Fans of shrimp love this easy and delicious recipe for Baked Shrimp with Lemon and Garlic. Shelling and de-veining the shrimp takes some time, but once they’re ready, this dish comes together in under 20 minutes. And if the good smells of butter and garlic don’t impress your family or guests, the sight of the dish when it comes out of the oven certainly will.
This recipe starts with raw jumbo (16-20 count per pound) shrimp. Because there’s just two of us in my family, I decided to halve it from a little over two pounds to just one.
My peeling technique is to find where the first “segment” is in the shrimp’s shell, then pull it forward with my thumbnail until it slips off. Often, when you do the first one, the rest loosens or comes with it. Make sure to get the legs, too.
Leaving the tail on or off is your call. Clearly, it isn’t meant to be eaten, but leaving it on offers diners something to grab onto if the shrimp is part of an appetizer, and can enhance a shrimp dish’s overall presentation, as I think it does here.
Now comes the least fun part of preparing shrimp — the de-veining process.
The “vein” of a shrimp isn’t actually a vein, but its digestive tract, meaning its waste. Typically, it’s a thin, dark tube, but it can be bigger in the large shrimp called for in this recipe. You may also discover a line of thicker, salmon-colored stuff in your shrimp. Not to worry — it’s just roe, or shrimp eggs. Remove it the same way you would the digestive tract, and carry on.
To de-vein my shrimp, I take a sharp paring knife and run it in a neat line down the back of the shrimp, going nearly halfway down. Then I use the side of the blade to scrape out the exposed tract. It usually comes out in one piece.
Some people say they don’t bother to remove it, but if the fact that it’s waste isn’t enough, the tract can also sometimes contain sand. Both sound pretty unpleasant to me, so I always remove it.
After de-veining, gently rinse the shrimp and arrange on clean paper towels to dry.
For the baking part, first melt some butter in a large baking dish. Remember, I halved the recipe. If you’re making it as written, a standard 9×13-inch glass or enameled dish will work great.
Once the butter has melted, remove it from the oven and add in a bit of salt, minced garlic (not crushed in a garlic press — you’ll want to see those little bits in the final dish), and freshly chopped parsley. Give everything a few stirs to combine evenly.
Then, arrange your shrimp in an even layer. Mine really had to snuggle in there, but they all fit.
After baking for a quick 5 minutes, remove the pan (the shrimp will already be pink) and turn the shrimp over. Top them with some fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and more parsley.
Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until just tender. You do not want to overcook the shrimp, or they’ll be rubbery.
Out of the oven, this dish smells amazing, and looks impressive. What more could a host or hostess ask for?
To serve, the original recipe says to transfer the shrimp to a heated plate (give it a few good tosses to evenly distribute the lemon zest, garlic, and parsley), and then spoon the garlicky butter sauce left in the pan over the top.
Personally, I’d want to toss this shrimp with hot linguine, served with crusty bread on the side.
Either way, it’s a winner.
This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.