The most delicious garlic butter shrimp with fresh lemon juice and a hint of red pepper, ready in just 15 minutes. A quick and easy dinner never tasted so good!

Skillet filled with garlic butter shrimp.

There are some recipes that I wonder, at times, whether they are just too simple to even be “recipes” in the true sense of the word. More of a classic mix of ingredients and a simple, tried-and-true method, this garlic butter shrimp is a perfect example.

How to make lemon garlic butter shrimp

Apart from all the delicious flavors happening here, which is reason enough to love this dish, it is SO EASY TO MAKE. And FAST. Ready in a true 15 minutes flat- not 15 minutes plus 15 minutes of prep, not 15 minutes plus 10 minutes of cooling- just 15 minutes, start to finish. 

Music to the ears, right? Whether you really enjoy cooking or just do it out of necessity, we all need as many ultra quick and simple recipes in our arsenal as we can get.

Here’s what you’ll need, ingredient-wise:

  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Shrimp (any surprises yet? haha..)
  • A lemon or two- you want the fresh juice!
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley (not strictly necessary but it adds a beautiful touch at the end!)
  • A few pantry staples- olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes

Composite image, raw shrimp on the left, a head of garlic on the right.

What’s the deal with freshly-ground black pepper?

I’ve gotten a few questions about what “a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper” means in recipes. It’s deceptively simple!

Keep a pepper mill on your counter, right next to your stove, and literally just grind it 2-3 times over your dish as called for to sprinkle a little pepper. More or less to taste, of course! Here is the one we use near-daily and love. You can also buy it in a salt/pepper grinder set (affiliate links). This is such an easy little way to get a more robust, fresh flavor into your cooking!

While we’re talking tools, I also really like using kitchen tongs to flip and turn the shrimp. Easier than a spatula! This pair is fantastic, if you’re in the market (affiliate link).

OK, now back to the recipe. Want to know the process? This will be quick!

  1. Warm oil, then saute minced garlic and red pepper flakes, just for a few seconds, until they start to smell good.
  2. Add shrimp to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and toss them around a bit!
  3. Add butter, lemon juice, and a little parsley. Keep cooking while the butter melts and the shrimp finish cooking.

That. Is. IT! Seriously. I told you it was easy.

You’ll barely have enough time to prep whatever else you want to eat! But I don’t consider that a real problem. 🙂

A few things you don’t need

  • White wine
  • Chicken broth!

You do not need white wine to make this recipe work! If I happen to have a bottle open, I may add in a splash, but it’s really not necessary, so I’ve written the recipe without it. Garlic butter shrimp without wine is still pretty darn delicious.

And on a random side note, it came to my attention in my research for this post that some garlic butter shrimp recipes incorporate chicken stock. (!?) I use chicken stock for many things, but let me tell you, it is definitely not needed here. You will have all the sauce you need from the lemon juice and butter! So, hi, hello – if you’re searching, this is a great recipe for garlic butter shrimp without chicken broth. 

Close-up of a large shrimp cooked in garlic butter with fresh lemon juice and parsley.

What to serve with garlic butter shrimp

My personal favorite is to serve garlic butter shrimp with rice! But there are tons of great options, depending on your own preferences and dietary needs. Here are a few:

  • Rice- white, brown, cauliflower, you name it
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Sauteed green beans
  • A quick arugula salad (this one could actually be ready as quickly as the shrimp!)

Whatever you choose, the lemony garlic butter sauce will be the perfect touch for a light drizzle on top. And some crusty bread to sop up a little more sauce never hurts!

A small white plate filled with garlic butter shrimp.

If you try this garlic butter shrimp or any other recipe on the blog, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!

15-Minute Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp

The most delicious garlic butter shrimp with fresh lemon juice and a hint of red pepper, ready in just 15 minutes. Quick and easy dinners never tasted so good!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley - divided

Instructions

  • Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant.
  • Add shrimp to the pan and cook for 1 minute, turning and flipping as needed so they cook evenly. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Add butter cubes, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon parsley. (Sometimes I add a splash of white wine here, as well.) Cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the butter is melted and the shrimp is opaque and cooked through. Remove pan from the heat. Serve shrimp and sauce right away with rice, pasta, or veggies, as desired.

Notes

  1. For the photos shown here, I used shrimp that I purchased already peeled and deveined (such a huge time-saver!) but with the tails still on. This makes them look pretty but does mean you'll need to remove the tails as you eat! Feel free to buy tail-off or remove before cooking if you prefer it that way! 
  2. It's easy to defrost frozen shrimp in minutes! To do so quickly and safely, put the frozen shrimp in a colander and run them under cold water for 5-7 minutes. They'll soften right up! Gently shake off the extra water, and they're ready to cook. 
  3. Nutritional estimate is based on 4 servings and does not include added pasta, veggies, bread, etc. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 277kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 323mg, Sodium: 1178mg, Potassium: 108mg, Vitamin A: 510IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 2.5mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!

So delicious and ready in 15 minutes!! Garlic butter shrimp with fresh lemon juice and a hint of red pepper, perfect to pair with pasta, rice, quinoa, veggies, you name it. Everyone will rave and think you are a miracle worker for getting something so good on the table so fast! #shrimp #quickdinnerrecipe #garlic