Grilled Garlic Cajun Shrimp Skewers
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
If you haven’t fired up your grill yet, this grilled Shrimp Skewers recipe is the perfect excuse to start. Shrimp taste best on the barbie; somethin’ about that lightly charred smokiness makes this shrimpaholic very happy.
This grilled shrimp recipe is easy with minimal prep and the cooking time is about 5 minutes. There’s only one word to describe how good the marinade is: “Wowza.” Brushing on extra marinade at the end ensures awesome flavor with every bite. I just wish we had leftovers!
My husband’s cousin, Alex shared this recipe with us and I’m so glad he did! Alex, we had delicious shrimp on the menu for two days thanks to you ;).
Ingredients for Grilled Shrimp Skewers:
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp cajun spice (provides light heat; it’s not too spicy)
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (from 1/2 medium lemon)
2 lbs uncooked large shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined *
12 medium wooden skewers
*Note: To save time, you can buy tail-on shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. We purchased shrimp at Costco
How to Make Grilled Garlic Cajun Shrimp Skewers:
1. Soak wooden skewers in water 30 min (reduces burning of the sticks). Preheat Grill to med/high (400˚F).
2. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Pour half of the mixture into a ramekin and leave remaining marinade in pan (You’ll brush on half now and brush on remaining marinade after shrimp are grilled).
3. Skewer 4 shrimp on each damp skewer without leaving spaces. Lay skewers flat on a rimmed Cookie Sheet. Brush one side of the skewered shrimp with sauce and refrigerate for 2 min until butter firms up. Flip shrimp over, brush second side and refrigerate 2 min until butter firms up.
4. Place skewers on the barbie and grill shrimp with the lid on about 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through and no longer transparent. Remove shrimp from grill. Don’t overcook or they will be rubbery. Brush on reserved sauce and serve.
Grilled Garlic Cajun Shrimp Skewers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, or 8 Tbsp
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 Tbsp cajun spice, provides light heat; it's not too spicy
- 1/2 tsp salt, omit if using salted butter
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice, from 1/2 medium lemon
- 2 lbs uncooked large shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
- 12 medium wooden skewers
Soak wooden skewers in water 30 min (reduces burning of the sticks). Preheat Grill to med/high (400˚F).
Combine all marinade ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Pour half of the mixture into a ramekin and leave remaining marinade in pan (You'll brush on half now and brush on remaining marinade after shrimp are grilled).
Skewer 4 shrimp on each damp skewer without leaving spaces. Lay skewers flat on a rimmed cookie sheet. Brush one side of the skewered shrimp with sauce and refrigerate for 2 min until butter firms up. Flip shrimp over, brush second side and refrigerate 2 min until butter firms up.
Place skewers on the barbie and grill shrimp with the lid on about 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through and no longer transparent. Remove shrimp from grill. Don't overcook or they will be rubbery. Brush on reserved sauce and serve.
To save time, you can buy tail-on shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. We purchased shrimp at Costco.
♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥
Shown in this post: (no one paid us to write this; just affiliate links for stuff we love):
* The glass bowls by pyrex are perfect for prepping & serving.
* 10″ Bamboo skewers from Sur la table
* Large Cookie Sheets have a variety of uses; not just cookies!
* This Staub baker is useful for baking and gorgeous for serving
Visit our Shop to see all the tools we use and love.
Have you fired up your grill this year? What’s your favorite thing to grill?
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Have made these several times for my wife and myself as well as for friends. Everybody thinks these are just the best.
My main comment is buy wild caught shrimp instead of the stuff that comes from contaminated ponds in S.E. Asia. Wild caught are cleaner and better tasting.
I’m so glad you all enjoyed this recipe, Doug! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!
What kind of Cajun seasoning does everybody use I can’t remember the name of the one I used on other dishes but it was way too salty would love to try these with a good Cajun seasoning that wasn’t too salty thanks
I used Mccormick, the picture is in the recipe too.
This is our family favorite recipe for shrimp! I have also tweaked it alittle and just make skillet shrimp as well! Delicious!
That is the best when the family loves what we parents make. That’s so great!
Is there a way to make this in the oven? It’s cold & wet here right now and no one wants to grill outside. Still would like to make this for company.
Hi Natalia, we have a baked shrimp recipe here. I think you could use this same recipe and just follow the baking instructions here.
Made this last night for a dinner with my mother-in-law and her husband and everyone loved it! This is absolutely delicious and so easy. Definitely a make again recipe.
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Rae!
Can you just marinate them for a few hours in the sauce instead of skewering it and brushing them on?
I think that will work too. If you try that, please share with us how it goes.
I wouldn’t marinate them for too long, as the citrus in the marinade will start cooking the shrimp, as in ceviche.
Natasha, this looks great! Could you please clarify the amount of unsalted butter. 8 T is one stick. 1/2 cup is 2 sticks. Thank yy
Hi Randi, I usually use this Ingredient Weight Chart as a guide.
1/2 cup is 8 tbsp = 1 stick
1/2 cup is one stick of butter
That is correct. The way the recipe card was formatted, it looks a little confusing. It’s 1 stick or 8 Tbsp of butter.
I don’t think I’ve EVER left a review on a recipe of any kind (despite loving maaaany!) but I had to with this one because it’s the first shrimp recipe I’ve tried and fell ABSOLUTELY in love with!!
This is my first recipe of yours I’ve tried and I can’t wait to try more!
That butter sauce is not only AH-MAZING, but your technique of letting it solidify on the shrimp is a game changer to help get the flavors to stick!
So glad I’ve discovered this shrimp recipe, and you!
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
Hi Natasha…love your site and your recipes!!! I have a recipe for you that I came up with… Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp… 1.5 to 2 lbs of large peeled shrimp. Marinate in 1 cup of Teriyaki sauce with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar . Marinate for 1 hour or longer and stir every 15 minutes, then put on skewers and grill over medium high heat for 2 1/2 minutes per side. My wife likes the char on the shrimp when I grill it longer than 2 minutes. Hope you enjoy!
That sounds delicious! I have to try that! Thank you for this wonderful review!
This was fantastic. Definitely making again.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that Sarah! Thank you for that wonderful review!
I have made this twice now – it is fantastic! I recommend to serve it with Orzo. Or just cut the shrimp in half and mix with remaining sauce and to the orzo so delicious!
orzo is a short cut pasta shaped like a grain of rice.
Yum! That sounds amazing! Thank you for that great review!
I love you’re recipes. Do you habe video for this recipe? Why would I leave half of the sauce in the pan? Thanks.
Hi Nina, you brush on the reserved sauce after the shrimp are grilled.
We made your recipe tonight, very good!! We will definitely add this to our menu.
So great to hear that, Karen. Thank you!
Delicious shrimp but Tasted more like garlic butter shrimp. No cajun spice came through. Needs more heat and true rich Cajun flavors in addition to more heat.
Totally agree with you. Followed recipe to a tee and couldn’t taste the seasoning, barely tasted the garlic in the sauce. Wife said she could almost taste the cajun seasoning but to both of us it just tasted like buttered shrimp with a hint of garlic.
Do you brush the shrimps while the butter sauce is hot? I don’t want shrimps to cook with hot sauce. I’m going to try this recipe tonight. Thank you!
Hi Zoya, you can let it cool slightly if you are concerned, but if you are just brushing it on, it won’t be hot enough to cook the shrimp and it firms up pretty quickly as it’s brushed on.
I’m going to try this grilled shrimp recipe, I have tried & loved all your recipes, so I thought I would let you know! Thank you for helping me cook healthy meals for my family.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes Deedee! Thank you for that awesome review!
I love shrimp on the skewer and I was wondering do you think I could do this also using deep sea scallops? do you think rotating one shrimp then one scallop would work?
Thank you Marsha your recipes are amazing.
I haven’t tested that but I think it could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
This recipe was easy and really delicious. Me, my wife and daughter loved it. FYI, I had no lemon juice so used lime juice. Only coated shrimp once – before grilling. Grilled on indoor electric grill until edges showed a touch of burn like grill marks. Great!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me Larry! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe.
I can’t believe how good this was! Although two of my skewers caught fire.. lol. Maybe I didn’t soak them long enough? I just had the leftover shrimp on a spinach salad. So yummy. I can’t wait to make these again!
Hi Jen! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! The culprit is likely the skewers not being soaked through.
Amazing and easy!! Will make it again and again
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
We are not a seafood-loving household, but we had some shrimp and this recipe helped us eat it! We served it with spaghetti and peas, and added a few more dustings of Cajun spice. It was very tasty and filling – thanks!
Sounds yummy! So glad that you enjoyed this seafood recipe though you’re not a fan. Thank you for sharing that with us and I hope you love every recipe that you try.
I would like to throw chicken on the grill with the shrimp. Do you think this marinade will work with the chicken as well? Thanks for all the great recipes!
Hi Jen, I bet that would work! If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
While I was eating the shrimp last night, I thought this recipe would work really well with chicken
Great! I’m trying it tomorrow with chicken and shrimp.
I hope you love it!
Hello Natasha! I love all of your recipes I have tried so far! You have made me able to cook!! So THANK You!
I have a quick question on this recipe. The list of ingredients call for 8 Tbsp of butter (so 1 stick), but in the photos it looks like a block of 4 sticks of butter. I was hoping for clarification.
Hi Nancy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes! That’s so great! The photo shows one stick of butter. It may look like a block in the pan but that is a small pan just for the sauce for size comparison.
Thank you very much!!
Hey! Would it make a difference if I used metal skewers instead of bamboo?
I meant instead of wooden skewers.
Hi Oksana, that should also work if you have them. I’d love to know how you like this recipe using the metal skewers.
Best shrimp I’ve ever had, even compared to the high end restaurants! All my guest thought I was a master chef just from this shrimp recipe. Thank you for sharing this with everyone..
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
This is finger licking good! I ate more than one serving of this shrimp last night. Super yummy!
Sounds like you found a new favorite Nancy! I’m so happy you enjoyed that!
Hi Natasha! This recipe looks phenom – can’t wait to try it. Would you recommend using a stove-top cast iron grill? I don’t have an outdoor grill :/
Hi Lama, we have a baked shrimp recipe here. I think you could use this same recipe and just follow the baking instructions here.
Is there a way you can make this shrimp dish in the oven or on the stove top.
Hi April, we have a baked shrimp recipe here. I think you could use this same recipe and just follow the baking instructions here.
This recipe is so good and so easy! The first time I made this, my teenaged grandson fell in LOVE with it and asked me to make it again. He ate 3 skewers all to himself and was reaching for the 4th when I reminded him to leave some for everyone else (hehe). I’ve made it twice since then and I’m making it again for Mother’s Day weekend. Thank you, Natasha for such a great recipe! 🙂
That’s so awesome! Thank you for sharing that with me Tracy!!
This was delicious. I made this shrimp twice in 3 days. Yum Yum
Wow! That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
Is there anything els I can put instead of Cajun?I don’t spicy food
Hi Kate. One of our readers used BBQ instead and loved it!
Absolutely the best shrimp! We loved this recipe and wouldn’t change a thing!
That’s so great!! I’m so so happy to hear that Coleen! Thank you!
Natasha, made these last night and we devoured them. So easy and so delicious! Didn’tchange a thing. It’s a keeper! Thank you.
Sounds like you found a new favorite Kathy! Thank you for the awesome review!
Hi Natasha..as much as i love shrimp i can’t have it anymore or any shellfish due to my high cholesterol 🙁 can i swap the shrimp for boneless chicken breast;cut up in chunks? if so do i need to change/add anything to the recipe? how long do i cook them on a grilling pan inside? sorry for all the questions Natasha just making sure i get everything right 🙂 love all your recipes n have a blessed day!
Hi Rosa, I haven’t tested this recipe as chicken skewers so I won’t be able to provide exact recommendations but I think it’s worth experimenting! We usually grill chicken skewers about 12-14 minutes total but it will depend on how thickly you slice the pieces before skewering and the heat level. I would cut a piece of chicken at 12 minutes and check for doneness.
I tried this for my roommate last year for Father’s Day. He decided he was too hungry & didn’t want to wait for it to be skewed, so we just put it in the sauce & cooked it that way. It is now his favorite shrimp recipe! I tried it again with the skews & grilling it, but he doesn’t really like it that way. Whenever he wants his shrimp, he asks me to make the sauce & he couldn’t be happier. 😸
I’m happy to hear the recipe is a hit with you and your Dad! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review!
Actually, I made it for my roommate for Father’s Day, not for my father. But I’m going to make it for Christmas for 2 outings. Can’t wait! 😸
Totally misread! I hope you like this recipe just as much for Christmas, Harlie!
Can you make these the day before and leave them in the refrigerator to marinate?
Hi Alina, I would not keep them marinated for too long since there is lemon juice in the marinade which can make shrimp tough if marinated for awhile
I haven’t tried these yet but look forward to. From all of the wonderful comments and based on my experience from making several of your recipes I know they will be great.
They’re popular for good reason, please let me know what you think of the recipe Diane!
Wow!!! Absolutely fantastic. Some of if not the best tasting shrimp I ever had. Recipe is spot on I didn’t change a thing. A must try recipe you will not regret. My go to from now on I’m already ready to make more. 👍👍
Awesome!!! I’m happy to hear how much you love the recipe Duane! Thanks for sharing your excellent review with other readers!
Made this for dinner tonight and loved it! Not to spicy, just the right amount of kick! Great flavor! Thank you for the recipe.
Debbie, thank you for the nice review and you are very welcome 😬
Awesome recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. Me, hubby and the 4 littles truly enjoyed it! Going shrimping tomorrow so hoping to catch at least 20 lbs more per outing (40lbs a week) and marinate/freeze ahead in your sauce. It was so yummy!
Now that is alot of shrimp! Wow!
I live in Canada where we can buy shrimp either uncooked or cooked. I printed your recipe and when I looked at the ingredients, it didn’t specify uncooked shrimp. I knew they were uncooked from the website but if I make it in a year from the printed version, I wouldn’t have known which to buy (I’m not experienced with shrimp). I’d suggest including picture of the uncooked shrimp on the cookie sheet or adding ‘uncooked’ in front of the word ‘shrimp’. Both suggestions are for the print version of the recipe.
Thank you for the tip Janice, I adjusted the recipe in both places 😬.
If its not grilling season, how would recommend cooking the shrimp?
Hi Rosella, if you have a large flat griddle or frying pan with a wide enough base, you could sear them on a skillet, or try this baked shrimp method, just be sure not to crowd the shrimp or they will not cook properly.
I tried this recipe twice and it was a hit with my family. I skipped the salt as the Cajun seasoning I have contains salt. Thanks for this recipe! 🙂
My pleasure Adeline! I am glad your family enjoys it as much as mine does!
I’m not so much of a shrimp fan, but I gotta say this is one of the best shrimp recipes I have tried! So good. Your recipes are always so flavorful and delicious. Thank you for opening up a blog, and sharing with us all of the amazing recipes!
🙂 Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and wonderful review! It really is so encouraging! 🙂
I would like to bring this, uncooked, to a party at someone else’s house, and grill it there. I am thinking about ways to transport it involving wax paper.
Has anyone tried this successfully? How do you prevent the shrimp from sticking together?
I haven’t tried it but I think wax paper between layers should keep them from sticking. I wouldn’t keep them marinated for too long before grilling though since there is lemon juice in the marinade which can make shrimp tough if marinated for awhile
Love this. We serve with cilantro lime rice. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.
Mmm cilantro lime rice sounds so so good!!
Made these last weekend on the grill and they were a hit! The flavors work so well together, and the lemon provides that fresh zing. Will be making these for Memorial Day. Thanks for the recipe.
Thank you for that awesome review and for the idea! I think this is a great choice for Memorial Day! 🙂
Woaaaa… looking Good
Shrimp is great for different menu .. I lived in Indonesia with an abundance of marine products
How awesome to live in a place where fresh seafood is abundant!
I made these tonight on the BBQ and they’re absolutely delicious. The perfect dose of spice.
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review!
making it tonight for the 3rd time using the Cajun instead of Chili Peppers which is too spicy according to my Honey!
On this grilled shrimp recipe, can you use the frozen already cooked, peeled,and deveined shrimp? And if so, how long would you grill them for? Thank you!!
I don’t think pre-cooked shrimp would work well in this recipe. They will juice out and become rubbery when grilled. This is why when cooking with shrimp, I always prefer raw shrimp. Cooked shrimp is great for salsas and salads but if you try to cook them again, they won’t take on much flavor and just end up firm.
Do you thaw the shrimp before putting them on the skewer or do they go on frozen?
The shrimp are thawed. 🙂
I made these a couple of weeks ago, and they were AWESOME! My fiance made sure I saved the recipe 🙂
I’m so happy you both loved it!! Thank you for the awesome review! 🙂
Seriously darn good, spiced them up a bit more than called for but really great recipe, thanks!
Thank you Patrick for the nice review, I’m glad you enjoyed it 😁.
Made them last night and my wife said its the best thing I’ve ever made (and she loves most things I make)!!
That’s so great Ron! Thank you for sharing that with me :).
I made these last night and they were AMAZING! it was like eating at a restaurant! My family loved them!
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you Gina! 🙂
This recipe is amazing! It was too cold outside for the bbq so I put them in the oven at 450 for about 10-12min (no skewers lol). They were so good!
Even easier! Awesome!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the shrimp 🙂
I have a George Foreman electrin indoor grill do you think I can prepare this recipe with the same results. Thanks in advance.
Anita, that should work :). It won’t have the same smoky flavor that outdoor grill would bring but it will still taste great.
I can’t wait to try these shrimp! In one of your other posts, you mentioned that you liked a particular dish with this Grilled Garlic Cajun shrimp Skewers. Now I can’t recall which one. Can you let me know please? Thanks!
Kerri, I believe it was this salad. Let me know how they turn out :).
This sounds wonderful! But I don’t have a bbq. What’s the next best thing???? Broiling or sauteing??? Marinade sounds just divine.
You could do either. If you have a pan large enough, sautéing would be fine, otherwise broil them, turning as you would on the BBQ.
I cooked this recipe with grilled salmon ,shrimps were greasy but fantastic .
Do you put these on the grill frozen? Also any nice sides for this?
I haven’t tried that – do you want to pre-make them, marinate and skewer them and then freeze? I’ve been putting menu/ pairing ideas for my recipes in my weekly newsletter. Here’s the one for this recipe: https://madmimi.com/s/ab3846
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe here: https://natashaskitchen.com/subscribe/
Sorry I guess my question wasn’t clear, my shrimp is frozen currently, to make this would thaw it first or add the marinade to frozen shrimp?
You definitely want to thaw the shrimp before using it in this recipe. 🙂
I just made them for dinner, they tast like restaurant style…. Even better…
Oh awesome!! I’m so happy you enjoyed the shrimp. Now I wish I had some leftover! 🙂
Yummy! Shrimp are so tasty straight off the grill!
They totally are; the aroma and taste always remind me of the honeymoon in Mexico 🙂
Where do u buy shrimp ? Frozen that come in bags or fresh ?
I buy them frozen in bags at Costco or Fred Meyer. They are nice at Costco because they are peeled, deveined and still have the end of the tail on which is exactly how I like to peel my shrimp. It saves me alot of time to buy them that way 🙂
Using 6lbs of Shrimp. Do I just triple the recipe for the ingredients?
Hi Tim, Yes, for that much shrimp you would need to adjust the ingredients to match. We have a recipe slider that you can use. See where it says savings “12” in red click on that and use the slider to adjust to 6lbs. I hope that helps.
Yay for grilling! Perfect for busy mamas and clean up is so easy. This recipe looks like a total winner!
Thank you so much Julie. Yes, there really is very little cleanup with this recipe and I love that too!
Love love shrimp! Thanks for the delicious recipe…
You are very welcome Evelyn :).
Yummy! This looks mouthwatering!!!
Thank you Lea, your mouth probably would water even more if you knew how good they taste :).
This looks delicious. my husband would take 2-3 sticks right away. I’m not s big fan of shrimp but my huby is so one day I will definetly make it. Natasha thanks for all of ur good recipes. God bless u. 😉
Thank you Olga so much :). Blessings to you also and I hope your husband loves these and I also secretly hope they make a shrimp fan out of you 😉
If my husband ONLY ate 2-3 sticks of these right away, I’m lucky! He’d probably eat the whole pan before the company even got to sample! Oh well, he’s the grill man here and we will definitely be making these! He’s such a big shrimp man. (No a shrimpy man, I don’t think he’d like that comparison).
Lol. I’m glad you clarified that. Ha ha! Yeah, my husband is the same way, that’s why I put 4-6 servings.