This quick spicy basil shrimp marinade is a fast and easy way to add some great flavor to shrimp!
Why make this recipe?
This shrimp marinade is full of fresh and spicy summer flavors. (You can think of it as a fresh version of a shrimp seasoning dry rub.) Basil is the star of this recipe but there is also a nice citrus flavor from lemon juice and zest along with some heat from crushed red pepper flakes.
How to cook the marinated shrimp:
I recommend cooking the shrimp in a cast iron pan. Heat the empty pan for 3 minutes on high heat, then transfer the shrimp one by one from the marinade directly into the pan. While the shrimp are cooking on the first side, spoon excess marinade onto the uncooked side to capture as much flavor as possible.
How to serve basil shrimp:
Sprinkle the cooked shrimp with fresh lemon juice for extra freshness and serve immediately.
Frequently asked questions:
For this recipe, I recommend shrimp that are designated as large. (This means there are between 31 to 40 shrimp in 1 pound.) You can use smaller shrimp if you want to but I don’t recommend using anything bigger than large. That’s because you want to keep the cook time to a minimum so as to not damage the basil.
The spiciness in this marinade comes from crushed red pepper flakes. For the recipe here, I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon, then tasting the marinade and adding more pepper flakes to taste. 1 teaspoon will make these shrimp mildly to moderately spicy.
Crushed red pepper flakes are a mix of different dried red peppers, from cayenne to jalapeno. What’s great about them is that you can very easily adjust the level of spiciness of your dish by adding more or less of them.
More delicious marinated shrimp recipes:
- Jalapeno Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp37 Minutes
- Cold Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp1 Hours
- Creamy Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Pasta45 Minutes
See more marinade recipes →
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Full Printable Recipe
Spicy Basil Shrimp Marinade
- measuring cups and spoons
- lemon zester
- knife and cutting board
- garlic press (optional)
- citrus juicer
- mixing bowl
- paper towels
- large cast iron pan
- kitchen tongs
For the marinade:
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (you need about 3 – 4 small lemons for that)
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (you need about 1 ⅓ cup packed basil leaves for that)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
For the shrimp:
- ½ pound large raw shrimp (15 to 20 shrimp),* thawed, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
For the marinade:
- Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
For the shrimp:
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then add them to the marinade. Make sure they are well coated on all sides.
- Marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Heat an empty, large cast iron pan on high heat for 3 minutes.
- One by one, transfer the shrimp along with any marinade that's sticking to them to the hot cast iron pan. While the shrimp are cooking on the first side, spoon excess marinade onto the uncooked side. Cook shrimp until opaque in the center (about 2 minutes per side).
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.
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