Easy Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp Recipe

We’ve been traveling to several North Carolina beaches this spring and summer, and I’m always in search of some good seafood. The coastline has great shrimp that is often fried or steamed, but this time of year I crave the flavor of the grill. Plus I love adding fresh flavors and herbs to my dishes, so I was inspired to make a shrimp dish that I could serve as an appetizer or part of a main course at a beach house or just a Friday night in my backyard. This Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp will wow people in less than 15 minutes worth of effort.

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Stoneware Dinner Plates | Linen Napkins | Metal Skewers | White Bowl

The closer to where seafood is caught, the better it’ll taste. But shrimp is one of the few seafood items that freezes well, in my opinion. Either way, I recommend jumbo or large-size shrimp as they’re easier to work with. I like to skewer my shrimp ahead of time and have them on a platter to make the process go faster once the marinade is ready. Soak the skewers for 30 minutes beforehand if you’re using wooden ones or grab some metal ones and skip the worry.

We want to pack as much flavor into this marinade as we can, since it’s not going to have time to soak into the shrimp. For the base of my marinade, I start with an unexpected ingredient: honeydew melon. The melon gives a little sweetness, but it’s not overpowering, and the honey flavor goes great with the rest of the ingredients. I use about a quarter of it (keep the rest for a fruit salad), and scoop out the seeds and cut away the rind. Cut the melon into big chunks and drop it into the blender. 

Now let’s add some heat. I use serrano chilies, which a medium spice level, but there are ways to temper it down by removing the seeds and membranes or you can switch to jalapeños. Be sure to use kitchen gloves if chopping hot peppers.

Next I drop in a handful of cilantro including the stems, which are full of flavor. I add four green onions chopped into large pieces with the base trimmed off. Add the juice of three limes and a little bit of Tajin seasoning and chili flakes to round out the spice level. Finally a little bit of honey and avocado oil go in to help everything blend together. I blend the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.


Vitamix A3500 Blender | Cutting Board | Kitchen Towel

Chris Cooks tip: Add a squeeze of lime to almost any cold drink that you’re having — even pop. It will just taste better.

Drizzle the marinade over the shrimp and use a gloved hand to spread it around. Now, lime juice will start to cook the shrimp, so we don’t want it to sit for very long or it will start to make the shrimp rubbery when we cook it. So add the marinade just a few minutes before grilling.


Metal Skewers | White Bowl | Basting Brush | Vase | Faux Branch

Go ahead and get the grill screaming hot on one side. We want a char on the outside without overcooking the shrimp. To keep the shrimp from sticking, I blast the grill grates with some quick bursts of avocado oil spray. Proceed with caution as it will flare up. Place the skewers of shrimp onto the grates for a few minutes per side, brushing on more marinade once you flip the shrimp. How to know when shrimp is cooked? You’re looking for an opaque whitish color on the inside with no translucence or gray tones. 


Outdoor Kitchen Sources

Once it’s done, I like to remove the shrimp to a plate and brush with one more layer of marinade. You can save the extra marinade for dipping or for grilled chicken or beef — it’s great on either.

I love the subtle sweetness from the melon and honey, the freshness of the cilantro and the medium spice level from the peppers and seasoning. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s delicious. What more could you want for summer?  If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!

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