This is the Best Ever Shrimp Marinade, perfect for the grill or delicious sautéed. You'll always want to make this lemony garlic shrimp!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Shrimp – fresh shrimp or defrosted frozen shrimp are best.
- Olive oil – use any neutral flavour of oil in the marinade that you prefer. Good choices include vegetable oil or avocado oil. Because the shrimp will be cooking under high heat, be sure to use oil with a high smoke point.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice would both work. You could also try using lime juice or even grapefruit juice.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic can be used in a pinch.
- Fresh parsley – if you don't have any fresh parsley, use 1 tsp. dried parsley or basil.
- Dijon mustard – stone ground mustard can be used instead or you can leave this out altogether.
- Lemon zest – use lime zest in a pinch.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Chili flakes – red pepper flakes would also add some spice to this marinade.
- Dried basil – oregano or thyme will provide a similar flavour.
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How to marinate shrimp
Step 1: Prep your ingredients.
Step 2: Make the marinade.
Mix all ingredients for marinade together.
Step 3: Marinate the shrimp.
Marinate shrimp in a medium-sized bowl or Ziploc bag for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Add shrimp to skewers.
Set oven to broil on high. Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade overtop then discard remaining marinade.
Step 5: Cook the shrimp.
Broil shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side (watching closely) until pink and fully cooked.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
Different cooking methods for marinated shrimp
If you don’t want to broil the shrimp in the oven, you can also grill it on the BBQ or cook it on the stovetop! This shrimp marinade recipe is so versatile and there are so many different ways you can cook the shrimp. Just follow the directions below for your chosen method.
- Preheat BBQ grill to 425° F.
- Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade over the top, then discard remaining marinade.
- Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side, until pink and fully cooked.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat (butter offers the best flavour).
- Add the marinated shrimp and all of the marinade to the hot skillet.
- Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this shrimp marinade recipe, you only need to marinate the shrimp for about 15 minutes. Since the marinade contains an acid (the lemon juice), you don’t want to soak it for any longer than 30 minutes or it will start to break down the shrimp and make it mushy.
Shrimp cooks very quickly, and if it cooks too long, it can become rubbery. Another reason they could turn rubbery is if you tried cooking frozen shrimp. Always thaw them out completely first before making marinated shrimp – it only takes a few minutes in a bowl of cold running water.
I love this simple but flavourful marinade for shrimp. It’s made with pantry staples you likely already have on hand including olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, parsley, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, chili flakes and dried basil.
You can add shrimp marinade to shrimp with the shell on or off, and each method has its benefit. Shell off is best when using a marinade – this way it can fully penetrate the shrimp, giving you the most flavour. Shell on is best if you will be using jumbo shrimp since this keeps them tender and juicy. Otherwise, the moisture will escape during the longer cooking time.
Storing and reheating
You can store any leftover marinated shrimp in an airtight container or Ziploc bags in the fridge for up to 3 days. There are a few different options for reheating:
- Oven/Toaster Oven: Loosely wrap the cooked shrimp in aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes at 300°F. Check the shrimp halfway through; if they aren't getting crispy, make a vent in the foil.
- Stovetop: Heat some oil in a pan on the stove and add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until slightly browned and warmed through.
- Microwave: The shrimp won’t taste the best if you reheat it in the microwave, but it is an option. Arrange shrimp in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle some water over the top, then cover with a lid or paper towel. Microwave for on high for 1 minute, then in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Freezing this recipe
Pour the shrimp marinade into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, then add the shrimp and freeze immediately. Keeping the shrimp in the shell can help preserve the texture – just remove the shells before cooking.
Lay the bag flat when freezing so the shrimp stays in a single layer, and store it in the coldest part of your freezer. It should last in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to use the shrimp, let it thaw in the fridge or under cold running water before cooking. Make sure to discard any of the shrimp marinade that you won’t be using!
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Best Ever Shrimp Marinade
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
Side dish ideas
- Roasted or grilled potatoes
- Oven fries or potato wedges
- Steamed, sauteed or roasted vegetables (I love asparagus or broccoli)
- Garlic bread
- Mix all ingredients for marinade together then marinate shrimp in a medium-sized bowl for 15 minutes.
- GRILLING METHOD: Preheat BBQ to 425 F. Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade overtop then discard remaining marinade. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side until pink and fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!
- STOVETOP METHOD: Add 1 tbsp butter or olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat (I recommend butter for better flavour). Add shrimp along with marinade to skillet, sauteeing for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Serve and enjoy!
- BROILER METHOD: Set oven to broil on high. Add shrimp to skewers, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle some extra marinade overtop then discard remaining marinade. Broil shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side (watching closely) until pink and fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!
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