Grilled lemon herb shrimp skewers are the perfect summer dinner. They are quick, easy, and always a crowd-pleaser. Simply marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes in a delicious citrus, garlic, and herb mixture, then grill and serve.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
Summer is all about grilled food for me. The sound of the sizzle as food hits the hot grates and the smell of slightly charred food, whatever you’re cooking, is heavenly.
- Quick & Easy – The lemon herb shrimp are on the grill for a total of 4 minutes, making this a super speedy meal.
- Great for gatherings – The recipe serves 4, but it is easily scaled up to serve a larger crowd.
- Make ahead – Make the marinade ahead of time and use when you are ready.
Grilled lemon herb shrimp skewers
I love dinners like this. It is a no-fuss meal that is full of flavor and ready in just over 30 minutes. Most of that time is hands-off, while the shrimp is marinating, making this a perfect lazy supper.
The shrimp soak up tons of flavor from the marinade, and after they are grilled, and still warm, a final drizzle goes over them.
You know what I truly love about grilled food? For the most part, it’s simple and totally unfussy food. A great marinade, good seasoning and quality ingredients equal an amazing meal.
Honestly, isn’t that all we really want? A great meal without a lot of hassle.
The marinade and sauce for this shrimp is a simple gremolata. Made from blending lemon, garlic and parsley together to make a flavorful condiment. The addition of olive oil makes it a sauce and also a marinade for the shrimp.
- Shrimp – I use extra large shrimp for the skewers. There are roughly 25 – 30 shrimp per pound. Buying peeled and deveined shrimp will have you a lot of time.
- Garlic – Adjust the amount to your personal preferences. If you love garlic, add more. If you don’t like a strong garlic flavor, reduce the amount.
- Lemon – You’ll need one or two lemons. We’ll use the zest and some juice.
- Parsley – Flat-leaf Italian parsley is full of fresh, bright flavor.
- Olive oil – Use your favorite brand here. I like a buttery olive oil for this sauce.
- Kosher salt – I use Diamond Crystal. Reduce the amount by almost half if you use Morton’s.
- Black pepper – A few turns of the pepper grinder – adjust to your preferences.
How to make garlic herb shrimp with lemon
The first step is making the gremolata (lemon, garlic and parsley) sauce. This gets whizzed up in a blender until smooth. The one I’ve linked to is the one I own. It’s a bit spendy, but worth every single penny.
You can use whatever blender you have, even an immersion blender or a food processor – as long as there are no big pieces of parsley or garlic remaining. If you like a chunkier texture, you can blend a little less.
Next, marinate the shrimp in about half of this sauce. I like to let mine sit for about 30 minutes. (I wouldn’t let it sit overnight in the marinade because of the lemon juice. If you do, you may end up with more of a ceviche than grilled shrimp.)
When the lemon herb shrimp have marinated, it’s time to skewer. I highly recommend flat skewers instead of round ones. You can see in the photo above, the skewers are flat with a pointed edge. The flat shape of the skewer prevents the food from rolling around.
Once the skewers come off the grill, let them cool for a few minutes before plating or serving. I like to pile the grilled shrimp skewers on a white platter with parsley and a few lemon wedges around the edge.
Grilled lemon herb shrimp FAQ’s
Shrimp take on a lot of flavor, so nearly any herb will pair well. Basil, dill, cilantro, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and oregano are all great options.
You can make the gremolata sauce ahead of time. I wouldn’t make the shrimp ahead of time, unless you plan to serve it cold or room temperature. Reheating the shrimp will overcook them.
As a rule, I don’t keep cooked seafood for more than 3 days.
Variations and substitutions
- How to bake lemon herb shrimp skewers: Place shrimp on top rack in oven preheated to 400°F / 200°C for 5 – 6 minutes. To get a little char on them, turn on the broiler for 1 – 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as shrimp can overcook quickly.
- You can substitute parsley with cilantro or basil for a variation of this recipe.
Summer is about easy going food that’s light, and doesn’t leave you feeling too heavy. All of these suggestions (even the pound cake!) are perfect for an easy, yet delicious summer menu.
- Summer grain salad
- Mango lime quinoa
- Grilled potato wedges
- Peach pound cake
- Lemon thyme mint lemonade
Helpful tools and equipment
- Flat stainless steel skewers – These are the same skewers I own. Have you ever had your food roll around on the skewer making it difficult to flip? Flat skewers solve that problem!
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- 1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Gremolata recipe
- Lemon wedges, if desired
- Make gremolata recipe in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth green mixture - about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Divide dip in half and set aside.
- Pour half of the dip over the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat grill to medium high heat (475°F - 500°F // 240°C - 260°C), skewer shrimp and grill for 2 minutes per side. *Do not overcook shrimp, they will get chewy.
- Set skewers aside to cool slightly.
- Remove shrimp from skewers, if desired, and serve with the reserved gremolata for dipping and extra lemon, if desired.
*If using wooden skewers, soak before using. Wooden skewers can burn easily on the grill and possibly break when you are removing them.
Gremolata can be made about a week in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can even freeze leftover gremolata to use in meals whenever you need a flavor booster. If you have old ice cube trays, these are perfect for portioning out small amounts of sauce.
Use leftover gremolata in soups, in homemade vinaigrettes, on grilled chicken, steak, fish or vegetables. It pairs well with nearly everything and it's a quick and easy way to give things a boost of extra flavor without much effort.
Curly parsley is NOT the same as flat-leaf Italian parsley, but, if all you can find at your store is curly, go ahead with it. It won’t have the same oomph, as curly parsley doesn’t have as much flavor. It also traps a bit more dirt in it’s leaves, so make sure to wash it well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 1074mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 26g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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Recipe originally published 5/16/17.
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