Super fast and easy, lemon pepper shrimp is hard to beat! Serve it with pasta, on a simple lemon and arugula salad, or just chow it down right out of the pan.
Why you’ll love it: It comes together in minutes, is packed with flavor, and is packed with protein!
How long it takes: Only 15 minutes!
Equipment you’ll need: A skillet or frying pan, a lemon zester, and a knife. Tongs help, too!
Garlic, lemon, cracked black pepper, and butter dress this shrimp perfectly, enhancing its seafoody flavor, and enchanting your tastebuds. A few minutes in a hot skillet and the shrimp is ready to dive into your mouth. Who needs sides, anyways! Just give me the shrimp!
You will want something to serve with your shrimp though. Lemon pepper shrimp is perfect with an easy arugula salad dressed with a luscious lemon vinaigrette. Or serve it with spaghetti squash with herbs and Parmesan cheese. Try it with Ina Garten’s lemon capellini.
About this lemon pepper shrimp
I always have frozen shrimp in my freezer. It thaws quickly under running water for quick and easy meals. Keep reading for more shrimp recipes.
I’ll give you a quick overview of the recipe here with extra tips and information. As always, you’ll find the printable recipe card at the end of the post with full directions and nutrition information.
What you need
The ingredients needed for this recipe are simple and perfect. You don’t need much!
- Shrimp: deveined, tails on, shelled raw or frozen shrimp, thawed under cold running water
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper: The shrimp is simply seasoned. Omit the salt if you’re watching your sodium intake.
- Oil, for frying: I like olive oil but grapeseed or avocado oil are good choices, too.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter if you can.
- Garlic: Two cloves of fresh garlic add plenty of garlicky zest. Increase or omit, depending on how much you like garlic.
- Fresh lemon juice and zest: Buy a lemon so you have freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. It makes all the difference in the world.
- Fresh chopped parsley: The parsley not only adds flavor, it adds a nice touch of color.
How To Make This Recipe
So, so, so easy! All you need is a good hot skillet and about 5 minutes. Make sure everything is ready before you get started because this goes really fast! Choose a pan that’s large enough to accommodate all the shrimp in a single layer. We don’t want to crowd ’em!
Sizzle the shrimp for a couple of minutes, flip them over as quickly as you can with tongs, and add butter, lemon, and garlic. Cook two more minutes and hey, presto! you’re done. Dinner is served.
Thaw them under cold running water. Since they are already cooked, they only need to be reheated briefly. In this recipe, cook the shrimp for just a couple of minutes with the other ingredients so they absorb some of the flavor.
Shrimp are mild tasting and will adapt easily to almost any type of seasoning. Match the seasoning with what you’re serving with the shrimp. For example, for my shrimp fajitas (see link below), I season the shrimp with fajita seasoning.
You’re probably thinking of ceviche, a dish in which the shrimp is “cooked” by the juice of citrus fruit. Raw seafood is marinated in citrus juice, usually lemon or lime, causing the protein to become denatured, which gives the seafood the appearance of being cooked. This method does not kill any bacteria, etc. which may be present in the seafood.
How to make this shrimp recipe your own
This is such a simple and perfect recipe that it’s difficult to imagine a different way to make it. That being said, you could:
- Substitute extra large shrimp or scallops. Keep in mind, this will change cook time.
- Omit or increase the garlic.
- Make it spicy by adding 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- Okay, that’s all I’m giving you. I really want you to experience this shrimp in all its perfect glory.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Lemon shrimp is best served immediately. Refrigerate leftover shrimp for up to three days. Reheat gently in the microwave.
Shrimp is so tasty, and it’s low calorie, convenient, and good for you. What more can you ask for? Try:
- Shrimp Salad with Mango and Avocado
- Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp or Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas — cook everything in the oven!
- Grilled Shrimp Kabobs with Pineapple — you’ll need skewers for this one
- Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Mango and Pineapple Salsa
- Grilled Shrimp Salad with Garlic Parmesan Italian Vinaigrette
- Healthy Shrimp Alfredo with Carrot Noodles
- Skinny Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Sweet and Sour Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pound shrimp, de-veined, shelled, tail-on, thawed and patted dry (size 16-20)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from ½ lemon)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Toss shrimp with salt and pepper. Prepare the rest of the ingredients, making sure they are ready to put in the pan when you flip the shrimp.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add shrimp in a single layer.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, quickly flip, and add garlic, lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest. Cook for 1-2 more minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on size of shrimp used. Shrimp should be firm, pink, and curled slightly.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.
- Lemon pepper shrimp is best served immediately. Refrigerate leftover shrimp for up to three days. Reheat gently in the microwave.
- Serving suggestions: Serve on pasta or salads.
- To reduce sodium, omit salt from recipe.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.