This Cilantro-Lime Shrimp is ready in 15 minutes! You'll love this easy sautéed shrimp recipe made with butter, garlic and seasonings.
Do you love seafood? Check.
How about food with a Mexican flair? Check.
How about quick and easy meals? Duh...check and check!
Well then, we have a winner for dinner — Easy Cilantro-Lime Shrimp. Think buttery, tangy, garlicky goodness, ready in 15 minutes.
It's a pretty simple lineup, folks.
Best shrimp to use
I recommend buying large, frozen, raw, peeled, deveined shrimp with tails on. (If you buy the peeled ones with tails off, you'll get more than what I used to develop the recipe, so you'll just need to increase the butter and seasonings a bit.)
Try to find shrimp that's been deveined nicely. The "vein," or thick black line along its back, is actually the digestive tract (eww).
I've learned the hard way that some packages sold as "deveined" still contain several veins.
If that's the case with the ones you bought, you'll need to remove the veins before cooking. This tool (affiliate link) is helpful for that job.
Can you use a substitute for cilantro?
I know some people are genetically disposed to dislike cilantro. I find dried cilantro to be much milder than fresh, so that's an option I've used many times in this dish.
You also could substitute with parsley, or even skip the herbs.
What about salt?
I recommend tasting this dish before adding salt. Sometimes, the shrimp you buy will be super salty, even after rinsing.
Plus, we're using salted butter here. So, see what you think, and add salt if needed.
Keep in mind, if you use Old Bay Seasoning, it already contains salt.
It's quite simple, RAH-lee, as my geometry teacher used to say.
- Sauté pressed or minced garlic in melted butter.
- Add the raw shrimp in a single layer. Cook the first side for 2 ½ minutes, then flip over to cook the second side for 2 ½ minutes, or until done.
- Squeeze on lime juice, then add seasonings and cilantro.
What to serve with it
I like to serve this with rice, accompanied by sautéed peppers and homemade guacamole. Of course, those sides take longer than 15 minutes, but this easily could be served over pasta with a salad on the side.
Of course, I'll understand if you just want to stand at the stove and eat this right out of the pan. I've been known to do that before we eat, and shamefully, afterward too, when it's time for "cleanup."
And, it's not unusual to see my kids eating the leftovers for a midnight snack, or even breakfast.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on August 6, 2014 and updated now with new photos and text.)
Easy Cilantro-Lime Shrimp
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 medium cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
- 1 package (2 pounds) frozen, large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on (see notes) (thawed according to package instructions)
- 1 lime (divided use)
- ½ tablespoon fresh cilantro or ½ teaspoon dried cilantro (chopped)
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika (or Old Bay)
- salt to taste
- Place thawed shrimp in a medium bowl and rinse well with cold water. See notes if you need to remove any veins. To remove the tails from each shrimp, hold the shrimp with one hand, and with the other hand, pinch the tail and pull it off. Discard tails. Give shrimp a good rinse again to remove any stray pieces of shell.
- Melt butter in a large skillet (extra-large is best.) While butter is melting, press or mince garlic. When the butter is melted, add the garlic to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn it.
- Add drained shrimp to the pan and spread it out in a single layer, if possible. Cook for 2 ½ minutes on the first side, then start to flip each shrimp over. Cook for another 2 ½ minutes on the second side, or until shrimp is no longer translucent. The cooked shrimp will be white, with reddish-orange accents
- When the shrimp is cooked, add lime juice from half a lime, cilantro and paprika or Old Bay seasoning. Taste to see if you need to add salt. (It will depend on the shrimp you bought. Also, Old Bay contains salt.)
- Serve the shrimp with the remaining lime half for anyone who wants extra lime juice. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.