Preparing shrimp on the grill is one of the easiest methods of cooking them. From start to finish, this recipe takes about 20 minutes to make!
Simply coat the shrimp with olive oil and spices, thread them on skewers, and grill them for a total of six minutes.
Grilling shrimp is one of the easiest and fastest ways of making them. And I love that you don't need to marinate the shrimp before cooking. Simply coat them in olive oil and spices, thread them on skewers, and grill. Shrimp are small, so they're ready fast, making them the ideal dish to make for a weeknight dinner.
You'll only need a few ingredients to make this tasty shrimp recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil: I love this oil and use it frequently when I cook. It does have a low smoke point, so you can certainly use avocado oil instead.
To season: I like to use Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. I prefer garlic powder to fresh minced garlic in this recipe because it more uniformly coats the shrimp and it doesn't burn as easily.
Raw shrimp: I use large peeled and deveined shrimp in this recipe. I wouldn't use small ones for grilling. Extra-large will work too, although they might need to stay slightly longer on the grill.
So how do you grill shrimp? It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, Kosher salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. You'll get a nice, spicy sauce.
Now, add the shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat, then thread them on skewers.
Grill until opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
- Since shrimp are so small and delicate, your top priority as a cook is to avoid overcooking them. Obviously, you want them fully cooked. But do take them off the grill the moment they're no longer translucent.
- It's always a good idea to try and grill food without charring it, or at the very least try to minimize charring. To prevent the shrimp from charring, keep a close eye on them. You can also grill them over medium heat instead of medium-high and grill for a little longer if needed.
Frequently asked questions
Not long! You only need to grill them for about 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.
Yes! You can use an outdoor grill, an indoor George Foreman type grill, or a grill pan. Whatever works for you.
No, because you won't be able to thread them on skewers. But you can quickly defrost them by placing them in a large bowl, filling it with cool water, and replacing the water a few times.
Probably. Wooden skewers can burn over a hot grill. Soaking them in water is not a foolproof method, but some say it helps prevent them from burning.
I actually almost never use wooden skewers these days - I prefer metal ones. Although the issue with those is that they get super hot so you need to handle them with gloves.
I like to dress the shrimp with a simple dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. I don't marinate them prior to grilling. They are delicious when simply tossed in the marinade, then immediately grilled.
Variations and substiutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil.
- Try different spices, such as onion powder and chili powder.
- Omit the smoked paprika. When the shrimp are done, sprinkle them with dry-grated parmesan cheese.
These tasty shrimp go with so many side dishes. Since I usually make them in the summer, I like to serve them with any of the following sides:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. I like to use them cold in a shrimp salad for my lunch the next day. But you can also reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
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20-Minute Grilled Shrimps
- 1 ½ lb. large raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Heat your grill on medium-high.
- Place the shrimp in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
- Thread the shrimp on six skewers, about 8 shrimp per skewer.
- Grill the shrimp until opaque, about 3 minutes on each side. If using a dual contact grill, 5 minutes total should do it. Serve immediately.