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Spicy Grilled Shrimp

These spicy grilled shrimp with homemade garlic-red pepper marinade will be your go-to summer cookout recipe. They’re perfectly tender and are lightly charred to make you look like a grill-master.

Grilled shrimp on wooden skewers served with fresh veggies and a lime wedge.

Easy Grilled Shrimp Recipe

These tender grilled shrimp are the perfect excuse to fire up the grill this summer. Ready in less than an hour, you’ll be surprised by how much flavor they’re packed with. That’s because their easy marinade is made with tangy lime, fragrant garlic, and herby cilantro. Don’t forget spicy red pepper flakes! Fresh out of the grill, they’re a quick, light bite under the 4th of July fireworks or any cookout.

Why You’ll Love This Spicy Grilled Shrimp

You’ll be swapping regular skewers for these naturally buttery grilled shrimp with spicy marinade at all your gatherings.

  • Perfect for 4th of July. Spice things up with a bit of seafood for your 4th of July cookout!
  • Quick. You’ll be done in less than an hour.
  • Great for beginner cooks. The homemade marinade, assembling the skewers, and grilling are super easy things to do.
  • Pantry-friendly. You don’t need to stock up on a bunch of ingredients to make these tender grilled shrimp.
Ingredients for grilled shrimp.

What You’ll Need

Garlic, spicy ginger, and aromatic shallots pair beautifully with the red pepper flakes. Scroll to the bottom of the post for exact ingredient amounts.

  • Shrimp – Use fresh or frozen (thawed).
  • Fresh lime juice – Feel free to swap it for lemon juice.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic or garlic paste is best.
  • Fresh ginger – Avoid ground ginger because it’s easy to add too much.
  • Shallot – You can use more garlic if you prefer.
  • Cilantro – Go for fresh parsley if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
  • Red pepper flakes – Cayenne pepper works too.
  • Salt and pepper – I prefer kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
  • Olive oil – Coconut, avocado, or vegetable oil can be used instead.

How to Make Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Even home cooks who’ve never used the grill before can nail these 3-step grilled shrimp. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card.

  • Make the marinade. Whisk the lime juice, garlic, ginger, shallot, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl until smooth.
  • Marinate them. Add 3-4 shrimp to each pre-soaked skewer. Place them in a baking sheet. Pour the marinade on top of the skewers and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grill the skewers. Place the grill on medium-high heat. Add the skewers and cook them for 2-4 minutes per each side or until they start turning pink. Remove them from the heat, serve immediately, and enjoy!
Cooked skewers in a lined baking sheet.

Tips for Grilling Shrimp

Soaking wooden skewers ahead of time for any recipe is a simple thing all grill-masters do.

  • Avoid small shrimp. They shrink too much, over-cook quickly, and easily become rubbery. Stick to medium/large shrimp for this recipe.
  • Ask the fishmonger. Save time by asking the fishmonger to peel and devein the shrimp for you. Some grocery stores sell fresh or frozen pre-cleaned shrimp too.
  • Soak the skewers. Don’t use dry skewers for grilling because they’ll burn once they hit the grill. You need to soak them in warm water for at least one hour before cooking. This doesn’t apply to stainless steel skewer sticks.
  • Pick evenly-sized shrimp. If you’re using fresh shrimp, make sure the pieces are more or less the same size to ensure even cooking. When some shrimp are way larger than others, several pieces will turn out raw while others will be over-cooked.
  • Increase the marinating time. Allow the shrimp to marinate in the fridge for up to 4 hours so they can absorb more flavor. Don’t forget to cover the baking dish with plastic wrap to avoid cross-contamination.
Grilled shrimp skewers served with fresh, diced veggies and limes.

Serving Suggestions

These grilled shrimp are an easy cookout meal. Pair them with a side of Lemon Quinoa Salad or Black Bean Quinoa Salad. My Southwestern Blue Quinoa Salad is another great option. I also love them with Grilled Corn or my Grilled Vegetable Plate. For something a little fancier, go for my Heirloom Tomato Tart or a creamy fettuccine pasta.

How to Store Leftovers

Cooked shrimp shouldn’t be frozen because they’ll over-cook and become rubbery when thawed and reheated.

  • Fridge: Place them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Don’t store them longer than this because shrimp go bad rather quickly.
  • To reheat it: Microwave them in 20-second increments until warm. You can also heat them in a pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

Landscape photo of grilled shrimp skewers.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

This 3-step grilled shrimp recipe with homemade spicy garlic marinade is the perfect excuse to fire up the grill this summer.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice about 3 limes
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Add lime juice, garlic, ginger, shallot, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to medium bowl. Add olive oil while whisking.
  • Add shrimp to skewer (soak wooden skewers in water before skewing). Lay skewers in rimmed ceramic baking dish and cover with marinade.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Flip at least once before cooking.
  • Heat grill on medium-high. Before you put skewers on grill tap to remove any excess oil.
  • Place skewers on grill cook 4-5 minutes, until ends start turning pink and then flip
  • Cook on other side 4-5 minutes, until pink on both sides.
  • Enjoy!
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American


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