Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers

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Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers are a quick and easy party food when your guests are craving a little sunshine. Marinated in Mexican-inspired seasonings, tequila, and oil, this recipe is without a doubt our favorite way to enjoy shrimp and heat things up in the kitchen!

Tequilla Lime Shrimp Tacos on a wooden background with cast iron skillet.

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Why you’ll love these shrimp skewers

Tequila lime shrimp is a classic Mexican-inspired dish full of flavor. When combined, the seasonings mix with the tequila (the alcohol burns off) to create a bold meal that tastes gourmet but couldn’t be easier! It’s guaranteed to become your new favorite way to eat shrimp. 

Wooden vs. Metal Skewers

Both wooden and metal skewers work just fine. For budgeting purposes, if you’re planning on making a large number of shrimp or grilling frequently, I suggest investing in metal skewers to reuse for years. If you do use wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before placing them on the grill. This keeps them from burning on the heat and prevents any splinters from occurring. 

How to Season Grilled Shrimp 

The marinade does all the seasoning for you! Once cooked, these shrimp should be full of flavor. If you want to add even more, just sprinkle on your desired spices after pulling the skewers off the grill. 

Ingredients you’ll need

To get started making this recipe, you’ll want to gather all your ingredients first.

Here is what you’ll need:


Cleaned, deveined, tail off, uncooked – your choice in size

Liquid Marinade

Tequilla, Citron, Olive Oil, Lime Juice


Chili Powder, Paprika, Cumin, Salt, Minced Garlic

You’ll also want some cilantro on the side to garnish your skewers

What skillet to use?

While you can certainly use your grill outside or a regualr 12-inch pan, I really like using the grill pans for this recipe. I get those grill marks and slight charing without overcooking the shrimp. Make sure it is screaming hot so you do not have to let the shrimp sit long to cook and achieve grill marks. Be sure to measure your skewers before hand as well. I often have to trim mine to get them to fit.

Need a grill pan? Either of these will work!

Why Cook with Tequila

If you don’t like alcoholic drinks made with tequila, don’t let that deter you from using it in your recipes! When added to recipes like this grilled shrimp marinade, it actually contains a sweet and slightly woody flavor that enhances the whole dish. When cooked, it reduces to add a depth of flavor similar to sherry or cooking wine and pairs particularly well with seafood recipes such as shrimp. We’ve even added Citron to enhance the citrus flavors that pair so well with seafood.

Alternative Alcohols & Non-Alcoholic Options

For this recipe you could use Tequila, Citron, Rum, or even a Whiskey in the marinade. Just stick to traditional or tropical flavors. Don’t use Peanut Butter Whiskey on your shrimp. If you don’t have any on hand, use a splash of liquid smoke, coconut water, more citrus juice, and oil.

Tequila or Citron to marinade shrimp

What Kind of Tequila Should I Use? 

To create the perfect Mexican shrimp marinade, I highly recommend splurging a bit for a small bottle of high-quality tequila. Cheaper silver tequila will work, but the flavors will be a little bit lackluster due to the fact that Blanco tequila is not aged. Instead, it is bottled immediately after the distillation process takes place leaving it with a bolder, more herb-like flavor. Meanwhile, slightly more expensive tequila types are aged in oak barrels that take some of the flavor away and replaces them with the woody, sweet flavors we’re looking to add.

How to Make Tequila Lime Shrimp

The secret to making these grilled shrimp skewers is all in the marinade. Without it, you run the risk of having dry, bland shrimp. However, with it, this recipe is full of flavor! 

Step 1: Clean and devein the shrimp if they are not ready to cook. Then, combine the seasonings, oil, and tequila in a bowl or plastic baggie, and whisk until well combined. Add the shrimp, and let them marinate. If you’re using wooden skewers, you’ll want to soak them in water during this time. 

Step 2: Add the shrimp to the skewers, and turn on the grill to a medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grate, and add the skewers once the grill pan is very hot.

Step 3: Cook the shrimp until they turn a slightly opaque light pink color for about 5-7 minutes making sure to flip them over halfway through. 

Find the measurements and full recipe below!

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How Long to Let Shrimp Marinate

You don’t want to let the shrimp marinate for less than an hour. For the best results, the longer they soak the better they taste. Therefore, I recommend letting them sit in a covered bowl or airtight container in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. 

FAQs about marinading shrimp

Yes, if you don’t have a grill available or the weather isn’t your friend, follow the same instructions using a skillet with oil instead. If you don’t have skewers, treat the shrimp the same way you would

I would not recommend using shrimp that has already been cooked. It won’t take up the flavors and is likely to burn on the grill. 

Both tail-on and tail-off shrimp are perfectly fine to use for these skewers. Of course, don’t forget to pull the tail off before swallowing! 

No, frozen shrimp will not cook evenly on the grill and may turn rubbery. Also, they won’t be able to absorb the flavors of the marinade resulting in a pretty bland meal. 

If properly stored in an airtight container, grilled shrimp will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. 

Yes, to freeze, place the shrimp in airtight containers or freezer bags, and keep them stored for up to 3 months. Just note the texture when reheating shrimp really isn’t the same. You’re likely to get overcooked and slightly rubbery shrimp when reheating.

More of our favorite

Seafood Recipes

When you’re craving the ocean, nothing else will do. Try one of our other seafood recipes for a taste of under the sea.

How to Reheat Grilled Shrimp

I know reheating previously cooked shrimp can be a difficult task. Luckily, I’ve found 3 methods to make it just a little bit easier by baking, sauteing, or microwaving any leftovers. 

  1. Baking – Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper, and reheat the shrimp for a few minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping them over halfway through. 
  2. Sauteing – Heat a skillet over medium-heat, add a little oil to the pan, and reheat the shrimp until the desired temperature is reached. 
  3. Microwaving – Place the shrimp in a microwave-safe dish in a single layer, and cover it with a lid. Cook the shrimp for 1-minute intervals until they are heated through. 

What to Serve with Tequila Lime Shrimp

These grilled shrimp skewers pair well with pretty much anything! Toss them over rice, eat them right off the skewer,  add them to salads, or use them to make grilled shrimp tacos. If you want to make it a complete meal, try serving them with roasted veggies, rice, and beans. Of course, don’t forget the guacamole, cheese, salsa, cilantro, and any other toppings you might need. 

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Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 11 minutes
Servings 6
Marinated in a combination of Tequila, Citron, lime juice and spices, these flavorful shrimp skewers are as much fun as they are delicious! Eat right off the skewer or transform into the ultimate seafood taco.


  • Grill Skillet
  • Skewers
  • Ziploc Bag or dish with cover for marinating


  • 24 ounces frozen shrimp, thawed raw, peeled, deviened, tail-off
  • 1/4 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup Citron
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • cilantro for garnish


  • Ensure shrimp is thawed and drained of excess water. Add all ingredients to a large ziploc bag or a large tupperware with a lid. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Soak the wooden skewers in water while shrimp is marinating, at least 30 minutes. Trim the skewers to fit the grill pan as needed.
  • Add the shrimp to the skewers, discarding the remaining marinade.
  • Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and brush or spray with a touch of oil. Lay each skewer of shrimp down and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve on skewers or in a taco!


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 842mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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