Chili Lime Shrimp

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Zesty and smoky flavors come together in this chili lime shrimp recipe. With little more than a simple marinade of fresh lime juice, chili powder, and plenty of garlic, every bite will leave you craving just one more.

And because shrimp requires only a few minutes time to marinate, this recipe adds up to a terrific last-minute dinner option.

chili garlic marinated shrimp on plate

Chili Garlic Shrimp

My family tends to crowd the stove while this is cooking and we’ve been known to burn our fingers with impatience to eat the shrimp out of the hot pan.

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My youngest two boys will eat an entire pound of this shrimp between them, given the opportunity, and they’ve both chosen this as one of their favorite recipes.

Served in tacos, over rice, or tossed into this creamy chipotle pasta, this shrimp is a hit however you make or serve it.

Chili Lime Shrimp

The shrimp can be cooked in a skillet or on the grill, with just enough sugar sprinkled over it to caramelize the outside of each shrimp as it finishes cooking. It is finger-licking good straight out of the pan.

This recipe is very lightly adapted from the chili garlic shrimp recipe in my first cookbook and we’ve been making it for years now. However, I really enjoy the additional flavor that a bit of lime juice contributes to this recipe.

close up of chili lime shrimp on plate

Chili Shrimp

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • shrimp
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • sugar
marinating shrimp in clear pan

Marinade Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • lime juice
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • sugar
  • kosher salt
garlic and sugar in skillet

Chili Lime Shrimp Recipe

Rinse the shrimp and lay them out on a paper towel-lined tray. Pat them dry. Remove the shells, if desired.

To make the marinade, stir together the marinade ingredients. Place the shrimp in a zip-top bag or airtight container and pour the marinade over the shrimp.

chili garlic marinated shrimp in container with tongs

Remove excess air and seal. Turn or stir the container a few times to coat all of the shrimp and then let it rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a large stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute, sprinkle with the sugar and sauté about 30 seconds more.

When the garlic is golden and fragrant, add the shrimp to the pan and discard any remaining marinade.

raw shrimp with sauce in skillet

Spread the shrimp in a single layer across the pan and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to turn color. Turn the shrimp over and cook an additional minute, just until pink.

Increase the heat to high for 1 minute to slightly reduce any liquid. Remove from the pan when finished cooking.

cooked shrimp with garlic lime sauce in pan

Chili and Lime

Tart, fresh lime juice with smoky chilies is a pairing that works beautifully in a number of different ways. Southwest Chili Lime Steak Bites are crisp on the edges and oh-so juicy inside with just a few minutes of cooking time.

Salmon marinated in smoky chipotle and tart citrus is quickly broiled for an easy weeknight dinner. Spicy shrimp paired with creamy guacamole on top of a crunchy tortilla chip? Yes, please! These Chile Lime Shrimp Tostada Bites are irresistible.

cooked shrimp on white pottery plate on wooden table

With barely 2 minutes of effort, a simple skillet of rice went from boring to something special in this Chipotle Lime Rice. I loved the unexpected tang of the lime and the barely-there heat of the chipotle pepper. This rice recipe is the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican, Tex-Mex or Southwestern meal.

Chili Lime Corn is slightly spicy, tart, and buttery. This corn is a hit with the entire family every time I make it.

Looking for more shrimp recipes? This Garlic Butter Shrimp with plenty of bright lemon is something I can never get enough of. 

So. Much. Fun. There are a whole lot of adjectives I could use to describe my introduction to a classic Louisiana Crawfish Boil, but WOW sums it up nicely.

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close up of chili lime shrimp on plate

Chili Lime Shrimp

5 from 1 vote
Zesty and smoky flavors come together in this chili lime shrimp recipe. With little more than a simple marinade of fresh lime juice, chili powder, and plenty of garlic, every bite will leave you craving just one more shrimp.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound large raw deveined shrimp approximately 35 count
  • 1 tablespoon light flavored olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

MARINADE INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup light flavored olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico or regular chili powder
  • tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Rinse the shrimp and lay them out on a paper towel-lined tray. Pat them dry. Remove the shells, if desired.
  • To make the marinade, stir together the marinade ingredients. Place the shrimp in a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over the shrimp. Remove excess air and seal. Turn the bag a few times to coat all of the shrimp and then let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a large stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute, sprinkle with the sugar and sauté about 30 seconds more. When the garlic is golden and fragrant, add the shrimp to the pan and discard any remaining marinade.
  • Spread the shrimp in a single layer across the pan and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to turn color. Turn the shrimp over and cook an additional minute, just until pink. Increase the heat to high for 1 minute to slightly reduce any liquid. Remove from the pan when finished cooking.

Notes

The cooking time for this recipe is just a few minutes. However, if you do not purchase your shrimp partially peeled and already deveined, allow at least 10 to 15 minutes to prep the shrimp before cooking.
 
ALTERNATE GRILL DIRECTIONS:
While the shrimp is marinating, soak 6 to 8 wooden skewers in water. When almost ready to grill, thread the shrimp onto the skewers. Heat the grill to medium-high and generously oil the grates to prevent the meat from sticking.
Place the kabobs on the grill and sprinkle lightly with the sugar. Let cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once or twice, just until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!
close up photo of marinated shrimp on pottery plate

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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