Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce is shrimp grilled outdoors to give a caramelized exterior. The grilled shrimp are then tossed in a garlicky lemon sauce with a kick! Great served with grilled bread!

grilled shrimp spicy lemon garlic sauce

As you may have noticed, I’m attempting to update the blog with recipes I’ve made over the past, oh, 2 years or so! I am always diligent about photographing. When it comes to actually having time to sit down and craft a recipe / edit photos, I fall short. Hopefully over the next few months, I will be able to post these stragglers that never quite made it to the blog.

For this recipe, the Test Kitchen recommends threading the shrimp onto the skewers in alternating directions and then adding a bit of sugar along with salt and pepper. This creates an almost caramelized exterior to the shrimp and helps it achieve a lovely grilled appearance. As I’ve mentioned before, I love using one-piece small silicone pastry brushes for tasks such as brushing olive oil on these shrimp. I think I have 4 of these!

shrimp on skewers
Purple silicone pastry brush. Alternating arrangement of shrimp on skewers.
grilled shrimp spicy garlic lemon sauce
Caramelized shrimp from the sugaring method.

ATK provides a number of sauce options, but we chose the Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce. The sauce is made in a foil pan on the grill as well.

garlic and butter in a foil pan with red pepper flakes

This is probably my favorite way to cook shrimp – grilled and then tossed in a garlicky lemon sauce. ATK recommends serving with grilled bread, and I have to agree. We also had a Caesar salad, and this was one of my favorite meals. It’s perfect for spring and summer!

grilled shrimp spicy garlic lemon sauce

Gluten Free Option for Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce

This dish is naturally gluten free!

grilled shrimp with spicy lemon garlic sauce

Looking for more shrimp recipes?

Check out this Garlicky Shrimp Pasta and Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine.

grilled shrimp spicy lemon garlic sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Lemon Garlic Sauce

Delicious shrimp grilled and then tossed in a garlicky lemon sauce with a spicy kick. Great served with grilled bread!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 10-inch disposable aluminum pan or pie plate


  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound, peeled and deveined)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon olive oil for brushing the shrimp
  • table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • vegetable oil for the cooking grates
  • lemon wedges (for serving)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (to finish)

For the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into 4 pieces)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 3 medium garlic cloves (minced or pressed (about 1 tablespoon))
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt


  • Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread the shrimp onto 2 or 3 skewers, alternating direction of heads and tails. Brush both sides of the shrimp with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each skewer evenly with the sugar.
  • If using a charcoal grill, light a chimney starter filled with charcoal (about 6 quarts) and allow to burn until coals are partially covered with ash, about 20 minutes. Open the bottom vent on the grill. Build a modified two-level fire by arranging coals over half the grill, leaving the other half empty. Set the cooking grate in place, cover grill, and heat until hot, about 5 minutes. If using a gas grill, turn burners to high to heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes.
  • Use grill brush to scrape grates clean. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, oil the grates.
  • Place the sauce ingredients (butter, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flake, and salt) in a 10-inch disposable aluminum pan or pie plate. Cook over the hot side of the grill, stirring occasionally, until the butter melt, about 1 1/2 minutes; transfer to the cooler side of the grill (if using a charcoal grill) or off heat (if using a gas grill).
  • Place the shrimp skewers, sugared sides down, on the hot side of the grate and use tongs to push the shrimp together on the skewers if they have separated. Grill the shrimp, uncovered, until lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Using tongs, flip and grill until the second side is pink and slightly translucent, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • Using a potholder or oven mitt, carefully lift each skewer from the grill and use tongs to slide the shrimp off the skewers into the pan with the sauce. Toss the shrimp and sauce to combine and transfer the pan to the hot side of the grill; cook, stirring, until the shrimp are opaque and fully cooked, about 30 seconds. Remove from the grill, add the fresh parsley, and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges.


Source: Adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword gluten free, main dish, seafood
grilled shrimp spicy garlic lemon sauce

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