I am obsessed with pesto. Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, grilled pesto shrimp is a real crowd pleaser. Great as an easy app for a large crowd or quick dinner. I tend to simplify a lot of my recipes—you could make your own pesto from scratch, but for this, I usually buy a jar of pesto because it’s quick and easy. All you need is garlic, pesto sauce, lemon juice and shrimp. I’ve made this with both raw and precooked shrimp. If you’re really looking for quick and easy, buy pre-cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp. It’s just as good and will be ready in 10 minutes.
The key is to load the shrimp in pesto. There is no such thing as too much—it will only add to the flavor. I usually buy pre-cooked frozen shrimp and pull off the tails. If you grab the tail by the end and gently pull you can slide the shell off without losing the meat under it.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with the shrimp and toss until fully coated. Let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes before grilling. Meanwhile, soak your wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes before skewing and grilling the shrimp. This is important and prevents the wood from burning while grilling.
Grill for about 5 minutes per side and serve immediately. I eat them right off the skewer, but you could even add these to a pasta dish and take it to the next level. Even Scott, (co-author here and hater of shrimp) approved of this recipe. Trust me that is really saying something.
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- ½ lemon, squeezed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 ounce jar pesto (or ½ cup fresh pesto)
- Wooden skewers for grilling
- Soak the wooden skewers in cool water for 20 minutes so they do not burn when grilled.
- Meanwhile, remove the tails from all the shrimp. In a large bowl add the shrimp, pesto, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and garlic. Toss the shrimp until completely covered in pesto sauce and let marinate in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Give the shrimp a final stir and add to skewers. I usually add 4-5 shrimp per skewer.
- Place on the grill and cook until fully cooked and shrimp start to slightly crisp up (cook until shrimp start to turn slightly orange and are no longer translucent), about 5-6 minutes per side.
- If you use pre-cooked shrimp you really only need about 3 minutes per side to warm up. Serve immediately.