectly seasoned and over the top good! Here’s how to grill shrimp: it’s easy and they cook up in 5 minutes.

Grilled shrimp

There’s not much that doesn’t taste better grilled. So once the weather is right, grilled shrimp is where it’s at for Alex and me! It’s also one of the fastest things you can cook on the grill: it takes less than 5 minutes to cook these babies. Sure you can marinade the shrimp before grilling, like in our garlic grilled shrimp. But most of the time, why not go easy and lightening fast? Here’s the perfect grilled shrimp recipe.

Mix it up! Try our Cajun Grilled Shrimp or Blackened Shrimp.

How to grill shrimp

Grilled shrimp is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cook this tasty shellfish. The only part that takes time is preheating the grill! It’s so simple that it’s not even really a recipe: more like a concept. Make it once and memorize it! Here’s how to cook shrimp on the grill (or jump right to the recipe):

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Thaw the shrimp (if frozen).
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until bright pink and cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and spritz with fresh lemon juice.

Another idea: Brush with our Homemade Teriyaki Sauce before throwing it on the grill, then brush on a fresh coat right before serving.

How to grill shrimp

Should you peel shrimp before grilling?

You can grill shrimp both with the shell on or ones that have been peeled. Some sources will swear by shrimp in the shell, because it leaves it incredibly moist. But peeled shrimp are just as good. We like to use tail on shrimp because they look the most appetizing. Just make sure not to cook it too long! Cooking even a minute too long can make shrimp tough and dry.

Should grilled shrimp be on skewers?

You can if you’d like! You can thread your shrimp onto skewers before you grill it, which in theory makes it easier to turn. But Alex and I also find that it tends to spin on skewers, making it harder to manage on the grill. It also takes some time to thread it onto skewers, and wooden skewers need to be soaked first so they don’t burn.

If you’d like a shrimp skewers recipe, head to our Grilled Shrimp Skewers recipe for more info. But we prefer skipping the skewers, since it’s quicker and easier!

How long to grill shrimp

How long to grill shrimp

The cook time for this recipe is seriously quick. It takes just 3 to 5 minutes to grill shrimp, using medium-high direct heat (375 to 400 degrees). Timing will depend on the exact temperature, whether you’re cooking with the shell on, and how big the shrimp are.

For this recipe, we used shrimp that were 26 to 30 per pound size. We’ve tested it both with shrimp in the shell and shell off, and both turned out wonderfully.

How to thaw frozen shrimp

How to thaw frozen shrimp? There are a few different options depending on when you start! Here’s what to do:

  • Night 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 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.
Grilled shrimp

Ways to serve grilled shrimp

Shrimp is one of our favorite grilled dinner ideas. But how to eat it as part of a meal? Here are some ideas for how to serve grilled shrimp:

Grilled shrimp

More ways to cook shrimp!

Shrimp is a great healthy meal choice if you eat seafood. Here are some of our favorite healthy shrimp recipes:

  • Stovetop: Try our Garlic Butter Shrimp: you’ll get HUGE flavor in under 10 minutes! Here’s how to cook shrimp on the stove.
  • Baked: This Easy Baked Shrimp has the very best flavor, seasoned with garlic and herbs. Add a crispy breading before it’s roasted for an irresistible crunch!
  • Broiled: Broiled Shrimp is one of the fastest ways to cook it…you don’t even need to preheat the oven!

This grilled shrimp recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

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Grilled shrimp

Perfect Grilled Shrimp


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (44 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)

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

Description

This grilled shrimp is perfectly seasoned and over the top good! Here’s how to grill shrimp: it’s easy and they cook up in 5 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, tail on and deveined (we used 2630 per pound size)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Thaw the shrimp. Then pat the shrimp dry. 
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees).
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Mix with your hands to combine.
  4. Place directly on a grill and grill 1 to 2 minutes per side until bright pink and cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and squeeze on fresh lemon juice from several wedges of the lemon, to taste.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled shrimp, How to grill shrimp, How long to grill shrimp, How to cook shrimp on the grill

Last updated: April 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

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