Cilantro Lime Garlic Butter Shrimp

These delicious cilantro lime shrimp with garlic butter sauce are ready in less than 20 minutes. You can serve these garlicky shrimp as an appetizer, with rice or pasta, or in tortillas. They will definitely become one of your favorite shrimp recipes!

Cilantro Lime shrimp with lots of garlic piled up on a plate.

This cilantro lime shrimp is one of my favorite shrimp recipes. I love shrimp scampi with lemon, garlic, and butter, so it’s not surprising that I’ve fallen for this shrimp with a butter sauce made with cilantro and lime.

This shrimp recipe is quick and simple, so you can whip it up quickly tonight. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes and requires only a handful of ingredients. Our Cajun butter shrimp is also quick and easy!

What You Will Need

For this easy shrimp recipe, you’ll need fresh shrimp, butter, garlic, lime, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

I’ve also included two optional ingredients that elevate the dish’s flavors: ground coriander and fresh scallions. If you have them, use them!

Cilantro lime garlic butter shrimp

How to Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp

When we crave garlicky shrimp, we go all in. That means we don’t hold back on the amount of garlic in this recipe. We use 6 garlic cloves (sometimes more) for one pound of shrimp.

We use the juice and zest of a whole lime. Do you cook with citrus zest? We do it all the time.

In fact, we often add the zest (or peel) of citrus when we use the juice. A lot of flavor lies in the zest of citrus fruit. To remove the zest, we use our Microplane (a fine hand grater) — it’s quick and easy, plus the tool isn’t expensive.

adding cilantro and the zest and juice of one lime to the shrimp

We also use a lot of cilantro! We know not everyone loves cilantro, and if that’s you, don’t worry. You can swap the cilantro for any tender fresh herb like parsley or basil.

For the best butter shrimp, we use our butter in two ways:

  1. First, we cook the shrimp and garlic in a tablespoon of butter.
  2. Then, as the shrimp finishes cooking, we slide the skillet off the heat and swirl in more butter. Since the pan isn’t too hot, the butter melts into a creamy sauce. Incredible!

Serving Suggestions

These cilantro lime shrimp are perfect served family-style. The shrimp are a bit messy, but that’s a good thing in this case. Serve these by themselves, with pasta (hello garlic cilantro shrimp pasta), over coconut rice or Mexican rice, on top of grits, or wrapped in tortillas. I also love them next to this avocado and cucumber salad.


Our recipe is flexible. Although we use garlic, cilantro, and lime in our photos to make the sauce, you don’t need to.

You can always take our method and swap the flavors around a bit. Swap lime for lemon and cilantro for parsley. This lemon parsley version is similar to more traditional garlic butter shrimp. Or try fresh basil, dill, and tarragon — they are all excellent options.

Cilantro Lime Garlic Butter Shrimp

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

Cilantro Lime Garlic Butter Shrimp

  • PREP
  • COOK

Garlic shrimp cooked in a creamy cilantro lime butter sauce. Serve this as an appetizer, with pasta, over rice, or in tortillas for tacos. The recipe is easy to adapt. Swap lime for lemon and try other tender herbs like parsley, dill, basil, or tarragon instead of cilantro.

Makes 1 pound shrimp (16 to 20 shrimp, depending on size)

You Will Need

1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled with tails left on and deveined

1 lime plus a few extra wedges for serving

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons minced garlic, about 6 cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, optional

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped


  • Cook Shrimp
  • 1Pat the Shrimp dry, then season it with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground black pepper.

    2Zest the lime using a microplane and set aside. Cut the zested lime in half, ready for the sauce later in the recipe.

    3Add one tablespoon of the butter to a wide skillet. Save the remaining two tablespoons for later.

    4Place the skillet with butter over medium heat, then add the garlic and coriander. Stir the garlic around the pan until the butter melts and is bubbling; about 1 minute.

    5Add the Shrimp, nestling them into the pan so they are in one layer. A few shrimp stacked on top of each other is okay. Cook until the Shrimp starts turning opaque, about 1 minute.

    6Stir in the scallions and lime zest. Continue to cook, stirring, until the Shrimp are firm and opaque; another 1 to 2 minutes. Slide the skillet off the heat.

    7When the skillet is off the heat, add the cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Stir the butter around the pan to melt into the lime juice, making the creamy butter sauce.

    8Taste, then season as needed with salt and pepper. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Lemon garlic butter shrimp: Swap lime for lemon and cilantro for parsley, then follow the recipe as written above. Add a splash of dry white wine at the end for extra flavor.
  • How to make spicy garlic shrimp: Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes to the pan while adding the garlic.
  • Olive oil instead of butter: While the sauce is not creamy, you can substitute olive oil for the butter. You will need one tablespoon to cook the Shrimp and only a light drizzle at the end (about half a tablespoon).
    Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/4 pound / Calories 193 / Protein 23.6 g / Carbohydrate 5.2 g / Dietary Fiber 1.2 g / Total Sugars 1.4 g / Total Fat 9.4 g / Saturated Fat 5.5 g / Cholesterol 205.4mg / Sodium 284.9 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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26 comments… Leave a Review
  • Merrilee April 17, 2024, 7:56 pm

    My go-to recipe for shrimp. Easy and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Keely December 5, 2023, 6:32 pm

    Great! We added a little cayenne. We will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ian W March 30, 2023, 11:35 pm

    Made this tonight following the recipe exactly and it was a big hit! I try to make a new recipe every night for my wife & daughter, and they both said this was one of the best ones in a long while.

  • Anna April 14, 2022, 12:43 pm

    This recipe has been in my family for many years. We add 1/2 cup or so of white wine and include shredded Parmesan cheese to help thicken the sauce. Delicious with rice and slices of avocado.

  • Nanda S. September 14, 2021, 7:40 pm

    Completely exceeded my expectations. I thought since it was such a simple recipe it would be simple in taste, however I plan to make this recipe a staple for tacos, over pasta, with rice etc.

  • Kathy February 26, 2021, 9:26 pm

    This was delicious! Next time will use more butter & more garlic. Served over brown rice.

  • Sagar BHATNAGAR August 11, 2020, 8:26 pm

    Thanks for your Shrimp recipes. My 4 year old has developed a taste for Shrimp, so I’m souring some good recipes. I’ll surely try some of these. I’ve quesion about the ingredients of this recipe. You say you use cilantro and chopped coriander in it. Aren’t cilantro and coriander the very same ingredient?

  • reshaun Hurley June 9, 2020, 9:00 pm

    Kids went shrimping last week, so we thawed and cooked the shrimp using this recipe. We like to cook with shells on, so we did and then removed shell as we ate. We threw them in corn tortillas, with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, bit of lime, sprinkled with some queso panels, a bit of red chili garlic sauce, because I add that to everything, and Voilà! A perfect meal!


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