Are you looking to make the BEST garlic butter shrimp? In this recipe, I'm going to share with you the secrets to how you can make THE best, in quick 10 minutes! It is loaded with savory, garlicky, sweet and salty, umami goodness!
Talk about versatility and flexibility, this recipe is popular all year-round and can be eaten as an appetizer, light snack, or even dinner. Bookmark this succulent dish as your go-to for a delicious shrimp recipe.
This was inspired by my Caramelized Shrimp recipe, and pairs well with this amazing Chili Cucumber Salad recipe. You can eat this garlic butter shrimp as is, or with garlic fried rice or a nice crusty bread.
- Sprite (or any lemon-lime soda not diet)
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Ground Black pepper
- Cilantro (optional)
*Please see the recipe card for exact quantities.
How to Make Garlic Butter Shrimp Using Sprite
Step 1. For the Garlic Butter: In a small bowl, mix butter and minced garlic together using a fork. Set aside.
Step 2. For the Shrimps: In a skillet, add shrimps and Sprite and let it simmer over medium-high heat.
Step 3. Add olive oil and sauté with half of the garlic butter, once the shrimps turn bright orange, and the liquid has been reduced.
Step 4: Add the rest of the butter mixture to the shrimps. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Top Tip: As the shrimps start to caramelize, stir frequently and delicately to keep the shrimps from burning. My favorite cookware to use is my Le Creuset Braiser as it keeps an even temperature throughout cooking time and therefore, cooks the shrimps evenly. An added bonus, the cookware doubles as a serving platter because it's so beautiful! #onepotmeal
Secrets To Making The Best Garlic Butter Shrimp
Use whole shrimps: If you're up for some adventure, cook the shrimps with the heads intact as this is where you'll find most of the rich, sweet decadence, and briny flavor of the shrimp. Hands down, it really is the best. However, if you opt to cook shrimps without the heads, I get yah, this recipe will still give you the well-rounded umami flavor that you'll enjoy.
Caramelize the shrimps: It's important to caramelize the shrimps to get a nice golden brown color and savory flavor. The not-so-secret ingredient in caramelizing the shrimp in this garlic butter recipe is to use lemon-lime soda. And that's regular lemon-lime soda, not a diet. You need the sugar in the lemon-lime soda to break down which gives the shrimp its flavor and color. You will not get the same result if you use a diet soda.
Be in the moment: And by that I mean, watch the shrimps as you cook them! Don't be doing laundry or watching Netflix. But stand by the shrimps, while you stir and look for a change in color, they should turn from pink to bright orange in 5 minutes, maybe slightly more, like 8 or 10 minutes depending on the size and quantity of the shrimps. So don't go anywhere! The longer you cook the shrimps, the tighter and tougher they get. And I don't think you'd like that.
- Spicy - If you want a spicy garlic butter shrimp, add any of your favorite spice blends, like crushed red chili peppers, chili powder, or Tajin spice. You can also add a splash of chili garlic oil as a finishing touch or serve in small bowls as condiments for your guests to spice things up a bit.
- Beer - Not digging the use of lemon-lime soda in this garlic butter shrimp recipe? Use beer instead of Sprite and you will still get the nice golden caramelized color on the shrimps and a more rich and nutty flavor from the beer.
- Garlic - I used finely minced raw garlic for this recipe. If you prefer consider roasting the garlic instead. A simple way to roast garlic is to wrap a bulb of garlic or 4 cloves as what's called for in this recipe, in foil with olive oil. Then roast in a 400 °F (204 °C) oven for 30 minutes. Squeeze the garlic out and blend with butter.
Top Tip! Raw versus Roasted Garlic: Raw garlic will give you a savory and pungent flavor, whereas, roasted garlic will give you a milder, and creamier buttery texture and flavor to this dish.
NOTE: It's important to roast the garlic with skins on. The skins will prevent the garlic from burning.
My favorite cookware to use in caramelizing the shrimp is my Le Creuset Braiser. I opted to use this cookware because the enameled cookware retains the heat evenly throughout and ensures an even temperature allowing the shrimp to have the nice golden color that you get when caramelizing food. And since the cookware is so beautiful it also doubles as a serving dish allowing you to enjoy every savory juice from the shrimp and nothing goes to waste.
The garlic butter shrimps are meant to be enjoyed the same day they are cooked. Any leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and can last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Freezing the cooked garlic butter shrimps is certainly an option, however, I will not advise doing so. Because freezing will affect the texture and flavor of the shrimps in ways that may not be enjoyable as when consumed while it was still fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Large-sized shrimps (21-25 count) are ideal.
Absolutely! Generally, prawns are slightly larger than shrimps. So using this recipe to make garlic buttered prawns will be a WIN!
Deveining shrimp is when you remove the black strip that goes along the back of the shrimp. This is known as the shrimp's lower digestive tract where you'll find some sand and grit and the shrimp's digested food. Deveining the shrimps prior to cooking makes for a cleaner presentation of the shrimps. And you won't get that gritty texture when you bite into the shrimp.
Yes. Frozen with or without the heads and/or tails, will work well for this recipe too.
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📖 Recipe Card
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 4 cloves Garlic finely minced
- 1 4oz Sprite other lemon-lime soda will do
- 4 T Butter unsalted
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cilantro garnish
For the Garlic Butter
- Using a fork, make the garlic butter by blending the minced garlic with the softened butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
For the Shrimps
- Add the shrimps and Sprite in the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, until the shrimps turn orange. Around the same time, when the Sprite should have been reduced to half.
- Add half of the garlic butter mixture to the shrimps. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the garlic butter shrimp from heat and add the remaining garlic butter mixture over the dish. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh chopped cilantro.
- The best shrimps to use for this recipe are the large-sized shrimps (21-25 count) which means you get 20 to 25 shrimps per pound.
- For a quicker prep time, get shrimps that are already cleaned and deveined.
- Any lemon-lime soda will work for this recipe. Just don't use diet, since you will need the sugars to help caramelize the shrimps.
- Frozen shrimps (already peeled or shell-on) will also work for this recipe.
- Any leftover shrimps should be promptly stored covered and refrigerated and must be consumed within 4 days.
- This dish is best served and eaten right away, and therefore, I will not recommend you put any uneaten shrimps in the freezer.
- This recipe goes great with Garlic Fried Rice and Cucumber Chili Salad.
Food Safety for Shrimps
- Cook the shrimps to an internal temperature of 145 °F (63 °C)
- Wash hands after cleaning and deveining shrimps
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
Hello and welcome, friend! I'm Jocelyn, the recipe developer, food photographer + stylist here at JOZmahal. As a Food & Nutrition major, I keep healthy and nutritious ingredients at the core of my recipe creations. I love to cook delicious and healthy meals for my family and friends. And I am so grateful that you are here as I hope to inspire and empower you to make all these delicious and healthy foods at home for your family and friends as well. Every recipe you will find here is quick and simple to make using fresh and natural ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store if not online. Read more about me here...
PS: If you try any of my recipes please use the tag #JOZmahalrecipes and you may be featured in my upcoming posts! ~ cook with love, my friend!