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How to Grill Perfect Shrimp

By: The Editors of

Grilled shrimp is the perfect summer dish. Skewer some marinated shrimp and throw them on the grill for a great party appetizer, or serve grilled shrimp with veggies and fruit for a complete meal that screams summer.

Shrimp novice? Check out this guide to How to Prepare Shrimp!

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Table of Contents

Grilling Tips and Ideas
Featured Grilled Shrimp Recipe
Easy Grilled Shrimp Recipes

Grilling Tips and Ideas

  • Be sure you peel and devein your shrimp before cooking.
  • Because shrimp are small, it's a good idea to skewer them before grililng. This not only looks great, but it keeps the shrimp from falling into the grill and gives you better control while grilling. A word of caution: If you're using wood skewers, make sure you soak them before placing on the grill so they do not catch fire.
  • Try an oiled gril basket as an alternative to skewers if you want to keep your shrimp loose.
  • Overcooking shrimp is a common mistake but can be easily avoided. Grill your shrimp over medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Once the shrimp is opaque white, it's done and should be immediately removed from the grill.
  • Marinades add great flavor to grilled shrimp. Mix up a marinade with your favorite sauces, herbs and spices (try using Asian or Latin flavors) and allow the shrimp to marinade for at least 1 hour.

Featured Grilled Shrimp Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Red Chile Pesto

Grilled Shrimp with Red Chile Pesto

If you like grilled shrimp, you'll love this zippy rendition made with ancho chiles. It's tangy and spicy, and is one of the yummiest shrimp grilling recipes around.

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 5 min


  • 20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined, about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 dried ancho chiles
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Rub shrimp with the 5 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Grill over wood or charcoal, or broil in oven, 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve with red chile pesto.


Red Chile Pesto — Prepare this before cooking the shrimp

  1. Place anchos in bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes to overnight, then drain well.
  2. Remove seeds and stems from chiles.
  3. Puree flesh in food processor with garlic and cilantro.
  4. Add pumpkin seeds and lime juice.
  5. Process until well mixed.
  6. Continue processing and slowly add the 1/2 cup of the olive oil until emulsifled.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 cup.

Easy Grilled Shrimp Recipes

BBQ Shrimp - This Cajun BBQ recipe creates a delicious marinade for the shrimp that becomes the dipping sauce while baking. The shrimp can also be grilled and the dipping sauce heated to boiling and thickened over the stove.

Shrimp with Chimichurri Sauce - This is a garlic sauce that is great for any type of protein, especially grilled shrimp. Try this prawn recipe on skewers or stir fried with vegetables for your next family dinner.

Aussie Shrimp on the Barbie with Orange Ginger - You'll feel like you're down under with this Aussie Shrimp on the Barbie with Orange Ginger! It's summery and light, with a bold citrus finish.


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