Easy Spicy Grilled Shrimp

These Spicy Grilled Shrimp are flavored with a delicious heat from cajun spices and a hint of tang from a bit of lime. Just marinate, skewer and grill for a healthy dinner that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Learn the tips and tricks to grilling shrimp perfectly every time.

Closeup of grilled shrimp plated on top of Spanish rice.

I love to grill anything and everything 365/24/7. Just check out all my grilling recipes on the blog, like Key West Burgers, Rosemary Lamb Chops, Fish Tacos and even Grilled Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake. Why do I love it? Grilling is a healthy way to cook, the food tastes delicious, it takes less time than most stovetop or oven dinners and the cleanup is easier. Of course, it’s an even bigger plus for me because my husband does all the grilling. 🙂

3 skewers of grilled shrimp on wooden cutting board.

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafoods to grill. I usually buy the jumbo shrimp in the large bag at Costco. They keep well in the freezer and, when I need something quick to put on the table, they are always there. These babies are just the perfect size for the grill as they don’t overcook as easily as the smaller ones. These spicy grilled shrimp are marinated just long enough to get a nice kick from the cajun spices and a nice nonstick coating from the olive oil. 

Closeup of shrimp on skewer over plated dinner

There are many people that think shrimp are hard to cook correctly on the grill. However, with the simple tips I have included below, you’ll be a top shrimp griller the next time you turn on the gas. Make sure your sides are pretty much done prior to putting on the shrimp since they only take 4-6 minutes tops to cook.

Tips and tricks for grilling shrimp

  • Buy the shrimp on the day you are planning to grill or opt for frozen shrimp
  • For the best results, use extra large, jumbo or colossal shrimp. I like to use jumbo for this recipe.
  • When marinating shrimp with an acidic marinade, i.e. one using citrus juices, plan no longer than 30 minutes at the most. This prevents the acid from breaking down the proteins in the shrimp, which can cause them to be mushy. If using an olive oil and herb-based marinade, up to an hour is fine. 
  • Do you know when your shrimp are perfectly cooked? Follow this general rule. A straight shrimp is undercooked, an O shaped shrimp is overcooked and rubbery while the C shaped shrimp is perfection!

Directions

Ingredients and showing marinating shrimp.

  1. Combine olive oil, garlic, lime juice and spices in a resealable ziploc bag that is large enough to hold the shrimp too.
  2. Place shrimp in the bag with the marinade, seal and place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Turn half way through time to make sure all sides are coated.

Skewer the marinated shrimp shown on wooden board.

  1. Take shrimp out of marinade and discard it. Thread shrimp on skewers making sure to attach both the top and the tail.

Skewered shrimp on the grill.

  1. Preheat grill and place shrimp directly over medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes per side (depending on size of shrimp used) then remove immediately and serve. Check out the tips above for a good visual way to tell if shrimp are done.

Closer view of spicy shrimp dinner plated with rice and mixed vegetables.

Just look at those delicious pink shrimp, perfectly cooked, ready to devour! And that spicy, smoky flavor is bound to have everyone reaching for seconds (and thirds). I love these spicy grilled shrimp for appetizers, served with a little cocktail sauce, or as a dinner on top of Spanish Quinoa or riced cauliflower and a side of roasted vegetables. It’s a deliciously healthy low carb dinner served in just 30 minutes. Ideal for busy weeknights, weekend appetizers or special occasions. Enjoy!

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Spicy Grilled Shrimp

These Spicy Grilled Shrimp make a delicious, healthy dinner ready in 30 minutes. Learn tips & tricks to grilling shrimp perfectly every time.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Servings: 2 -3 servings
Calories: 308kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice divided
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun spice I like to use Emeril's Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3/4 lb. jumbo shrimp 21/25 per pound

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except shrimp.
  • Pour into a resealable plastic bag and add shrimp. Seal well.
  • Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat grill. While grill is preheating, take shrimp out of marinade and thread onto skewer. If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes while shrimp is marinating.
  • Place on hot grill and cook about 2-3 minutes per side depending on size. Shrimp are done when they are pink (or an orangey color) with red tails and the flesh is slightly white.

Notes

Tips and tricks for grilling shrimp
  • Buy the shrimp on the day you are planning to grill or opt for frozen shrimp
  • For the best results, use extra large, jumbo or colossal shrimp. I like to use jumbo for this recipe.
  • When marinating shrimp with an acidic marinade, i.e. one using citrus juices, plan no longer than 30 minutes at the most. This prevents the acid from breaking down the proteins in the shrimp, which can cause them to be mushy. If using an olive oil and herb-based marinade, up to an hour is fine. 
  • Do you know when your shrimp are perfectly cooked? Follow this general rule. A straight shrimp is undercooked, an O shaped shrimp is overcooked and rubbery while the C shaped shrimp is perfection!
  • General rule of thumb for how much shrimp to purchase is 1 lb. per person of raw, unpeeled shrimp or 1/3-1/2 lb. of peeled prepared shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 429mg | Sodium: 1351mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 4mg
Easy Spicy Grilled Shrimp

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