Make restaurant-quality garlic butter shrimp in 10 minutes with plump, juicy shrimp in a simple lemon, garlic, & parsley butter sauce. A low-carb, keto, gluten-free appetizer or dinner!
I could quite happily slather garlic butter over almost anything savory with a big smile on my face. Still, there’s something extra special about garlic bread, garlic butter corn on the cob, and these quick and easy, juicy garlic butter shrimp (garlic butter prawns for us in the UK).
Combining just a handful of ingredients, this easy shrimp recipe sautees the shrimp in a skillet with garlic and butter in just minutes until plump and juicy (definitely not tough, rubbery, or chewy). It’s then served with lemon juice and fresh parsley for the ultimate succulent, restaurant-quality buttery garlic lemon shrimp in about 10 minutes!
Garlic Butter Shrimp Ingredients
Quick and easy shrimp recipes rely on just a handful of simple ingredients.
- Shrimp: It’s best to use raw medium or large shrimp/jumbo shrimp (somewhere between 16-25 count per lb.; known as King prawns, if you’re in the UK), fresh or frozen (fully thawed). I prefer to use wild-caught shrimp that are already peeled and deveined (tail on or off).
- Butter: It’s best to use unsalted butter so you have 100% control of the sodium.
- Garlic: For the best flavor, use fresh garlic cloves, though a high-quality garlic puree will work in a pinch.
- Fresh parsley: Garlic butter and fresh parsley are a match made in heaven, though cilantro works in a pinch.
- Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. Add some zest for an even brighter flavor.
- Seasonings: I used a combination of Italian seasoning (or dried oregano) and kosher salt & black pepper, though you can omit the dried herbs if preferred.
If you like spice, optionally season the garlic and butter shrimp with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. For a subtle smoky flavor, add a pinch of smoked paprika. The buttered shrimp also tastes amazing garnished with shredded parmesan cheese.
How to Make Garlic Butter Shrimp
First, if needed, peel and de-vein the shrimp. Then mince the garlic.
To de-vein the shrimp yourself, make a shallow cut along the back where you see the vein, and then use the tip of the knife to pull it up and away.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and all the seasonings.
Cook the shrimp for 3-5 minutes (2-3 minutes for medium shrimp or up to 5 for large), stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
For better flavor, baste the shrimp with the garlic butter sauce occasionally, too, to better infuse the flavors.
Then, stir in the minced garlic and cook for one more minute before stirring in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve the lemon garlic butter shrimp, and enjoy!
Garlic Butter Shrimp Made with Frozen Shrimp
I highly recommend thawing the shrimp entirely before cooking this garlic shrimp recipe to avoid unevenly cooked, rubbery shrimp. It will take as little as 15 minutes to thaw shrimp in a bowl of cold water (never warm/hot!) or overnight in the refrigerator.
To “refresh” the frozen shrimp, optionally soak them in salted water (1-2 tablespoon salt per 1 quart water) if needed.
Pro Tips for the Best Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
- Use large shrimp: If you use shrimp that are smaller, the cooking time will vary.
- To save time: Purchase shrimp that are already peeled and deveined (tail on or off).
- Have the ingredients ready: This is a super quick shrimp recipe, so make sure everything is ready to go (garlic minced, herbs chopped, lemon juiced, etc.) before heating the skillet.
- Make sure the shrimp don’t overcook: Shrimp cooks quickly, so monitoring the progress is important to avoid rubbery shrimp. They’re cooked as soon as they become pink and opaque.
- Season to taste: Adjust the amount of salt and black pepper to your liking.
- To make more of a sauce: Remove the shrimp from the pan once cooked and pour a splash of chicken broth and/or a splash of dry white wine into the skillet. Season to taste and allow it to reduce, then toss in the shrimp before serving.
What Goes Well with Garlic Butter Shrimp?
Making garlic butter shrimp pasta is one of my favorite ways to serve this delicious protein. However, you can also serve the buttery garlic lemon shrimp with:
- Rice or quinoa,
- Other pasta dishes – like lemon pasta, pesto pasta, or baked feta tomato pasta,
- A simple pasta salad, quinoa salad, or couscous salad,
- With low-carb cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles,
- A leafy green salad or Caesar salad,
- Garlic butter corn on the cob,
- Sauteed veggies like zucchini, green beans, etc.
- Crusty bread (or dinner rolls) – especially for mopping up the excess garlic butter,
- Over avocado toast or bruschetta,
- Within wraps, pita, or even tacos with salad veggies.
More Seafood Recipes
If you try this easy garlic butter shrimp recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Perfect Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 16 oz shrimp medium or large (about 16-25 count per lb.), fresh or frozen (thawed), optionally peeled and deveined
- 1.6 oz butter 3 tablespoon unsalted
- 0.5 oz garlic 4 cloves
- 0.1 oz fresh parsley 1.5 Tbsp/just a handful; OR cilantro
- 1 lemon juiced (and optionally zest)
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- If needed, peel and de-vein the shrimp. To de-vein the shrimp yourself, make a shallow cut along the back where you see the vein, and then use the tip of the knife to pull it up and away.Mince the garlic.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and all the spices.
- Cook the shrimp for 3-5 minutes (2-3 minutes for medium shrimp or up to 5 for large), stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and opaque. For better flavor, baste the shrimp with the garlic butter sauce occasionally, to better infuse the flavors.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute before stirring in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve and enjoy!