Solution #: Don’t Peel Off
What if messing about with sugar and marinades isn’t the solution? One surefire way to guarantee juicier, more tender shrimp is to cook them with their shells still intact. Those shells act as a temperature buffer, helping to keep the meat from overcooking while developing plenty of flavor in the shells themselves.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt
Personally, I like being served shell-on shrimp. Those shells give a ton of flavor to the meat, and if you’re feeling bold, you can go ahead and eat the grilled shells as they are. But shelling shrimp as you eat them can be a messy-fingered affair. Nothing wrong with that per se, but there had to be a solution that could work for those who only want to use a fork.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Grilled shrimp skewers are a show-stopping meal that will have everyone craving more.
I love it because its:
- Perfect for summer grilling for a super quick and healthy dinner.
- Versatile as they can be used as a base for salads, bowls and more!
- Easy to make with a basic seasoning or next level marinade.
Bangin Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Ive had it on my mind to turn my popular Bangin Good Shrimp recipe into an easy summer dish, skewers grilled to perfection. Now that the weather is warmer, weve been grilling almost every night. The excitement of being able to grill again and not dirty my kitchen is always great!
These make a fabulous appetizer, 2 skewers would be a perfect starter to any party paired with Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw or you could turn it into a weeknight meal served over Edamame Fried Rice. Enjoy!!
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Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers
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 cant beat a recipe thats easy to make yet fancy enough to serve at your next party.
If youre going to throw shrimp on the barbie , better make it these garlic grilled shrimp skewers. Theyre one of the easiest recipes you can make and loaded with bright, zesty flavor.
But be forewarned, these shrimp disappear blazingly fast. And once theyre gone, your family and friends will be begging you to make another batch.
How To Cook Shrimp Kabobs On The Stove
No outdoor grill and your oven is on the fritz or occupied with other food? No problem! Here are tips to cook shrimp kabobs on the stove.
- Use a stovetop grill pan like this reversible one or this skillet/grill combo.
- You wont have the same smoky flavor that you get from an outdoor grill, but your shrimp will still be ultra tasty.
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What You Need For Shrimp Kabobs
Protein and vegetables grilled altogether for a delicious meal. These shrimp kabobs are a quick and easy dinner! For full recipe see the recipe card below.
- Shrimp: Look for shrimp that has been deveined for easy prep or be sure to devein them yourself.
- Zucchini: Use a combination of green and yellow zucchini for flavor and color variation.
- Red onion: Slice the red onion into chunks, it will sweeten a bit while it cooks.
- Red bell pepper: You can also use yellow or orange bell peppers or a combination.
- Lemon: Slice the lemon slices thicker than you normally would so that it threads easily.
- Shrimp marinade: This is the perfect marinade for your shrimp to enhance the most flavor.
What Type Of Bbq Sauce To Use
Im using BBQ sauces from Primal Kitchen. What I love about their products is they are sugar-free, dairy-free, and Whole 30 approved. Most store-bought sauces are sweetened and loaded with sugar. Its nice to have an unsweetened version!
The sauces are USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Whole30 Approved®, Certified Paleo and Keto Certified, and made with no high fructose corn syrup.
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Wood Or Metal Skewers
Firstly youll need to select your skewers. They can be either metal or wood and there are pros and cons for each.
Flat stainless steel metal skewers are the most reliable as they discourage the food from spinning round each time you turn them on the grill. They should be ideally about 12 inches long. Metal skewers are also re-usable, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
Wood skewers and particularly bamboo skewers are popular and cheap but with one big downside they burn easily. They need to be soaked in water for at least thirty minutes first until saturated to prevent them from burning on the grill.
How To Make The Most Flavorful Shrimp Kabobs
The magic of these easy shrimp kabobs is in the shrimp marinade. Its only five ingredients but packs a wallop of flavor:
- Cool, Creamy Coconut Milk. To make the shrimp extra juicy and balance the heat from magic Ingredient #5.
- Fresh Lime Juiceand Fresh Orange Juice. To turn the shrimp kabobs into summer gold on a skewer.
- Soy Sauce. To provide essential saltiness. I like soy sauce in place of plain-old kosher salt here, because its flavor is more complex and balances well with the sweetness of fruit you may add, like pineapple.
- Tabasco. To be the somethin somethinand give the shrimp kabobs a Cajun edge. Made in the heart of Louisiana , Tabasco adds the right amount of heat to unite the rest of the ingredients, and its spice will cause you to reach for just one more shrimp skewerthree times in a row.
If you are looking to season the shrimp kabobs with a dry spice blend rather than a wet marinade, you can check out my all-purpose Grilled Shrimp Seasoning. It uses simple pantry ingredients like Italian seasoning and cayenne and is another keeper.
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Finishing Touchesjalapeo Pesto Sauce For Grilled Shrimp Skewers & Serving
With the shrimp skewers grilled, all thats really left to do is serve them & enjoy, though you can add a few special touches to take them totally over the top.
First, a sauce! Grilled protein begs for a bright + zippy sauce to go with it, & these shrimp skewers are no exception. I like pairing them with a quick & easy jalapeño pesto, made with pistachios, cilantro, & plenty of lime juice.
If youve never tried jalapeño pesto before, it has a similar richness as Genovese-style basil pesto, thanks to those pistachios, & it also has awesome bright flavor & a nice kick of spice. Control the heat by deseeding the jalapeño, though if youd like something a little more mild try this chimichurri instead another PWWB fave!
A Quick Side & Serving Suggestions:
Grilled Corn Salsa A simple add-on, especially since the grill is already on! Lightly coat 3 ears of sweet corn with avocado oil, & grill a few minutes per side until charred. Slice the kernels from the cob, & finely dice 1/2 red onion & 1 medium jalapeño. Add everything to a small bowl with a handful of roughly chopped cilantro. Stir & season with freshly squeezed lime juice, salt & ground black pepper to taste. The perfect easy side for jalapeño pesto shrimp skewers!
- Category:Main Dishes, Appetizer Recipes
- Method:Grilling & Smoking
- Cuisine:American, Mexican & Tex-Mex Inspired
- Diet:Gluten Free
How Long To Grill Shrimp Skewers
It only takes about 2-4 minutes to grill shrimp skewers. Stay close by the grill and cook for approximately 90 seconds per side.
For shrimp, I recommend watching them and removing them when they are no longer translucent and they form a loose C shape. If they curl up into a tight circle, they are overcooked and will be chewy. Remove them from the grill promptly once they are a shiny white.
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Grilled Baja Shrimp Skewers
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Its summer, which means its time to fire up the grill and make some seriously good Grilled Baja Shrimp Skewers! These shrimp are grilled to perfection and are rich with fresh lime flavor. Make these for your next backyard barbecue and you wont be disappointed!
Im a big sucker for skewers. Theyre the perfect party food! Just grab a skewer in one hand, a drink in another, and mingle.
Of all my favorite go-to skewers to grill, these baja shrimp ones really have a special place in my heart. Theyre made with an array of mouthwatering seasonings and the perfect amount of lime juice, making them a summertime staple in my backyard.
If you want to really impress at the next block party, these are the skewers to make.
The shrimp are rich with tangy, savory flavor, and if you follow my easy grilling instructions, theyll be the perfect texture too. When grilled for just 3-4 minutes on each side, they cook all the way through without becoming rubbery and too chewy. Plus, the grill gives them just the right amount of charred, smokey flavor to really make them unforgettable!
The not-so-secret step here that really elevates the shrimp is letting them marinade.
How To Make Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Once you know the basics of working with skewers, theres not much to this recipe! Here are the basic steps:
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat: thats 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Soak the skewers! Make sure to soak once you start preheating: this should make for just enough soak time .
- Season the shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry, add olive oil and the shrimp seasoning.
- Thread on skewers. Use our notes above for best practices on skewering technique.
- Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side. Thats it!
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Tips For Shrimp Skewers On The Grill
Hang tight there, shrimp fans! Before you scroll to the recipe and get these guys on the grill, I have a few tips first!
- Metal skewers are your best friend. Try to buy skewers that are flat, instead of round, OR find skewers that have 2 prongs. These features make for easier flipping and more control on the grill.
- Cook time is just a suggestion. With shrimp, your grill temperature and shrimp size will really determine how long you need to cook them. Youre mostly looking at visual cues for indicators of doneness. You want your shrimp to be opaque throughout and curl into a C shape. If they curl tightly into a g shape, youve gone too far. When using a thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Grilling Tips For Shrimp:
- Use jumbo, extra large or large shrimp. The larger size can withstand the high heat and longer cooking time on the grill.
- Frozen shrimp: If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw before seasoning or marinating. To do so, fill a large bowl with cold water. Place frozen shrimp in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Submerge the bag in cold water. You can place a plate on top to make sure it remains fully submerged. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp are fully thawed.
- Soak wooden skewers for at least 20 minutes. This prevents them from going up into flames.
- Preheat the grill before cooking. This ensures the grill is up to temperature and prevents overcooking the shrimp.
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Grilling Shrimp Without Skewers
The first way that you can cook your shrimp on the grill is to simply put them on the grill individually. This is best achieved on grills that have upper racks. These are for foods that cook quickly or that you dont want to char.
Make sure to use a cooking spray to prevent them from sticking to the grates and you should be able to provide ample heat without charring them or turning them rubbery.
Even better, there are some grills that have flat-top components to them for smaller foods that can fall through the grating. These are particularly great for adding seasoning to your food as you cook.
This is still a somewhat delicate process and it can be easy to overcook the shrimp. It is important to work within specific temperature ranges to ensure even cooking of the shrimp throughout the process.
But if youre looking for a more effective way of cooking shrimp on the grill, there is another way: use foil.
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How Do I Know My Shrimp Kebabs Are Ready
I shared this before with my Greek shrimp recipe, but it applies no matter how you cook your shrimp.
Shrimp is cooked when itâs turned from grey and flabby to opaque pink with a bright red tail. And as far as texture, cooked shrimp should be slightly firm in texture with enough crunch with your bite
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To Broil Shrimp Kabobs
- Preheat the broiler and place the shrimp skewers on an oiled pre-heated baking tray.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are no longer grey instead pink and opaque. Theyre ready to flip when the top of the shrimp has turned pink.
The power of your broiler may mean you have to adjust the cooking times. Since this process is so quick, though, I recommend watching them the first time that way, youll know for next time.
Tips For Grilling With Skewers
Using skewers for shrimp does present some challenges! Alex and I have worked out the process so you dont have to. Here are our best tips for grilled shrimp skewers:
- Use wooden skewers. On metal skewers, the shrimp can tend to spin on them which makes them hard to flip. With wooden skewers, the shrimp stays solidly in place. Youll need to soak the skewers about 20 minutes so they dont burn on the grill.
- Thread the shrimp on and make them just touch. This also helps to minimize spinning and keep the shrimp in place.
- Alternate directions of the tails. This makes for a stunning visual!
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Grilled Shrimp Calls For A Cocktail
This meal just begs for cold, refreshing margaritas. With the shrimp and its Mexican flavors, and a margarita to wash it down, I am instantly reminiscing about wonderful times spent on the beaches in Mexico.
Im a huge fan of margaritas. Thus I have a few recipes to share with you!
I already mentioned my favorite Classic Margarita recipe. And here are a few more fun variations:
- Prosecco Margaritas a fantastic big-batch BUBBLY margarita recipe!
- Pink Lemonade Margarita Also known as the Pink Senorita Cocktail, this drink is made with lemons rather than the usual limes.
- Orange Margarita I love all the fresh, juicy orange in this drink!
- Rhubarb Margarita I love this cocktail for spring and summer entertaining!
- Jalapeno Mezcal Margarita a bold and spicy cocktail!
This post is sponsored by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
Lets talk about grills!
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery asked if wed like to review one of their Coyote Outdoor Living grills a few years ago. Our grill was tired and worn outand the Coyote grills looked awesome, so we didnt hesitate. Especially since Ferguson is a company weve visited and purchased from in the past for home remodeling projects. We already knew we liked working with them.
The grill pictured here in our back yard is a Coyote C-Series 34-Inch 3-Burner. It features durable premium stainless steel construction, 616 square inches of cooking area, and 60,000 BTUs of cooking power.
We love it!
How To Grill Shrimp Skewers:
Grilling shrimp skewers is gloriously quick & simple. Once the shrimp have soaked up the marinade, make the shrimp skewers & toss them on the grill. The grill does the rest of the work easy!
Full Recipe Directions with step-by-step photos provided in the Recipe Card, below.
The best way to put shrimp on skewers for grilling. Skewer each piece of shrimp in two places, once near the head & once near the tail . Why Skewering the shrimp in two places keeps the shrimp really tightly & snugly secured to the skewer. The shrimp will grill more evenly & it will be much easier to turn the skewers on the grill. Reminder!: If you use bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water at least 20 minutes prior to assembly, which helps prevent the skewers from burning on the grill.
How long to grill shrimp skewers? The amazing thing about grilling shrimp is its super quick & easy! Place the skewers directly over medium-high heat & grill 90 seconds 2 minutes per side. If youve ever struggled with grilling shrimp without it drying out or getting a rubbery texture, youve likely been overcooking your grilled shrimp. Shorten up the grill time to 90 seconds & look for those visible indicators the shrimp is ready when it turns pink & opaque.
*More Grilling Tips & Tricks
Grilling doesnt have to be complicated or intimidating, well show you how!
Lets make this your best grilling season yet!
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