Shrimp And Chorizo Skewers With Lime Aioli Recipe

There's no better reason to fire up the grill than for loaded-up skewers. The calling card of the summer, wooden skewers stacked high with meat and veggies are a staple for any grill master, and they're always good to have on hand for quick and easy dinners. This recipe, written with developer Michelle McGlinn, features jumbo shrimp wrapped around spicy rounds of chorizo that speared together with juicy, charred onions. 

While the chili-marinated shrimp is filled with flavor of its own, the skewers become totally irresistible with the addition of a garlic-lime aioli. Not a typical aioli addition, lime adds a touch of tangy brightness to the garlicky sauce, but only just enough to give the essence of lime. Arguably the star of the show, this aioli is made from scratch sans mayo — and the result is well worth the effort. Besides, we take a shortcut approach to our aioli by pulsing it in a food processor until creamy (no mortar and pestle here). Together, the spicy skewers and creamy aioli make for a seriously delicious dinner that can be made in no time at all so that you can get back to enjoying those warm summer nights.

Gather the ingredients for shrimp and chorizo skewers with lime aioli

The first things you'll need to grab are the ingredients to marinate the shrimp. You'll need olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, lime juice, and jumbo shrimp. Jumbo shrimp are great for grilling because they cook well over high heat, and you'll need to use the largest size possible if you want to wrap the shrimp around the chorizo like we do here. If you're using smaller shrimp, simply skewer the shrimp separately from the chorizo, forgoing the fancy skewering techniques. For the chorizo, you'll want to look for links that are in casing, but not cured — you want Mexican chorizo that is firm enough to be cut into pieces. From there, you'll need onion, garlic, a whole egg, an egg yolk, a neutral oil like vegetable oil, and the zest from the lime that you are juicing.

Step 1: Bring together the shrimp marinade

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and juice from ½ lime. Set aside for 15–20 minutes.

Step 2: Soak the skewers

While the shrimp is marinating, soak the wooden skewers for 15–20 minutes.

Step 3: Assemble the shrimp around the chorizo

Assemble the skewers by piercing through the tail of a shrimp, adding the chorizo, then piercing through the other side of the shrimp.

Step 4: Repeat to stack the skewers

Add a piece of onion, then repeat until the skewers are full.

Step 5: Preheat the grill

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Step 6: Grill the skewers

Place the skewers on the grill over direct heat and cook until shrimp is opaque, about 2–3 minutes per side.

Step 7: Add the aioli ingredients to a food processor

In the meantime, add the other half of the lime juice, all of the lime zest, garlic, eggs, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a food processor.

Step 8: Pulse until combined

Process to combine.

Step 9: Drizzle in the vegetable oil until thick

While the blades are running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, pausing to scrape the sides as needed. Continue drizzling until the aioli thickens, then season with salt, to taste.

Step 10: Serve

Serve the grilled skewers with lime aioli and cilantro, if desired.

What do I do if my aioli isn't thickening?

Usually made with a mortar and pestle, making aioli in a food processor is faster and nearly hands-free. But, it can be a little tricky to get right because of the faster speed. Many aioli recipes start with mayonnaise, which cuts the work in half. While aioli isn't quite mayonnaise, it's very close, and the end result should be the same consistency. If you've pulsed your aioli 100 times and it looks instead like a vinaigrette, you may have poured the oil in too quickly, causing the emulsification to fail. 

It's also possible that there isn't enough egg to form an emulsification at all. Don't worry: The aioli can still be saved. Pour the thin mixture into a measuring cup and rinse out the food processor. Add a whole egg. Put the lid onto the blender and slowly drizzle the thinned oil mixture into the egg while pulsing. About halfway through, your mixture should start becoming opaque, and with a few more seconds, it should thicken. You may not use all of the oil in this second try — you'll want to stop blending once the aioli is the consistency of mayonnaise. If all else fails, of course, you can just add lime juice, salt, and garlic to some mayo.

Can I make these shrimp skewers without a grill?

These skewers can be made many ways outside of the grill. You can use a grill pan on the stove for similar char marks, preheating cast iron grates to medium heat over your burners. You can also arrange the skewers on a foil-lined sheet tray and bake at 425 F for 6–7 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Pro tip: For similar grill marks in the oven, place the skewers over a wire rack and broil for an additional 1–2 minutes.

You can also make this recipe without skewers by simply searing everything in a cast iron skillet. Start with the chorizo and brown the pieces until crispy, remove them from the skillet, and add the marinated shrimp and onions. Sear again until browned, about 2–3 minutes, then remove and serve with the chorizo and aioli. Likewise, these can be baked on a sheet pan sans-skewers for an easy, anytime dinner.

Shrimp And Chorizo Skewers With Lime Aioli Recipe
4.9 from 14 ratings
Skewering together chorizo and chili-marinated shrimp on the grill, this recipe delivers a perfect summer meal that comes with a from-scratch, citrusy aioli.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
4
minutes
Servings
4
servings
shrimp and chorizo skewers on plate
Total time: 34 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced, juice divided in half
  • 12 ounces chorizo, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil, or as needed
Optional Ingredients
  • Cilantro, for serving
Directions
  1. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and juice from ½ lime. Set aside for 15–20 minutes.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, soak the wooden skewers for 15–20 minutes.
  3. Assemble the skewers by piercing through the tail of a shrimp, adding the chorizo, then piercing through the other side of the shrimp.
  4. Add a piece of onion, then repeat until the skewers are full.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  6. Place the skewers on the grill over direct heat and cook until shrimp is opaque, about 2–3 minutes per side.
  7. In the meantime, add the other half of the lime juice, all of the lime zest, garlic, eggs, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a food processor.
  8. Process to combine.
  9. While the blades are running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, pausing to scrape the sides as needed. Continue drizzling until the aioli thickens, then season with salt, to taste.
  10. Serve the grilled skewers with lime aioli and cilantro, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,254
Total Fat 121.0 g
Saturated Fat 15.2 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 276.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 1.4 g
Sodium 881.1 mg
Protein 36.8 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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