A white rectangular serving platter loaded with shrimp kabobs with lime wedges and lime zest garnish.

When it comes to grilling, steak and chicken often steal the limelight. However, there are plenty of other foods that deserve just as much of our attention. Grilled shrimp kabobs are quick, delicious, and unique enough to stand out no matter what the occasion! A simple marinade and a handful of ingredients gives you the perfect finger food to serve at your next BBQ, picnic, or weeknight dinner.

Tight view of a shrimp skewer garnished with lime zest held up above a platter of additional kabobs.

How do you cook shrimp on the grill?

Making grilled shrimp skewers is really simple. First, it’s always a good idea to preheat the grill, so it’s at the right temperature when you start grilling. We always remember to preheat our ovens, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to preheat a grill because of the seemingly instant heat!

While you’re waiting for the grill to come up to 450°F, thread your shrimp onto wooden skewers. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for four to five minutes, flipping the skewers halfway through. After the shrimp has cooked, use tongs or mitts to remove the skewers from the grill and you’re ready to dig in!

Wholefully Protip

Stick with the four-hour marinade time in this recipe. Shrimp that’s marinated too long gets mushy, so no overnight marinading here! Stick it in the marinade at lunch and your shrimp will be ready for the grill by dinner time.

What’s in this grilled shrimp marinade?

This recipe uses a really simple marinade for the shrimp kabobs. In fact, you may already have these ingredients at home. All you’ll need is:

  • Shrimp
  • Full-fat coconut milk—Gives a rich and creamy flavor to the shrimp
  • Lime juice—Freshly squeezed is best
  • Honey—A touch of sweet to balance the heat
  • Low-sodium soya sauce—Adds a well rounded salty, sweet, and savory flavor
  • Sriracha—A bit of heat to make your shrimp kabobs really explode with flavor

A pile of grilled coconut lime shrimp skewers with lime wedges and zest.Overhead of ingredients including raw shrimp, limes, and coconut milk.

Should I peel shrimp for kabobs?

You’ll want to use deveined shrimp for these shrimp kabobs. This means you’ll need to either purchase them deveined, or you’ll need to peel the legs off the shrimp. You can leave the tails on, or you can remove them. It’s a case of personal preference.

To peel the shrimp, grab the legs and the outer shell, and pull these away from the body of the shrimp. They may come off in one piece, or they may come off separately. If the legs come away before the shell, use your thumb or fingers to break open the shell on the underside of the shrimp where the shell is the softest. 

To devein the shrimp, make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp, and remove the vein that is right next to the surface.

What is the proper way to skewer shrimp?

There are two ways to skewer shrimp. The first is to take the fattest part of the shrimp and slide the skewer through it. This will leave the tail of the shrimp hanging off the edge—but you can fit more shrimp on a skewer this way.

The other method for skewering shrimp is to roll the shrimp slightly, or fold it in on itself. The skewer should pass through the shrimp twice, holding it in place securely and keeping it nice and compact.

Tight view of grilled shrimp skewers, opaque pink shrimp with slightly charred tails.

Won’t the wooden skewers burn on the grill?

Barbecue skewers should be soaked in water for at least four hours prior to placing them on the grill. This will prevent them from getting scorched. Thankfully, four hours is the same amount of time this shrimp kabob recipe marinates for, so you can do both steps at once.  If you can’t find wooden or bamboo skewers, you can use metal skewers instead.

How long should you grill shrimp kabobs?

Shrimp is a very quick cooking food. You only need to grill your shrimp for four or five minutes. This is a little over two minutes per side. You want the cooked shrimp to look pink on the outside, and opaque and white on the inside. If your shrimp is still translucent, it may need another minute on the grill.

Shrimp grilling on gas grill grates, five shrimp per skewer.

Perfectly pink grilled shrimp with lime wedges nestled among them.

Can you grill shrimp from frozen?

You can grill frozen shrimp; however, it comes with a few difficulties when following this shrimp recipe. Frozen shrimp is hard to thread on a skewer, and it’ll also resist soaking up the marinade. Instead of tossing your shrimp on the grill while they’re still frozen, try thawing frozen shrimp prior to marinating so you get the convenience of frozen shrimp with the flavor and ease of fresh shrimp!

Wholefully Protip

You can use any kind of shrimp you want with this recipe, but larger shrimp tend to be easier to skewer. This recipe will work best with large or jumbo shrimp.

Can I add veggies to these shrimp skewers?

Absolutely! You can alternate shrimp with vegetables on these shrimp kabobs. We’d recommend using veggies that cook up quickly, such as zucchini, squash, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and red onions. Whichever veggie you choose will only have the four or five minutes of cooking time that your shrimp need, so they’re likely to be crunchy.

Wholefully Protip

If you choose to add veggies to your skewers, why not soak them for a half hour in a marinade? Mix up a little extra marinade to use with the vegetable when you’re making it for the shrimp.

A hand grabs a grilled shrimp kabob from a serving board.

What do you serve with shrimp kabobs?

Shrimp kabobs are extremely versatile and can be served with just about anything. Some of my favorite dishes to serve with these grilled shrimp skewers are:



Tight view of a shrimp skewer garnished with lime zest held up above a platter of additional kabobs.

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Yield: 6 servings (about 10-12 kabobs)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Juicy shrimp are the perfect choice for summer barbecues. Here is an easy recipe for grilled shrimp kabobs that delivers lots of flavors.


  • 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined


  1. Combine the coconut milk, lime juice, honey, soy sauce, and sriracha in a large bowl or gallon-sized ziplock bag. Toss the shrimp in the marinade to coat evenly. Cover and marinate for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. Soak your wooden skewers in warm water while the shrimp marinates.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 450°F. While the grill is heating, remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread them onto your wooden skewers.
  3. Spray the grill with cooking spray, then place the kabobs onto the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Using tongs, remove the kabobs from the grill and allow to cool slightly before touching the skewers. Serve!


  • Make sure to soak the wooden skewers for at least 4 hours before using, otherwise, they will burn on the grill.
  • I used 31-40 shrimp and left the tails on. You can remove tails if desired. Any raw large or jumbo shrimp will work for this recipe.
  • For extra lime flavor, sprinkle with lime zest right before serving.
  • It is very easy to overcook shrimp on the grill, so make sure to only cook for 5-6 minutes, until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 1017mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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    1. Hi Lori! We haven’t made these without the coconut milk, so we’re not sure how they will cook up or taste without it. If you’d like to try, you could replace the coconut milk with a few tablespoons of oil in the marinade instead. You may need less time marinating, though. If you give it a go, let us know how it turns out for you!