Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers

These easy grilled shrimp skewers are basted with savory garlic butter. They’re shrimp on a stick, the perfect appetizer or cocktail food!

Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Elise Bauer

Anyone up for shrimp on a stick? Grilled, slathered with garlic butter, and sprinkled with chives, these big beautiful shrimp are perfect party food for a backyard cookout.

How to Grill Shrimp Skewers

Here's a tip when grilling shrimp. First make sure you soak your wood or bamboo skewers (I recommend bamboo, they hold up better to heat) in water for at least half an hour. Then set up your grill so you have one side that is hot, and another cool.

Put the shrimp over the hot side, and the exposed skewers over the cool side. That way the shrimp cook quickly and the skewers don't burn.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Elise Bauer

Serving Shrimp Skewers

Once you take the shrimp off the grill, immediately brush them with garlic butter, while the shrimp are still hot. The shrimp will absorb the garlic butter flavors better that way.

I do recommend you make more of these than you'll think you need. Because even though 1 pound of shrimp should serve four, you'll want to eat them all yourself. They're sort of irresistible that way.

Other Ways to Cook Shrimp Skewers

No grill, or too cold out to bother? You can still make these shrimp skewers.

  • Broiler: Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange your assembled shrimp skewers on the sheet. Broil about 5 inches away from the heat for about 2 minutes on each side or until they're cooked through.
  • Grill pan: Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, in batches if necessary, for about 2 minutes on each side or until they're cooked through.

How Long to Grill Shrimp

Shrimp cooks incredibly quickly—only about 2 minutes per side for large shrimp such as this recipe calls for—so be sure to keep a close eye on it. You'll know it's done when it turns pinkish and opaque.

Ideas to Add More Flavor to Shrimp Skewers

Looking to take your shrimp skewers up a flavor notch? Take the advice of our readers and try mixing in some chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, or hot sauce into your garlic butter.

What to Make with Shrimp Skewers

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings

If you have the time, we highly recommend brining the shrimp to help them hold onto their moisture and remain plump and juicy. To make the brine, just whisk together 1/4 cup of Diamond Crystal kosher salt (3 tablespoons if you're using Morton's), 1/4 cup of sugar, and 4 cups of water in a bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 cup of ice and the shrimp, and let it sit for 30 minutes (no longer or the shrimp will get too salty). If you brine the shrimp, skip seasoning them with salt as directed in Step 2.


We recommend leaving the tails on the shrimp for a nice presentation.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 16-20 count large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives, for garnish

Method

  1. Prepare the grill:

    Prepare your grill for direct high heat, with one side of the grill as a cool side with no coals or flame.

    Grill with hot coals to show how to grill shrimp.
    Ciara Kehoe
  2. Thread the shrimp on skewers:

    While the grill is heating, thread the pre-soaked skewers through the shrimp. Start at the tail and push the skewers through the middle and end of the shrimp. Brush shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

    A person putting shrimp on a stick and setting on a bakings sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
    Brushing shrimp skewers with oil and setting on a baking sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
  3. Melt the butter with garlic:

    Place butter and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave until the butter has melted and is hot. (If you don't have a microwave you can also just melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan on the stovetop.)

  4. Grill the shrimp:

    Arrange skewers on grill so that the shrimp are over the coals or flame and the exposed bamboo skewer ends are over the cool side of the grill. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side.

    Overhead view of grilled shrimp skewers.
    Ciara Kehoe
  5. Serve, basted with garlic butter:

    As soon as the shrimp are done, remove from grill and place in a serving dish. Baste generously with melted garlic butter. Sprinkle with chives to serve!

    Serve immediately.

    Overhead view of grilled garlic shrimp on a baking sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
    Overhead view of grilled garlic shrimp on a platter.
    Ciara Kehoe