Shrimp Kabobs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 35 min. + marinating Grill: 10 min.
These grilled shrimp kabobs make a colorful addition to any barbecue platter. Using Italian salad dressing as the marinade is a brilliant way to add flavor without any extra prep!

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

When we want to infuse bold flavor into quick-cooking proteins like shrimp, we call upon the trusty grill. The char from hot grill grates adds that perfect finishing touch to delicate, marinated shrimp. Flipping individual shrimps on those grill grates can be a bit of a pain, though, so we prefer threading the crustaceans on skewers to turn them into shrimp kabobs.

In this recipe, we thread shrimp and vegetables together on skewers, making these tiny bites much easier to cook. Plus, the combination looks fantastic on a platter! Kabob recipes are a great way to add bursts of colors to any barbecue spread.

Once cooked, there are so many ways to use these grilled shrimp kabobs. Serve them as a party appetizer, or unthread the shrimp, and serve them over rice or other grains for a wholesome meal. You can also use the grilled shrimp to make tacos, po’boy sandwiches or salads.

Ingredients for Shrimp Kabobs

  • Shrimp: Shrimp are officially sized by weight, so you may see numbers like 16-20 on the packaging (which means there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound). The fewer shrimp per pound, the larger the shrimp. That larger size is perfect for a recipe like shrimp kabobs. Larger shrimp stay juicier on the grill and won’t fall through the grill grates!
  • Italian salad dressing: Italian dressing typically contains a combination of herbs, lemon juice and oil to add a zesty, bright flavor to shrimp. We tested this recipe with store-bought dressing, but you can always make a homemade Italian dressing.
  • Kabob veggies: We use a combination of onions, mushrooms, green peppers and cherry tomatoes. You can add or substitute any quick-cooking vegetable, such as zucchini or summer squash. Check out our guide for how to grill vegetables for more ideas.


Step 1: Marinate the shrimp and vegetables

Pouring salad dressing on shrimps in a small bowlTMB Studio

In a shallow dish, combine 1/2 cup salad dressing and the shrimp.

Pouring salad dressing on vegetables in a large bowlTMB Studio

In another shallow dish, combine the vegetables and the remaining 1/2 cup dressing.

Cover and refrigerate for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Editor’s Tip: We recommend peeling shrimp before marinating them. They’ll pick up more flavor without the shells. If you’re starting with unpeeled shrimp, learn how to peel and devein shrimp.

Step 2: Thread the skewers

Threading the shrimp and vegetables on wooden skewers TMB Studio

Drain and discard the marinade. On eight metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread the shrimp and vegetables.

Editor’s Tip: Soak wooden skewers before threading the shrimp and vegetables. Soaking wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes helps prevent them from burning on the hot grill.

Step 3: Grill the shrimp kabobs

Grilling the Vegetables and shrimps TMB Studio

Grill the kabobs, covered, over medium heat for six minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, turning occasionally. To cook the kabobs inside, broil the kabobs 4 inches from the heat for six minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, turning occasionally.

Editor’s Tip: After preheating the grill, clean your grill grates with a wire brush to remove any caked-on grease or debris. A clean grill is the best way to prevent the shrimp from sticking.

Shrimp Kabobs served in plates with brown rice on a wooden tableTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

How to Store Shrimp Kabobs

Unthread the skewers, and store the shrimp and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftover shrimp kabobs will last for up to three days.

Shrimp Kabobs Tips

Shrimp Kabobs and brown rice served on a wooden tableTMB Studio

What are the best shrimp for kabobs?

Large shrimp are best for kabobs. The meatier pieces are easier to skewer and stay juicier on the grill. Plus, they won’t fall through the grill grates! We like to use jumbo shrimp, which range from 16 to 20 shrimp per pound to 26 to 30 shrimp per pound.

When it comes to fresh versus frozen, frozen shrimp actually tend to be the best choice. Ask your butcher to confirm, but most of the shrimp at the seafood counter is previously frozen. You end up getting a higher quality if you buy it frozen and defrost it yourself (unless you can find fresh-off-the-boat shrimp, of course!).

How do you skewer shrimp for kabobs?

You can use metal or wooden skewers for shrimp kabobs. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning or catching fire on the grill. Then thread the skewer through the thickest part of the shrimp. Curl the tail toward the head, and thread the skewer through the skinny end, about an inch above the tail. For very large shrimp, thread a second skewer running parallel to the first one to make the kabobs easier to flip.

Can you marinate shrimp overnight?

If you’re running short on time, you can marinate the shrimp for as little as 15 minutes, but we don’t recommend marinating shrimp for longer than two hours. Compared to other proteins, shrimp are relatively small and quick-cooking, so they don’t need an extended marinating time to absorb flavors. Over-marinating is a common mistake when marinating meat and other proteins. Too much time on an acidic marinade can make the shrimp mushy.

What do you serve with shrimp kabobs?

These shrimp kabobs contain protein-rich shrimp and vegetables, so they’d be great served with fluffy rice, nutty quinoa, roasted potatoes or your favorite couscous recipe. They’re also fantastic with a peppery arugula salad or a refreshing Greek salad.

Watch how to Make Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp Kabobs

Prep Time 35 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 4 servings.


  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds uncooked shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 large onions, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 16 large fresh mushrooms
  • 2 large green peppers, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 16 cherry tomatoes


  1. In a shallow dish, combine 1/2 cup salad dressing and shrimp. In another shallow dish, combine vegetables and remaining 1/2 cup dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. On eight metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread the shrimp and vegetables. Grill kabobs, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning occasionally.

Nutrition Facts

2 kabobs: 260 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 207mg cholesterol, 416mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 31g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

Marinating the shrimp in Italian dressing adds wonderful flavor to these colorful shrimp kabobs.—Sharon Aweau, Kapolei, Hawaii