How Do I Make Garlic Shrimp?

B. Miller

There are a number of different ways to make garlic shrimp, depending on your taste preferences and favorite vegetables. At its most basic, garlic shrimp can simply be made with shrimp, garlic, and butter, though it can be made more flavorful with some additions such as vegetables and seasonings. Fresh or frozen pre-cooked shrimp may be purchased to make this dish, and they should then be peeled and de-veined. Some people choose to leave the tails on for presentation purposes, whereas others cut the tails off to make them easier to eat; this is up to you.


It is a good idea to purchase fresh garlic when making garlic shrimp. Garlic powder just doesn't have the same quality of flavor, particularly when sauteed in a pan. Most recipes recommend using about four cloves of garlic for every pound of shrimp cooked, but this can of course be adjusted depending on taste. Remember also that shrimp shrink when they are cooked, and so might require a larger batch than you might estimate at first glance. The garlic should generally be minced and sauteed for a few minutes in the pan first, before adding the shrimp, to begin releasing the flavors. Usually, garlic shrimp is made by sauteeing the ingredients in either butter or olive oil; olive oil is a slightly healthier option, and gives the dish a very nice flavor.

Fresh garlic should be used when making garlic shrimp.
Fresh garlic should be used when making garlic shrimp.

Simply cooking the shrimp in the pan with the garlic and butter or olive oil until they turn pink can be enough for a nice garlic shrimp dish; they can then be eaten plain, or served over rice or pasta. Many people want to make the dish a bit more exciting, however, and there are a few ways to do this. The addition of extra spices such as oregano, salt or pepper can add additional flavor, and some also choose to add a small bit of lemon juice for an extra bite to the dish.

Vegetables can also be added to garlic shrimp to make it a more substantial and appealing meal. Broccoli, onions, or peppers make great additions, for example, and can be sauteed right in the pan with the shrimp. It should be served hot, and any leftovers refrigerated immediately and eaten within a day or two; shrimp and other types of seafood do not keep very long in a refrigerator. In general, garlic shrimp is a relatively healthy meal that is enjoyed by many people.

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