I love the zesty fresh citrus flavor of a good margarita, almost as much as I love this incredible tequila lime shrimp recipe. Each and every bite tastes like summer!

In fact, I treat them just like my favorite margaritas! Add a hint of agave to sweeten them up, a touch of salt and of course, a squeeze of fresh squeezed lime juice and your favorite tequila.

It’s the essence of my favorite summertime cocktail, in an incredible tequila shrimp marinade. Perfect for throwing on the grill, I use this shrimp for tacos, salads and more!

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I like to call these delicious little skewers margarita shrimp! Shrimp cook so quickly, and that makes this such a fun, easy dinner for any night of the week.

While I don’t always use skewers for this tequila lime shrimp, it certainly makes them more fun! It also makes them easier to throw on the grill.

These serve beautifully with a variety of side dishes, and they’ve got an irresistible Tex-Mex style that lends them to many of my favorite Tex-Mex Dinners. Add them to quesadillas, tacos, salads, sandwiches and so much more!

Close-up of tequila lime shrimp skewers with char marks, accompanied by a grilled lemon wedge.
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Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Flexible – They’re so easy to eat and such a flexible way for family and guests to serve themselves because they can add them to tortillas, salads, rice, and more!
  • Easy – Simple enough for a weeknight, they are also special enough for entertaining!
  • Low Carb – This tequila lime shrimp is also a healthy dinner option! It’s low calorie and can be extremely low carb if combined with the right sides. It can also fit into a Keto and Whole 30 lifestyle!
Close-up of tequila lime shrimp skewers with a wedge of charred lime on a white plate.

Shopping List

  • Fresh Medium-Large Shrimp
  • Tequila
  • Limes (or Bottled Lime Juice)
  • Olive Oil, Red Pepper Flakes and Black Pepper

Ingredients

  • Shrimp – Fresh shrimp is ideal, but you can certainly use frozen. Just make sure to follow the package directions for defrosting. Medium-larger shrimp work best for skewering on the grill, but again you can use whatever you have on hand!
  • Tequila – Use whatever tequila you have on hand.
  • Lime Juice – A hint of fresh squeezed lime juice adds bright flavor to this recipe. You can substitute 100% real lime juice purchased in the produce aisle of your grocer.
  • Oil – Olive oil is preferred, but you can substitute canola oil or your favorite.
  • Pepper – Thick red pepper flakes and fresh ground black pepper make it pop!
  • Limes – Halved or sliced – optional! You can grill limes for an extra squeeze to serve with this delicious dish.
A kitchen countertop holds a bowl of tequila lime shrimp, a bottle of olive oil, lime juice, a fresh lime, and red pepper flakes.

Variations

  • Honey Lime Shrimp – Add a touch of honey (or agave) to sweeten it up!
  • Margarita Shrimp – Add a crack of sea salt to the finished product and you’ll have a true margarita shrimp- so good!
  • A Mexican Spin – for an added burst of Mexican flavor, throw a tablespoon of cilantro and a teaspoon of cumin in the marinade. If you really want to spice it up, add a teaspoon of diced jalapeño!
Two skewers of tequila lime shrimp garnished with grilled lemon wedges are served on a white rectangular plate.

Tools to Use

Close-up of tequila lime shrimp skewers and a charred lemon wedge on a white plate. The shrimp are lightly browned with visible grill marks.
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Tips from My Test Kitchen

  • Because this marinade is slightly acidic with the addition of lime juice, don’t marinate for longer than two hours! Otherwise this marinade will begin to break down the shrimp meat itself, creating a mushy mess. It’s not a safety issue to marinate longer, but they lose texture!
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, piercing through the head and tail ends for stability. Don’t overcrowd the skewers; leave a little space between each shrimp to ensure even cooking.
  • One of the best parts of cooking shrimp is that it’s so easy to tell when they are done. They are floppy and gray when they are first cooking, and when they are done they’ll be a perfect pink with a red tail.
Tequila lime shrimp skewers grilling on a barbecue with lime wedges on the side.

More Grilling

on the grill
Two skewers of tequila lime shrimp with charred lemon wedges, displayed on a white rectangular plate.
5 from 3 votes

Tequila Lime Shrimp

Try this easy tequila lime shrimp recipe if you love margaritas! Bursting with citrus flavor, tequila shrimp captures the flavor of summer!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients  

  • ¾ pounds shrimp thawed, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice fresh squeezed or store bought
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper fakes
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions 

Marinate

  • Combine tequila, lime juice, oil and spices. Marinate shrimp in a covered bowl or ziplock back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (up to 2 hours).
    3 tablespoons tequila, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 3 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon red pepper fakes, black pepper, ¾ pounds shrimp
    A white dish filled with raw tequila lime shrimp marinating in a yellowish liquid next to two whole limes.

Grill

  • Thread shrimp onto skewers, leaving a little space between shrimp to allow them to cook evenly.
    Tequila lime shrimp skewers on a white plate next to a baking dish with more shrimp and two limes.
  • Preheat grill to medium high. Brush grill grate with olive oil.
  • Grill shrimp 2-3 minutes until the shrimp turn pink.
    Shrimp skewers and halved limes sizzle on the grill, with the tequila lime shrimp turning slightly opaque as they cook.
  • Flip and grill 2-3 minutes on the other side until translucent and pink.
    Tequila lime shrimp skewers grilling on a barbecue with lime wedges on the side.

Stovetop

  • To make on the stovetop, simply omit the bamboo skewers and sauté traditionally. Follow marinating step above.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat in pan. When oil moves around the pan easily, add shrimp. (They will sizzle when they hit the pan.)
  • Sauté the shrimp for about three minutes per side, until pink and completely opaque- this is how you’ll know when they are done.

Julie’s Tips

  • Because this marinade is slightly acidic with the addition of lime juice, don’t marinate for longer than two hours! Otherwise this marinade will begin to break down the shrimp meat itself, creating a mushy mess. It’s not a safety issue to marinate longer, but they lose texture!
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, piercing through the head and tail ends for stability. Don’t overcrowd the skewers; leave a little space between each shrimp to ensure even cooking.
  • One of the best parts of cooking shrimp is that it’s so easy to tell when they are done. They are floppy and gray when they are first cooking, and when they are done they’ll be a perfect pink with a red tail.

Variations

  • Honey Lime Shrimp – Add a touch of honey (or agave) to sweeten it up!
  • Margarita Shrimp – Add a crack of sea salt to the finished product and you’ll have a true margarita shrimp- so good!
  • A Mexican Spin – for an added burst of Mexican flavor, throw a table spoon of cilantro and a teaspoon of cumin in the marinade. If you really want to spice it up, add a teaspoon of diced jalapeño!

Storage Tips

You can refrigerate this tequila lime shrimp for up to 2-3 days, wrapped in an airtight container.
Tequila shrimp also freezes beautifully! Flash freeze your remaining shrimp on a sheet pan to keep them from sticking once you add them to a container or freezer bag. Freeze safely for up to 3-4 months.
Shrimp makes great leftovers when served cold! If you must reheat, don’t use the microwave. Instead, add to a sauté pan with a pat of butter. Warm them through for just a minute or two over low heat, until they are just barely hot to the touch.

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Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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