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Thanks to the fresh, flavorful lemon garlic and herb marinade, you’ll be enjoying this Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp recipe all summer long! It’s a healthy, quick-prep, easy dinner that the whole family will love!

An overhead image of juicy grilled marinated shrimp served over a bed of rice with fresh basil and lemon slices.
Table of Contents
  1. Tangy Citrus Marinade for Shrimp
  2. Ingredients for Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp
  3. How to Make Herby Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp
  4. What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp
  5. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Prep and Storage Tips
  6. Marinated Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp Recipe Variations and Tips
  7. More Easy Shrimp Recipes
  8. Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp Recipe

At the end of a warm summer day, nothing beats the versatility of grilled shrimp skewers for a light, delicious and satisfying meal. Whether you serve them over salad, stuff them in a taco or wrap, or pair them with pasta or rice, these shellfish are a healthy, quick-cooking option for busy days!

Tangy Citrus Marinade for Shrimp

The secret to the succulent shrimp in this recipe is the flavorful shrimp marinade. The olive oil base seals in moisture, while the honey, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard provide a sweet, tangy flavor. You can’t go wrong with fresh herbs! The herbaceous flavors of basil and chives give this simple marinade so much freshness. 

What’s even better is that you can use this tasty marinade recipe as a salad dressing! If you have leftover marinade or want to dress a side salad to go along with your grilled shrimp skewers, it’s the perfect light and refreshing vinaigrette. Simply pour all the ingredients into a mason jar or dressing bottle, shake, and enjoy!

A citrusy lemon garlic and herb marinade mixed together with a metal whisk in a large Pyrex measuring bowl.

Ingredients for Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp

You only need a handful of simple ingredients for this lemon garlic shrimp recipe – almost all of which are for the simple citrus marinade! Below is an overview of the ingredients used, easily found at your local grocery store. You can find the complete ingredient measurements and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post. 

  • Jumbo Shrimp: I prefer to use the largest shrimp for grilling because they stay juicy and moist throughout the cooking process. 
  • Olive Oil: you want to use good-quality olive oil as the base of the marinade.
  • Vinegar: an essential emulsifier for the marinade. I use white vinegar, as it has a more neutral flavor for the citrus to shine through.
  • Honey: for a hint of sweetness to balance out the acidity.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: fresh brings so much more flavor than bottled, so go for a fresh squeeze of lemon!
  • Dijon Mustard: adds a layer of tangy flavor to the marinade.
  • Fresh Chives, Basil, & Garlic: fresh herbs and aromatics will always be best in my opinion. Fresh garlic cloves, chopped basil, and chives bring a bright, herbaceous flavor to the recipe.
  • Salt & Pepper: to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Should I use fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp for grilled lemon garlic shrimp skewers?

You can use either fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe – just do not buy already cooked shrimp. I don’t recommend grilling pre-cooked shrimp. This will likely overcook the shrimp, resulting in a rubbery or tough finished product. I almost always use frozen shrimp for this recipe, but I always thaw the shrimp before marinating. Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight, or for a quick-thaw method, place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run under cold water until thawed (this will only take a few minutes)! Dry the shrimp thoroughly with paper towel before marinating. 

What size shrimp is best for grilling?

Larger shrimp work best for grilling, as they stay juicy and have the least chance of overcooking. The shrimp packaging will always indicate the size and count of shrimp per pound. Jumbo shrimp usually come with 16-25 shrimp per pound, depending on how big they are. I wouldn’t recommend using shrimp smaller than the “extra large” size for the best results. The smaller the shrimp, the less cooking time is needed, so if you use smaller shrimp, closely watch the shrimp and adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

How to Make Herby Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp

First things first, take out your grill pan or fire up that gas grill and get it nice and preheated. You can make this recipe any time of year – grilling season or not! In the summer, lemon garlic shrimp are refreshing and citrusy. In the Fall, the bright flavors are a great reminder of the warmth to come.

  • Whisk together all of the simple ingredients (except the shrimp) to make the sweet and savory lemon garlic and herb marinade in a large bowl.
  • Marinate the shrimp in a large bowl or freezer bag with half the marinade for 20-30 minutes or in the refrigerator for no more than 2 hours.
  • Thread the shrimp onto kabob skewers.
  • Grill the marinated shrimp over high heat for a total of about 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Baste the shrimp with the reserved marinade as they cook and serve as an additional garnish.

Grilling Shrimp on Skewers: What Are the Best Skewers to Use?

When you’re making any type of kabobs on the grill, it’s important to appropriately prep the skewers for the heat of the grill. Wooden skewers or bamboo skewers are the standard, and both must be soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to grilling but perform best when soaked for a few hours. Bamboo skewers can be soaked for as long as 8 hours – they take a while to soak in moisture and are slow to release the moisture when grilled. Metal skewers like stainless steel are also a good option and don’t require any additional prep. Wooden skewers are cost-effective, disposable (and biodegradable), and perfect for anyone who doesn’t find themselves making shrimp kabobs all that often. Metal skewers are great for the avid griller.

Skewers of juicy lemon garlic marinated shrimp cook on a cast iron grill pan.

How do you know when grilled shrimp are done cooking?

Shrimp cook very quickly, so keep a close eye on them and remove them from the grill as soon as they turn pink and become opaque. Overdone shrimp will get tough, so they will likely only require about 3-5 minutes total over high heat. It only takes a couple of minutes to achieve those desirable grill marks on the tender shrimp – so keep your eyes peeled!

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp

This recipe pairs nicely with many of your favorite sides, like starches and vegetables. Here are a few easy side dishes that will go well with the shrimp:

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Prep and Storage Tips

Prep Ahead of Time: if you’re using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw the shrimp a day ahead of time (in the fridge). You can also prepare the marinade ahead of time and keep it in a mason jar or dressing container in the fridge for a few days. 

Storing Leftovers: leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can freeze marinated grilled shrimp for up to 3 months as well. 

Reheating Leftovers: the best way to reheat leftover lemon garlic grilled shrimp is on the stovetop, in a skillet with olive oil or butter over medium to medium-low heat until just heated through. To reheat from frozen, let the shrimp thaw before reheating on the stovetop. You can add additional marinade or butter for moisture and flavor.

A healthy serving of lemon garlic grilled shrimp served in a bowl over a bed of rice with basil and lemon garnish.

Marinated Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp Recipe Variations and Tips

  • Cooking for just 1 or 2 people? Cut all of the ingredients in half and grill just one pound of shrimp. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • I recommend marinating the shrimp for at least 15-20 minutes but not more than 2 hours. The acid (lemon juice) in this marinade will cause the shrimp to become rubbery if they’re left in the marinade for too long.
  • I’ve used basil and chives in this recipe, but you can substitute them with any of your favorite herbs. Try parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or cilantro for a twist!
  • Don’t have fresh herbs? You can substitute with about 1 tablespoon of dried chives and 1 tablespoon of dried basil.
  • If you can’t find fresh chives, sliced green onions (scallions) are a great substitute.
  • If you have extra reserved marinade (that hasn’t touched the raw shrimp), save it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It makes a great vinaigrette salad dressing!
  • Additionally, you can mix the marinade with some melted butter for a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce! Dip the grilled shrimp in the sauce, or drizzle over the kabobs along with some lemon zest.
  • Is it better to grill shrimp with the shell on or off? I always grill the shrimp with the shell off! This allows the marinade to directly flavor the shrimp, and it makes it easier to eat the shrimp once they’re cooked — no peeling at the table.
An overhead image of grilled lemon garlic and herb shrimp served in a large bowl over rice, with lemon wedges and fresh basil as garnish.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

Piece of grilled shrimp on a fork in a bowl with rice

Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 334.6 kcal
Thanks to the fresh, flavorful citrus marinade, this Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp recipe is full of refreshing, bright flavors! No matter the time of year, this grilled shrimp recipe can be made indoors or outdoors with simple ingredients.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. raw Jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lemon juice freshly-squeezed
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh chives minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • To make the marinade, whisk together all ingredients except shrimp.
    ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup honey, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh chives, ¼ cup fresh basil, 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Marinate shrimp at room temperature in half of the dressing for 20-30 minutes, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Reserve the remaining marinade to use for basting later.
    2 lbs. raw Jumbo shrimp
  • Thread shrimp onto kabob skewers (if using wooden skewers, make sure that you soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes before adding the shrimp).
  • Grill the shrimp over high heat for a total of about 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Use the remaining dressing to baste the shrimp while they cook.
  • Garnish with additional herbs just before serving, if desired.

Notes

  • Nutrition information listed below is just an estimate, assuming 1/4 of the shrimp and 1/4 of the marinade is actually consumed.
  • Cooking for just 1 or 2 people? Cut all of the ingredients in half and grill just one pound of shrimp. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • I recommend marinating the shrimp for at least 15-20 minutes but not more than 2 hours. The acid (lemon juice) in this marinade will cause the shrimp to become rubbery if they’re left in the marinade for too long.
  • I’ve used basil and chives in this recipe, but you can substitute them with any of your favorite herbs. Try parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or cilantro for a twist!
  • Don’t have fresh herbs? You can substitute with about 1 tablespoon of dried chives and 1 tablespoon of dried basil.
  • If you can’t find fresh chives, sliced green onions (scallions) are a great substitute.
  • If you have extra reserved marinade (that hasn’t touched the raw shrimp), save it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It makes a great vinaigrette salad dressing!
  • Additionally, you can mix the marinade with some melted butter for a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce! Dip the grilled shrimp in the sauce, or drizzle over the kabobs along with some lemon zest.
  • Is it better to grill shrimp with the shell on or off? I always grill the shrimp with the shell off! This allows the marinade to directly flavor the shrimp, and it makes it easier to eat the shrimp once they’re cooked — no peeling at the table.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the shrimp and 1/4 of the marinadeCalories: 334.6kcalCarbohydrates: 11.6gProtein: 46.1gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 1.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 344.5mgSodium: 626.7mgPotassium: 438.1mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 8.8gVitamin A: 410IUVitamin C: 11.1mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 5.5mg
Keyword: Easy Shrimp Recipe, grilled shrimp recipe, Shrimp Skewers
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Norma says:

    5 stars
    Blair–made this shrimp a few nights ago and it was delicious! My husband used his grill top pan (the type with the holes in it) to cook on our Weber. Instead of basting at the last minute, he put the shrimp in a bowl and I added a little more marinade and tossed everything together. Next time we’ll try basting as you suggested. Am sure both methods are really good. This makes a lot of dressing so when reheating for the second meal I put them in a pan on just moderate heat for a couple of minutes and added a little more dressing. Since then I have used the marinade as a salad dressing and it’s delicious for that! So glad you instruct to use only part of the marinade as it’s coming in handy. Imagine it would also be good on an orzo salad, potato salad, cucumber salad….etc.! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Norma! Wonderful! I love the extra dressing on salads, too. It’s a great thing to just have on hand in the fridge. So glad that y’all enjoyed the shrimp!