Grilled Shrimp with Honey Garlic Sauce

4.92 from 57 votes
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Grilled shrimp skewers marinated in honey garlic sauce makes for a quick and easy outdoor meal. Smoky flavors from the barbecue and bold spices take this succulent seafood to the next level.

Grilled shrimp cooking on a barbecue with flame

Grilled shrimp skewers are a family favorite, and I love making them because it’s quick and easy. When the weather warms up, I always enjoy firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors. The food scientist in me also appreciates the versatility of having various cooking methods on one efficient piece of equipment.

Shrimp is pretty easy to cook because it’s ready in mere minutes. To maximize the flavor of the protein, I use a combination of bold spices and garlic to season the surface. These grilled shrimp skewers can even be prepared a day in advance for a weeknight meal if you know you’ll have limited time after work.

Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate barbecue grill in a backyard

Grill selection

I was very excited to make this meal on my new Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate grill, I mean look at this thing, it’s incredible! I’m blown away by all the different options it has. This is a three-in-one cooking station, exclusively sold at Walmart. It has a 36,000 BTU 3-burner gas grill, a Charcoal grill with 6 position adjustment, and a 3-rack electric smoker.

The gas grill is very efficient! The temperature sensor on the top of the lid heated up within just a few minutes. It’s also straightforward to adjust the chamber temperature using the control knobs for whichever the style of cooking you are going for.

There are adjustable vents on both the gas and charcoal chambers that can let in fumes from the electronic smoker. So, if you were burning wood chips in the smoker, you could add that flavor while your grilling protein or vegetables on the grates.

Brushing garlic honey sauce over grilled shrimp

Shrimp grilling tips

During culinary school, I learned some fundamental grilling techniques that helped my confidence. Here are my top grilling tips for cooking shrimp:

  • Marinade: A quick way to heighten the shrimp flavor using oil, salt, spices, and aromatics.
  • Skewers: Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning.
  • Heat: Preheat grill to quickly develop beautifully charred marks from the Maillard reaction. Adjust the temperature to between 275-325ºF to moderately cook the shrimp by convection.
  • Grease: Lightly oil the grill grates before adding the food to prevent sticking.
  • Time: Once the shrimp turn an opaque pink they are done, it only takes a few minutes!

Jessica checking the temperature gauge on the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate grill

Temperature control

The gas and charcoal grills can be temperature controlled using big thermometer gauges on the lids, which indicate the overall heat. Multiple gas control knobs, or how you set up your coals, will allow for direct and indirect heat to achieve the perfect temperature of foods. This makes it possible to use a plethora of cooking techniques other than just grilling like roasting, baking, searing, and hot smoking!

With my grill, I love how I can quickly preheat on high for 5 to 10 minutes, and then adjust the heat to maintain a consistent temperature during cooking. If the grill got too hot, I just opened up the lid to reduce the temperature and then adjust the control knobs. The unit is very responsive! This process helped to achieve perfect grill marks and evenly cooked shrimp.

Grilled shrimp skewers stacked up on a plate

The benefits of marinating shrimp

I often make a marinade to instantly boost the flavor of foods. The marinade for the jumbo shrimp recipe is a citrus honey garlic sauce that I then thread on skewers. I add lemon and lime zest instead of juice because the olive oil helps to dissolve the essential oils in the rind for a more intense citrus flavor.

The small amount of honey in the marinade also helps to create a caramelized surface on the shrimp. I then give the protein a quick baste with butter and then garnish it with fresh cilantro. A squeeze of citrus juice adds just the right amount of zip to brighten the shrimp flavor right before eating it. The bold taste from the sauce makes these grilled shrimp skewers disappear from the dinner table fast!

More shrimp recipes

Add fat and salt to create an effective marinade

Adding fat like oil or butter when marinating helps stabilize and protect the unique flavor compounds in garlic to enhance its taste. It also helps to dissolve fat-soluble flavors from the dry spices so that the taste is evenly transferred and amplified on the shrimp. Salt not only provides a savory note, but it also helps the water-soluble flavor compounds like allicin infuse more quickly into the shrimp. (Source: Cook’s Illustrated, The Science of Good Cooking)

Grilled Shrimp with Honey Garlic Sauce

Grilled shrimp marinated in honey garlic sauce for an easy outdoor meal. Smoky flavors from the barbecue and bold spices take the recipe to the next level.
4.92 from 57 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time36 minutes
Servings 6 skewers
Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more to grease the grill grates
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 2 pounds shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled, deveined, tail on
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon zest, lime zest, and paprika.
  • Add shrimp to the bowl and toss with the marinade until evenly coated.
  • The shrimp should marinate for at least 30 minutes before adding to the grill for maximum flavor.
  • Thread the shrimp on skewers, about 5 per stick.
  • Preheat grill over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, the chamber temperature should be between 275 to 325ºF (135 to 163ºC).
  • Add a small amount of oil on a folded piece of paper towel and carefully grease the cooking grates.
  • Once the grill reaches the recommended temperature, add the shrimp skewers and close the lid.
  • Cook shrimp until no longer translucent with a lightly charred surface, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and brush with melted butter on both sides.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon and lime wedges.

Notes

  • If using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes before adding shrimp to prevent from burning.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 skewers
Calories 288kcal (14%)Carbohydrates 7g (2%)Protein 31g (62%)Fat 15g (23%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Cholesterol 391mg (130%)Sodium 1177mg (49%)Potassium 176mg (5%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 290IU (6%)Vitamin C 22.4mg (27%)Calcium 231mg (23%)Iron 3.6mg (20%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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31 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Vicki says

    Hi Jessica,
    What would you recommend serving this with for an awesome “company” meal? Thanks…I always enjoy your recipes!!

  2. Melanie says

    This recipe is so delicious!! Most requested by family and a summer staple at the lake! Cannot thank you enough for this one!

  3. Melanie says

    This is an incredible recipe that has been requested many many times by family and friends! So fresh and flavourful! Thank you!!

  4. Kevin says

    I got a new phone and lost this recipe and almost screamed lol. Anyways found this fabulous recipe again finally. Best part is the versatility. Some don’t like as much citrus and some no cilantro but I find it is a very adaptable delicious quick one for the grill. Family favorite!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Glad you found the recipe again, Kevin! Glad to hear that you’re able to adapt the shrimp recipe to fit your family’s preferences.

  5. Krissy says

    This was incredible!!! I got two thumbs up from the family and will be adding this recipe in to our summer rotation! I served it with BBQ grilled asparagus and turnip au gratin. Thank you for posting.

  6. Laura White says

    How many servings does this recipe make? I’d also like to know what side dish you think goes with this?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      This recipe makes 6 skewers, about 5 to 6 shrimp per skewer. A nice coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, or fresh green salad would be lovely.

  7. Janine says

    This marinade is amazing. I added finely chopped jalapeño and cilantro to the marinade. This is the best shrimp we have ever grilled. I made the marinade the day before and added the shrimp 30 minutes before cooking. Definitely a keeper!

  8. Melanie says

    This was absolutely delicious! Bright fresh flavours and great presentation for a beautiful meal! I have passed this recipe on because it is now one of my favourites!! Thank you!

  9. Christine says

    My 15 year old daughter loves shrimp and so I had her make it tonight. She said it was so easy! We didn’t have any paprika so we used chili powder instead and it was still so flavorful! Thanks!

  10. Laura C says

    Tried this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I only had one pound of large shrimp from Costco, and I used the marinade as the recipe states for two pounds. It was just perfect. I only had lemon and it tasted great with just lemon zest. A def addition to the rotation.

    Looking forward to looking through your other recipes.

    Thanks so much! Laura

  11. Maria Terry says

    I made this for dinner tonight. My husband called it “damn good”. Between the marinade and butter brushed on at the end I wanted to lick the plate. I was raised to eat the tails of deep fried prawns along with the meat. I don’t eat them otherwise. I ate the tails this time because they were “damn good”.

  12. Bill Southard says

    Made this last night and it was an easy prep & delicious. The honey carmelized and added a nice sweet flavor to the other ingrediants.

      • Amy says

        Fantastic!!! Made this yesterday out of the blue, not preplanned after reading this recipe. Husband grabbed fresh shrimp on his way home. Myself and mom in-law prepped marinade and grill.

        I did not have a lemon so I only used lime zest and fresh juice squeezed on ready to serve shrimp.
        I added a dash extra of honey after test tasting the fresh marinade.
        And did not use butter. Just for healthier cooking

        Delish. I recommend this completely. It was a hit! Thank u for all the tips and tricks included with recipe.