This lovely dish of garlic butter shrimp is ready in less than 20 minutes.
Served over cauliflower rice, spinach, or arugula, it makes a quick and tasty weeknight dinner.
This garlic butter shrimp recipe is especially flavorful and is one of the recipes I make most often. It's the simplest recipe - shrimp cooked with garlic, butter, and lemon juice - and it's ready fast. Most importantly, it's delicious, and my entire family enjoys it.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Unsalted butter. I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will work.
- Fresh garlic. I use fresh garlic cloves, peel them, and thinly slice them.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. I use kosher salt almost exclusively in my cooking. If you use fine salt, you'll need to use about half of the amount listed.
- Cayenne pepper. A small amount adds a subtle kick to this dish.
- Raw shrimp. I like to use extra-large shrimp in this recipe (21-25 pieces per pound). Large shrimp (31-40 pieces per pound) work too.
- Lemon juice. It's important to use fresh lemon juice.
- Chopped parsley. It's not just a pretty garnish; it adds wonderful flavor to this dish.
- Use ghee or olive oil instead of butter. I'm a big fan of ghee! It adds creaminess and a nutty flavor.
- Sprinkle dry-grated parmesan on the finished dish.
- Sometimes, I use cilantro instead of parsley.
- Cook 2 slices of bacon until crispy. Cook the garlic and shrimp in the bacon grease (instead of butter) and sprinkle the finished dish with the crumbled bacon.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- Melt butter in a large skillet. (Photo 1).
- Add the shrimp and garlic. (Photo 2).
- Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring often (Photos 3-4).
- Stir in lemon juice (Photo 5).
- Divide the shrimp between plates and sprinkle them with chopped parsley.
- That's it! Dinner is served. (Photo 6).
- The butter will brown and caramelize as you cook, giving the dish a fantastic flavor. If it browns too much, reduce the heat to medium.
- Another trick for preventing the milk solids in the butter from burning is to add a tablespoon of olive oil in addition to the butter or use ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter.
- In the video, I add the garlic with the shrimp. However, I have found that allowing the garlic to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the shrimp is better. This enables the garlic to brown without overcooking the shrimp. The recipe below is written accordingly.
- It's best to sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley after you've plated it. Adding the parsley to the pan will cause it to wilt. It looks and tastes better when sprinkled on the finished dish. So, in the video, I add parsley directly to the pan but sprinkle more on the finished dish.
Yes, but you'll need to defrost them first. If you haven't defrosted them overnight, place them in a bowl filled with lukewarm water for 5-7 minutes, replacing the water once or twice. Then, drain them on paper towels.
I recommend using extra-large or large shrimp in this recipe. You can use smaller shrimp, but they'll be ready in 2-3 minutes.
I don't recommend it. In many of my recipes, jarred minced garlic works fine (although it's not as tasty as fresh garlic).
But here, the garlic is the star of the show, so I highly recommend using fresh garlic cloves and slicing them thinly rather than mincing them.
Another option is to serve it with thick slices of almond flour bread to soak up the buttery sauce.
It's also delicious when served on raw spinach or arugula leaves. The hot buttery sauce wilts the leaves just enough, so they're not completely raw:
Provided you refrigerate the leftovers promptly in a shallow, airtight container, you can keep them for up to three days.
Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power. Or use them in a shrimp salad!
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Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of any other salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound shrimp extra-large, 21-25 count per pound, peeled and deveined
- 1 medium lemon juiced (or ½ large lemon)
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foaming, about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, until the shrimp are pink and opaque and the garlic is browned, about 4 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, add the lemon juice, and toss to coat. Transfer the shrimp to plates and drizzle them with the remaining pan juices. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley.
- The butter will brown and caramelize as you cook and will give the dish an amazing flavor. But if it browns too much, simply reduce the heat to medium.
- Another trick for preventing the milk solids in the butter from burning is to add a tablespoon of olive oil in addition to the butter. Or you could use ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter.
- In the video, I add the garlic together with the shrimp. However, I have found that it's better to allow the garlic to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the shrimp. This enables the garlic to brown without overcooking the shrimp.
- Another recommendation is to sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley after you've plated it. Adding the parsley to the pan will cause it to wilt. It looks - and tastes - better when sprinkled on the finished dish. So in the video, I add some parsley directly to the pan, but then I sprinkle some more on the finished dish.