Garlic Shrimp

5 from 2 votes

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Garlic Shrimp is a savory skillet dish packed with great flavor. Marinade the shrimp in some oil and spices then cook on a stovetop or grill and you have dinner in minutes. 

Several cooked garlic shrimp on top of white rice and next to some steamed broccoli.
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When you’re in a rut with making dinner, cue the Garlic Shrimp! Incorporating shrimp into a meal feels exciting and different. My family devours anything with shrimp and it helps break the dinner monotony. 

You can make Garlic Shrimp as fancy or simple as you would like. It’s perfect paired with almost any side – make some Rice in an Instant Pot or Pesto Pasta and add a Chef Salad or Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

Seven cooked garlic shrimp on top of white rice next to some steamed broccoli florets on a light grey plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s quick and easy making Garlic Shrimp the perfect busy weeknight meal. 
  • Healthy meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor. 
  • Can be served as an appetizer or an entrée, just like perfectly fried butterfly shrimp!
  • Garlic Shrimp is gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with protein. 

Recipe Ingredients

  • Shrimp: Be sure to get large, raw shrimp that have been deveined.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic: Fresh is best in this recipe. 
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Chili powder
  • Salt

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

The ingredients to make garlic shrimp including raw shrimp on a paper towel on a baking sheet and some minced garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt each in a small clear glass bowl.

How to Make Garlic Shrimp

  • Step #1. Prepare the shrimp by rinsing them and patting them dry with a paper towel. 
  • Step #2. Make the marinade and then place it and the shrimp in a zip-top resealable bag. Let it rest for 15 minutes. 
  • Step #3. Cook on the stove or thread the shrimp on wooden skewers and cook on a hot grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. 
  • Step #4. Serve hot with your preferred sides.
A pan of shrimp cooking in oil and garlic.

Recipe FAQs

What type of shrimp should I buy?

I recommend buying large shrimp that’s peeled and deveined but with the tail on to make the cooking process quick. 

Should I remove the shrimp tails before cooking?

You don’t need to. Removing shrimp tails is not recommended because they add a little more flavor to the dish and are more visually appealing. 

Is this recipe for Garlic Shrimp gluten free?

Yes! All of the ingredients in Garlic Shrimp are gluten free but be sure to check all of the ingredients that you use. It’s also dairy-free

How long does it take to cook shrimp?

Shrimp cook very fast. They only need about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. You will know when they are cooked because they turn pinkish in color and look opaque. 

Eight cooked garlic shrimp on top of white rice next to some steamed broccoli florets and there is a bowl of broccoli and a bulb of garlic and some lemon slices in the background.

Expert Tips

  • Do not use pre-cooked shrimp in this recipe – cooked shrimp turns rubbery when reheated. Raw shrimp will be gray in color while cooked shrimp is pink. 
  • If you’re cooking the shrimp on the stovetop, don’t overcrowd the shrimp in the pan – it helps prevent overcooking. 
  • If you’re cooking the shrimp on the grill, don’t skip soaking the wooden skewers in water before putting the shrimp on them – it helps prevent fire. 
  • Mincing fresh garlic is worth the bit of time because it gives the best flavor. I wouldn’t recommend substituting garlic powder in this recipe. 
Light grey plate with cooked garlic shrimp over white rice and broccoli to the side.

More Easy Dinner Recipes to Consider

close up of dish with cooked garlic shrimp over white rice and broccoli to the side
5 from 2 votes

Garlic Shrimp

This easy Garlic shrimp is a savory skillet dish packed with all the right flavors.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound large raw deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the marinade:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
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  • Rinse the shrimp, lay them out on a paper-towel lined tray, and pat them dry. Remove the shells, if desired. 
  • For the marinade, stir together the marinade ingredients. Place the shrimp and marinade in a resealable bag. Remove excess air, seal the bag, and toss shrimp around in the bag to coat them. Let shrimp rest for 15 minutes. 

Stove Top Directions: 

  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic when the pan is hot. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Sprinkle in sugar and sauté for about 30 seconds more. Add marinated shrimp to the pan. Spread the shrimp out into a single layer across the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook for an additional 1 or 2 minutes until they’re pink. Increase the heat to high for 1 minute to reduce liquid. Remove from the pan when shrimp is finished cooking. 

Grill Directions: 

  • While the shrimp are marinating, soak 6 to 8 wooden skewers in water. When you’re almost ready to grill, thread the shrimp onto the skewers. Heat the grill to medium-high and oil the grates to prevent shrimp from sticking. Place the kabobs on the grill and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once or twice, until shrimp are pink and cooked through.


  • Look for shrimp that are firm, slightly translucent, and have a mild smell.
  • Use fresh garlic cloves for maximum flavor. Mince or finely chop the garlic for a more intense taste.
  • Feel free to double this recipe, it’s an easy one to scale up.
  • This recipe is from The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook by my dear friend Mary Younkin at Barefeet in the Kitchen.


Serving: 1 of 4 servings, Calories: 277kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 183mg, Sodium: 443mg, Potassium: 339mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 297IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg
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