Need a quick and easy dinner idea? These Grilled Shrimp Skewers are flavored with garlic, mustard, and basil and then grilled or broiled to perfection in minutes.

Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Nothing beats the convenience of quick-cooking shrimp, but you won’t sacrifice speed for flavor thanks to the flavorful marinade. Just skewer the shrimp and finish on the grill or in the broiler.

And if you can’t be bothered with skewers at all, these shrimp taste great pan-fried, too. Whatever makes mealtime easiest for you! Serve with cooked rice, quinoa, or veggies.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Equipment and ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Grilled Shrimp Skewers Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled grilled shrimp skewer ingredients in various bowls.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Equipment and ingredient notes

  • Skewers: You’ll need 8-12 skewers that are 10 inches in length. Soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
  • Shrimp: Jumbo shrimp (about 16 to 20 per pound) are easy to skewer. See my full tutorial on how to clean shrimp for guidance on cleaning out the vein. Use raw shrimp with the tails still on. Cooked shrimp may taste rubbery if you cook them again.
  • Fresh herbs: The recipe calls for basil and parsley, but you can make your own blend with cilantro, mint, or dill too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. This is a great time to soak your bamboo skewers if you haven’t already done so. If shrimp are still in the shell, use a sharp scissors and cut along the middle back of each shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, cut along the dark vein on the back of each shrimp and remove it. Rinse out the back of each shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
Removing the vein from the back of a shrimp.
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine onion, olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, dry mustard, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). Process until smooth. Pour into a zipper-top plastic bag.
A blender with garlic, herbs, and spices in it to make a marinade for grilled shrimp.
  1. Add cleaned shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinade for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Shrimp marinating in garlic and herbs.
  1. To use a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 10 to 15 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate. Add 5 or 6 shrimp per skewer.
A plate of skewered shrimp for grilling.
  1. Grill the shrimp until pinkish white and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or 5 to 7 minutes total.
Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Although you start with 2 pounds of raw shrimp, you’ll have closer to 1 pound of cooked shrimp when all is said and done. This recipe will make about 4 servings, 4 ounces of cooked shrimp each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftover shrimp are great in an omelet, salad, or grain bowl.
  • Make ahead: To save time later, start marinating the shrimp a day in advance.
  • Vegetable skewers: If you want some grilled veggies on the side, make all-veggie kebabs on separate skewers and get them cooking before you start the shrimp. That way you’ve got perfectly cooked tender vegetables with just the right amount of char, and luscious shrimp that aren’t tough from being overdone.
  • Fresh pineapple: Sometimes I skewer thin slices of fresh pineapple with the marinated shrimp for a sweet twist on this recipe. Plunk some tortillas right onto the grill and make tacos with creamy Avocado Sauce.
  • Grilled shrimp bowls: Serve over rice with cucumber slices, scallions,  bean sprouts, and extra green herbs for one amazing summery supper. Also great with a splash of Nuoc Cham.
  • To us a charcoal grill:
    1. Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly half of the grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
    2. Clean and oil cooking grate. Add 5 or 6 shrimp per skewer. Grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. 

Recipe FAQs

How long does it take to cook shrimp on a skewer?

It takes about 2 to 3 minutes per side to cook shrimp on a skewer (5 to 7 minutes total). You’ll be able to tell the shrimp are done by looking them; the color will change from gray to white and pink.

What is the proper way to skewer shrimp?

First, if using bamboo skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn. Skewer the shrimp through the thickest part and, if they are jumbo, you may want to skewer them through the tail too. Aim for 5 to 6 large shrimp per skewer but don’t overcrowd them.

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Favorite sides for grilled shrimp

Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Need a quick and easy dinner idea? These Grilled Shrimp Skewers are flavored with garlic, mustard, and basil and then grilled or broiled to perfection in minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 21 mins
Servings 4 servings (4 ounces each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 323

Ingredients 

For the shrimp:

  • 12 10-inch bamboo skewers soaked for at least 30 minutes (see note 1)
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp raw with tails on (16 to 20 per pound, see note 2)

For the marinade:

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (see note 3)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • This is a great time to soak your bamboo skewers if you haven't already done so. If shrimp are still in the shell, use a sharp scissors and cut along the middle back of each shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
  • Using a sharp paring knife, cut along the dark vein on the back of each shrimp and remove it. Rinse out the back of each shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine onion, olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, dry mustard, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). Process until smooth. Pour into a zipper-top plastic bag.
  • Add cleaned shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinade for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • To use a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 10 to 15 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate. Add 5 or 6 shrimp per skewer. Grill the shrimp until pinkish white and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or 5 to 7 minutes total.
  • To broil in the oven, preheat broiler over high heat. Place skewers 3 inches from the broiler and broil until pinkish white and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or 5 to 7 minutes total.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Skewers: You’ll need 12 skewers that are 10 inches in length. Soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. 
  2. Shrimp: Jumbo shrimp (about 16 to 20 per pound) are easy to skewer. See my full tutorial on how to clean shrimp for guidance on cleaning out the vein. Use raw shrimp with the tails still on. Cooked shrimp will taste rubbery if you cook them again.
  3. Fresh herbs: The recipe calls for basil and parsley, but you can make your own blend with cilantro, mint, or dill too.
  4. Yield: Although you start with 2 pounds of raw shrimp, you’ll have closer to 1 pound of cooked shrimp when all is said and done. This recipe will make about 4 servings, 4 ounces of cooked shrimp each.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftover shrimp are great in an omelet, salad, or grain bowl.
  6. Make ahead: To save time later, start marinating the shrimp a day in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 2skewersCalories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 31gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 381mgSodium: 1197mgPotassium: 168mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 263IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 231mgIron: 4mg
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Comments

  1. Hi Meggan,
    To be able to do these ahead I am using to use already boiled shrimp. I will marinate as per your recipe but am wondering about time on the grill. I will use the grill on top of my gas stove. Any tips?
    Aimee
    Austin, Texas

    1. Hi Aimee, if you’re using pre-cooked shrimp, you basically just need to grill them until they are heated through. I imagine it would take just a couple of minutes, 1-2 minutes on each side. I hope this is helpful! Thank you! -Meggan

  2. If you marinade the shrimp for two days in the frig, won’t that basically cook the shrimp because of the lemon juice?

    1. Hi Mike, I don’t think 2 tablespoons of lemon juice is enough to make ceviche out of 2 pounds of shrimp. But this is definitely a really good point and I’m going to test it more (chances are some of the shrimp would be affected). I should probably take out that part about 2 days, for now, until I can give a better answer. Thanks for pointing that out! -Meggan

    1. Hi Gerardo, sorry for the confusion! The amounts are listed in the first instruction: “In a food processor or blender, combine onion, olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, dry mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth. Pour into a zipper-top plastic bag.” But you can adjust the amount as you see fit. Good luck! Thanks for your question! -Meggan