Smoky Paprika Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp marinated in a spicy paprika garlic sauce, threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled.

Smoky Paprika Shrimp Skewers
Elise Bauer

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.

The 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.

Smoky Paprika Shrimp Skewers

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 48 mins
Servings 4 servings

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


  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and peeled, tails on

Special Equipment

  • Bamboo skewers


  1. Soak the skewers:

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

  2. Marinate the shrimp:

    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. Grill the shrimp:

    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 the shrimp a few minutes per side (2 to 4, depending on the size of the shrimp), until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
318 Calories
21g Fat
7g Carbs
27g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 318
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1237mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 372mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.