Grilled Shrimp Skewers

These herb-marinated Grilled Shrimp Skewers  make a quick and fresh meal option. Make the marinade in minutes, then fire up your grill or broiler and get ready to eat.

Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled grilled shrimp skewer ingredients in various bowls.

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 will 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. 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.
    Someone cleaning the vein out of a shrimp.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the marinade ingredients.
    Garlic, herb and mustard marinade ingredients in a blender.
  3. In a zip-top bag or a shallow glass dish, add the cleaned shrimp and the marinade. Cover and marinade at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
    Raw shrimp in the dressing for grilled shrimp skewers.
  4. Add 5 to 6 shrimp to each soaked skewer, then follow the cooking times depending on your method, usually about 3 to 6 minutes.
    Uncooked grilled shrimp skewers on a white platter.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • 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 slivers 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.

Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Delicious sides for grilled shrimp:

Grilled shrimp skewers in a white tray.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

These herb-marinated Grilled Shrimp Skewers  make a quick and fresh meal option. Make the marinade in minutes, then fire up your grill or broiler and get ready to eat.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

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
  • 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.

To clean the shrimp:

  • 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.

To make the marinade:

  • 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 1/2 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 charcoal grill:

  • 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.
  • Clean and oil cooking grate. Add 5 or 6 shrimp per skewer. Grill the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side. 

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 for 2 minutes on each side. 

To broil the shrimp:

  • Preheat broiler over high heat. Place skewers 3 inches from the broiler and cook 2 minutes per side.

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. 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.
  5. Fresh pineapple: Sometimes I skewer thin slivers 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.
  6. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 2skewers | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 381mg | Sodium: 1197mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 4mg
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  1. Aimee Sheehan

    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. meggan

      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. Mike Getz

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

    1. meggan

      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

  3. Gerardo Madrigal

    Hi, how much salt and pepper should I use?5 stars

    1. meggan

      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

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