Looking for a 5-minute dinner idea? You just found it! This shrimp marinade recipe will help you whip up a yummy meal that tastes just like it came from your favorite seafood restaurant!

grilled marinated shrimp, from Shelf Cooking

Grill season is in full swing, and one of our favorite things to cook during the summer is shrimp! It's versatile, foolproof, and crazy fast to cook, so what's not to love?!

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And this shrimp marinade recipe? Well, it's shrimply irresistible! Why spend an arm and a leg taking your family out for seafood when you can cook up shrimp this good at home? Have we piqued your curiosity yet?! Let's do this!


While we love using this marinade for shrimp, it's excellent on other proteins, or even vegetables, too! Here are a few different ways to use this shrimp marinade recipe:

  • Beef baste/marinade
  • Chicken marinade
  • Squash medley marinade
  • Broccoli marinade
  • Pork chop marinade
  • Whitefish marinade (tilapia, flounder, trout, haddock, etc.)

This marinade works well as a baste, too, so feel free to brush this sauce on while you're grilling! Is your weather not grill-friendly? You can use this marinade for broiled or pan-fried meats and fish, too. Are you looking for more meat marinades? We've got tons of yummy options!


bowl of homemade potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

Wondering what you should serve with those yummy restaurant-style grilled shrimp? Well, you know we've got some ideas! Here are a few side dishes that work well with seafood:

  • Potato Salad – If you're not a potato salad fan, it's because you've never tried this southern potato salad recipe. It's the perfect side dish for a cookout!
  • Mashed Potatoes – You'll really feel like you're at a restaurant if you serve those shrimp with a big side of mashed potatoes.
  • Rice – White, brown, yellow, or cilantro lime rice, are all amazing side dishes for shrimp!
  • Fruit Salad – Don't let the word “salad” scare you! This fruity side dish features Cool Whip as the main ingredient. It's cookout perfection!
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Want to add some green to your plate? These roasted Brussels sprouts are so dang good!
  • Zucchini Quash Medley – Grab that leftover zucchini and toss it on the grill with some onions.

Want to add some carbs to your meal? Whip up a quick batch of rustic bread or try our 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits!


We bet you have everything you need to make this easy shrimp marinade, but just in case you're in a bind, here some simple modifications you can try:

  • Butter Substitute – We like the real stuff, but you can use margarine instead if you're you're all out.
  • Paprika Substitute – Out of paprika? Want to bring the heat? You can sub in cayenne pepper. Just be mindful that it's spicier! Want a milder alternative? Try turmeric.
  • Onion Powder Substitute If you'd rather use fresh onions, here's a hack: 1/2 cup of minced onions can replace every teaspoon of onion salt in a recipe. So in this marinade, you'd need 1/4 cup of minced onion.
  • Garlic Substitute – We strongly suggested using minced garlic if you have it (the kind in the jar is just fine), but garlic powder works in a pinch if you need a substitute. A little goes a long way, so just use 1/8 of a teaspoon.

And now you're all set! If you want to add to this recipe, go for it. You can experiment with your favorite herbs and spices. Basil or thyme could both work well in this recipe, but try what you have! You could also garnish your shrimp with a nice squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


shrimp on wooden kabobs for grill, from Shelf Cooking

Before we get to that recipe, we need to share a few important tips! Here's what you should know about cooking shrimp:

  • It Cooks FAST – When we say fast, we mean fast. Over high heat, shrimp will be ready after just 1-2 minutes. If you cook using a lower heat, they'll be done within five minutes, so make sure you time out your sides accordingly.
  • It Marinates Quickly, Too – While tougher cuts of meat need hours to marinate, shrimp just need just a few minutes. If you're using an acidic marinade that contains lemon juice, for example, stick to 30 minutes or less. Never marinate shrimp for more than an hour!
  • Frozen vs. Fresh – If you're marinating your shrimp, frozen shrimp will end up tasting just as good as fresh, but you need to thaw them first. You can either thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or place them in a colander under cold running water for a quick thaw.

Pro Tip: For quick cleanup, grill your shrimp on top of a sheet of foil, or place them on skewers. If you decide to use wooden kabobs, be sure to soak them in water before throwing them on the grill!


Alright, you guys! It's recipe time, and it doesn't get much easier than this one. Let's make an easy shrimp marinade.

grilled marinated shrimp, from Shelf Cooking

4-Ingredient Shrimp Marinade

This marinade works well as a baste, too. While it comes together using just a handful of simple ingredients, it packs a ton of flavor. We hope you enjoy it!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Marinate 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 1 batch


  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion salt
  • ¼ tsp minced garlic


  • Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, until butter melts, or for about five minutes.
  • Pour mixture over shrimp and marinate for 10-15 minutes, while you wait for your grill to heat up. Be sure to set aside enough for basting!
  • Skewer the shrimp, place them on foil or directly on the grill grate, and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Brush the excess liquid on shrimp while grilling, then serve and enjoy!


This marinade is a great baste for other foods, too! Brush on meats, seafood, or vegetables while grilling. 
Keyword seafood, seasoning, shrimp marinade recipe

Our mouth is watering just thinking about this one! Be right back–we've gotta go thaw some shrimp.

There you have it! One of the world's easiest and most versatile marinades. Grilling is all about the sauce! You can take your dinner from boring to restaurant-worthy in just a few minutes with the right marinade.

Does your family have a favorite marinade recipe? We'd love to try it! Drop a comment below.

Image with text that reads "Easy Shrimp Marinade", from Shelf Cooking

Looking for a few more posts that will help you this grilling season?

Keep it shrimple!