Grilled shrimp is so easy to make. Simply coat them with a delicious spicy sauce, thread on skewers, and grill for 5 minutes.
I make this tasty shrimp recipe often in the summer. And thanks to my George Foreman grill, I also make it when it's rainy outside!
It's great that you don't need to marinate the shrimps first. Simply coat them in olive oil and spices, thread on skewers, and grill.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few ingredients to make these tasty grilled shrimp (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Olive oil: I love this oil and use it frequently when I cook. But if you worry about its relatively low smoke point, you can certainly use avocado oil instead.
Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice tastes best. I wouldn't use the bottled stuff here.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Chili powder and cayenne pepper. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
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.
How to grill shrimp
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, Kosher salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. You'll get a nice, spicy sauce.
2. Add the shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat, then thread them on skewers.
3. Grill until opaque and cooked through, 2-3 per side over medium-high heat.
How long should they stay on the grill?
Not long! You only need to grill them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
You can cook them on an outdoor grill, on an indoor George Foreman type grill, or in a grill pan. Whatever works for you.
Whenever I make this recipe, I'm reminded that "fast food" does not have to equal "junk food!"
I always have a few bags of frozen shrimp in my freezer. Even if I forget to defrost them the night before, I can quickly defrost them by placing them in a large bowl, filling it with cool water, and replacing the water a few times.
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.
What is the best seasoning for grilled shrimp?
I like to season them with a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. I don't actually marinate them prior to grilling, though. They are delicious when simply tossed in the marinade then immediately grilled.
It's a good idea to try and grill food without charring it, or at the very least try to minimize charring. As you can see in the photos, the shrimps are nicely grilled, but they are not burned.
To prevent them 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.
Should I soak wooden skewers?
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.
How to serve them?
These tasty 🍤 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:
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftover grilled shrimp 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.
More shrimp recipes that you might enjoy
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes.
- Heat your grill on medium-high.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, chili powder, and cayenne.
- Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
- Thread the shrimp on the skewers.
- Grill the shrimp until opaque, 2-3 minutes on each side. If using a dual contact grill such as a George Foreman grill, 4-5 minutes total should do it. Serve immediately.