Grilled shrimp are perfect for cookouts! Think outside of burgers and hot dogs the next time you have a cookout. Grill up some shrimp to go alongside those grilled veggies and corn. Grilled shrimp makes a beautiful presentation, so they’re perfect for a fancier get together or just in time with the family. And since they grill up in about five minutes, they’re ready in no time! Shrimp are naturally low fat, high protein, so they are a perfect healthy option when eating at a cookout!
I like to serve shrimp with a dipping sauce instead of trying to put a sauce over the shrimp. This way, if you have leftovers you can use them in different ways. Plus marinating shrimp takes extra time and room in the refrigerator that I don’t always have. This recipe has just a few ingredients and it comes together very quickly once you get that skewers on the grill. Of course there’s a few tips to make all of this go a little bit easier for you as well.
My first tips would be to ask your butcher at the seafood counter to peel and de-vein the shrimp. Oh make sure their head’s are removed. Bleh I had to learn that one the hard way. The second tip would be to soak your wooden skewers in water for about an hour or two before you use them. The shrimp are only on the grill for about five minutes so this is less of an issue then if you’re cooking veggie, beef or chicken kabobs, but it still best practice to soak your skewers so they don’t catch fire on the grill. My next tip is to stay close to those little shrimp. They cook up quick and when they are overdone, they are overdone. So be prepared have a clean plate, clean tongs and eliminate distractions for five minutes.
When choosing shrimp at the store, and make sure that you purchase wild caught and not farm raised shrimp. I know wild caught shrimp can be a bit more expensive but I have a tip for getting the most out of a sale! When you do find wild caught shrimp on sale, buy two or three extra pounds that are frozen, take them home and store them in the freezer. Don’t let them defrost though, you can’t refreeze shrimp once they defrost.
Shrimp defrost very quickly, so you can pull the shrimp out of the freezer the morning of a cookout and you will have defrosted, ready to cook shrimp by the afternoon. Just store them in the fridge to defrost. If you are really short on time, you can defrost them in the sink with cold water. This takes about 30 minutes or so.
Think outside the box when you think about what to do with your shrimp, have you ever tried it on a flatbread pizza? What about in tacos or on top of pesto zoodles? Grilled shrimp are also a great appetizer since it cooks up so quickly. I always make more than I think I’ll need, and honestly, I rarely have leftovers, it’s really a popular dish!
Of course be aware of you guest allergies. Even if you don’t plan on serving shrimp the the person with allergies, it’s important that you clean the grill thoroughly, not to cross contaminate the other food with the shrimp.
I served my shrimp with the spinach basil pesto for dipping. This pesto has more veggies than usual pesto and goes perfect with the shrimp, adding a few squeezes of lemon over the shrimp once they are done cooking. Another great option would be chimichurri sauce!
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and de-veined
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1-2 tbs. olive oil
- 1-2 lemons cut into wedges
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and shake or stir until shrimp are covered evently.
- Use wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 1-2 hours. Place 5-6 shrimp per skewer.
- Once all skewers are done place shrimp on grill that has been preheated on medium.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place on clean platter for serving.
- Serve shrimp with lemons and dipping sauce of choice
What about you?
- What is your favorite way to enjoy shrimp?
- Do you have a outdoor grill?
- What do you normally bring/eat at cookout?