Garlic Butter Shrimp


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Garlic butter shrimp is juicy, flavorful, and the perfect weeknight meal. A simple combination of melted butter, minced garlic and lemon juice, this easy recipe only takes 10 minutes to make (yes, just 10 minutes).

Shrimp sauteed in a pan with garlic and butter.

Fresh or Frozen Shrimp – Which Is Better?

When it comes to seafood, always consider the quality of the product and its source. Of course, it’s ideal to buy from a coastal shop selling fresh catches of the day. But, if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper and faster, don’t overlook the freezer section at your local market.

Wild frozen shrimp is always preferred because they are frozen immediately upon coming into the port. So they’ll maintain their freshness and flavor over time. And I always prioritize wild-caught North American shrimp over shrimp from Asia.

What about the fresh shrimp on ice in your supermarket? They may not be freshly caught and it’s hard to know how long the thawed shrimp have been sitting behind the counter. Just take the safe route and head to the freezer aisle to pick up a bag of shrimp.

Also, it’s better to buy wild white shrimp if you are pan searing shrimp on its own. This type of shrimp has a sweet, delicious flavor, is a bit larger and cooks firmly. Otherwise, smaller shrimp can be used for dishes such as my Shrimp Ceviche or  Shrimp Salad.

Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe Video

While this recipe is easy to make, it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step tutorial video. Give it a watch below!

How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp

If you’ve planned to cook shrimp the night before, simply pull your bag of frozen shrimp out of the freezer and into the fridge. They will gradually thaw overnight and be ready to cook by dinnertime.

But, say you are just getting home from work and suddenly decide to whip up some shrimp. Don’t worry, you will still have plenty of time to thaw it! Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the frozen shrimp into a bowl or colander in the sink.
  • Run it under cold water for about 5 minutes, occasionally tossing them around to make sure they are all thawed. Depending on the size of the shrimp, this process can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
  • When the shrimp have thawed completely, place them on a sheet tray and gently blot the shrimp with a paper towel. You want to remove as much excess moisture from the shrimp so that they can brown nicely without overcooking in excess water.
Ingredients to make garlic butter shrimp.

How To Make Garlic Butter Shrimp

Lucky for you, lemony garlic butter shrimp is easy to make! It cooks quickly and is extremely versatile when it comes to making different dishes. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat and then stir in the garlic. Cook this for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the shrimp and season them with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side, until the shrimp becomes pink and opaque.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and any remaining butter. Take off heat and taste test to see if you need any more salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and you are ready to serve!
Shrimp sauteed in garlic and butter in a pan.

What to Serve with Shrimp?

Now that you have your shrimp ready to go, it never hurts to add a side dish for some extra flavor and texture. A few sides I would recommend are my Mashed Cauliflower, Garlic Ginger Bok Choy, Cauliflower Rice, or fresh Coleslaw.

Close up photo of garlic butter shrimp.

Need More Shrimp Recipes?

If you’re looking for more variations on how to cook shrimp, take a peek through the shrimp recipes below. I think you’ll love them!

Shrimp sauteed in a pan with garlic and butter.

Garlic Butter Shrimp

4.93 from 27 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This garlic butter shrimp is incredibly easy to make and loaded with garlicky goodness. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!



  • 3 tablespoons butter (or ghee), plus more, as desired
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4-5 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • chopped parsley , to garnish


  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat and then stir in the garlic. Cook this for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp begins to turn pink.
  • Take the shrimp off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. If you'd like it extra buttery, you can add more butter now as well.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.

Lisa’s Tips

  • When it comes to shrimp, do your best to not overcook them. That’s when they become rubbery. 


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 301mg | Sodium: 1319mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Garlic Butter Shrimp, Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, Shrimp Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Tried the recipe and it was nice. However for those who like in the Southern Hemisphere do not buy shrimps buy pawns. Made the mistake of buying shrimps in Cape Town not prawns and found the recipe didn’t work that well but I’m sure it will be good with prawns. The marinade is amazing.4 stars

  2. This recipe is delicious and very simple and quick to make. Made it with zucchini and we loved it. A new favorite for us.5 stars

  3. I always cook this when I need fast lunch or dinner. Good to have it with a wholemeal wrap plus the lime crema!5 stars

  4. 4 Stars because i’m a total foodie and can tell this is going to be amazing, haven’t cooked it yet, but will soon. 4 also because I LOVE the fact you recommend the USA wild caught shrimp over the foreign farmed option. I make shrimp a lot, but i’m going lower carb again this year, and plan to try the bok choy you recommended, i’ve never made it myself and can’t wait to try. i’m older (late 50s), my 16 year old grandson lives with me, and i’m looking for recipes that we can both love. He will love the shrimp and i’ll introduce the bok choy, he’s good at trying new things.4 stars

    1. Can’t wait for you to try this recipe. Once you do (along with the bok choy), let me know how it turns out Nancy :)

  5. If I made this, I know my husband would ask “Where are the veggies?” What veggies do you think I could add in & in what amounts? Thank you!!! I have shrimp in the freezer for this!!

    1. I would make sauteed or roasted veggies on the side with this! Possibly my garlic ginger bok choy or roasted broccoli :)

  6. Meal prepped and ready to go for the week! I just love how easy it is to toss Downshiftology recipes together making cooking easy, healthy, and fun! <3 This shrimp recipient along with the honey glazed have amazing flavor! 5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you’re finding everything easy yet delicious to make! This shrimp is definitely a great meal prep ingredient :)

  7. I had some leftover shrimp from the shrimp asparagus and avocado salad, so decided to make these for lunch. So so yummy and it was literally done in 4 minutes total. Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  8. This is actually my favourite combo. I love making shrimp, but my husband HATES it!! But maybe I will have to make it so that there is more for me ;)5 stars

    1. Hi Chris – They’re one of the easiest seafoods to whip up! And when it’s dressed in garlic butter, it’s always a win :)

  9. Hi Lisa – I’m not a big seafood eater so I’m not sure. Would this heat up ok the next day for lunch leftovers? Thanks!!

  10. Love this! What a perfect way to end zucchini season :) I love how meaty it is too so it almost tastes like a real lasagna! 5 stars

  11. Made this for dinner tonight, absolutely AWESOME! Received rave reviews from my husband and kids. I would have served this with coleslaw, but my kids don’t like it, so I opted for your healthy broccoli salad instead. It also received excellent rating from my family. They didn’t miss the usual sugar that I have always used in my past broccoli salads!! Incredible!
    I am hoping to transform my body and my health one Downshiftology recipe at a time. I have learned so much from your videos and blog.
    Thank you for your excellent video content and flavorful recipes.5 stars

    1. Hi Kara – I’m so happy to hear that! This is such a perfect weeknight meal for the family. I love how your family didn’t miss the usual sugar in the broccoli salad, as I know the original salad has tons of sugar. Looks like you and your family are on they way to a healthier lifestyle :)

  12. Would it be possible to use Ghee or Miyokos instead of Butter for this? I love your channel. I have Hashimotos and I’m doing the Whole 30 right now. I’m over the halfway mark but craving foods now. Thank you for your videos and recipes. 

    1. Yes! You could definitely use ghee for this recipe. I’ll add a note about that. Good luck with your Whole30 Kirstin! And remember that you can sort by Whole30 recipes on the recipe page as well. :)

  13. Shrimps are one of my go-to’s when I’m craving for something super tasty. The garlic option makes them just be as good as they get!!!

    Love this! thanks for a beautiful recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Dannii – That sounds great! It really is one of the easiest and tastiest meals :)

  14. Oh, Wow wow wow… it look so colorful and so delicious, I can feel the strong pleasant flavor out of the screen. I love shrimp too, usually, I bought the frozen shrimp and cooked them with butter, lemon juice, pepper and mashed garlic, sometimes I add a little beer, which can make it tasted specially.

    1. Hi Austin – Yes, it’s always good to buy frozen shrimp! And the way you cook it seems pretty similar so you’re on the right track :)