Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp


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Bright, fresh Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp may be the fastest main dish you can make for dinner tonight. Prepare fresh lemon juice, parsley, and garlic and the shrimp cooks in less than 10 minutes. Great on its own or over pasta, rice, or another grain.

Lemony Garlic Butter Shrimp in a cast iron skillet

Not only is Lemony Garlic Butter Shrimp fast, delicious, and super easy, it’s beautiful too. Easy enough for a weeknight but beautiful enough to serve to guests, this dish can be the star of many weeknight meals.

Grab your ingredients, and let’s make it!

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ingredients for lemony garlic butter shrimp - garlic, lemons, parsley, paprika on a grey countertop

Ingredients for Garlic Butter Shrimp

  • Shrimp – Be sure to grab peeled and deveined shrimp if you want to save time. I love having frozen shrimp on-hand for meals like this. Just defrost the frozen shrimp by soaking it in warm water. 
  • Garlic – If you love garlic, feel free to add even more than the recipe lists. The garlic is added to the pan along with the shrimp so that it infuses the shrimp with flavor as it cooks. 
  • Smoked Paprika – Typically what we have in our pantry is labeled as “paprika” which is a sweeter variety. Smoked paprika has a smokier, less sweet flavor and I just love the subtle Spanish-inspired flavor it adds. No need to run out and grab it just for this recipe – any paprika works just fine.
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds a rich texture and flavor to this dish. Toss it, garlic, and smoked paprika with the shrimp before cooking – it will serve as a quick marinade. 
  • Kosher Salt – I test all of my recipes with Kosher salt, but if you’re using table salt, reduce by half. If you’re using salted butter in this recipe, reduce the amount of salt by half. Remember that you can always taste the shrimp and sauce at the end of cooking and add more salt if you’d like.
  • Unsalted Butter, Chopped Parsley, Lemon Juice – These ingredients are added to the dish near the end of cooking so they retain their fresh flavor. Don’t skip the fresh parsley and fresh lemon juice – they really make this dish taste bright and restaurant-quality.

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raw shrimp in a cast iron skillet
using tongs to turn shrimp in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp

  1. Marinate shrimp – Combine shrimp, olive oil, garlic, paprika, and salt. Do this before you get the other ingredients ready and put the shrimp in the fridge. This serves as a quick marinade and will begin to infuse the shrimp with flavor even before cooking.
  2. Prep fresh ingredients – As I’ve said, the fresh ingredients are key here. Combine melted butter with parsley, and lemon juice. You’ll want these ready to go – once you start cooking, this dish cooks fast!
  3. Sear shrimp – Add shrimp (including marinade) to a skillet or wok. Cook on one side, without stirring, until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Flip and add fresh ingredients – Flip all of the shrimp over and add the butter, parsley, and lemon juice. 
  5. Finish cooking – Cook shrimp, stirring occasionally, until it finishes cooking. This just takes a minute or two, depending on how big the shrimp are. When they are opaque, they’re done cooking!
cooked shrimp and lemon slices in a cast iron skillet


What kind of shrimp should I use?

Use raw, peeled and deveined shrimp for this recipe. If using frozen shrimp, just soak them in room temperature water for about 10 minutes to defrost and then pat dry. Any size will work, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time slightly for smaller vs. large shrimp.

How do I store leftovers?

In a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

What temperature skillet should I use?

Use a medium-high heat so that the shrimp cooks quickly and gets golden brown around the edges.

Is this spicy?

No! This recipe just uses paprika which is not spicy. If you’d like to add some spice, a pinch of red pepper flakes or some hot sauce will do the trick.

What to Serve with Shrimp

When I make this easy, weeknight meal, I love to serve it with a green vegetable, over pasta or a grain. 

Serve shrimp with:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Spaghetti, Anghel Hair, or Fettuccine
  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

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garlic shrimp in a cast iron skillet
4.82 from 11 votes

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Recipe

Bright, fresh Lemon Garlic Shrimp may be the fastest thing you can make for dinner. Take just a few minutes to prep fresh lemon juice, parsley, and garlic and the shrimp cooks in less than 10 minutes. Great on its own or over pasta, rice, or another grain.
Want to adjust the servings in this recipe? Just click on the number next to “servings” to scale up or down.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Skillet or Wok
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (sub regular paprika)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (flat or curly leaf)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • In a mixing bowl, stir together shrimp, olive oil, garlic, paprika, and salt.
  • Combine melted butter, parsley, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok (use one that is large enough that it can hold all of the shrimp in a single layer) over medium-high heat.
  • Pour shrimp (including the olive oil) into the heated skillet. Spread the shrimp out into a single layer. Let shrimp cook on one side, without stirring, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to flip all of the shrimp to the other side. Pour the butter-parsley-lemon juice mixture over the shrimp and let it simmer for 1 minute.
  • Stir everything together and continue cooking until shrimp is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more (depending on the size of the shrimp).


Skillet or Wok – Any type of skillet you have will work here. A cast iron skillet is great for getting a golden crust. Just make sure that the skillet is large enough to hold all of the shrimp in a single layer so that it cooks evenly. This is also great cooked in a wok because the high sides help the shrimp to cook evenly and quickly. 


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 309mg | Sodium: 1175mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 681IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $11.00
Calories: 260
Keyword: easy dinner, shrimp recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.82 from 11 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This looks so easy and delicious! We’re big fans of both garlic & shrimp, so… I’m going to give it a try this weekend, thanks!