This is the Best Ever Shrimp Marinade, perfect for the grill and equally delicious sautéed. You'll want to make this lemony garlic shrimp over and over!
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- fresh garlic cloves
- fresh chopped parsley (or dried)
- dijon mustard
- lemon zest
- salt & pepper
- red chili flakes – I think a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes adds a little kick of flavour. If you are sensitive to spicy food, you can leave it out.
- dried basil
How long should you marinate shrimp?
Generally speaking, shrimp and other types of shellfish and seafood need very little time to marinate. This is because they have little to no tendons or fibrous tissue to break down.
Regardless of their size, shrimp only need 15 to 20 minutes or less to marinate.
How to marinate shrimp
- Prep the marinade ingredients. Add the olive oil and spices into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add marinade to shrimp. Place the shrimp into a large zip top plastic storage bag. Pour marinade over the shrimp, then seal the bag. If you prefer to marinate them in a bowl, be sure to use one that is non-reactive.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes. To ensure that all of the shrimp come in contact with the marinade, lay the bag flat in the refrigerator.
Cooking shrimp skewers
- Thread the marinated shrimp onto wooden skewers and then place the shrimp skewers onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Drizzling some extra marinade over the shrimp will add a little extra flavour.
NOTE: For food safety purposes, be sure to discard any leftover marinade immediately as it cannot be reused.
- Cook shrimp under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, watching it closely to prevent it from burning. Then, flip the skewers over and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve with side dishes and/or dipping sauces of your choice.
Different cooking methods
If you don't want to cook the shrimp under a broiler in the oven, there are other cooking options.
- Preheat BBQ grill to 425 F.
- Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade over the top, then discard remaining marinade.
- Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side, until pink and fully cooked.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat (butter offers the best flavour). Add the marinated shrimp and all of the marinade to the hot skillet.
- Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
Why does shrimp get rubbery?
Shrimp cooks very quickly, and if it cooks too long, it can become rubbery.
Another reason they could turn rubbery is if you tried cooking frozen shrimp. Always thaw them out completely first – it only takes a few minutes in a bowl of cold running water.
Should I grill shrimp with shell on or off?
It can be done either way, but each method has its own benefits.
- Shell off is best when using a marinade. This way it can fully penetrate the shrimp, giving you the most flavour.
- Shell on is best if you will be using jumbo shrimp since this keeps them tender and juicy. Otherwise, the moisture will escape during the longer cooking time.
- Olive oil – Feel free to use any neutral flavour of oil in the marinade that you prefer. Good choices include vegetable oil or avocado oil. Because the shrimp will be cooking under high heat, be sure to use oil with a high smoke point.
- Seasoning – The spices for this marinade are simple but flavourful. Feel free to swap out any of them for spices of your choice.
- Lemon and lemon juice – Any citrus fruit will be perfect with shrimp. Try lime or grapefruit!
Side dish ideas
Marinated grilled shrimp goes with just about anything! Here are some ideas to make this a full meal:
- Tossed green salad
- Rice – make your favorite variety or add the shrimp to cauliflower fried rice
- Grilled or roasted vegetables
- Pasta salad
Storing and reheating
Store grilled shrimp in an airtight container or zip top plastic bags. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
It's best to reheat the shrimp in an oven or on the stove. Microwaving it can cause it to overcook and turn rubbery, but it's still possible to use this method.
- Oven/Toaster Oven – Loosely wrap the cooked shrimp in aluminum foil and bake for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees F. Check the shrimp halfway through; if they aren't getting crispy, make a vent in the foil.
- Stove top – Heat some oil in a pan on the stove and add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until slightly browned and warmed through.
- Microwave – Arrange shrimp in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle some water over the top, then cover with a lid or paper towel. Microwave for on high for 1 minute, then in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Freezing shrimp in the marinade
Pour the marinade into a freezer-safe zip top plastic bag, then add the shrimp and freeze immediately.
Keeping the shrimp in the shell can help preserve the texture – just remove the shells before cooking.
Also, lay the bag flat when freezing so the shrimp stays in a single layer. Store in the coldest part of your freezer and use within 1 month of freezing.
Thaw in the refrigerator or under cold running water before cooking the shrimp, and be sure to discard any marinade that you won't be cooking.
More shrimp recipes
- Honey garlic shrimp stir fry
- Bang bang shrimp tacos
- Kung pao shrimp
- Spicy shrimp sushi stacks
- 19+ healthy shrimp recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing any leftovers
- Use these Ziploc bag holders for an easier way to marinate
Best Ever Shrimp Marinade
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
Side dish ideas
- Roasted or grilled potatoes
- Oven fries or potato wedges
- Steamed, sauteed or roasted vegetables (I love asparagus or broccoli)
- Garlic bread
- Mix all ingredients for marinade together then marinate shrimp in a medium-sized bowl for 15 minutes.
- GRILLING METHOD: Preheat BBQ to 425 F. Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade overtop then discard remaining marinade. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side until pink and fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!
- STOVETOP METHOD: Add 1 tbsp butter or olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat (I recommend butter for better flavour). Add shrimp along with marinade to skillet, sauteeing for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Serve and enjoy!
- BROILER METHOD: Set oven to broil on high. Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade overtop then discard remaining marinade. Broil shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side (watching closely) until pink and fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!