Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp

4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinade 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp is an easy recipe with a marinade of lime juice, olive oil, garlic and cilantro you can grill indoors or out in 30 minutes!

Move over Grilled Chicken Breasts, this yummy new Dinner Recipe is here to be the best BBQ main dish all summer long! This quick and easy shrimp recipe is sure to be a huge hit the whole family will love.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Shrimp on plate


A quick marinade and a little time on the grill is all it takes to make the most delicious grilled shrimp for tacos, appetizers, or pasta in no time. This shrimp recipe is so easy to make and is ready in about 30 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients.

The key to Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp is fresh ingredients. Fresh lime juice, olive oil, fresh cilantro, minced fresh garlic cloves, and fresh lime zest make a marinade packed with flavor. The acid from the lime juice makes these shrimp so tender in only 15 minutes.

If you love shrimp and tropical vacations, this is the perfect recipe for Shrimp Tacos. You’ll be imagining sandy beaches with every yummy bite of tender Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp wrapped in a warm tortilla topped with avocado. Having a margarita on the side doesn’t hurt this mini stay-cation meal either.

You can serve Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp as an appetizer by making mini skewers. Make a healthy main dish by topping White Rice (or Brown Rice) with the grilled shrimp. Top your Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa for the perfect light summery dish!

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp are one of most delicious healthy main dishes that fits pretty much any diet that include meat. The marinade has no sugar and is low carb. Shrimp are naturally low fat and the small amount of olive oil is a healthy fat. 

How long can I marinate Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp?

The most you want to marinate shrimp in an acidic marinade, aka with lime juice, is 20 minutes or your shrimp will become mushy. If grilling on an outdoor grill, you can thread the shrimp onto the skewers ahead of time to save time and marinate them later.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp in bowl with marinade ingredients

Tips for Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp

    • Fresh Shrimp: Buy your shrimp the same day you plan on making them. Raw shrimp doesn’t take long to thaw and will go bad pretty quickly in the fridge.
    • Jumbo Shrimp: Large shrimp or jumbo shrimp are the easiest for grilling so you are less likely to overcook them. Plus the vein is easier to see in jumbo shrimp.
    • Deveining: Use a small sharp knife and cut down the back of the shrimp down to the vein. Rinse shrimp under cold running water and slide your thumb down the back to remove the vein.
    • Cooking Time: According to the USDA’s Food Safety Guidelines, shrimp are fully cooked when they white and opaque on the inside. Look for a nice pink color on the outside.


Cliantro Lime Shrimp close up view


    • Spicy Shrimp: Make your Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp spicy by adding chipotles in adobo or sliced jalapeños (with the seeds for extra hot) into your marinade.
    • Lemon: Substitute the lime juice and zest with lemons and leave out the fresh cilantro for a Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewer.
    • Herbs: Use Thai basil instead of cilantro for Thai grilled shrimp or use Italian parsley and oregano with no lime or cilantro for an Italian marinade.
    • Seasonings: You can add different seasonings or spices to the marinade like chili powder for chili lime shrimp or ground cumin for Mexican flavor or Cajun seasoning for a New Orleans fusion.
    • Skillet: Easily make these into Sautéed Cilantro Lime Shrimp by cooking in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until pink on the outside and pearly white in the center.



  • Serve: Grilled shrimp can be at room temperature for 2 hours before it needs to be refrigerated.
  • Store: Place Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp in an airtight container or plastic zippered bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: Lay cooked shrimp flat on a baking tray and freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer safe bag, sealed tight, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp on plate top-down view

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Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp is an easy recipe with a marinade of lime juice, olive oil, garlic and cilantro you can grill indoors or out in 30 minutes!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest , 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice , 1 juicy lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp , 16-20 per pound, peeled and deveined, defrosted


  • Mix cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Toss the shrimp with the marinade and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Heat your grill or grill pan to medium heat. If using a grill, skewer the shrimp on metal or soaked wooden skewers.
  • Grill the shrimp, 2-3 minutes per side, until the shrimp is bright pink.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 2mg

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. My family eats A LOT of shrimp, and this recipe is by the far the best shrimp I have ever made. The marinade is delicious, and even when I thought that I overcooked the shrimp, the shrimp were still tender and so flavorful. I ended up doubling the recipe without any issues, and cooked the shrimp on our blackstone. Delicious! The only downside was that my 3 year old didn’t like the “green things” (cilantro) on the shrimp 🙂

    1. 3 year olds definitely often have issues with “green things”, lol! Thanks so much for your feedback. Really appreciate your comments and 5 star rating Jamie.

  2. We’re low/no sodium in this house, so I exchanged the salt with Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning, and added some pineapple chucks in the marinade before putting them on skewers.
    It was perfect.

  3. I absolutely love grilled shrimp and this recipe is awesome. It is super flavorful and easy to make. The shrimp go great in tacos or eaten by themselves.

  4. This recipe absolutely blew me away! I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty the cilantro was with the shrimp. This recipe is a keeper!

  5. Can’t get enough of this grilled cilantro lime shrimp! It is our new fam fav! It is packed with flavors and scrumptious.

    1. Hi! The most you want to marinate shrimp in an acidic marinade, aka with lime juice, is 20 minutes or your shrimp will become mushy.