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Spicy grilled shrimp are easy to assemble and cook in about 5 minutes. A simple marinade of cilantro with a kick of cayenne pepper make these a delicious and spicy-as-you-like addition to summer meals. String the shrimp onto two skewers to them very easy to turn on the grill.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp served on a white platter with lime wedges.

When I asked about the recipe for these spicy grilled shrimp, I was certain that Christian had forgotten something. “Just olive oil, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper,” he assured me. I believed him (mostly), but when it came to making them, I was tempted to tamper with the recipe – add a little garlic or perhaps some lemon juice. I resisted and, if you’re similarly inclined, you should too.

Spicy Shrimp on the Grill

These shrimp were piled high on a platter next to grilled artichoke halves with homemade mayonnaise, Mexican corn on the cob, dry rub ribs and pulled pork with all of the trimmings. We were at our friends Christian and Christen’s house, there to celebrate their beautiful, sweet daughter Sidney’s high school graduation. And let me just say, these people know how to throw a party.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp served on a white platter with lime wedges and photographed from the top.

On a recent weeknight, we made these as the main course of a simple dinner – on the table in about 20 minutes – all cooked on the grill: shrimp, Mexican Street Corn, and Grilled Green Beans.

If you’re serving people who don’t care for shrimp, pair with Carne AsadaGrilled Lamb Chops, Grilled Tuna Steaks, Grilled Swordfish, Grilled Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Chicken Kabobs or Lamb Kabobs, and a hearty side like Grilled Cauliflower SteaksGrilled Bok ChoyZucchini Salad, or Tabouli Salad. Or, maybe even better, pile them into Grilled Shrimp Tacos, Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa or on a Mexican Street Corn salad for quintessential summer meals.

If you’re making this shrimp recipe in the fall or winter, grill shrimp on a stovetop grill pan instead of your outdoor bbq.

Recipe Video

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Spicy Grilled Shrimp

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Calories: 176
Servings: 4 people
Note that this easy recipe serves 4 as an appetizer, if you're serving as a main dish, double the recipe. String the shrimp onto two skewers to them very easy to turn on the grill.


  • 10 9-inch bamboo skewers soaked in water 15-30 minutes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound medium or large shrimp peeled except for the tail and deveined


  • Preheat grill to medium-high.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne and olive oil. Add shrimp and gently toss to coat.
  • Run one skewer through the fattest part of 7 or 8 shrimp (depending on shrimp size), nesting the shrimp so they are curved in the same direction. Run a second skewer through all of the shrimp near the tail. Adjust shrimp, giving each a little space, to help them cook evenly. Repeat with remaining shrimp and skewers.
  • Grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Transfer to platter and serve.


Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1027mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Gail says:

    5 stars
    Was looking for a flavorful recipe for shrimp after having extra shrimp left from a simple lemon garlic shrimp dinner with the in-laws. Perfect!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful, Gail! I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed this!

  2. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says:

    I love how simple these shrimp are, but they sound like they’re still packed with flavor. YUM! This would be the perfect addition to any summer menu 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      Thanks, Kelsie! I love them because they’re great on their own, but also good to fill a taco shell or pile on top of a salad!

  3. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    These look so easy and delicious Marissa. Perfect for summer grilling. Love the video too!

    1. Marissa says:

      Yes, so easy. I love low-key but delicious recipes in the summer when it’s hot and the laziness sets in. 😉

  4. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    5 stars
    Wow Marissa – these look so good (and easy too). So perfect for summer! Sounds like you had quite the spread at your friend’s celebration. Love celebrations that involves a lot of yummy food like that (I’m all about that, lol). I can definitely see me making these soon. Pinning! Awesome video too (as usual 🙂 ) and love your new profile pic!! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    1. Marissa says:

      You’re very sweet, Dawn – thank you!