Fire up the grill and make these juicy, flavorful Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers! The shrimp is marinated in warm spices, fresh lime juice and is grilled to perfection. They make an easy dinner or appetizer, and they cook up in mere minutes!

Chili lime grilled shrimp skewers on a serving platter

It’s a week until Memorial Day, which means the unofficial start of summer is almost here. While I grill year round, it’s a lot more fun when the weather is warm. Right now I want to grill everything!

I love grilling shrimp because it’s super quick, and it’s extremely versatile. Sweet and spicy flavors come alive with my Jerk Pineapple Shrimp Skewers, and the warm flavor of curry is the perfect complement to coconut milk marinated Curry Shrimp.

When I’m craving savory flavors, I turn to these Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers. They come together quickly with mostly pantry staples, and they always satisfy!

Platter of grilled shrimp skewers with lime and cilantro

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This chili lime shrimp is packed with warm spices and are bursting with fresh lime flavor.
  • It’s an easy dinner or appetizer recipe that requires minimal prep, especially if you’re using peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • You can enjoy the shrimp as an appetizer with your favorite dip, or serve as tacos and burrito bowls, or with rice or quinoa. It’s also great atop a salad!
  • This dish is a healthy option, and suits low carb, dairy-free and gluten-free diets.

Recipe ingredients

This easy grilled shrimp comes together with minimal ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand. The recipe may be customized as outlined in the ingredient notes below.

Chili lime shrimp ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Shrimp. I used fresh wild jumbo shrimp for this recipe because I find thawing frozen shrimp a hassle. I peeled and deveined the shrimp myself because it’s more cost effective. Pro tip: To save time, purchase shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined. If using frozen shrimp, make sure they’re raw and not pre-cooked. Also, if you are using smaller sized shrimp, be sure to decrease the cooking time.
  • Lime juice. I highly recommend using fresh lime juice as it’s one of the star ingredients. It has fresh flavor that truly makes this dish shine.
  • Spices. The spicy grilled shrimp marinade is flavored with a blend of chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika. You can always use my blackened seasoning, jerk seasoning, or your favorite store bought spice blend to change things up!
  • Cilantro. The cilantro is completely optional, but it does add a nice fresh component to the finished dish. Freshly chopped parsley would make a nice substitution, or omit it altogether.

How to clean shrimp

While purchasing peeled and deveined shrimp is a timesaver, it’s more cost effective to do it yourself if you have the time.

One pound of fresh jumbo shrimp typically takes 10-15 minutes to peel and devein. Pro tip: prep fresh shrimp the day that you purchase it, and it will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. You can also freeze it as well!

Cleaning shrimp includes just a few simple steps as outlined below:

How to peel and devein shrimp collage
  1. Gather the shrimp and some kitchen shears and place on a cutting board.
  2. Peel the shrimp: Turn them upside down and separate the shell from the middle outward, then pull the shell back towards the tail, pulling to remove the tail as well. You can use kitchen shears to help separate the shell if needed.
  3. Devein the shrimp: Using kitchen shears, cut along the top middle of the shrimp from the head to the tail to open and expose the vein. Remove the vein and discard.

How to make this recipe

These grilled shrimp skewers are extremely easy to make with minimal ingredients. If you use frozen shrimp, be sure to follow package instructions to thaw properly before marinating.

The shrimp will take about 15-30 minutes to marinate depending on the size of your shrimp. Do not marinate it any longer as it will begin to cook in the lime juice like ceviche.

I like to prepare the rest of the meal while the shrimp marinates, then once it comes off the grill dinner is ready!

How to make grilled shrimp skewers
  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the shrimp in a medium bowl or into a resealable zip top bag. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate the shrimp for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. Pro tip: do not marinate longer than 30 minutes as the shrimp will cook in the lime juice and become shrimp ceviche!
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove the shrimp from the bowl and thread onto the skewers, about 5-6 shrimp per skewer (you can fit more if they’re smaller shrimp). Sprinkle the shrimp with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  4. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until pink and charred, and the tail and head come together. The shrimp cook very quickly, so keep a close eye on them to ensure that they don’t overcook. Remove from heat and serve with lime wedges and cilantro leaves if desired. Enjoy!

FAQs

How long do you grill shrimp?

If grilling the shrimp over medium heat, they’ll need to cook for roughly 2-3 minutes per side. The shrimp is done when it is opaque (pink or white) and the head meets the tail.

How long should I marinate shrimp?

Marinate smaller shrimp for 15-20 minutes, and jumbo shrimp for 30 minutes. Don’t leave the shrimp in the marinade for much longer than specified as the acid from the lime juice will cook the shrimp like ceviche.

What size shrimp is best for grilling?

Because shrimp cook so quickly on the grill, it’s best to use large shrimp for this recipe. Larger shrimp stay juicier and are less prone to over cooking.

What is the easiest way to clean shrimp?

To peel shrimp, turn them upside down and separate the shell from the middle outward, then pull the shell back towards the tail, pulling to remove the tail as well. You can use kitchen shears to help separate the shell if needed.
To devein the shrimp, use kitchen shears to cut along the top middle of the shrimp from the head to the tail to open and expose the vein. Remove the vein and discard.

How long do you keep fresh shrimp in the refrigerator?

Fresh shrimp will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator from the time of purchase.

Chili lime shrimp on a platter with lime and cilantro

How to serve this recipe

The versatility is one of the best things about this recipe. Below are some amazing ways to serve grilled shrimp skewers:

Recipe notes

  • Prep time above does not include thawing time as I used fresh shrimp.  Pro tip: To save time, purchase shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined. If using frozen shrimp, make sure they’re raw and not pre-cooked. Also, if you are using smaller sized shrimp, the be sure to decrease the cooking time.
  • Pro tip:  Do not marinate the shrimp longer than 15-30 minutes depending on size as the lime juice will cook it like ceviche!
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 10 minutes before skewering the shrimp to avoid flare ups on the grill.
  • Store leftover chili lime shrimp in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an air tight container.
Grilled shrimp on skewers with lime and cilantro

More easy shrimp recipes:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Chili lime grilled shrimp skewers on a serving platter

Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers are tender, juicy shrimp marinated in warm spices and fresh lime juice, then grilled to perfection. This is an easy dinner that cooks up in mere minutes!
1
reviews

Leave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 2 large limes juiced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced (or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb. wild jumbo shrimp (about 20-24 shrimp) preferably fresh (thawed if frozen)
  • 4 large metal skewers about 8" in size
  • Lime wedges and cilantro for serving

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the shrimp in a medium bowl or into a resealable zip top bag. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate the shrimp for a minimum of 30 minutes (if using smaller shrimp, marinate for 15-20 minutes). Do not marinate longer than specified as the shrimp will cook in the acid from the lime juice like ceviche.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove the shrimp from the bowl and thread onto the skewers, about 5-6 shrimp per skewer (you can fit more if they're smaller shrimp). Sprinkle the shrimp with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  • Grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until opaque and nicely charred, and the tail and head come together. The shrimp cook very quickly, so keep a close eye on them to ensure that they don't overcook. Remove from heat and serve with lime wedges and cilantro leaves if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Prep time above does not include thawing time as I used fresh shrimp.  It does include peeling and deveining, so if you purchase pre-prepped shrimp it will save you about 15 minutes time!
  • Pro tip:  Do not marinate the shrimp longer than 30 minutes as the lime juice will cook it like ceviche!
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 10 minutes before skewering the shrimp to avoid flare ups on the grill.
  • Store leftover shrimp in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an air tight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1skewer, Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 286mg, Sodium: 1335mg, Potassium: 155mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 336IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 183mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

**This post was originally published in July 2013. The recipe, text and photos have to been updated to include more helpful information and step by step instructions.

Sharing is caring!