It was not until this weekend that I thought to share this recipe with you. One I have used for years in catering parties and entertaining. It’s just so simple. Roasted garlic shrimp can be used in a variety of ways, from appetizers to entrees. Just what you need for a busy holiday season. Quick. Easy. Versatile. Totally tasty.
Garlic Shrimp – Always a Hit
Here is a shrimp recipe I have made for years catering parties. It has great flavor, is easy, and everyone always loves them. I often use them as an appetizer and serve with homemade cocktail sauce.
You can also use these shrimp to top risotto (what I do at home), brown or black rice, chilled and used for a salad, tucked into tortillas for tacos, or as a twist on a classic shrimp cocktail.
You can also serve 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.
I generally use large shrimp, what are called U15 size, for this recipe. U15 means under 15 pieces per pound, so each shrimp will be about 1 ounce. You can also use smaller shrimp. The roasting time will just be faster, and they are less expensive. The 16-20 size also works well. Use what you can find.
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 will 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. You can also whisk it together by hand in a small bowl.
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. I buy the Texas smoked paprika for it’s big, bold flavor.
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; they turn pink. If you use smaller shrimp, your roasting time will be faster. Don’t walk away from the oven. They cook fast!
How to Enjoy
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.
Roasted Garlic Shrimp
- 3 large garlic cloves peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 generous teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 12 ounces large shrimp thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined
- To mince garlic, drop cloves through the feed tube into a running food processor. Add oil, lemon juice. paprika, salt and pepper, until it is a fairly smooth paste. Without a food processor, mince garlic and whisk oil, lemon juice and spices in a small bowl. You can also use a mortar and pestle to make a smooth paste.
- Scrape paste into a bowl. Add add the shrimp and toss to coat well. Allow shrimp to stand 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
- Pre-heat oven to 425° (218° C). Place shrimp in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast approximately 5 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. Shrimp will turn pink when they are done.
- Chill shrimp and use for an appetizer with cocktail (or other) sauce, or serve warm over rice, risotto, pasta, or tucked into corn tortillas for tacos.