This easy grilled shrimp marinade adds flavor to shrimp and makes easy and healthy dinners approachable. All you have to do is add 6 ingredients to a bowl of shrimp and let them marinate.
Prepare this easy marinade for grilled shrimp ahead of time or the day of! Either way, you’ll be left with a healthy shrimp recipe with a ton of flavor!
Looking for more healthy marinade options? Some healthy salad dressing options double as healthy marinades. Check out this easy Asian salad dressing or any of these dressing recipes for fun marinade options!
Add Flavor to Every Meal
I love to go out to eat. Exploring new and delicious restaurants is one of my favorite things to do. I also really love to cook at home. Something I really have a hard time with is when I take the time and spend the money to go out to eat the food is flavorless and boring. Do you feel me?
It is so easy to add bright and tasty flavors to every meal without using a ton of sugar and salt. Yes, we use salt here on FFF and we tend to sweeten things with natural sweeteners, but we also love fresh herbs and spices.
Fresh herbs and dried spices are two things we use to give many recipes on our site an extra boost of flavor. Sometimes we Americans are nervous to add more than a teaspoon of dried spices to a recipe.
I’m here to remind you not to be afraid of flavor! Give your tastebuds a treat by adding in extra spices and new flavors to your everyday dishes. This easy grilled shrimp marinade is a good place to start.
The Perfect Marinade
We love shrimp on the grill because it’s high-protein, easy to make, and FAST. First things first when grilling shrimp –> the marinade!
When it comes to creating the perfect shrimp marinade for grilling, we kept things simple. For this recipe, you only need 7 ingredients.
What does this marinade taste like? This easy shrimp marinade will make your tastebuds dance. It’s limey, garlicky, and slightly spicy all at the same time!
One thing we wanted to be sure of is that every ingredient in this marinade is most likely already in your pantry or refrigerator. Why? So this marinade is easy to whip up in no time! Here are three essential ingredients that are crucial to getting perfect grilled shrimp.
Oil is essential to any marinade. Oil helps preserve the seafood and/or meat that is being marinated. Oil also helps whatever is marinating retain it’s moisture while it’s being cooked. And? Nobody likes when their food sticks to the grill, so be sure to oil your meat/seafood AND the grill (or tin foil)
You just can’t beat it. We prefer to use olive oil in our marinades and for cooking, but most oils would work!
- Grapeseed oil
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
Just to name a few more!
Adding lime juice, lemon juice, or orange juice to any chicken or fish adds brightness and an amazing flavor to any marinade. Like other recipes, you need balance when it comes to this grill shrimp marinade recipe. Balancing the olive oil with a little bit of citrus will take any recipe to the next level.
We also like to add citrus to marinade recipes because it is a great substitute. No, really! Replacing some salt with a little bit of citrus really helps!
Hop on the flavor train when you make any marinade! For this grilled shrimp, we went with hot sauce (chili pepper), garlic, salt, and pepper. So simple, but the perfect flavor combination. Just think of your favorite flavor combinations in other dishes and try to make a marinade out of that!
- Lemon + Ginger
- Thai Chili (chili paste and soy sauce)
- Cajun Seasoning
- BBQ (yes, you can marinate things in bbq sauce!)
PS: check out our 6 chicken marinades here for more inspiration!
What kind of shrimp should I use for grilling?
Pretty much any uncooked shrimp works for this recipe. Small, medium, jumbo, etc. In these photos, we used large shrimp.
The biggest recommendation we have is to purchase raw shrimp that is already deveined and peeled so that you don’t have to do it yourself.
Can I use pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe? You can use precooked shrimp, but we don’t recommend it. If you do, just give them a quick sear on the grill to heat them up.
Grilled Shrimp 101
Keep it Fresh
The best shrimp is the freshest shrimp! Now, don’t get me wrong you can buy raw, fresh shrimp. Just be sure that when you thaw the frozen shrimp to use it immediately!
Remember, if the shrimp is grey it is uncooked and if the shrimp is pink, it’s already cooked! I love buying fresh shrimp from the butcher. Just make sure to ask the butcher how old the shrimp is and when you should use it by!
If you buy shrimp and it has a black line down its back, that is the shrimp’s vein. Generally, shrimp comes peeled and deveined, but if not you’ll have to do it yourself! Use your fingers or a spoon and gently drag the spoon across the vein until it is removed. #yougotthis
Let them Sit
How long should you marinate shrimp? You want the shrimp to absorb the flavor and the oil of the marinade, so we suggest to let raw shrimp for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. If you are having a BBQ, it’s nice to prepare the shrimp the day before so you have flavorful shrimp ready to throw on the grill in no time.
Short Grill Time
What is the best way to grill shrimp? Shrimp grills so fast compared to things like burgers, chicken, or veggies. We like to put our shrimp on skewers so it’s easy to flip the shrimp in large numbers, but feel free to grill the shrimp free of skewers, too.
Don’t have skewers? You can always create a little tin foil boat that you plop right on the grill to cook your shrimp in. Or, you can even bring your cast iron pan out to the grill and cook them in there.
How long to grill shrimp? Grill your shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side making the total cook time just 4 minutes. You know your shrimp is done cooking when it firms up and turns pink on both sides.
Be careful not to overcook your shrimp as it will become chewy and rubber-like!
Can I cook my marinated shrimp on the stovetop instead? Yes! Feel free to pan-fry your shrimp over medium/high heat for 2-3 minutes per side. You can even place them on skewers and oven-bake them too, if that’s your jam.
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, any size (tail on or off, doesn’t matter!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice (+ more for topping)
- 1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- First, place raw shrimp into a medium-sized bowl, large plastic bag, or stasher bag.
- Pour olive oil, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper over the shrimp. Stir/shake to make sure every shrimp is coated in the marinade.
- Place the marinating shrimp into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for as long as 24 hours.
- Preheat the grill to 350ºF 15 minutes before you are ready to grill.
- Remove shrimp from the refrigerator and slide 4-5 shrimp onto a skewer. Be sure to skewer the thick part of the shrimp and the tail. Repeat until all shrimp are skewered.
- Spray or rub the grill with nonstick cooking spray and place shrimp skewers onto the grill on direct flames. Grill for 1-2 minutes on each side. Once the shrimp have turned pink in color, you know they are done cooking!
- Remove from the grill and enjoy with your favorite BBQ sides!
Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1/4 pound Calories: 145 Sugar: 0 Fat: 8 Carbohydrates: 3 Protein: 15
Keywords: grilled marinated shrimp