Our healthy Lemon Garlic Shrimp is a simple dish packed with protein and coated in a lemon and garlic sauce. This dish is ready in under 20 minutes and bursting with fresh flavors. Perfect for any occasion, these garlicky shrimp are a must-try dish for anyone on a keto or low-carb diet.
Shrimp is one of my favorite things to make when I need a quick and easy protein. It goes well with any side dish, making it the perfect weeknight meal or a delicious dinner for a date night.
My go-to is usually these low carb shrimp tacos. But occasionally, I mix things up and serve this dish with a few easy sides. For this simple shrimp recipe, I sautéed them in butter, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest for extra flavor.
Why You'll Love This Healthy Garlic Shrimp
If you are following a keto or paleo diet, you can enjoy this dish as it is. Or serve it with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a more filling meal.
- Quick and Easy: With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a gourmet meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. This is great for busy weeknights!
- Healthy and Nutritious: Shrimp is a fantastic source of lean protein and essential nutrients. Plus, the fresh garlic and lemon add antioxidants and immune-boosting goodness.
- Versatile: Whether you serve it over zucchini alfredo, cauliflower rice, or alongside a chopped salad, this shrimp is the perfect entree.
Ingredients and Substitutions
You can make this quick shrimp skillet meal with a few simple ingredients and a large pan,
- Salted Butter - Substitute unsalted butter if desired and season with salt for flavor.
- Avocado Oil - Substitute canola, vegetable, or any other high smoke point oil when needed. Avoid low-smoke point oils like olive oil.
- Minced Garlic - You can substitute about 1oneteaspoon of garlic powder, though it won't taste as fresh as minced garlic cloves.
- Shallots - You can substitute finely minced onions or an extra ½ tablespoon of minced garlic for a similar flavor.
- Lemon Juice & Zest - One lemon will be enough for the zest and juice needed in this recipe. You can use juice from concentrate if necessary, but it won't have as much flavor as fresh lemon juice.
- Extra-Large Uncooked Shrimp - Buy the peeled, deveined, and tail-on variety. Use 12 ounces of shrimp for best results, adjusting the size or type as desired. Too much or too little may affect the sauce.
How To Make Lemon Garlic Shrimp Recipe
Our lemon garlic shrimp recipe comes together in minutes. It's a great lean and green meal to enjoy on busy weeknights.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the avocado oil until combined, and increase the heat slightly.
- Mix in the thawed raw shrimp and coarse ground black pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. They should begin to turn pink but still be somewhat clear-looking in the middle.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and continue cooking, frequently stirring, for a couple of minutes, until the shrimp has completely changed to a light pink, solid color all over and just started to curl. Do not overheat the shrimp.
- Remove from heat and stir in the fresh parsley, then serve.
The best part about this lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe is that it pairs well with various side dishes. Here are some suggestions that complement the flavors and keep your carb count lower.
- Cauliflower Rice: Serve it over rice to soak up the flavorful sauce.
- Zucchini Noodles: Toss the shrimp with cooked zoodles for a simple "pasta" dish. Double all ingredients except the prawns for plenty of lemon garlic butter sauce for the noodles.
- Salad: A fresh green salad with a light orange ginger vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors.
- Vegetables: Serve steamed or roasted vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or green beans. Drizzle them with lemon juice and olive oil for extra flavor, or use the extra sauce from the shrimp.
- Quinoa: This healthy and protein-rich side dish pairs nicely with seafood.
- Mashed Cauliflower: Creamy mashed cauliflower is a comforting and hearty side that balances the citrus flavors.
Shrimp is best served fresh. However, leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To prevent the leftovers from becoming tough and rubbery, reheat it slowly over low heat.
- Look for deveined and peeled shrimp in the grocery store to save time and energy when making the dish.
- Thaw the frozen seafood in the fridge overnight or run cool water over them in a colander until thawed.
- Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel before placing it in the heated skillet. This will help them to cook rather than steam.
- When cooking shrimp, use a hot skillet for quick and even cooking, but be careful not to overcook them as they can become rubbery.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle kick of heat, or experiment with different herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, or paprika.
- For a creamy twist, stir in a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking to create a sauce that coats everything beautifully.
Wild-caught shrimp have a better flavor compared to their farm-raised friends. If you are buying fresh shrimp, look for ones that are firm to the touch and have a mild, ocean-like aroma. Frozen shrimp is also a great option.
They cook very quickly, so watch them carefully. They only need 2-3 minutes per side to become pink and slightly curled. Do not overcook them because they will become rubbery.
You can use just butter or just oil in this recipe. However, combining both will give you the best flavor and cooking results.
Butter pairs well with the other flavors and adds flavor and creaminess to the dish. However, it can burn quickly when overheated. Adding oil helps increase the smoke point of the mixture so it doesn't burn.
Using just oil may result in a greasier, less creamy result and not the best flavor. When using oil instead of butter, I recommend reducing the amount by half and slowly adding more if needed.
This Optavia shrimp recipe fits into the lean and green meal plan. Here are the numbers for Optavia and for those tracking your macros.
- Lean - 1
- Green - 0
- Healthy Fat - 1
- Protein - 20 grams
- Carbs - 4 net grams
- Fats - 16 grams
More Low Carb Dinner Ideas
- Low Carb Beef Enchiladas
- Healthy Zuppa Toscana
- Orange Sesame Chicken
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Low Carb Fish Taco Bowls
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- ¼ cup butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 12 ounces extra-large, tail on shrimp, peeled & deveined and thawed
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- fresh minced parsley, optional garnish
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add in the garlic and shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the avocado oil until combined, and increase the heat slightly.
- Mix in the raw shrimp and pepper and cook on medium to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. The shrimp should start to turn pink but are still clear in the middle.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for a few more minutes, just until the shrimp turn to a light pink color all over and they start to curl. Do not over cook.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Serve hot.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 145Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 33mgSodium 105mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g