Sautèed Shrimp with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs

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This easy recipe for Sautéed Shrimp features Greek flavors – plenty of fresh chopped garlic, oregano, and a little crushed red pepper for spice (if you want it). Fresh lemon juice and white wine are added to the skillet at the end and reduced until a thick, luxurious sauce coats every piece of shrimp. These little flavor bombs take only 15 minutes to make are great added to salad, to a shrimp gyro, or just on their own!

Sauteed shrimp with garlic and lemon on a white plate.

In this recipe, chopped fresh garlic (and plenty of it) is sautéed first over a lower heat, along with oregano and crushed red pepper, in olive oil. This helps toast the garlic (but not burn it), and infuse the garlic, herb, and red pepper flavor into the oil and allows all the flavors from the spices bloom.

The shrimp are then added and partially cooked, then they finish cooking while fresh lemon juice and white wine reduce in the skillet. The result is a thick, bright, flavorful sauce that coats every bite of shrimp.

Fair warning: this sautéed shrimp is addicting. You’re going to LOVE how flavor-packed these little shrimps are and how versatile too.

Oh, did I mention this whole recipe takes only 15 minutes start to finish?! And that they hit so many dietary categories such as gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo / whole30, and keto / low-carb? Let’s get to it!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Jumbo Shrimp – or another size (smaller shrimp will take a little less time to cook; larger a little longer to cook, so adjust accordingly). You’ll want them peeled and deveined, and you can choose to keep the tails on or off depending on preference (if you are serving in a sandwich, you probably want to take them off before cooking).
  • Fresh garlic – chopped finely (I wouldn’t grate the garlic on a microplane zester for this recipe – you want there to be some actual pieces of garlic for flavor and texture).
  • Dried oregano – or Greek seasoning, or Italian seasoning, or another herb of choice. Fresh may be used (oregano, parsley, etc.) – use 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon in this case.
  • Crushed red pepper – optional, but adds a delicious kick to the shrimp (you can use more or less depending on preference).
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • White wine – I used Pinot Grigio, but any will do. Chicken broth, vegetable, or seafood stock, or even water can be used in a pinch here instead of wine.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

How to make Sautéed Shrimp

  1. First, sauté the chopped garlic, oregano, and red pepper in olive oil over medium heat. You want everything to toast and bloom and become fragrant, but not burn. Keep an eye on it – garlic burns easily, and you can turn the heat down if necessary.
  2. While the garlic and spices sauté, pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.Patting shrimp dry with a paper towel and seasoning it with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the shrimp and cook over medium-high heat until ALMOST completely cooked. Don’t worry about getting a good sear. This won’t take too long – only about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the lemon juice and white wine to the skillet. Keep cooking on medium high for a few minutes until much of the liquid has evaporated, resulting in a thick, reduced sauce. This will probably take about 3 minutes, and the shrimp will finish cooking while this happens.
  5. Serve – make sure to get every drop of that delicious sauce on top of the shrimp!
Process collage showing how to saute shrimp in chopped garlic, herbs, and spicy crushed red pepper and deglaze with wine and lemon juice to make a thick sauce.

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, but you have to make sure it’s completely defrosted before! You can do this two ways:

  1. Place frozen shrimp on a plate and allow to defrost in the fridge for 24-36 hours. A lot of liquid will pool on the plate – make sure you pour this off and pat the shrimp dry for this recipe.
  2. Place frozen shrimp in a bowl and cover with warm water. After about 5-10 minutes, the shrimp will have thawed (you may need to change the water once). Be sure to use the shrimp immediately in this case. This is a great option if you weren’t able to plan ahead and defrost in the fridge.

What kind of skillet should I use for Sautéed Shrimp?

I almost always prefer nonstick for seafood – I used this Calphalon 12-inch nonstick skillet to make this recipe. It’s just a little easier since they don’t stick, and it makes clean up a breeze!

Stainless steel or cast iron will also work if you prefer. If the shrimp sticks, it should come loose when you add the lemon juice and white wine (as should any other stuck-on bits). I recommend using a thin metal spatula or fish turner to make sure you can get everything dislodged.

A skillet with sauteed shrimp and a wooden spoon.

Can I reheat the leftovers?

You technically can, but I wouldn’t recommend reheating leftover shrimp. Why? Because if shrimp gets overcooked it has a less pleasant rubbery texture. Not horrible, but not great either.

I actually LOVE these leftover sautéed shrimp cold straight from the fridge – on their own as a snack or added to a salad.

But if you do want to reheat, just make sure not to overdo it and don’t let them spend too long in the microwave!

How should I serve sautéed shrimp?

  • Add the sautéed shrimp to a salad. They’d be great in a Greek Salad, Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad, or a Strawberry Arugula Salad.
  • Use the shrimp in pasta salad. Add a boost of protein to Caprese Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, or Creamy Lemony Vegetable Pasta Salad by tossing with these sautéed shrimp.
  • Serve as a main on the side of roasted vegetables, like these Herb Roasted Balsamic Vegetables, Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon, or Roasted Zucchini and Corn.
  • Add them to a gyro! Fill a warm pita or flour tortilla with the sautéed shrimp (tail off), chopped cucumbers, red onion, and feta, and drizzle with tzatziki sauce (like in these Lamb Tacos).
A hand holding a piece of sauteed shrimp by the tail.

Other easy shrimp recipes

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Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs

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This Sautéed Shrimp recipe cooks with chopped fresh garlic, lemon, and herbs then is smothered in a thick lemon juice and white wine sauce!

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Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 194kcal

Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped/minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional, more or less depending on spice preference)
  • 1 – 1.5 lb. jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined, tail on or off depending on preference.
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth, or water in a pinch

Instructions

  • Heat the oil (2 tablespoons) in a large skillet (I prefer nonstick for this recipe) over medium heat. Add the minced garlic (2 cloves/1 teaspoon), dried oregano (1 teaspoon), and crushed red pepper if using (1/2 teaspoon). Sauté until fragrant and garlic is a little toasted, but not burned (turn heat down to medium-low if necessary), about 2-3 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry and season with kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon).

  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat, until almost cooked completely though and opaque, about 2 minutes on each side.

  • Add the lemon juice and white wine (1/4 cup). Stir to coat the shrimp in everything, and continue cooking until liquid has reduced almost completely and thickened (about 2-3 minutes), coating the shrimp in a thick sauce. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, making sure to drizzle all the sauce from the skillet on top of the shrimp to serve.

Notes

  • Serving suggestions: this Greek sautéed shrimp is great in gyro sandwiches, added to a Greek salad, or served on the side of orzo pilaf or spanakorizo (I recommend cooking them with the tail off if adding them to salad or sandwiches).
  • A note on the added salt: If eating shrimp on their own, 1/4 teaspoon salt should be fine. Increase to 1/2 teaspoon if you are partial to salty food or if you are adding to a salad or gyro sandwich, where an extra salty protein would work well, or if using 1 1/2 lbs shrimp.
  • Reheating is not recommended as shrimp is easily overcooked. I prefer the leftovers cold – they’re delicious on their own or added to a salad! But you can reheat if you really want to – just make sure not to leave them in the microwave too long.

Nutrition

Serving: 6shrimp | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1032mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg

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