This Easy Shrimp Marinade Recipe is so absolutely jam-packed with flavor, you’d never guess it’s made with mostly pantry ingredients! You can get this elegant appetizer ready in less than 40 minutes, making it the perfect last-minute recipe.
Oh, and if you’re big on planning ahead? Simply cook and refrigerate the marinated shrimp for a tasty chilled dish — no dip necessary!
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Easy Shrimp Marinade
I don’t know what it is about shrimp, but they seem to instantly elevate any spread. Next time you’re in need of a party level-up, this easy shrimp marinade recipe is the perfect solution! It is:
- Quick & Easy. Whip up the marinade in just 10 minutes, marinate for another 20, then cook for just 3-4 minutes.
- Light & Zingy. Honey and soy sauce make the base of this recipe sweet and umami, with a little zip from lemon and a bit of spice from red pepper flakes.
- Takes Only 8 Main Ingredients! Not including salt, pepper, and oil, this simple recipe for marinated shrimp is made with just 8 ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry.
Ingredients For My Shrimp Marinade Recipe
You don’t need much to make really tasty marinated shrimp. Here’s your shopping list:
- Large Shrimp – Look for the numbers 31/35 on the package; that indicates how many pieces per pound you can expect. Also, be sure to reach for raw shrimp here! The cooked ones don’t take on the flavors as easily and end up tasting bland.
- Honey – I always recommend purchasing local honey when possible. If you’re fresh out, feel free to swap in either maple syrup or agave nectar instead.
- Soy Sauce – If you’re gluten-free, use Tamari instead. If soy is off the table, coconut aminos (GF) or Bragg’s liquid aminos (not GF) are perfectly acceptable substitutes.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh is always better than bottled. To get the most juice from your fruit, give it a firm roll on the countertop for 10-15 seconds before slicing it open.
- Dijon Mustard – If you’re fresh out, you can make your own using dry mustard powder and vinegar, or feel free to swap in stone-ground mustard or yellow mustard instead.
- Red Pepper Flakes – We’re only using a ¼ teaspoon here, so this recipe is still very family-friendly.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves give the best flavor, but in a pinch, you can use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove.
- Parsley – Again, fresh is best. That said, you can use 4 teaspoons of dried parsley to replace ¼ cup fresh.
How To Marinate Shrimp
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
I’m not lying when I call this an “easy shrimp marinade.” It’ll take just a few minutes to throw together! Here’s how it’s done:
- Mix Marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley.
- Emulsify With Oil. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while simultaneously whisking to combine the ingredients.
- Marinate Shrimp. Add shrimp to the marinade. Refrigerate to marinate for at least 20 minutes and no more than 1 hour. (After an hour the shrimp will begin to “cook” in the lemon juice.)
- Cook Shrimp. Sauté shrimp in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side or until no longer opaque.
- Enjoy! Serve on a platter with toothpicks or small tongs. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges. Can be served warm or chilled.
Technically, sure. That said, cooking your own shrimp will yield better flavors. Feel free to mix the marinade without the lemon juice and marinate your cooked shrimp for up to 24 hours. Add the lemon juice right before serving.
If you are using the marinade above, don’t marinate the shrimp for longer than an hour or the lemon juice will start to cook the shrimp (like in a ceviche). If you want to give yourself a little more of a buffer, mix the marinade without the lemon juice, adding it just 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Oops! Sounds like you accidentally cooked your shrimp for too long. Make sure you cook them until they are *just* pink and opaque. Once they start to curl into “O’s,” you’ve gone too far.
These delightful marinated shrimps are an excellent addition to any appetizer buffet. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- They can be served warm from the skillet ~or~ cooked ahead of time and served chilled à la shrimp cocktail.
- These tasty shrimps are flavorful enough to stand on their own, but feel free to serve them with cocktail sauce or aioli if you’d like.
- There’s no law saying these marinated shrimp are only for parties! Feel free to make a batch on your meal prep day and add them to salads or snack plates for an easy hit of protein all week long.
If you ask me, this simple marinade recipe is perfect just the way it is. That said, there’s plenty of room for interpretation! Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Give your marinade an Asian flair. Swap out the lemon juice for lime, dijon mustard for minced ginger, and parsley for cilantro. Serve with sriracha mayo if desired.
- Make it spicy. Amp up the heat with a double (or triple!) dose of red pepper flakes.
- No cast-iron pan? No problem. Cook your shrimp on the grill instead. Preheat to 350-450°F, then cook for 4-7 minutes, until they’re just pink and opaque. Remember to thread them onto a skewer or use a grill basket to keep them from falling through the grates.
Try roasting shrimp on a sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 400°F, then spread out your marinated shrimp on a parchment-lined sheet tray (for easy clean up). Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they are pink and opaque.
Storage: Cooked marinated shrimp will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freezing: You can freeze cooked shrimp for up to 3-4 months, but I recommend thawing them and eating chilled.
Reheating: While you technically can reheat shrimp, I don’t really recommend it. Shrimp is very quick to overcook and can end up being quite rubbery and chewy. I highly recommend enjoying leftovers cold.
- Lemon juice will cook the shrimp, so don’t marinate too far in advance! To marinate more than an hour in advance, leave out the lemon juice, marinate in the other ingredients, and add lemon during the last 30ish minutes before cooking.
- Leave the tails on for a prettier presentation! You can always leave out a discard bowl for the ends.
- Buy the shrimp deveined to eliminate a step in prep.
- Keep the peels for making homemade shrimp stock. Waste not, want not amirite?
More Recipes for Seafood Lovers
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined, tail on for prettier presentation
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- In a large bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while simultaneously whisking to combine the ingredients.
- Add shrimp to the marinade. Refrigerate to marinate for at least 20 minutes and no more than 1 hour. After an hour the shrimp will begin to “cook” in the lemon juice.
- Saute shrimp in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side or until no longer opaque.
- Serve on a platter with toothpicks or small tongs. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.