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Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

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These easy Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers are made with homemade light basil pesto, you’ll want to make them all summer long!

These easy Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers are made with homemade basil pesto, you'll want to make them all summer long!

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

These pesto shrimp skewers are a perfect dinner for a light, healthy meal and as an added bonus, these are low-carb, gluten-free and delicious! For some more Italian shrimp recipes, try my Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo.

These easy Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers are made with homemade basil pesto, you'll want to make them all summer long!

The inspiration behind this recipe comes from a dish served at my sister in law’s garden baby shower. It is so simple and delicious, I knew just had to make them myself.

How to make Pesto

Adding fresh pesto to grilled shrimp is an easy way to get incredible flavor with clean ingredients. To keep it light, I use less oil and prefer to omit the nuts. I used basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This keeps the fat content down and everyone always loves it. I also love swapping out some of the basil for fresh spinach and arugula, a great way to get more greens in your meal!


You can serve this as skewers so you can hold them in your hand or simply over a bed of greens. This shrimp would also be excellent over your favorite pasta, like orzo, spaghetti or even zoodles for dinner. Or make them at your next BBQ with Grilled Flank Steak, Broccoli and Orzo, Grilled Corn Feta Salad, to name a few summer favorites!

More Side Dish Ideas for Pesto Shrimp:


Keep in mind that when you remove the shell from the shrimp it will weigh less. For instance, I started with about 2 lbs of shrimp to get 1 1/2 lbs after I peel them. Depending on the size of your shrimp you will get different amounts.

How To Make Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Seafood and steak on a platter on a table.
Grilled pesto shrimp skewers

More Shrimp Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

5 from 15 votes
Homemade pesto with basil from my garden makes a scrumptious addition to shrimp. Serve these for dinner or make them at your next BBQ!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
These easy Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers are made with homemade basil pesto, you'll want to make them all summer long!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 7 servings
Serving Size: 1 skewer


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 7 wooden skewers


  • In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
  • Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Thread shrimp onto 7 skewers.
  • Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil.
  • Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 skewer, Calories: 180 kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.5 g, Protein: 25.5 g, Fat: 8.5 g, Sodium: 292 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g


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136 comments on “Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers”

  1. I am 61 yo and just started trying seafood because it’s so healthy for you. I have tried before and it all tasted like fish sticks. Well, I made this recipe with some palmin pesto noodles and it was the BOMB!

  2. So light and delicious! I served these alongside your Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato recipe and it was great!

  3. Can you include the name of the appliances you use, like your blender, airfryer..etc?
    The same appliances I have does not help my blended ingredients to come out so smooth and pureed and the food does not come out as crisp in my airfryer as your does in your airfryer.
    I would like to purchase and sue the same aplliances you use.

    1. Great recipe.  Made several times and my family loves it.  Also- Love your recipes, try them all the time, thank you!!

  4. I use your recipes many times in a week. This was one of the most delicious recipes I have ever had! SO good!

  5.  This looks so delicious I cannot wait to make it! I’m want to make these for a brunch and I was wondering if you can marinate the shrimp overnight?

  6. Absolutely the most delicious shrimp recipe we have ever made.  Sadly, portion control suffered.  

  7. Shrimp plus pesto plus grill? The trifecta of summer eating! I’m excited to try this. My partner is at sea right now, so I’m going to test it on myself before he comes home. Yes, I’m self-sacrificing like that. LOL

    Hey, I love the idea of leaving the nuts out of the pesto–never thought of that.

  8. Just made this for the first time. It was too cold here to barbecue only 45 degrees in Chicago so I opted to just fry them up in a lightly sprayed non stick pan turned out amazing can’t wait to try these on the grill!

  9. I skipped the skewers completely. Baked these in a preheated oven at 425 for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you watch them though, you don’t want to overcook. Delish!

  10. These were super easy and so flavorful! Used frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s. Picked up some sweet fresh corn and dinner is done! Super yummy!

  11. This was amazing! My husband claims he doesn’t like pesto and he kept going on about how delicious it is! It is very fresh! Make sure you spray your grill because the shrimp do stick a little bit (we have a cast iron grill grate).

  12. Absolutely delicious!  The marinade sticks to the shrimp so much better than other recipes I have.  I have shared this one with many people.  Also a great way to use up basil.

  13. Awesome, as always. Don’t even miss nuts in the pesto fir this application! Thanks, Gina. Made a yummy salad topped with grilled shrimp.

  14. I’ve been making grilled pesto shrimp for years…sometimes it’s hard to find I get large. Grill for 4-5 min total. Trying to figure out sides is difficult, unless it’s a party.

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  18. These were delicious, ending up not using the Parmigiano Reggiano (not huge cheese lovers) and ending up using a small amount of lemon juice! They were soo good, ended up eating most of them. Will be making these again. Thank you

  19. Thank you for this, not fans of seafood here, but replaced the shrimp with some chicken breasts and it was great!!!

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  22. I made fresh pesto last night from my basil plant. And at this moment I have shrimp marinating in its goodness! Gonna skewer them and throw on the grill with Rib Eye’s. Once I pull the steaks off the grill I drop a dab of pesto on them while they rest and it melts into the meat….A side salad of fresh veggies from the garden with homemade ranch dressing, a baked potato and a chunk of crusty bread and supper is complete! Yum Yum

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  24. This was wonderful. Another winner. Thank you for transforming dinner into 5 stars every time. 

  25. Avatar photo
    christine davis

    Oh my lord! Made the shrimp tonight and it was SOOOOO Good!!! This is going to become a regular on the rotation. Though my non-foodie husband said, a couple of them were burnt. Um, no dear, that is crispy parm cheese. Duh.

  26. Avatar photo
    Beth Zippelius

    Loved your Zucchini turkey burgers !!! Gonna try these next. Looking forward to other recipes on site !! Well done !

  27. Can these be served as a cold appetizer? I'm having a graduation party tomorrow with about 40 people, so I need to do as much prep ahead of time as possible. I was just going to put out shrimp with cocktail sauce but thought this sounded more interesting, just not sure if the flavor is good cold. Thanks!

  28. Avatar photo
    Cristi Bianchi

    I made these this weekend for a Memorial Day BBQ….they were a HIT!! Not a single shrimp was left over…they devoured them all!

  29. I can't wait to make these, I know they will be amazing! We are having an outdoor party next week, with everything cooked in advance, wondering how these would be at room temperature?
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  30. Made this last night. Served with brown rice and corn. It was awesome. Even the kids loved it!

  31. Gina, This was a huge hit in my house. I haven't used pesto before but I really enjoyed yours. Looking forward to using it in some of your other recipes. Thanks!

  32. I made these as is; they are delicious. I would not, however, recommend making them from frozen, pre-cooked shrimp. I made them from fresh and they were perfect. From pre-cooked, you are not able to get the char marks on the shrimp without overcooking and the taste doesnt come out as much. They still taste "good" but shrimp is so easy to cook that its worth it to get the fresh version. Thanks for the great recipe! Was a hit in my house and at my sister's bridal shower.

  33. I was looking for a fabulous chicken skewer recipe for a family BBQ, and am so glad I checked your site, Gina. After trying other recipes (from other websites), this one was a hit with my husband and I. I quadrupled the recipe and marinated the chicken for 12 hours. Since I was planning on 30 skewers, instead of cutting chicken in chunks, I cut the breasts in long pieces and threaded 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. I used the skinny skewers and they grilled up just fine – saw the flat ones at World Market, but didn’t need them. I also marinated and grilled whole skinless boneless chicken thighs and they were fabulous. This recipe is so easy and awesome and I received a lot of compliments and requests for your recipe.

    First time I’ve commented, but not the first recipe of yours I have tried. Love your healthy, fresh recipes!

  34. made this last night! Hubby loved it! I usually just stalk your blog and don't comment but I have tried many of your recipes and haven't been disappointed yet! Thanks 🙂

  35. Melissa, I made these tonight with pasta. I had some vegetable spaghetti with spinach & tomato sauce which I made together and then added the shrimp skewers on top. The shrimp were just a little crisp from being grilled and it was delicious! Everyone loved them!

  36. Avatar photo
    Devanie @ healthy food recipes

    Amazing recipe! Absolutely delicious! I love seafood specially shrimps. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  37. Trying to think of a way to do these shrimp added to some type of pasta or rice dish. Any ideas?

  38. Avatar photo
    The Procrastobaker

    I love your recipes gina, so much! And pesto is a current fav in this house right now so this is getting a big ol' save 🙂

  39. Excellent recipe…Add 3 tablespoons of Ricard or other pastis liqueur in the marinade for an amazing twist/variant…so delicious!

  40. Made these last night and they were fantastic. No idea why I never thought of pairing shrimp and pesto before but it was a match made in heaven. Served with grilled corn and a tomato, bread and cucumber salad, it was the perfect summer meal.

  41. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    It does work with a blender, but you may need to add a little more oil so the blade doesn't get stuck.

  42. Gina, these look amazing! I definitely need to give these a try, i loveee pesto! I have fresh basil in my garden too, but I accidentally keep letting it flower… oops.. so its really pretty bitter, not very good! Need to make a trip to the store 🙂

  43. You can make Pesto without nuts? I have been a bit afraid of pesto because I think certain nuts give me mirgraines, but my son and husband have been asking for it. I think I am going to try this this week.

    1. You can also make it without the cheese for a vegan or dairy-free version! Just adjust the oil/basil ratio to get the right consistency 🙂

  44. I also would love to know where you get the flat skewers. They look much easier to use than the typical round bamboo ones. Thank you!

  45. Woke up this morning to your recipe in my inbox… Sounded good so I set out shrimp from the freezer and made this for dinner. It was amazing! I have yet to make a recipe of yours that I didn't like. You make it so easy for me to serve healthy meals to my family! Thank you!

  46. I vouch for Gina's skewers & so does my 4 year old daughter…we were both at Gina's BBQ and LOVED the shrimp skewers!!!

  47. My long standing low fat pesto recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant. 2C. tightly packed basil, spinach or mixture, 2C. chopped tomatoes, 1T toasted pine nuts, 2cloves minced garlic(i toast mine with the pine nuts cause i like the sweeter rather than hotter taste), 1/2t. salt. Process in food processor and drizzle in 1T. olive oil.

  48. I was thinking about making these for an upcoming family vacation. I want to make the pesto at home and bring it with me . How many days do you think the pesto will keep in the fridge?

    1. You can always freeze pesto & then thaw to use. I like to freeze mine in ice cube trays and then pop out of the tray & transfer to a freezer container for storage. Then I can just thaw as many pesto cubes as I will need for the dish I'm making 🙂

  49. I totally want to be your friend so I can come to your backyard parties! 🙂 Seriously, though… it looks fantastic!

  50. What a delight! I love grilled shrimp even more. This basil pesto was delicious and made ​​a beautiful appearance in shrimp. the pictures are amazing.

  51. Avatar photo
    Tommi Willingham

    Made these last night and paired it with the broccoli and orzo! It was an amazing meal! The grill ran out of propane mid-cook so I finished them off in the broiler.

  52. Avatar photo
    Deborah Horvath

    Where did you get the flat skewers you show in the pictures? I can only find the skinny bamboo ones and you generally have to use two of them. Can't wait to try this!

  53. Avatar photo
    Carrie @ Season It Already!

    Printing this recipe off. I get basil in my CSA every now and then and although I know I can make pesto, I don't know why I only think of pasta. This is now on my menu for the week.

  54. Gina, I've left comments before saying how awesome your site is, and how instrumental it's been in my weightloss…I've been a little overweight my whole life, and then once I moved in with my husband, slowly, over a year, 30 pounds just disappeared. When I did WW before your site, it just wasn't possible. Your focus on whole foods and real foods is always amazing and packed with so much flavor. I've been visiting my parents and cooking up delicious treats for them that they gobble up…who knew my italian mother would be begging me for your mango coconut chia pudding?!
    So, just a short one to say thank you for your dedication and creativity.
    Kristina : )
    PS-Yours is one rare site where I can make something for a crowd WITHOUT testing it first or making a tester round. Win!

  55. Avatar photo
    Two Cups of Comfort

    these look wonderful! I never thought to combine pesto and shrimp but it looks delicious! yum!

  56. Avatar photo
    Shelley Draur

    So excited to make this tonight!!! My garden is bursting with fresh basil right now! Making some of your zuchini recipes today, too. Love your recipes!!!

  57. These look delicious, would there be an option for turkey or chicken. I'm not too fond of shrimp, but i love pesto!

  58. These look great! Do you think the same technique would work with scallops? My husband is allergic to shrimp so I'd love an option we can both enjoy!

  59. Ohh, my husband would love this! If only I could overcome my extreme dislike for pesto, I'd make them in a heartbeat.

  60. This looks delish!! Do you think it would work as well with frozen peeled/deveined shrimp? Would it work to let them thaw, then marinade awhile in the fridge, or would they just get gross?

  61. Can these be made in a frying pan, maybe not even on the skewer but just sauteed in the pesto? I don't have a grill…

  62. Amazing. I actually made some pesto this past weekend I was wondering what to do with the rest of it. Thank you!

    1. Put it in ice cube trays, once frozen put in ziplock bags and back in freezer. I add it so soups and sauces at a later time.

  63. YUM! I sometimes add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to my pesto also for brightness! This looks great thanks for figuring out the points and keeping the oil light!

    1. Avatar photo
      Gina @ Skinnytaste

      They key is to make it in the food processor! Doesn't work in the blender with so little oil.

      Love the lemon, I bet it would be great with the shrimp.