Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

If you are a very confident cook, keep moving, don’t even look at this recipe.  I know, it’s not much of a recipe.  But it was so good, and I know—for sure—that there are plenty of people out there who are aching for a little help in the kitchen, or maybe just a smidge of inspiration to get a weeknight dinner on the table that doesn’t feel like a marathon, or just too boring to speak of.

Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

When people find out I am a food writer or cookbook author, one of the first questions I get asked is, “Are your recipes quick and easy?”  Kids, no kids, single, living with a big group, working, not working- pretty much everyone wants to get meals on the table fast, and with not a whole lot of effort.  Even those of us who love to cook need fast and easy many nights.  No shame, people, no shame.

This Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli is a delicious and perfect last-minute (15 mins!) dinner.

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How to Make Sautéed Shrimp and Broccoli

This Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli is exactly that kind of recipe.  So easy, it’s almost not a recipe.  You add start a bit of minced garlic in oil, stir fry some shrimp for a few minutes, then transfer them to a bowl.

Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

Then you finish the rest of the garlic in a bit more oil, and add the broccoli.  (If you have frozen broccoli florets on had, use those.  Or precut bagged broccoli florets are also a time saver.  Cook that for a minute, tossing to coat the broccoli with the garlic oil.

Then add some water and let the broccoli finish cooking by steaming in the pan.  This also pulls up the sautéed bits of garlic from the bottom of the pan, and redistributes them throughout the vegetables.  Don’t let the broccoli cook too much—it’s really nice in this recipe when it’s just tender (but not crunchy!).  Remember that it will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the heat.

Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

Drizzle over some lemon juice (no Meyer lemon in sight?  Really don’t sweat it for a minute.  Use a regular lemon, or if you can use a tablespoon of lemon juice plus a tablespoon of orange juice then you will have a closer approximation to the slightly sweet, slightly sour flavor of Meyer lemon).

Toss the broccoli together with the shrimp.

Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

Give the whole thing a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes (or not, if you don’t like spice).  The color and the little burst of heat is a nice finishing touch.

Cooking with Frozen Shrimp

If you can get fresh shrimp, good for you, and use them fast, but do know that most shrimp we all buy at the fish counter was actually frozen and defrosted, so it’s exactly the same as the shrimp you can buy in bags in the freezer section of the market. Frozen shrimp are usually of excellent quality, they thaw quickly, and I keep a bag or two in the freezer at all times for quick dinners. A better last minute dinner shortcut I don’t know of.

There are all kind of sizes and versions of frozen shrimp available.  Make sure to buy raw shrimp for this recipe, not cooked. And you can either buy peeled shrimp, or peel them yourself when they’ve thawed.

What to Serve with Shrimp and Broccoli

This would be good over hot cooked rice, quinoa, or some pasta tossed with a little olive oil.

Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon

Other Shrimp Recipes to Try:

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Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli

So simple, it’s almost not a recipe.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic divided
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined extra large or jumbo shrimp
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice or use regular lemon, or a combo or lemon and orange juices
  • Red pepper flakes to finish (optional)


  • In a medium skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat, then add 1 teaspoon of the the garlic and swish it around for about 30 seconds until you can smell it.  Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and saute just until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the remaining teaspoon garlic and swish it around for another 30 seconds.  Add the broccoli and stir to coat with the oil.  Add 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan, and steam until the water is evaporated and the broccoli is tender.  Sprinkle the broccoli with the lemon juice, transfer it to the bowl with shrimp and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes if desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 912mg | Potassium: 378mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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