Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers


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Garlic grilled shrimp skewers are what summer is all about. Jumbo shrimp are marinated in a delicious garlic herb mixture, then grilled to perfection in under 10 minutes. You can’t beat a recipe that’s easy to make yet fancy enough to serve at your next party.

Grilled shrimp skewers on a plate with lemon slices, parsley and the marinade.

If you’re going to throw shrimp on the barbie (yes, I just said that), better make it these garlic grilled shrimp skewers. They’re one of the easiest recipes you can make and loaded with bright, zesty flavor.

But be forewarned, these shrimp disappear blazingly fast. And once they’re gone, your family and friends will be begging you to make another batch.

Shrimp Buying Tips

When shopping for shrimp, always take quality and source into consideration. Fresh catches of the day are great if you live on the coast, but they can be hard to come by and expensive. And the “fresh” shrimp on ice at your grocery store is anything but fresh. It’s typically frozen, then thawed shrimp, and you don’t know how long it’s been sitting out (and shrimp can spoil quickly).

So oddly enough, frozen shrimp is the ideal choice. It’s frozen as soon as it’s caught, preserving the freshest flavor. Then, you can simply thaw right before preparing.

Here’s a few other things to look for in your freezer aisle:

  • Jumbo shrimp. Since you’re putting these on skewers, you want your shrimp to be large and juicy. To make sure you’re buying the right frozen bag, take notice of the number of shrimps per pound. Jumbo shrimp will typically be between 16-20 shrimp per pound.
  • Shell and tail on. Frozen shrimp with its shell on will hold a bit more flavor than ones that are peeled. They’re also less processed. But I certainly understand the convenience of peeled and deveined shrimp, so grab what you can.
  • Wild shrimp. Check the source of your shrimp. Wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic is better than farm-raised shrimp from Southeast Asia. Wild shrimp will be free from antibiotics and injected hormones, and they’re better for the environment.
Close up photo of garlic grilled shrimp.

A Simple Yet Tasty Grilled Shrimp Marinade

Now that you’ve got your bag of shrimp, it’s time to put together the marinade. I’m keeping it simple today with olive oil, herbs, and lots of garlic. But trust me, this is a holy grail combo that never fails.

Just whisk together the ingredients below – and you’re done.

  • Olive oil: Using olive oil allows the flavors to infuse into the shrimp.
  • Cilantro and parsley: These two herbs add just the right amount of freshness. But feel free to switch it up and add basil, thyme, or oregano into the mix.
  • Garlic: I’m using four large cloves for some garlicky goodness.
  • Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens everything up.
  • Salt and Pepper: For perfectly seasoned shrimp.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Just a pinch or so adds spiciness, a hint of heat, and a little color to the shrimp.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Garlic herb marinade in a bowl, and poured onto raw shrimp.

How To Grill Shrimp Just Right

First, make sure to thaw your shrimp the night before in the fridge. But if you forgot to do so, don’t worry. Just run the frozen shrimp under cold water for 5-10 minutes in a colander. When they’re completely thawed, gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Then let’s get grilling!

  1. Marinate the shrimp. In a mixing bowl, toss the thawed shrimp with 80% of the marinade until they’re completely coated.
  2. Timing is key. Let the marinated shrimp sit in the covered bowl for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Pop on skewers. Thread the shrimp on skewers and brush some more of the marinade on top.
  4. It’s grilling time. Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. Then place the skewers on the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. They cook fast, so keep an eye on them!
  5. Drizzle. Transfer the skewers to a place and drizzle the remaining marinade on top for extra garlicky flavor.
Raw shrimp on skewers, and then on a grill pan.

Best Skewers to Use

Both wood and metal skewers work just fine. But I prefer metal ones because they can be re-used indefinitely and don’t have to be soaked in water before using.

I also recommend you purchase flat skewers rather than round ones. The flat shape prevents the shrimp from rotating around the skewer when you flip them over.

Grilled Shrimp Pairs Nicely With…

Vibrant veggies, fresh sides, and tons more. Here’s a few ideas to add to your menu.

Garlic grilled shrimp on skewers.

How To Store Leftovers

If you have a few shrimp leftover, just store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for 3-4 days.

You can also freeze them for about 3 months in freezer-safe containers. It’s best to freeze them within 1-2 hours of grilling, to prevent bacteria from growing.

Garlic Grilled Shrimp Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe? Watch the video below!

Satisfy Your Shrimp Cravings

With these fun and tasty shrimp recipes! Here’s a few favorites that are perfect for the sunny days ahead.

Garlic grilled shrimp skewers on a plate with lemon and parsley.

Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers

4.98 from 48 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


These garlic grilled shrimp are dressed in an herby, garlicky marinade. Then grilled with perfectly charred marks in under 10 minutes. It's an easy yet delicious summer recipe. Watch the video above!



  • 1 pound large shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper, adjust to spice preference


  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, and spices to a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
  • Place the shrimp in a bowl and pour 3/4 of the marinade on top of the shrimp. Mix together gently until the shrimp are well coated.
  • Cover the bowl and marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Thread the shrimp on the skewers and make sure to get all the good garlic and herbs from the bowl and spread on to the shrimp.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan on medium high heat.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the shrimp skewers on the grill and cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes each side, or until they turn pink and opaque.
  • Remove the shrimp to a plate and spoon the remaining marinade on top before serving.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Adding the last little bit of marinade at the end makes these grilled shrimp extra garlicky. If you don’t like raw garlic and/or would like the garlic flavor less strong, just use all the marinade in step 2.
  • You can use a variety of fresh herbs in this recipe, including parsley, cilantro, basil, thyme and oregano (I don’t recommend rosemary). Feel free to swap the herbs for your favorites.
  • These are my favorite skewers. They’re flat skewers which prevent the shrimp from rotating around when you flip them over.
  • This is the indoor grill pan I use on top of my stove.


Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 229mg | Sodium: 940mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 307IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Garlic Grilled Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp Recipe, Shrimp Skewers
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. These were so good! We ate the leftovers cold the next day and loved it just as much. Hubby and I agree this needs to be a regular at our house. The only variation I made was sauteing them rather than grilling them.5 stars

  2. OMG! Made these last night. Super delish! You’re right – they do disappear blazingly fast – mostly into MY mouth as I’m “taste testing” ;) The marinade is delicious even though I’m not a fan of cilantro it gave it a nice flavor in this and wasn’t overpowering. I pan fried and they came out amazing. Paired with some quick-cooking coconut rice and cucumber salad. If I wouldn’t had to defrost, peel and devein the shrimp (which I prefer to do than by pre-done ones but I’m sure you could) it would have been a super quick and easy meal. Perfection! Definitely keeping in the rotation.5 stars

    1. So happy you love these grilled shrimp, Michelle! And it does pay to be the cook when you get to do all that “taste testing.” ;)

  3. I made this over weekend. I didn’t have cayenne pepper so I I used paprika. I omitted the cilantro as my family doesn’t like Cilantro. It was delicious. I reserved some uncooked shrimp. I pan fried and threw it over pasta for another meal. Yum

  4. what can I say, this is over the top and so so easy… everyone loved them, wish I had of made more! Rice and corn, next time I’ll try your broccoli coleslaw.. with it.. thank you for sharing.5 stars

    1. What a delicious trio of shrimp, rice, and corn! A coleslaw will hit the spot next time :) Glad you enjoyed this shrimp recipe though, Lise!

  5. This was ridiculously easy. My 13 year-old daughter made this (and my husband grilled), and it was so flavorful and delicious. I couldn’t get over it. Nice job Lisa!5 stars

  6. Will it work using all these ingredients and sautéing them on the stove? I don’t have a grill.