Grilled Jumbo Shrimp With Lemon-Herb Marinade

Grilling jumbo shrimp

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Marinate: 30 mins
Total: 46 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
235 Calories
9g Fat
4g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 235
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 299mg 100%
Sodium 1383mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 134mg 10%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 274mg 6%
*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.)

The secret to properly grilling shrimp is to keep a close eye on them, as they can go from raw to rubbery in minutes. The secret to fabulous-tasting grilled shrimp is first placing them in a delicious marinade, infusing the shellfish with the ingredients, and contributing a depth of flavor to the finished dish. This grilled jumbo shrimp with a delicious marinade made of fresh lemon juice, garlic, shallots, and herbs will become your go-to meal when you need something tasty super quick.

Serve it with linguine, a tossed salad, or grilled vegetables.

"Easy and delicious, this tasty marinated grilled jumbo shrimp recipe hits all the high points. The shrimp would also be great over rice." —Diana Andrews

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp With Lemon-Herb Marinade Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon

  • 1/2 medium shallot, diced

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 pinch white pepper, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for grilled jumbo shrimp with lemon-herb marinade recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Peel and devein shrimp. Blot dry with paper towels and place in a resealable plastic bag.

    Peeled and deveined shrimp

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Combine marinade ingredients: oil, cilantro, lemon juice, shallot, minced garlic, chopped basil, salt, and white pepper (if using) in a bowl or large mixing cup. 

    Grilled jumbo shrimp marinade ingredients combined together

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Pour mixture over shrimp. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes—but no longer than that because the acid from the lemon juice will begin to soften the shrimp.

    Marinating jumbo shrimp

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Right before placing shrimp on the grill, oil the grill grates well—use tongs and paper towels dipped in oil. Make about 4 passes to create a nonstick surface. 

    Oiling a preheated grill pan

    The Spruce Eats

  6. Remove shrimp from the bag and discard marinade. Place shrimp on the grill and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they appear pink and firm all the way around.

    Grilling jumbo shrimp

    The Spruce Eats

  7. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a little extra chopped cilantro or basil on top. Enjoy!

    Grilled jumbo shrimp with lemon-herb marinade

    The Spruce Eats

Recipe Variations

  • If you don't care for cilantro, substitute flat-leaf parsley. This recipe will actually work with almost any fresh herb, so replace or add as you please. 
  • If you enjoy a little extra spice, add just a dash of cayenne pepper to your marinade. Be careful, however, as more than a dash could be overwhelming.
  • Chopped scallions (green onions) make a nice topping for this dish and can add a touch of elegance.
  • For a taste of Down Under, try this Australian Shrimp on the Barbie recipe.


  • Shrimp cook fast enough that you can keep the grill lid up; you also need to watch them carefully to prevent overcooking. Remove the shrimp from the grill right as they're done, or even a little before they're ready (the residual heat will finish cooking them). 
  • Depending on the style of your grill, it might be easier to thread these jumbo shrimp onto skewers before grilling. Place about 4 to 5 shrimp onto each skewer and cook as instructed. Alternatively, you can place the shrimp with a little bit of the marinade in a tightly sealed aluminum foil pouch and put on the grill for about 10 minutes.
  • Since this marinade would also be great as a sauce to drizzle over the shrimp once they're cooked, consider doubling the recipe, saving half to use when serving.

Handling Shrimp

This recipe calls for drying the shrimp before marinating—this is especially important if you are using frozen shrimp, as the method for defrosting is running them under cold water until thawed. Shrimp that retain water can result in soggy shellfish so it is important that you do your best to dry them before cooking. 

Most shrimp come from the market with their shells on, and sometimes they have been deveined already. If you have purchased deveined shrimp, the process of removing the shells will be easier since there is often a slit down the back of the shrimp (where the vein was removed). Whether you leave the tail on or not is up to you. If your shrimp aren't deveined, the ​deveining technique is pretty easy. While keeping the shrimp in an ice bath, take one and cut down the back of the shrimp using the tip of a paring knife. You should be able to see the vein; you can lift it out using the tip of the knife or your fingers. If you are finding this challenging, hold the back of the shrimp under a stream of cold water—it should push the vein right out.​

How do you cook shrimp so it's not tough and rubbery?

If your shrimp is tough and rubbery, you have overcooked it. Shrimp should be a pink color on the outside and an opaque white color on the inside. Cook them 2 to 3 minutes per side at the most when cooking on the grill. If they curl up in an "O" shape, then they're definitely overcooked.