Baked shrimp is so simple and always a hit and used in a variety of ways. Use them as appetizers, add them to pasta, top a bowl of risotto, chilled for a salad, tuck into tacos, or serve over rice. Just what you need for the busy holiday season or for busy weeknight dinners. Quick. Easy. Versatile. Totally tasty. Try these.
I have made this baked shrimp recipe for years when catering parties and entertaining. It has great flavor, is easy, and everyone always loves them. I often use them as an appetizer and serve with homemade cocktail sauce.
Why You'll like This Recipe
- It's fast and easy.
- It's not much work.
- It's versatile for serving ideas.
- Use frozen thawed shrimp or pick up thawed shrimp at the market.
- Shrimp: Wild shrimp are best (versus farmed). Use larger size shrimp, 13-15 size or 16-20 size, depending on your intended use. In a hurry, get them already peeled and deveined, or buy them peel on to save a little money and do it yourself. Frozen is fine, but thaw first.
- Garlic: For that savory, pungent, aromatic punch of flavor.
- Olive oil: Use a nice extra virgin, fruity olive oil. Flavored olives oils work too.
- Lemon juice: Get fresh lemons and squeeze for fresh juice,
- Paprika: Either smoked or regular paprika work for baked shrimp. The smoked paprika gives them a little smoky flavor. If you like it spicy, use sharp paprika.
Please see the recipe card for measurements, salt and pepper.
Tips for Buying Shrimp
I generally use large shrimp, the 16-20 size, for this recipe. You can also use smaller shrimp. The roasting time will just be faster, and they are less expensive.
Most shrimp are frozen shortly after catch. You can buy them thawed at the seafood counter or thaw yourself. Thawing overnight in the refrigerator is best, but in a pinch, do this. Submerge the airtight package in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. The shrimp thaw pretty fast.
For a helpful guide on buying shrimp, please follow this link to Seafood Watch by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The guide will help you to make wise choices at the store or fish market.
A Quick Marinade
To make a quick marinade for the shrimp, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt pepper and smoked paprika. Puree into a smooth paste in the small bowl of a food processor or whisk it together by hand in a small bowl. Garlic tip: when you chop your garlic fine, use the back of your chef's knife to smear it into a finer paste. It mixes in better and does a better job of coating the shrimp.
No smoked paprika? Use regular paprika. But if you love smoky flavors (as we do), get some smoked paprika. It’s a great add to your spice cabinet and one you will find lots of ways to enjoy.
A Quick Roast
After marinating 30-45 minutes, roast the shrimp in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (covered with foil for fast cleanup) for about 5 minutes at 425° (218 C). Shrimp tell you when they are done because they turn pink. If you use smaller shrimp, your roasting time will be faster. Don’t walk away from the oven. They cook fast!
Try them to top risotto, brown or black rice, chilled and used for a salad, tucked into tortillas for tacos, or as a twist on a classic shrimp cocktail. Try them with creamy guacamole, salsa or other sauces, depending on what you are in the mood for. Dinner this evening was these shrimp over brown rice pasta with roasted tomato marinara and a big tossed green salad. There are many ways to use them.
Enjoy roasted garlic shrimp as an appetizer (like a shrimp cocktail), over pasta or rice, or tucked into tortillas for tacos. They are versatile as well as delicious. In the photo below, I’ve placed them on bamboo skewers after roasting) for easy eating as an appetizer. Fingers stay clean.
For another tasty shrimp recipe, try these wrapped in Prosciutto and grilled. Make the either long for an entree or short for appetizers.
Lemon garlic marinade
- 3 large garlic cloves and zested with a microplane
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika or regular paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined
- To make marinade, chop the garlic very fine and smear it into a paste with the back of your knife. Another way is to use a microplane zester. Works like a charm. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon, paprika, salt and pepper to a bowl and whisk until smooth or add to a jar and shake well.
- Scrape the marinade into a bowl or zip bag, add shrimp, and turn to coat them well. Allow shrimp to marinate at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Place shrimp in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. Shrimp will turn pink and opaque when they are done. Turn them over at the halfway point, especially for larger shrimp. Don't over bake them!
- Chill shrimp and use for an appetizer with cocktail (or other) sauce.
- Serve warm over rice, risotto, or pasta.
- Make a shrimp salad with fresh tossed greens and a vinaigrette.
- Tuck into corn tortillas for tacos, add salsa, cheese, cabbage, squeeze lime over them.
- If you are making this in volume for a party and doubling or tripling the recipe, make the marinade in the food processor.