Easy grilled shrimp kabobs, tossed up in a Mediterranean marinade with garlic and fresh herbs, then quickly grilled for the perfect dinner or appetizer to feed a small crowd.

Be sure to check out my tips and video for how to grill shrimp perfectly every time! No outdoor grill? You can cook these shrimp skewers using an indoor griddle or skillet.

Shrimp kabobs on platter

As a girl who grew up on the Mediterranean, I'm a big fan of seafood and really enjoy cooking all sorts of it. For the most part, unless it's paella, I can put together a simple fish dinner like baked cod or fish en papillote in just over 20 minutes.

And I would say the same of shrimp, which I conveniently keep in the freezer for a quick weeknight shrimp pasta or barbecue like today's shrimp kabobs!

These kabobs can double up as an appetizer for a big party or dinner next to your favorite side or salad. And if the weather puts a damper on your plans, you can totally grill them indoors!

Tips for best grilled shrimp

A few simple tips make all the difference in achieving flavor packed and perfectly grilled shrimp.

  • Start with large shrimp. I usually go with 20/25 shrimp per pound (larger if I can find them). They're meatier and easier to work. Buy easy-to-peel shrimp and peel them yourself, they're cheaper this way and they taste better.
  • Marinate the shrimp for just a few minutes in a tasty olive-oil based marinade (ideally 30 minutes in the fridge, but even just 10 minutes will help). This is a great way to infuse the shrimp with flavor and keeps them nice and juicy when grilling (more on the shrimp kabob marinade later)
raw peeled shrimp tossed with marinate
  • Use Skewers. I've been known to grill shrimp in a skillet without skewers; usually I will only do this in a skillet or griddle. But how do you keep shrimp from falling into the grill or from accidently overcooking? Skewers are your ticket! Threading the shrimp into skewers also makes them so much easier to flip over (I use a pair of tongs to hold and turn over my shrimp). If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes to an hour before using.
raw shrimp skewered on bamboo skewers
  • Do not overcook the shrimp. Even the largest of shrimp will grill quickly (anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes).

Grilled shrimp marinade

When it comes to what goes in the marinade for your shrimp kabobs, avoid using citrus as the acid will change the texture of the shrimp. I hold off on adding lemon juice until the shrimp is cooked.

I like to use an olive oil-based marinade (Private Reserve Greek EVOO is great for this) with fresh garlic, lemon zest (not lemon juice) and a few spices and herbs--fresh parsley, dry oregano, paprika, coriander, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (you can change the spices up to your liking).

The olive oil in the marinade will help in three ways:

  • It will help distribute the flavors from spices and dry herbs evenly all over the shrimp
  • The fat from the olive oil will also protect the fresh garlic from burning and really enhance its flavor
  • And, particularly if you're using an outdoor grill, it provides a nice protective coating for the shrimp, keeping them plump and juicy as they develop a little char on the grill

How to cook shrimp kabobs: two ways

I love making these shrimp kebabs all year-round! Although, when the weather is nice, I will often opt for my outdoor grill. Once the shrimp has marinated, thread them on skewers. From there, you can grill them one of two ways:

  • Outdoor Gas Grill. Heat the grill to high, then lower the heat until it reaches somewhere between 275 and 325 degrees F. Carefully and lightly oil the grates, then arrange the shrimp skewers on the grates. Close the lid and cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes with the lid closed. In my experience, this method produces super juicy grilled shrimp!
  • Indoor Griddle or Cast Iron Skillet. Heat a dry griddle over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp skewers and cook on one side about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
grilled shrimp skewers

How do I know my shrimp kebabs are ready?

I shared this before with my Greek shrimp recipe, but it applies no matter how you cook your shrimp.

Shrimp is cooked when it’s turned from grey and flabby to opaque pink with a bright red tail. And as far as texture, cooked shrimp should be slightly firm in texture with enough crunch with your bite (look for enough resistance to the teeth, but should give way to a gentle bite.) 

For more great information about working with shrimp be sure to check out our Guide to Buying and Cooking Shrimp.

Serve it with

You can easily serve these shrimp kabobs as your main dish, on their own, or with a side of Garlic Aioli for dipping. These side dish recipes also go perfectly with shrimp:

You may also enjoy 50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here JOIN MY FREE E-MAIL LIST HERE.

4.81 from 276 votes

Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp Kabobs Recipe

The Mediterranean Dish
Shrimp kabobs on platter
Easy grilled shrimp kabobs, tossed up in a Mediterranean marinade with garlic and fresh herbs, then quickly grilled for a simple weeknight dinner or enjoy as an appetizer to feed a small crowd.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 6 minutes
Marinate in the Fridge 30 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Appetizer

Ingredients
  

For the Marinade

  • cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Shrimp

  • 2 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoon of the marinade in a separate bowl for later.
  • Pat the shrimp dry and season with kosher salt. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and pour the marinade all over. Toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes (do not go longer).
  • Thread the shrimp on skewers, about 4 large shrimp per skewer. (If using bamboo skewers they need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes first).
  • To grill on an outdoor gas grill. Preheat a gas grill to high. Then, reduce heat to low (temperature should be somewhere between 275 to 325ºF). Carefully grease the cooking grates. Once the grill reaches the recommended temperature, add the shrimp skewers and close the lid. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until no longer translucent.
  • To grill on an indoor griddle or cast iron grill. Heat a dry griddle over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp skewers and cook on one side about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the grilled shrimp skewers to platter and spoon the remaining marinade your reserved earlier over the grilled shrimp skewers. Add a splash of lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • Leftovers: To store leftover grilled shrimp, remove it from the skewers. Store in a tight-lid glass container in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can enjoy it cold as an appetizer or over a salad
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices used in this recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 262.6kcalCarbohydrates: 1.2gProtein: 31.1gFat: 14.1gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 381mgPotassium: 136.6mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 213.6IUVitamin C: 6.8mgCalcium: 228.2mgIron: 3.5mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2016 and has been recently updated with information and new media for readers' benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Denise says:

    Can the shrimp kabobs be served room temperature?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sure, Denise. But don't let them sit out too long at room temperature, for food safety reasons.

  2. John says:

    5 stars
    Is it possible to make this on a pellet grill without direct flame to the shrimp? Just found this website today, and I will be sampling QUITE a few recipes 🙂

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, John! Welcome to The Mediterranean Dish! I'm sure you can make these on a pellet grill, but it isn't something we've tried before. If you give it a go, we'd love to hear any recommendations you may have.

  3. Emilie says:

    4 stars
    There’s no lemon juice in the recipe, although it’s mentioned in the comments. I suspect it’s supposed to read zest and juice from two lemons. That’s what I did when I made it this weekend, and it was delicious. Thank you.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Emilie. You actually just want to add a splash a lemon juice at the very end before serving, not with the zest in the marinade. Leaving shrimp sitting in and acid like lemon juice runs the risk of negatively affecting the texture in the end. So glad it worked out for you here though!

  4. Mimi says:

    I'd like to serve this as a cold appetizer (grilled that morning) on mini kabob sticks. Is there a dipping sauce that is needed for these? Any suggestions (the skordalia looks delicious but may be a little too thick for dipping?) Can't wait to try them!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Honestly, we think these taste delicious on their own, but some whipped feta would make a great dipping option!

  5. Linda Walker says:

    5 stars
    Loved this! We had this last night with fresh local corn on the cob. Really, really tasty! I cooked the shrimp in a hot skillet rather than on the grill and it came out wonderful. A ciabatta roll to sop up the delicious marinade left in the pan is recommended.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Linda!

  6. Ashley says:

    I want to prepare ahead of time and take camping. Why can’t the shrimp be marinated longer than 30 mins?
    Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Ashley. It's because the acid in the lemon juice will actually start to cook the shrimp if left to sit for too long and affect the texture in a not so great way. Could always prepare the marinade separately ahead of time and just add it to the shrimp 20-30 minutes before cooking.

  7. Arya says:

    5 stars
    really delicious!! i baked it at 425 for 6mins!!

  8. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Can I make the marinade the day before as long as I refrigerate it?

    1. Suzy says:

      Sure! Just don't add the shrimp until 20-30 minutes before cooking. You don't want to marinade the shrimp very long here at all. Enjoy!

  9. Shaila says:

    Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you have instructions on “grilling” it in the oven over a rack?

    1. Suzy says:

      I don't have specific instructions for that, but I don't see why it wouldn't work

  10. Wes Tilley says:

    5 stars
    Probably one of the best shrimp recipes I have 3ver made! Highly recommend this one paired with the Greek Lemon Rice!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you so much, Wes!

      1. Wes Tilley says:

        Your recipes are incredible and we actually make this one on a weekly basis!
        Doctor told me to switch to a Mediterranean to both lose weight and reduce my A1C. Working great so far.
        Thanks again!

      2. Suzy says:

        That's wonderful, Wes!!

  11. nick says:

    5 stars
    Came across your shrimp kabob recipe and prepared it on a gas grill as written for Valentine’s Day. Super flavorful marinade and paired well with grilled veggie kabobs and rice pilaf. A big hit! Looking forward to sampling through your wealth of Mediterranean recipes, thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Ooo! That meal has me feeling warm weather vibes! So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Mehrun says:

    Hi! I really want to try this, but don't have lemon zest. Is there a substitute or can I just leave it out.
    Thanks

    1. Suzy says:

      You can just omit it here 🙂

  13. Arleen says:

    I ordered your olive oil and love it. I’ve made some of your delicious recipes. My problem is my husband is allergic to shrimp and your recipes look so good. Is there anything I can substitute for the shrimp and still follow the recipe?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Arleen. You could try this marinade with my salmon kabob recipe.

      1. Arleen says:

        Great idea. Thank you, I will try that.

  14. Stephanie Lovelace says:

    5 stars
    I made these shrimp skewers last night and they were amazing! I used a heavy grill pan on my gas stove and it worked beautifully.

    I’ve been cooking my way through your recipes and they’ve all been delicious!

    1. Suzy says:

      Wonderful! Thanks, Stephanie!

  15. Sheila Cook says:

    I don't have a grill but use an air fryer. Could you include directions for using an air fryer when the recipe can be adapted to air fry? Clean up is so much easier.

    I love your recipes and have created a special binder for them. I'm on the ancient side now (89 yo) and got tired of cooking but your recipes sound so delicious it has encouraged me to start cooking again. It's taking a while to try them because I live alone but I plan on making some of them for pot-luck dinners with friends.

    I do watch some of your videos and find you a delight to see.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for the sweet words, Sheila! I do try to add air fryer instructions when I can, but I don't actually own an air fryer, so it's hard for me to include those very often. Sometimes our other wonderful readers will share their experience using an air fryer on a particular recipe in the comments section, so that would be a great place to look for guidance.

  16. Karen Townsend says:

    Could you use this marinade on chicken

    1. Suzy says:

      Sure!