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Chef John's Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp

Rated as 4.78 out of 5 Stars

"This grilled garlic and herb shrimp recipe is very easy, IF you can just walk out into the backyard, and pick a handful of your own fresh, green sprigs. However, these are so amazingly delicious, if you don't have a garden, then do splurge and buy a bunch of all the herbs. And get the extra large shrimp so they can grill longer and get maximum caramelization."
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3 h servings 223
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Place salt, lemon zest, and 3 cloves garlic in bowl of a mortar and pestle. Pound with the pestle until mixture begins to form a paste, about 2 minutes. Add chopped basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme and pound with pestle until mixture begin to come together, about 5 minutes.
  2. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into herb mixture. Grind together until mixture begins to form a sauce for marinating, about 1 minute. Pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir mixture with a spoon until mixture is thoroughly combined, adding additional olive oil as needed. Mixture should be fairly thick but pourable.
  3. Place shrimp in a large bowl and mix in about 2/3 of the sauce, reserving 1/3 for serving. Stir until shrimp are evenly coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.
  4. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  5. Thread shrimp onto skewers (pierce each twice, once through large part of shrimp, once through small part). Place skewers on hot grill. Cook on each side until shrimp are bright pink and opaque and exterior is beginning to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to serving platter.
  6. Pour remaining sauce into mixing bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Spoon sauce over shrimp. Serve with lemon wedges.


  • Chef's Note:
  • Measurements for herbs are approximate. And you can use other herbs from your herb garden such as tarragon or dill. But be careful with rosemary as it can be over-powering.
  • The herb mixture can be made in a food processor or blender, but the taste is not quite as intense.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 223 calories; 12.6 1.9 25.1 230 773 Full nutrition

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  1. 67 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This was the last dish my Dad ever made me. We grilled out on the lake for my birthday, and he cooked up these shrimp with aoili on the side. He was so proud of these, and they were truly fantas...

Most helpful critical review

This was okay for us. I put all the marinade in a food processor instead of hand grinding. I had hoped for more with this recipe.

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Least positive

This was the last dish my Dad ever made me. We grilled out on the lake for my birthday, and he cooked up these shrimp with aoili on the side. He was so proud of these, and they were truly fantas...

This was one of the best grilled shrimp recipes I've ever made!! My family loved it and said it was restaurant quality. I made the shrimp pretty close to what was written using fresh herbs from ...

Forget the mortar and pestle guys. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or high quality blender, pour over shrimp (i also added peppers and onions) and let marinade according to the ...

Made this for date night and my boyfriend loved it. He now thinks I can cook. Lol

I have made this three times in the last two weeks. We serve the shrimp chilled as an appetizer. Everyone loves it that way. Thanks Chef John you did it again. I’m using herbs from my garden.

Followed it exactly with great results! Easy to prep ahead to please a crowd with great food in a hurry.

Another great recipe by Chef John. I don't use a lot of salt, so I found this to be too salty for me so I will just reduce the amount of salt the next time. The herb combination was perfect f...

Wonderful flavor! I did not have time to marinate as long as suggested. I also threw all the marinade ingredients into the small cup of my Ninja processor which was very quick. Then placed the 2...

Followed Chef John's recipe to a "T" and we loved it!