Smoky Paprika Shrimp Skewers

My dear friend, the ebullient, smiley, and somewhat wacky Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites has a new “schtick”, namely, food on a stick. On a Stick! is Matt’s new cookbook, aimed at the party crowd, and filled with every conceivable food one could put on a stick. There are the expected—kebabs, corn dogs and popsicles—and the whimsical—jello shots, potato chips, and my visual favorite, spaghetti and meatballs. All on a stick. It’s a seriously fun book, and even if you don’t ever try to make some of the more unusual stick foods, just the idea of them may make you smile.

At my last somewhat larger than normal gathering at my house, I decided to try out a few recipes from Matt’s book. This paprika marinated shrimp skewer recipe is the one that we all decided we liked the most. Spicy, smokey, garlicky, with sprinkle of lime. Best part? It was dead easy to make. Cooking for groups larger than say, 2 or 4, tends to fluster me, so when it comes to party food, for me the simpler the better. But those days of just putting out some salsa and chips are long gone. People have higher expectations! Even my parents. If I don’t tempt them with something good, they’ll just stay at home, where they know the food is good. They loved Matt’s shrimp, and went back for seconds.

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Smoky Paprika Shrimp Skewers Recipe

  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them safely by putting them in to a bowl of ice water.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb of large shrimp, cleaned and peeled, tails on
  • Bamboo skewers

Method

1 Soak the skewers in water for at least a half an hour before grilling.

2 In a large bowl whisk together the spices—the paprikas, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper—and the lime juice and olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat with the marinade. Keep chilled for half an hour to an hour.

3 Prepare grill for medium-high direct heat, or heat a grill pan. Thread the shrimp onto skewers (it helps to double thread with two skewers at a time to make it easier to turn over on the grill). Baste the grill grates with some olive oil so that the shrimp don't stick to the grill. Grill or cook a few minutes per side (2-4, depending on the size of the shrimp), until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

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Looking for more food on a stick? Check out Bakerella Angie Dudley's cake pops.

24 Comments

  1. Lida

    If I just have regular Paprika; Would I use 4 Tablespoons of that?

    Yes. Though I strongly urge you to track down some smoked paprika. Or maybe add a drop of liquid smoke to the marinade. The smokiness of the paprika is what makes this recipe special. ~Elise

  2. Steph

    The shrimp sound great. Do you have a suggested dipping sauce for the shrimp?

    I don’t actually. I think a squirt of lime juice at serving would work great. ~Elise

  3. Garrett

    These were crazy good. I only wish we had made more. Matt’s book is one of the most unique pieces of food cookery to come out this year and worth getting a copy of.

  4. Matt

    These look absolutely phenomenal… smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices – by far. I’d imagine these would be great over rice for a complete dinner.

  5. Darren Tran

    (In response to one of your replies on using liquid smoke to add to the paprika because I don’t know how to comment on comments lol)

    That’s brilliant! I never seem to have smoked paprika on hand because I barely use it (shame I know)… will try using liquid smoke with it a try!

  6. Becki (Becki's Whole Life)

    I don’t know exactly what it is, but I LOVE skewered shrimp. These look wonderful and perfectly spiced! I have seen a few recipes from his book and they all sound delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Gina

    The photo of the shrimp does look pretty tasty! Combine tastiness with ease of cooking and I’m hooked. I had to check out the link to the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick – how fun! Now I know what book to buy for a few Christmas gifts!

  8. Lady Amalthea

    That marinade sounds amazing! Probably really good on tofu, zucchini or mushrooms as well!

  9. Bev

    I have no grill and you said you can use a grill pan. I assume that this would be cooked on the stove. How long should this take or should they be cooked under the broiler?

    If I were using a grill pan I would make these on the stove top. Heat the pan on high and cook the shrimp for the same amount of time as you would on a real grill. ~Elise

  10. S.

    Hmmmmm…I know a few people who love shrimp. The spices or coating look good on this.

  11. xhellsbellsx

    Think this will work with chicken?

    I don’t see why not. You probably need to cook it a little longer, only because chicken takes a little longer to cook than shrimp. ~Elise

  12. Christina E. Leo

    Twelve thumbs up! This recipe got rave reviews from the boat peeps this weekend. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  13. Katepdx

    Made these last night for a potluck party and they got rave reviews…cooked before I brought them and even at room temperature, they were delicious and demolished!!

  14. Cathy A

    Smoked Paprika is my new favorite “spice of life”. Just the smell of it is intoxicating. The shrimp recipe is visually stunning!

  15. Rosie

    This was great! I made this last night with the only change being that I had to roast the shrimp in the oven (a quick 6 minutes) as I noticed at the last minute I had no propane for my bbq. It was a great melding of flavors and perfect with some roasted zucchini and farro with goat cheese and herbs on the side. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  16. Sarah

    I spent last week on Cape Cod with friends and this popped up at the perfect time in my Google Reader. I added honey and cayenne pepper and we loved it! Thank you for the inspiration. I will likely post about it sometime; I hope that is okay!

  17. Sue

    Made these skewers for supper last night. Made it exactly to the recipe. They are excellent and defintely will make again. Be sure and get the smoked paprika as that adds a nice smokiness to the shrimp. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  18. Chef Shallot

    Muy bueno, la voy a probar este fin de semana. Saludos desde Asturias – España!

  19. Sprigs of Rosemary

    These, too, were my first pick from Matt’s book. They were just delightful and so, so easy. It’s true, though, that the smoked paprika is necessary. My husband and I just loved them and they are replacing our standby grilled shrimp, which were just tossed with garlic, coarse red pepper, and lemon zest and juice. This is just as easy and many times over better.

  20. Janet

    These were seriously fabulous, and so easy. Three of us chowed down the whole pound for dinner and wanted more! Thanks for your great recipes.

  21. Rose

    We cooked these in our new mesh grill pan for dinner last night. We were a little concerned because the marinade was so thick, but the end result was fabulous. We served with some crusty bread and a simple tomato, cucumber and red onion salad. We’ll definitely try this again.

  22. Sarah @ a dash and a pinch

    These look unbelievably good! I’m going to have to try these before the summer is over!

  23. Jenny

    Love the look of these. Do you think they’d be okay sitting in the marinade for longer (closer to 4 hrs)?

    Well, the acid in the lime juice will begin to “cook” them, like ceviche, if you leave them in the marinade too long, so you may want to leave the lime juice out of the marinade until closer to the end of your marinating time. ~Elise

  24. Adam Erickson

    5 stars for this recipe – I also used the marinade for some fresh squash out of my garden and it was awesome.

    This recipe tastes similar to a dish served at one of my favorite Persian restaurants. The only thing missing is a REALLY good lemon rice recipe…any chance you have a recipe Elise? I haven’t been able to duplicate the light, fluffy and buttery goodness of their lemon rice (garnished with a light sprinkle of smoked paprika).

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