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

Grilled shrimp
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Once the weather is right, grilled shrimp is where it’s at! This succulent seafood is one of the fastest things you can cook on the grill. It takes less than 5 minutes to grill shrimp to charred, seasoned perfection!

Why we love this recipe: As two cookbook authors who have grilled just about everything (from grilled salmon to nearly every vegetable), we think grilled shrimp can’t be beat. It’s so simple and the juicy, seasoned flavor has our hearts every time. It’s extremely versatile and you can serve it with rice and grilled vegetables, in a grain bowl, on skewers, or in tacos. Here’s how to make this simple grilled shrimp recipe!

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 to the full recipe):

Step 1: Season the shrimp.

Step 1: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450°F). Place fresh or thawed shrimp in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt.

Step 2: Grill the shrimp on the grates.

Step 2: Place the shrimp directly on a grill and grill 1 to 2 minutes per side until bright pink and cooked through.

Step 3: Season the grilled shrimp with lemon.

Step 3: Remove from the grill and squeeze on fresh lemon juice from several wedges of the lemon, to taste.

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.

Grilled shrimp on skewers

You can thread your shrimp onto skewers before you grill it, which makes them easier to turn. We recommend using wooden skewers, since the shrimp can tend to spin on metal skewers, making them hard to flip. The shrimp stays solidly in place on wooden skewers. You’ll need to soak them for about 20 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill. Head to this grilled shrimp Sskewers recipe for instructions.

How long to grill shrimp

How long to grill shrimp

It takes just 3 to 5 minutes to grill shrimp, using medium-high direct heat (375 to 400°F). 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 medium shrimp that were 26 to 30 per pound size. We’ve tested it both with shrimp in the shell and shell off, and both turn out great.

Ways to thaw frozen shrimp

Frozen shrimp works well in this recipe: make sure to thaw before you start. How to thaw frozen shrimp? There are a two different ways:

  • Night before: 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 defrost in about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on its size.
Grilled shrimp

How about marinated grilled shrimp?

Grilled shrimp is tender and flavorful when soaked in a marinade first. Go to our favorite shrimp marinade and allow the shrimp to marinate for 1 hour before grilling with the instructions below.

Seasoning variations

Want to try a few different seasoning blends for grilled shrimp? Here are some ways to mix it up:

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:

More ways to cook shrimp

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

  • Stovetop: Try sauteed shrimp or honey garlic shrimp.
  • Baked: This baked shrimp has great flavor, seasoned with garlic and herbs. Add a crispy breading before it’s roasted for an irresistible crunch!
  • Broiled: This broiled shrimp is one of the fastest ways to cook it: you don’t even need to preheat the oven.

Dietary notes

This grilled shrimp recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

Frequently asked questions

What size shrimp is best for grilling?

Aim for medium or large shrimp, though jumbo work too. They’re less likely to fall through the grates, and their larger size prevents them from overcooking too quickly.

Should I devein shrimp before grilling?

Yes, deveining is recommended: buy deveined shrimp for easiest prep. While not harmful if left in, the deveining process creates a more visually appealing and better-tasting shrimp.

How can I prevent my shrimp from being rubbery?

The key is to avoid overcooking! Shrimp cook very quickly, only needing a few minutes per side. They’re done when they turn pink and opaque and form a “C” shape.

Should I marinate my shrimp?

You can, but it’s not necessary! Marinating is a great way to add flavor, but keep it brief (20-30 minutes max). Longer marinating times, especially with acidic marinades, can start to break down the delicate shrimp. Go to Shrimp Marinade.

Can I grill shrimp on skewers?

Absolutely! Skewers make handling shrimp on the grill easier. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent them from burning. Go to Grilled Shrimp Skewers.

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Grilled shrimp

Perfect Grilled Shrimp

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

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


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. Or, try them with our Best Shrimp Marinade


  • 1 pound large shrimp, tail on and deveined (we used 2630 per pound size)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon


  1. Thaw the shrimp. Then pat the shrimp dry. 
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450°F).
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Mix 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. Leftovers last refrigerated for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. 


Seasoning variations: Try Cajun grilled shrimp with a homemade Cajun seasoning blend, or blackened shrimp with a mild mix of homemade spices. Or, brush shrimp with homemade teriyaki sauce before and after grilling.

Shrimp skewers: Grill the shrimp on wooden skewers (make sure to soak them at least 20 minutes before cooking). Go to Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Grilled marinated shrimp: Soak the shrimp in this Shrimp Marinade for 30 minutes before grilling. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Last updated: April 2020

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. Deirdre Rogan says:

    Why does the size of the shrimp change with the serving size? I’m going to make this for Sunday lunch this week for at least 5 people and it will be served with a salad caprese.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      That’s a bug, sorry about that!

  2. Pat Kerber says:

    Can shrimp be grilled the day before and served chilled?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:


  3. Courtney says:

    My dad and I used this recipe tonight to grill shirmp! So helpful and flavorful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can i use frozen cooked shrimp on the grill?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, just thaw them first!

  5. BERNARD v hurley says:

    Are these schrimp already cooked or raw?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:


  6. Anna S Misdom says:

    This was excellent! I left the shells on just to see how they would cook. Delicious!

  7. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!