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Six Easy Shrimp Marinades

Shrimp can easily be flavored using our six shrimp marinade recipes. These simple marinades take minutes to make, add a ton of flavor, and use fresh inexpensive ingredients that you can easily find at any grocery store.

Just add the sauce ingredients and the raw shrimp to a bag to marinate for 15 minutes or more. Then cook any way you’d like.

Shrimp can be cooked fast on the barbecue, pan-fried, baked in the oven, or cooked in an air fryer. Serve these flavorful shrimp recipes on a bed of rice or quinoa, with warm crusty bread, in a salad, or with our shrimp asparagus pasta.

**Get Our FREE Shrimp Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy shrimp marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Six ziploc bags with marinated shrimp in various colors of sauces. All piled on a table.

Recipe Tips

These six marinade flavors are easy to make and use fresh ingredients, most of which you may already have in your pantry. Use your favorite cooking method to take your shrimp to the next level.

  • THAW SHRIMP FIRST: Frozen shrimp will not properly absorb the marinade. Make sure to thaw the shrimp first.
  • USE UNCOOKED SHRIMP: Cooked shrimp will not absorb the marinade in the same way. Uncooked fresh shrimp is grey in color, while cooked shrimp turns pink.
  • TAIL OFF IS BEST: Shrimp that is peeled and deveined with the tail removed is best. This allows the marinade to fully cover the whole shrimp for maximum flavor. If you’re using jumbo shrimp (or large shrimp), keep the tail on as this keeps them more juicy and tender while cooking.
  • MARINADE PREP: I prefer to add all my marinade ingredients to a small mason jar, close the lid and give it a shake. This is the easiest way to ensure that the marinade is fully mixed before adding it to a container with the shrimp.
  • SAVE SOME MARINADE: This step is optional. But you can add 2 Tbsp of the freshly made marinade to a small container before you add the raw shrimp, and store in the fridge. This reserved marinade can be drizzled on freshly cooked shrimp for even more flavor.
  • MARINATING TIME: Meats like chicken, beef, pork, salmon and even tofu require longer marinating time than this recipe. Shrimp requires only 15 minutes to get the full flavor that you need. In fact, if you let the marinade sit too long it can actually start to cook the shrimp if it contains lemon juice or something else acidic.
  • FOOD SAFETY: The remaining marinade can be a lovely sauce to drizzle on top of cooked shrimp. Add it to the frying pan along with shrimp so that it’s heated through. Leftover marinade that was with raw shrimp and has not been cooked should never be used.
  • COOKING TIPS: Do not overcook the shrimp or it will turn into a rubbery texture. The best thing about shrimp is that it’s fast to cook. Less than 5 minutes is all you need for the perfect flavor. Shrimp can be cooked in a variety of ways easily. You can cook on the grill, pan fry, air fry or even bake for juicy shrimp.
  • STORAGE: I prefer to eat shrimp fresh. However, cooked shrimp can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.

**Get Our FREE Shrimp Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy shrimp marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Six small white bowls with different marinade sauces including lemon garlic, sweet and spicy, barbecue, honey mustard, basil balsamic, and chili lime.

Best Shrimp Marinade Recipe Ingredients

Full ingredient measurements can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Or you can download our FREE shrimp marinades guide in our free member’s library. Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients.

  • LEMON GARLIC MARINADE uses lemon juice, lemon zest (from the peel), olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  • CHILI LIME MARINADE is made with lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • SWEET AND SPICY MARINADE contains soy sauce, olive oil, honey, lemon juice, hot sauce, minced garlic and ground black pepper.
  • HONEY MUSTARD MARINADE uses dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, whole grain mustard, garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
  • BARBECUE MARINADE is made with a low sugar barbecue sauce, food-grade white vinegar, and chili powder.
  • BASIL BALSAMIC MARINADE contains balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic cloves, dried basil, salt and pepper.
Four images showing steps to thaw shrimp. First image is a strainer with 1 lb of raw shelled shrimp. Second is shrimp soaking in water. Third is thawed shrimp in a strainer. Fourth is thawed raw shrimp piled on paper towel. Steps say 1 frozen shrimp, 2 rinse in cold water, 3 drain the water, 4 pat them dry.

Quickest Way To Thaw Shrimp

Raw thawed shrimp is best for marinating. It’s easy to thaw shrimp fast. Here’s the quickest method.

  1. Add the frozen shrimp to a large bowl.
  2. Run the frozen shrimp under cold running water or soak in cold water for only 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the shrimp then pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Now the raw shrimp is thawed and ready to marinate!

Six ziploc bags full of shrimp in different colored bags piled against eachother on a grey counter.

How Do You Marinade Shrimp?

Marinating shrimp is incredibly easy. Here’s a quick overview with more details in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. First, make sure the shrimp is thawed. Frozen shrimp will not marinate properly.
  2. Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
  3. Pour the marinade into a bag or container with a lid. Add shrimp and toss together until coated.
  4. Let it soak for 15-60 minutes.
  5. Cook the shrimp with or without the marinade sauce.

How To Cook Marinated Shrimp

How To Cook Shrimp In A Frying Pan

  1. Add a bit of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shrimp and leftover marinade to the pan. Cook until shrimp turns pink and opaque, about 4-6 minutes.

How To Cook Shrimp On The Grill

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. For best grilled shrimp, use shrimp skewers or a grill pan. Shrimp can be cooked 2-3 minutes per side, flipping halfway through.
  3. Cook until shrimp turns bright pink and opaque.

How To Bake Shrimp

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange the marinated shrimp in a single layer on a baking pan. Drizzle any leftover marinade overtop.
  3. Bake until shrimp is pink and opaque, about 8 minutes.

How To Cook Shrimp In An Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp to the air fryer basket in a single layer (careful as the basket will be hot!).
  3. Cook for 6-8 minutes if it’s thawed raw shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 3-4 minutes if it’s thawed pre-cooked shrimp.
  4. Shake the basket and flip the shrimp halfway through cooking.

How Do You Know When Shrimp Is Cooked?

Visually, you’ll be able to tell when shrimp is cooked by the color. Raw shrimp is translucent and grey and cooked shrimp will turn pink and opaque.

When you marinate the shrimp you might not be able to tell if it changes color. If this is the case, go by the time. Cooked shrimp takes only 4 to 6 minutes to cook depending on the size.

**Get Our FREE Shrimp Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy shrimp marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Shrimp Marinade FAQs

How Long Should You Marinade Shrimp?

Shrimp does not need to be marinated long. You can marinate in as little as 15 minutes up to 1 hour. If soaked any longer, the citrus or vinegar in the marinade causes the shrimp to start to cook and toughen in texture. I prefer to marinate my shrimp 15-20 minutes.

Should Shrimp Be Marinated Overnight?

Some people say it’s ok to marinate your shrimp up to 8 hours. But I personally wouldn’t recommend it. If you decide to try it, don’t add the lemon juice or vinegar until 1 hour before cooking.

Can You Marinade Cooked Shrimp?

Marinated raw shrimp is preferred in order to get maximum flavor. But you can also marinate store-bought cooked shrimp as well. Cooked shrimp can be marinated longer than raw shrimp. 1 hr minimum or even overnight, but skip the citrus juice or vinegar until just before serving.

Is It Ok To Marinade Shrimp In Lemon Juice?

Yes absolutely! But only for under an hour as fresh lemon juice can start to cook the shrimp if cooked longer.

Can You Marinade Shrimp Too Long?

Yes. It’s best to stick to marinating shrimp in under 1 hour so that the buttery tender texture remains. The longer you marinate the more risk of cooking the shrimp (acidic ingredients can actually cook the shrimp) and changing to a rubbery texture.

Close up of the bags with marinade and shrimp stacked on top of eachother.

More Marinade Recipes

  • Chicken Marinades take boring chicken and zest them up with six different flavors for a healthy dinner.
  • Salmon Marinades give salmon an amazing taste without overpowering the fish.
  • Tofu Marinades are perfect for any tofu lovers out there.
  • Pork Chop Marinades: Instead of buying store-bought marinades that are high in refined sugar, salt, and added preservatives, you can make your own for a fraction of the price instead.
  • Stir Fry Sauces are an easy way to add incredible flavor to your vegetables, grains, and meats

Six Shrimp Marinade Recipes

Shrimp can easily be flavored using our six shrimp marinade recipes. These simple marinades take minutes to make and use fresh inexpensive ingredients that you can easily find at any grocery store.
3.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

Ingredients

Lemon Garlic Marinade:

  • 1 lb raw shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup lemon juice - from one large lemon (or use orange juice)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest - grated lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves - minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Chili Lime Marinade:

Spicy & Sweet Marinade:

Honey Mustard Marinade:

Barbecue Marinade:

Basil Balsamic Marinade:

Instructions

How To Defrost The Shrimp:

  • Add the frozen shrimp to a large bowl with cold water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Pour shrimp through a strainer and run under cold water if the shrimp are still frozen. Pat the shrimp dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Marinate The Shrimp:

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together thoroughly.
    Pour marinade into a bag (or airtight container) with shrimp. Marinate for 15-30 minutes.

How To Cook Shrimp In A Frying Pan:

  • Add a bit of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and leftover marinade to the pan.
    Cook until shrimp turns a pink and opaque, about 4-6 minutes. Flip halfway through. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the shrimp to a plate. Drizzle a bit of leftover cooked marinade overtop with a spoon. Serve and enjoy!
    Two images of shrimp cooking in a brown sauce in a frying pan.

How To Air Fry Shrimp:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the air fryer basket in a single layer (careful as the basket will be hot!).
  • Cook for 6-8 minutes. Shake the basket and flip the shrimp halfway through cooking.

How To Bake Shrimp:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the marinated shrimp in a single layer on a baking pan. Drizzle any leftover marinade overtop. Bake until shrimp is pink and opaque, about 8 minutes.

How To Barbecue Shrimp:

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place shrimp on wooden skewers and cook 2-3 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. Cook until shrimp turns bright pink and opaque.

Storage Instructions:

  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight glass container. You can reheat the shrimp leftovers in the frying pan or microwave. Do not overcook while reheating or shrimp will turn rubbery.

Recipe Notes:

  • These marinade servings will work for 1 lb of peeled and deveined raw shrimp. You can always cook more shrimp – just double the marinade recipe.
  • Do not use frozen shrimp or cooked shrimp for best results. 

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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