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This lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe is equally perfect for date nights or weeknights, because it feels fancy but is also unbelievably quick and easy. Cooking shrimp this way is very similar to the method I use for pan seared scallops and has a similar flavor to baked tilapia, imparting buttery, garlicky goodness into every bite. Serve it over your favorite pasta, or for a healthier option, over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
- Savory lemon garlic flavor
- Tender shrimp
- Rich lemon garlic butter sauce
- Just 7 simple ingredients
- Ready in 10 minutes
- Healthy meal that’s naturally low carb and gluten-free
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for lemon garlic butter shrimp, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Of course, the star of our lemon galric butter shrimp recipe is the shrimp! Here are some tips for choosing the best kind:
- Size – The cook times below assume large shrimp, which is typically labeled 31/40 at the store. This means there are approximately 31-40 shrimp in a pound. You can make this recipe using other sizes, but the cook time will vary.
- Raw – Look for raw shrimp; it should be gray and translucent, not pink and opaque. Shrimp that is pink has already been cooked, so it will be rubbery if you try to cook it again.
- Peeled & Deveined – The shrimp will need to be peeled and deveined before cooking, which you can do yourself or purchase already peeled and deveined for convenience.
- Tails – If possible, get shrimp with tails and leave the tails on, which will lock in more of the flavor while cooking.
- Fresh or Frozen – Either is fine. If you buy frozen shrimp, let it thaw before you begin the recipe.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter, as this makes it easier to regulate the saltiness of the dish. Ghee or butter alternatives work okay for those sensitive to lactose.
- Lemon Juice – I recommend fresh lemon juice for this recipe, as it’s such a big component, but you can also use bottled for convenience.
- Garlic – Use fresh for best flavor or jarred for convenience. In a pinch, you could substitute the fresh minced garlic with a teaspoon of garlic powder, but the intensity isn’t really the same.
- Fresh Parsley – I usually use curly parsley, but you can use curly or flat leaf parsley. Other light herbs, such as dill or chives, would also work well.
- Spices – Red pepper flakes, sea salt (or kosher salt), and black pepper. Feel free to add other spices if you like, such as paprika or even Italian seasoning.
- Olive Oil – Because butter is not great for high-heat cooking, I prefer not to saute the shrimp in butter the entire time, but instead saute in olive oil first and add the butter only toward the end. Avocado oil is also fine for sauteing.
TIP: Make variations by using different compound butter combos!
I have lots of options for compound butter here.
How To Make Garlic Butter Shrimp
This section shows how to make lemon garlic shrimp, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make garlic butter. In a small bowl, mash together butter, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
TIP: It’s okay if the lemon juice does not fully incorporate. The butter will melt later on, anyway.
- Season shrimp. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. (You can add other spices here if you like!)
- Saute shrimp on one side. Heat oil in medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. (Any medium to large skillet will work, but cast iron gives you that nice sear. You may want to use medium-high heat if your pan doesn’t conduct heat as well as cast iron does.) Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Flip and add garlic butter. Flip the shrimp. Immediately add pieces of garlic butter to the pan around the shrimp. Sear the shrimp, basting with the butter as it melts, until it’s opaque.
- Serve. If desired, season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve shrimp with the garlic butter sauce, lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Tips For The Best Garlic Butter Shrimp
I’ve got a few tips to make this thebest garlic butter shrimp recipe!
- Use high quality ingredients. Because the butter mixture is made with just a few simple ingredients, make sure to use high quality ingredients to let them shine. That means fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, grass-fed butter if you can, and the best shrimp you can get your hands on.
- Don’t move the shrimp around. While shrimp is cooking, don’t stir. Instead, cook without moving so that it can brown properly.
- Don’t overcook. Shrimp cooks quickly, and when it’s overcooked, it becomes rubbery. Just a couple of minutes per side is all you need.
- Store: Keep lemon and garlic shrimp in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Or, use leftovers to make shrimp salad.
- Reheat: Reheat shrimp in a hot skillet for just a couple of minutes, until warm, with some additional garlic butter if possible. Be careful not to overcook, or shrimp will become rubbery. For the same reason, the microwave is not recommended.
- Freeze: Let the shrimp come to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator. Once cold, place shrimp in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for at last 20 minutes, until the shrimp starts to harden, then transfer to a freezer bag, squeeze out excess air, and place back into the freezer. Frozen cooked shrimp is best for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With Garlic Butter Shrimp
Shrimp recipes like this one pair well with vegetables for a healthy meal, but you can also add a starch if you like. Here are some veggie pairings for you to try:
More Easy Seafood Recipes
If you like this lemon garlic shrimp recipe, you might also like some of these other healthy seafood recipes:
- Medium Cast Iron Skillet – I love cast iron for this lemon butter shrimp recipe, because it heats up so well and creates a perfect sear.
Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp Recipe
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
This EASY lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe combines juicy shrimp with a simple garlic butter sauce, all ready in just 10 minutes. It's perfect for weeknights and date nights!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes. (The lemon juice may not fully incorporate, which is fine.) Set aside.
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat, until shimmering. Keep the garlic herb butter nearby.
Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook, without moving, for 1-2 minutes, until browned on the bottom.
Flip the shrimp and immediately add the garlic herb butter to the pan around the shrimp in pieces. Sear the shrimp for 1-2 more minutes, basting them with the butter occasionally, until the butter melts and the shrimp is opaque.
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Serving size: 1/4 lb shrimp, or 1/4 entire recipe
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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