Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs

A back-pocket dish you will turn to again and again (great for apps, great for a main dish).

Serving Size: 4 as part of a meal

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Shrimp on a stick.  This is probably amongst my top 10 happy foods.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

I actually don’t know how I serve these most often – for appetizers, for as part of (or the center of) the main meal.  What varies between them is how big the shrimp are — sometimes extra jumbo for a main course (maybe add another minute of cooking time); sometimes extra large for appetizers (possibly reduce the cooking time by a minute), and how many shrimp go on a skewer (5 or more for a main course kebab, two or three for an appetizer skewer).

And of course you can adjust the length of the sticks as appropriate as well.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

These are so fresh tasting, and you should keep this marinade in mind for chicken as well.  Try other herbs in place of the basil.  I have made them with thyme and oregano often.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

If they get a nice soak in the marinade the get so flavorful that you don’t even need to think about a dip, which is music to many of our ears.  But don’t let them marinate for too long, as the acid in the lemon juice will start to change the texture of the shrimp.  And it bears repeating every once in awhile – don’t over cook those shrimp.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

I clearly think these are very pretty.

Tails can be on or off, your choice.  If you leave them on, make sure you put out little bowls for people to discard the tails in.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

As part of a meal, serve with simple sautéed spring greens in the spring, or Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon in the fall.  A simple grain to round it out.  That’s all.

Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs


  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp

1. Soak 8 (8 to 12-inch) wooden skewers in water to cover for at least 30 minutes.

2. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix together the orange juice, lemon or lime juice, orange zest, garlic, olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper until well blended. Add the shrimp and toss in the mixture to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.

3. Preheat the broiler or grill. Skewer the shrimp, dividing them evenly between the skewers. Discard any remaining marinade. Broil or grill for about 4 minutes total, turning as they brown, until they are just cooked throughout.

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