This Mediterranean-style grilled shrimp recipe will rock your taste buds! The secret is in the flavor-packed sauce with roasted garlic, fresh cilantro, lime juice and a hint of chili. Ready in 20 minutes or less! You can serve this grilled shrimp for dinner with your favorite past, or as an appetizer to please a hungry crowd. Be sure to check out serving suggestions, step-by-step tutorial and video below! (And if you can't do cilantro, don't worry, there is a way.)
I grew up on Egypt's Mediterranean shores where fish and seafood meals, of any kind, contained two essential ingredients: garlic--lots of it--and citrus. It's kinda known that if those two are present, you've totally hit the right notes!
I'll venture to say, today's grilled shrimp recipe hits the right notes on all sorts of levels! There is an abundance of garlic and citrus, but we go a little bit further with fresh herbs and a hint of chili peppers. Flavor explosion of the best kind! Let's get to the gist of it...
Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cilantro Sauce
This grilled shrimp recipe starts with garlic--a whole head, in fact. Don't worry, first we roast the garlic to tame it's pungency. When roasted, garlic’s chemical properties change enough so that it is easier to digest, and the flavor mellows quite a bit, turning soft; smoky; and slightly sweet. (I'm such a big fan that I often roast garlic and store it for later use, it adds flavor and depth to almost any meal. Check out this tutorial, if you're interested.)
From there, we make the secret flavor-bomb sauce, combining roasted garlic, fresh cilantro, lime juice, white wine, chili paste and a generous drizzle of excellent extra virgin olive oil. I'm using our Greek Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil here; I love the rich, earthy finish it adds here.
The last step we have is to prepare the shrimp. You don't need to fire up the grill or anything fancy, if you have an indoor griddle or even a cast iron skillet, that will work. Remember that all the flavor will come from the sauce, so the shrimp only needs a little salt and pepper before grilling for about 4 to 5 minutes or so.
The Magic...hot off the grill shrimp, tossed in our secret garlic cilantro sauce. Ready to go!
Can't Do Cilantro? Here's an Alternative
Not everyone loves cilantro as much as I do. For some, it's a simple dislike, but for about 10% of folks out there, it's a genetic thing. To them, cilantro tastes like soap...who wants that?!
No worries, in this sauce, you can totally swap the cilantro for a different herb such as mint or basil. About 15 or so basil leaves, thinly sliced will be perfect here.
Here's How to Make this Grilled Shrimp Recipe
1. We start by roasting a whole head of garlic for our awesome sauce! Trim the top of the garlic head off to expose a bit of the cloves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast in oven for about 10 minutes or so (you can skip this part if you already have roasted garlic stored or if you're using store-bought roasted garlic.)
2. To make the roasted garlic cilantro sauce, peel and chop the roasted garlic. Place in a small bowl and add mix with fresh cilantro, lime, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and chili paste. Mmmm so much flavor!
3. Now we quick grill our shrimp. Heat an indoor griddle or cast iron skillet over high heat. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil. Grill for about 4 to 5 minutes. TIP: Avoid overcooking shrimp. When it turns pink on one side, go ahead and turn it over to the other side.
4- Remove from heat. Pour roasted garlic cilantro sauce over the cooked shrimp, toss to coat.
Serve this Grilled Shrimp as an Appetizer or For Dinner
This flavor-packed shrimp makes a mean dinner! I highly recommend that you double the sauce and toss the shrimp into your favorite freshly-cooked pasta (no pasta sauce necessary) or serve over Greek lemon rice!
This also makes a great appetizer for a larger crowd. You can toss the toss the shrimp in the sauce and transfer to a serving platter, or place the plain grilled shrimp on a large platter and serve the sauce next to it in a small bowl. Add some warm bread and other appetizers like antipasti skewers; roasted red pepper hummus; Greek keftedes; smokey eggplant dip.
Watch the Video for this Grilled Shrimp Recipe:
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Easy Mediterranean style grilled shrimp with roasted garlic cilantro sauce. Perfect as an appetizer, or double the sauce and toss it with your favorite pasta for an easy dinner!
- 1.5 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil (I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil)
For Roasted garlic cilantro sauce:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim the top of the garlic head to expose a bit of the cloves, but keep intact. Drizzle generously with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast garlic head in heated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until slightly tender and fragrant. When ready, remove from the oven. Let cool briefly. Peel and crush or chop the roasted garlic as finely as possible. (See cook's tip #1)
- Now prepare the roasted garlic-cilantro sauce. In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic with the remaining sauce ingredients of fresh cilantro, lime juice, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and chili sauce. Whisk together and set aside.
- To grill shrimp. Heat an indoor griddle or cast iron skillet over high heat. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and toss. Arrange shrimp on heated griddle or skillet and grill on both sides for a total of 4 to 5 minutes. (Avoid overcooking shrimp, when it starts to turn pink on one side, turn it over and cook on the other side.)
- Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl, pour the roasted garlic cilantro sauce on top. Toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy! (See Cook's Tip #2 for serving ideas)
- Cook's Tip #1: I often roast lots of garlic and keep it for later use. See this tutorial for how to roast garlic. You can also use store-bought roasted garlic in this recipe, if you like.
- Cook's Tip #2: This recipe will serve 4 to 6 for dinner. I highly recommend that you double the amount of sauce and toss the shrimp into your favorite freshly cooked pasta for dinner (no pasta sauce needed.) As an appetizer, this shrimp will serve up to 10. There are two ways to serve it as an appetizer. Toss the shrimp in the sauce and arrange on a platter, or you can serve the cooked shrimp plain and add the roasted garlic cilantro sauce next to it.
- Cook's Tip #3 for Leftovers: Store leftover shrimp in a tight-lid container and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.
- Recommended for this Recipe: Our Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
- Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 16 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Grilled Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp, Easy Shrimp Recipe
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.