Tips For The Tastiest Shrimp Kabobs
A handful of tips will help you get perfectly juicy shrimp kabobs with those essential grill marks.
- Give the shrimp at least 30 minutes to marinade. The shrimp need at least 30 minutes to marinate in the fridge. If you have extra time, you can take this up to 2 hours.
- Make sure to leave some space at the bottom of the skewer. To make the skewers easy to flip and hold, make sure to leave a couple of inches of free space at the bottom of the skewer.
- Avoid over-cooking the shrimps. Shrimp are prone to overcooking, as they only require a very minimal cook time. Once they turn opaque and pink, they are ready to go!
Hot Tip: Make sure to soak your wooden skewers before popping them on the grill. This will prevent them from burning! If you want, you can also invest in metal skewers to sidestep this issue.
What To Serve With Shrimp Kabobs
I originally intended these Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs as an appetizer for four, but now we make them so often, I like to turn the recipe into a dinner for two or multiply it for a crowd. You can serve shrimp kabobs with:
- A simple green salad like this Arugula Salad or this Spinach Strawberry Salad.
- Extra skewers of grilled veggies.
- A grain like rice. I recommend brown rice, as it is whole grain and more filling. Cauliflower rice is an excellent option if youd like to keep the meal more low carb.
Why Should You Make This Recipe
Pairing my famous Grilled Shrimp Recipe with the nutritious, garden-fresh taste of marinated veggies, these BBQ shrimp and vegetable skewers have so much to love:
- Evenly cook your shrimp and veggie skewers every time using a simple, ingenious grilling recipe/technique I learned from folks over at Americas Test Kitchen.
- This dish combines the mouthwatering flavors of garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs for a visually impressive presentation using one simple ingredient: my easy shrimp marinade!
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An Crazy Delicious Grilled Shrimp Dinner
Grilled shrimp is an easy and quick dinner to get together especially if youre throwing it on the grill. The trick is to get some flavor in there by marinating the shrimp or adding a tasty sauce. For this recipe, I did both. A quick marinade and a tasty sauce drizzled on top of the warm shrimp.
The shrimp are only going to marinade for about 30 minutes in the fridge dont let them goo too long or the lemon juice will start to cook the shrimp and thats not so tasty
More Flavor Combinations For The Grilled Shrimp Marinade
If youre not a huge fan of Italian Marinated Shrimp here are some other flavor possibilities.
- Lime zest, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, garlic, olive oil and onion.
- Fennel seeds, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, olive oil and cayenne peeper.
- Cilantro, mint, Italian parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil.
- Lemon zest, dill, tarragon, chives, olive oil and garlic.
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How To Make Pesto
Adding fresh pesto to grilled shrimp is an easy way to get incredible flavor with clean ingredients. To keep it light, I use less oil and prefer to omit the nuts. I used basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This keeps the fat content down and everyone always loves it. I also love swapping out some of the basil for fresh spinach and arugula, a great way to get more greens in your meal!
How To Grill Shrimp Skewers
Start by marinating the shrimp in a large bow for at least 15 minutes up to 1 hour in the fridge. Then thread them on either wooden or metal skewers to prevent them from falling through the grill grate. Now preheat the grill to medium high heat or around 450 degrees. Grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes each side or until pink. Do not overcook them or they will become rubbery. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with fresh lemon wedges for a spritz of lemon juice.
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Tips For Shrimp Kabob:
- For an option that you can reuse, try metal skewers instead of wooden skewers. They are so handy if you make kabobs a lot like we do. Plus, you dont need to soak them.
- I like to use grilling tongs to easily flip the shrimp skewers over. This is so handy and will help to prevent burning your hand. Another option to try that you might like are these grilling mitts.
- Veggies- Substitute or add vegetables based on what your family likes. Sometimes, I will make a few skewers with just veggies. They are so good with the marinate and you can easily adapt each skewer for friends and family tastes.
How Do I Know My Shrimp Kebabs Are Ready
I shared this before with my Greek shrimp recipe, but it applies no matter how you cook your shrimp.
Shrimp is cooked when itâs turned from grey and flabby to opaque pink with a bright red tail. And as far as texture, cooked shrimp should be slightly firm in texture with enough crunch with your bite
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Solution #: Get Dry To Stay Moist
We like moist food. We want our shrimp to be juicy. But there’s a difference between surface moisture and internal moisture. Internal moisture is what we’re really after. For the exterior, we actually want the exact opposite. Browning reactions can’t take place until surface moisture has evaporated, and it takes an awful lot of energy to evaporate that moisture. When you place a damp skewer full of shrimp on the grill, for at least the first several minutes, you’re waiting for surface moisture to evaporate. All the while, the interiors of those shrimp are getting hotter and hotter, thus expelling more moisture, which then has to be evaporated again, thus exacerbating the problem.
Fact is, if you want shrimp that stay moist inside, they have to start dry outside. Carefully blotting them with paper towels helps, but there’s an even better solution. After skewering my shrimp, I lay the skewers over the edges of a baking dish so that the shrimp are completely elevated. I then place the whole thing, uncovered, in the refrigerator for an hour. Good air circulation means the shrimp dry out rapidly.
When I’m ready to grill, I brush the shrimp with some olive oil and place them over the highest possible heat, pressing down on them slightly to ensure good contact with the grill grates.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt
They may be shrimps, but as far as flavor is concerned, they’re giants.
What To Serve With Pesto Shrimp
You can serve this as skewers so you can hold them in your hand or simply over a bed of greens. This shrimp would also be excellent over your favorite pasta, like orzo, spaghetti or even zoodles for dinner. Or make them at your next BBQ with Grilled Flank Steak, Broccoli and Orzo, Grilled Corn Feta Salad, to name a few summer favorites!
Note: Keep in mind that when you remove the shell from the shrimp it will weigh less. For instance, I started with about 2 lbs of shrimp to get 1 1/2 lbs after I peel them. Depending on the size of your shrimp you will get different amounts.
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What Is The Proper Way To Skewer Shrimp
There are two ways to skewer shrimp. The first is to take the fattest part of the shrimp and slide the skewer through it. This will leave the tail of the shrimp hanging off the edgebut you can fit more shrimp on a skewer this way.
The other method for skewering shrimp is to roll the shrimp slightly, or fold it in on itself. The skewer should pass through the shrimp twice, holding it in place securely and keeping it nice and compact.
How To Make The Best Marinated Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
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A Simple Yet Tasty Grilled Shrimp Marinade
Now that youve got your bag of shrimp, its time to put together the marinade. Im keeping it simple today with olive oil, herbs, and lots of garlic. But trust me, this is a holy grail combo that never fails.
Just whisk together the ingredients below and youre done.
- Olive oil: Using olive oil allows the flavors to infuse into the shrimp.
- Cilantro and parsley: These two herbs add just the right amount of freshness. But feel free to switch it up and add basil, thyme, or oregano into the mix.
- Garlic: Im using four large cloves for some garlicky goodness.
- Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens everything up.
- Salt and Pepper: For perfectly seasoned shrimp.
- Cayenne Pepper: Just a pinch or so adds spiciness, a hint of heat, and a little color to the shrimp.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
Top Tips To Make The Best Shrimp Kabobs
- Preheat the grill to 400F
- Soak the Skewers: Soak the Bamboo skewers in water before kneading the skewers. This will prevent them from getting burnt
- Shrimps: You can use fresh or frozen Shrimps. Inf act frozen Shrimps are better as they cook evenly and perfectly. You do not even have to thaw them. Just go straight from the Freezer to the Grill.
- Metal Skewers: You can use Metal Skewers as well. They are easily washable and can be reused.
- Give it some space: Do not squish Shrimps and veggies all together in the skewers. Keep some space between them, so that they grill evenly.
- Vegetables: Add vegetables of your choice like Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes and even Cucumbers are a great choice.
- Fruits: You can use Diced Pineapples and Mangoes to make Tropical Shrimp Kabobs
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How To Cook Shrimp Kabobs In The Oven
If you dont have an outdoor grill, are out of fuel, or the weather isnt cooperating, you can easily cook shrimp kabobs in your oven instead.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Place the threaded skewers onto the baking sheet. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
How To Prepare Shrimp Kabobs
Preparing these crazy easy shrimp kabobs only requires a 30-minute marinade and a quick grill.
- Prepare the Shrimp Marinade: First, place the olive oil, minced fresh garlic, salt, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning into a large Ziplock bag.
- : Next, add the shrimp into the bag and massage in the marinade, and pop the shrimp in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the Grill & Skewers: Preheat the grill to 400°F and thread the shrimp onto the skewers. If you dont have a grill, you can always use a grill pan on the stove top.
- Grill the Shrimp: Next, grill the shrimp for about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately and enjoy!
: Fell free to switch up the marinade as you please. Swap in fresh herbs, lemon zest, lime juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, or whatever else your heart desires.
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Ideas For Serving Shrimp Kabobs
Theres a handful of ways you can serve your tasty shrimp skewers. If youre hosting a BBQ, pair them with your favorite grilled veggies and a massive salad for sharing. We love whipping up grilled zucchini and mushrooms or a berry spinach salad.
Hot Tip: You can alternate the shrimps with a couple of pieces of vegetables for a build inside the dish. We like to use 1-inch pieces of red onion, green and red bell pepper, and whole mushrooms.
How Do You Grill Shrimp
The best way to grill shrimp are to marinate them in olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon, then skewer and cook. Shrimp are best grilled on skewers if you try to grill them without a skewer, you run the risk of these little guys falling through the grates of the grill when you go to turn them.
This shrimp marinade starts with olive oil and lemon juice. I add an additional layer of flavor with plenty of dried herbs , along with fresh minced garlic. I like simplicity here, but if you want to jazz up your marinade even more, you can add lemon zest, a splash of white white, soy sauce, or a squeeze of honey.
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How To Make Bbq Shrimp Kabobs
Here’s Step By Step Guide on Making the Best Shrimp Kabobs with BBQ Glaze!
Combine all spices & BBQ Sauce into a large bowl and mix thoroughly into Shrimps.
Cover and refrigerate for 10 min
Knead the Shrimps and Veggies into skewers.
Lightly brush the Grill grates with oil. Heat over Med-High heat.
Grill Kabobs for 5-6 min.
Baste with leftover marinade and grill both sides for additional 1-2 min to caramelize.
Once cooked, lightly garnish with chopped Cilantro and serve.
Why This Recipe Works
Summer is upon us, which means its just about grilling season if you havent started already! These shrimp kabobs are really easy to make. Basically, you thread your seasoned veggies and shrimp onto a skewer and pop them on the grill until theyre plump and tender, ready to be devoured.
Grilled shrimp can be made in so many different ways. Its a versatile dish that can be served all on its own or skewed with bell peppers, squash, onion, mushrooms, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and so much more. Mix and match the veggies here to suit your taste.
Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.
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Storing & Reheating Tips
To keep the skewers on hand for up to 3 days, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will prevent them from drying out, while also preventing the shrimp from smelling up your refrigerator.
Reheating Tip: To reheat the shrimp, pop them in the oven in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil or nuke them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Delicious Ways To Make Kabobs
Whether youre looking for some delicious grill recipes or just want to switch things up a bit, kabob recipes are a great option. These tasty skewers can be filled with all kinds of meats and veggies, and seasoned with a tasty assortment of dry rubs and sauces. For inspiration, check out these 28 Tasty Kabob Recipes For Grilling!
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Grilling your kabobs gives them a delicious smoky flavor that is perfect for summer barbecues. Check out some of our favorite recipes below!
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Should I Peel Shrimp For Kabobs
Youll want to use deveined shrimp for these shrimp kabobs. This means youll need to either purchase them deveined, or youll need to peel the legs off the shrimp. You can leave the tails on, or you can remove them. Its a case of personal preference.
To peel the shrimp, grab the legs and the outer shell, and pull these away from the body of the shrimp. They may come off in one piece, or they may come off separately. If the legs come away before the shell, use your thumb or fingers to break open the shell on the underside of the shrimp where the shell is the softest.
To devein the shrimp, make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp, and remove the vein that is right next to the surface.
Solution #: The Sugar Solution
I had quite a few questions I wanted to answer. What’s the best way to season the shrimp before cooking? Shell on or shell off? And what’s the best way to arrange them? But first things first: picking the right shrimp. Even though it happens to be live spot prawn season ’round these parts, I decided to stick with the standard wild pink shrimp or farm-raised white shrimp I can find year-round. I knew that if I was gonna have any chance of developing char on them without completely overcooking them, I’d have to use larger shrimp. I went with the widely available 15- to 20-count shrimp .
I peeled the shrimp, seasoned them with salt, threaded them onto a skewer, patted them dry , brushed them with a bit of olive oil to help conduct heat more evenly, then tossed them on a ripping-hot grill, letting them cook until nicely browned on the exterior. This took about four to five minutes per side. As expected, they were nearly inedibly rubbery by this point. How to speed up browning?
Well, working with a hotter grill was obviously part of the solution. The hotter the grill, the faster I can char the exterior before the interior gets a chance to overcook. With my charcoal grill, that meant using a full chimney of coal and piling it all up under one side of the grill to produce maximum heat. With my gas grill, it meant turning the burners on full blast and letting the grill grates heat up, with the lid closed, for a full 15 minutes before attempting to sear the shrimp.
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