Head-on Lemon and Garlic Shrimp

We were at the market the other day and saw the most gorgeous head-on shrimp showcased at the seafood counter with some mussels and escargot. Sure, it was an impulse buy of a few pounds of shrimp, but I had a half dozen perfect lemons sitting happily on the counter in the kitchen. When life gives you lemons, it’s time to buy shrimp and make these sexy lemon garlic shrimp skewers.

As you can see in the picture, we also bought the mussels and snails because why not? We won’t focus on them here though as most people are into shrimp.

So, here’s the thing about this recipe – it looks like it would be hard. It looks impressive and will wow your friends, but it’s super easy. The only difficult task here is peeling and prepping the shrimp, so just don't do it. Visually, they look amazing and peeling at the table is half the fun (especially when you do as most cultures do and rip off the heads and suck the contents from those heads). If you must, go for it, but once that is done, all that is left to do is threading them onto a skewer. From there, you can throw them right onto the grill and get on to eating!

Wine Pairing

Grilled shrimp loves almost all manner of whites and roses, but by pairing the wine with the accompanying sauce, you can really make a great match. So that means we need to dive deeper and think this through.

Our sauce is lemon and garlic with some spice and herbs. Garlic absolutely loves sauvignon blanc. Sauvignon blanc has those slight green flavors that are terrific with herbs too. This is a great starting point and is a straightforward first recommendation.

What about that paprika? This is where we get a little creative and pull in another great white wine to help bring out the smokiness of it. A wine in our tasting room and part of the Collective release is a Fumé Blanc. This is a Sauvignon Blanc with a little more soul and would be just perfection with these shrimp.

Shrimp paired with sauvignon blanc


3 pounds head-on shrimp OR 1 ½ pounds shelled and deveined shrimp

4 lemons halved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves



Grill skewers and lemon halves over medium high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Before grilling, or during, add butter into a skillet with fresh garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, paprika, and your herbs – oregano, thyme, and basil.

Slather that happiness onto the shrimp after grilling or hold aside for dipping – you can’t lose here.

Squeeze the grilled lemons over the cooked shrimp.

We told you this was going to be easy!

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp


Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Thread shrimp onto skewers. Place skewers onto the prepared baking sheet. Add lemon halves around shrimp. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.*

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Stir in lemon juice, paprika, garlic, oregano, thyme and basil until fragrant, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve shrimp skewers immediately, brushed with butter mixture and garnished with parsley, if desired.

*Cooking time may vary

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