Souvlaki-Style Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Souvlaki has been a Greek street-food classic for centuries. It's generally made from pork, with beef, lamb, and chicken being popular variants, but there's no law saying you can't use souvlaki-inspired seasonings like lemon, oregano, and garlic to dress up a plate of shrimp, as well. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn points out that "because shrimp cook quickly, this recipe is fit for a weekend or quick weeknight dinner." She also says that another advantage of this simple recipe is that it's "easy to throw together with ingredients you likely already have," making it a prime pick for last-minute meals.

One technique McGlinn would like to highlight here is that of cooking the shrimp on skewers. She says the skewers "make it easy to flip the shrimp all at once, avoiding overcooking," plus there's also the bonus that they keep them from slipping through the grill grates. So grab your shrimp and let's get skewering! 

Gather the ingredients for the souvlaki-style grilled shrimp

To make this dish, you will, of course, need shrimp, but McGlinn says it doesn't matter what size, provided they'll fit on the skewer, but McGlinn says that medium, large, extra-large, and jumbo all work well. She does say, though, that with larger shrimp, "be mindful that you'll use less" per skewer.

For the marinade, you'll be using olive oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, a lemon (both the zest and juice), salt, and pepper.

Marinate the shrimp

Toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Now let it sit and marinate in this mixture of souvlaki-inspired seasonings for up to 30 minutes. McGlinn cautions that you should not plan to marinate the shrimp for longer than that, though. After this point it will start to "cook" in the lemon juice and basically turn into ceviche, which we do not want here. As McGlinn tells us, "If you notice the shrimp is turning pink or opaque ... remove [it] from the marinade and start skewering."

Prepare both the grill and the shrimp

When the shrimp are done marinating, thread them onto skewers. If you use the wooden kind, it's best to soak them in warm water first to prevent them from burning, but metal skewers need no such prepping.

Heat the grill to medium, or about 350 F. While McGlinn says she cooks her shrimp over a gas grill, she noted that "you can definitely cook this stove top or in the oven." If you're baking or pan-frying the shrimp, though, she notes that "you can always cook them without skewers" if you prefer.

Grill the shrimp

Once you put the skewers on the grill grates, be aware that they'll be done in practically no time. "Don't walk away from the grill," McGlinn cautions. Of course, this holds true if you're cooking them in a pan or the oven, as well, since shrimp are one of the quicker-cooking types of protein (and that's something we love about them).

These shrimp will need to cook for maybe 2 or 3 minutes on one side, then you can just flip the skewers and cook them for a similar amount of time on the other side. Once they are done, they should look pink and may have just a bit of char to them. At this point, the shrimp are ready to eat, but you can also keep them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. "Leftovers are so versatile to use in salads, on pastas, or on their own," McGlinn shares.

Souvlaki-Style Grilled Shrimp Recipe
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Souvlaki may be most commonly affiliated with meat, but who's to say you can't use lemon, oregano, and garlic to dress up a nice plate of grilled shrimp?
Prep Time
Cook Time
cooked shrimp on white plate
Total time: 38 minutes
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Toss shrimp with oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Marinate shrimp for up to 30 minutes.
  3. As the shrimp marinates, preheat the grill to about 350 F (medium heat).
  4. Skewer shrimp through the tail and top so shrimp are flat on skewers, repeating until all shrimp are on skewers. (If using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water first while shrimp marinates.)
  5. Place shrimp over direct heat and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until pink and slightly charred.
  6. Cooked shrimp can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Calories per Serving 698
Total Fat 55.6 g
Saturated Fat 7.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 365.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 741.7 mg
Protein 46.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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