Hello Everyone and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I know Rob and I have gone an incredibly long time without posting anything, so I want to take a moment to thank you all for your understanding.  We had a very busy time with work recently and then took a fantastic vacation that we will share with all of you very soon.  I promise that we will get back to a more regular schedule of posting recipes, cocktails and beer reviews in the next week or so!  In the meantime, I am very excited to share one of my favorite “go-to” recipes with you in preparation of Memorial Day!  This Citrus Marinated Grilled Shrimp recipe is one that I make year-round and has never, ever disappointed.  I get requests for this shrimp recipe regularly and it honestly could not be easier to make.  Plus, the best part is that you do 90% of the prep in advance, so it’s the perfect appetizer for gatherings of family and friends!

I first came across this recipe on the Food Network website and fell in love with Michael Chiarello’s simple, straightforward cooking style.  I also learned one of the most valuable lessons in the kitchen that changed the way I cook from this recipe.  Whenever possible, leave the shells on shrimp when cooking over direct heat.  By leaving the shells on, it helps keep the shrimp from drying out too quickly.  How many of you, like me, have been disappointed when you get pulled away from the oven/grill for a moment only to find that the shrimp cooked so fast that they turned into a rubbery lump of overcooked yuckiness?  Well my friends, let that happen no more!  The shell gives the shrimp a little extra buffer against the searing heat and is a lifesaver for the busy home cook.  Just peel the shrimp before serving.  My version of this recipe is a slight variation from Mr. Chiarello’s, but I find the citrus is punched up a bit more.  They are delightful on their own as an appetizer with the aioli dipping sauce or tossed in pasta or salads.

Grilling the shrimp with the shell on helps to keep them from overcooking.

I have always felt like Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer.  Outdoor BBQs, drinks and lively conversation are the norm and help create that carefree feeling most of us associate with the hot summer months.  So dust off the grill and fire it up to cook these shrimp – you won’t regret it!

These grilled shrimp are one of my favorite things about summer!

Citrus Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Approximately 5  servings (3-4 shrimp per serving)

Note:  This recipe requires time to marinate, so please plan accordingly

Recipe slightly adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Marinated Grilled Shrimp Cocktail


Ingredients for the Shrimp:

1 pound of extra large (size 16-20), deveined, uncooked shrimp with shells on (approximately 20 shrimp)

½ cup olive oil Printable-Recipe-dark

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


Ingredients for the Aioli Dipping Sauce:

2 teaspoons garlic paste

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup light sour cream

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

Salt and pepper to taste


Special Equipment:

Large Ziploc baggie

3-4 skewers for the grill



Please make sure your shrimp are uncooked and still have the shell on. If they are not already deveined, please do so now. (This is a short video showing you how to devein shrimp if you need some assistance.) Place your prepared shrimp into a large Ziploc baggie and set aside.

Using a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, onion, garlic, cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour into the Ziploc over the shrimp and squeeze out as much air as possible. Gently move around the contents of the baggie so that the shrimp is fully coated in the marinade and place in the fridge. Let marinate at least 2 to 3 hours before cooking. (I have let mine marinate overnight and they are still amazing!)

While you let the shrimp marinate, make the aioli. Place the garlic paste, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and stir together well. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Cover the bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.


The aioli dipping sauce is delicious with the shrimp, but it’s also great for veggies too!


After your shrimp have marinated, preheat your grill to approximately 450 degrees. (If you don’t have a grill, you can also cook these under a broiler in your oven.)


Shrimp skewered and ready for the grill!


Remove the shrimp from the baggie and discard the marinade. Gently thread each shrimp (with the shells still on) onto a skewer, one on top of the other. Place the skewers flat on your hot grill and cook until the shrimp are opaque and turn pink-ish, flipping the skewers midway through the process. (Be forewarned – shrimp cook very fast! The whole cooking process should take no more than 6 minutes or so.)

Look at those grill marks!


Remove the cooked shrimp from the grill and allow to cool slightly so that you can handle them without burning your fingers. Gently remove and discard the outer shell, leaving the tail intact. Serve with the aioli dipping sauce.


Grilled Shrimpies all ready for a bath in the yummy aioli!