Michael Weschler
Total Time
1 Hour 45 Mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings

These tender lemon-garlic shrimp skewers make a delicious party time appetizer or an easy backyard family dinner.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, mix salt and sugar. Add shrimp and stir gently to coat. Cover and chill 45 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse shrimp well and drain; also rinse and dry bowl.

Step 2

Return shrimp to bowl. Add olive oil, parsley, lemon peel, garlic, and pepper. Mix to coat. Thread shrimp on metal or soaked wooden skewers, running skewer through the body once near the tail and once near the head end of each shrimp so it looks like the letter C.

Step 3

Lay shrimp skewers on an oiled barbecue grill over hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until shrimp are bright pink and opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 6 minutes total. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over shrimp.

Step 4

Wine Pick: Dry rosé or Sauvignon Blanc. The shrimp are both sweet and salty, so they call for some soft, round fruit balanced with crispness in a wine. Bonny Doon Vineyards' Ca' del Solo Big House Pink ($10) meshes perfectly and is a great toes-in-the-sand beverage; Joel Gott's Napa Valley Three Ranches Sauvignon Blanc ($18) works well too.

Chef's Notes

Notes: A brief cure in salt and sugar not only adds flavor to the shrimp and makes them more tender but also acts as a mild preservative for transporting them. You can assemble the skewers through step 2 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Prep and cook time: about 1 hour, plus at least 45 minutes to cure.

Ratings & Reviews


July 12, 2013
I thought someone should point out the recipe calls for really gigantic shrimp (12-15 per lb), and using smaller shrimp might explain the extreme saltiness some have experienced. Smaller shrimp would require less brining time or a more dilute brine.

Review long overdue

July 22, 2017
I can't believe I never reviewed these before.  I don't actually eat shrimp, but I made it for my husband and brother in law several summers ago when he and my sister in law  were staying with us, and now it would be unheard of if if I didn't make it when they visit.  He says it's the best shrimp dish he's ever had.  

CALIZ922's Review

September 05, 2013
SUPER YUMMY!! I first grilled these 6 years ago for a family 4th of July BBQ and they were a big hit! I've been making them ever since. The secret is in the brine.. Do not skip this step! If you don't have the time better to sauté them in olive oil and white wine.

taramssip's Review

July 31, 2012
Delicious, but VERY salty! I think the sugar/salt brine at the beginning of the recipe was the culprit. Cut back and I think you'll have a great shrimp dish! Went great with the other recipes featured in that section (orzo with peppers and asparagus and arugula salad with nectarines).

CalKathy's Review

May 30, 2010
Entire family loved this! Followed recipe exactly with good results. Since these shrimp have so much flavor of their own, served with plain white rice and steamed asparagus. I like that much of the prep can be done ahead of time with only grilling at the last minute. Wanted to enjoy the Big House Pink wine with it, but it is no longer sold. Does anyone else have another rose' to recommend?

VickiVictoria's Review

May 27, 2012
I was tempted to skip the sugar, but decided to be brave! I followed the recipe exactly. For one skewer I partially pan-fried 3 pieces of well-trimmed bacon, and threaded it between the shrimp, I did not wrap the shrimp. They were great, too. We are a salt-sensitive family, and we did not find the shrimp salty at all, though I did REALLY RINSE the shrimp. We're a seafood-crazy New Orleans family, and we are crazy for these shrimp!

lovestocook826's Review

July 23, 2010
This recipe was excellent! Very flavorful and the lemon really made the shrimp bright and full of flavor.

kjok1212's Review

August 10, 2009
I am always worried about shrimp recipes because they end up being bland. This was fantastic!! I used uncooked shrimp, which I think makes a difference. I agree with other reviewers, make sure to do the brine first and rinse well. This is a keeper!

jodster333's Review

September 04, 2009
I added the juice from the lemon, cilantro and red pepper flakes. Rave reviews from friends. Stayed very moist BBQ'd. Will definately make again.

Ritapita2206's Review

May 31, 2010
Very tasty, I would use less salt and rinse thoroughly. I would like to try cilantro next time but good as is! I can't wait to try this recipe again.