A sheet pan dinner like this is really about creating flavor plus convenience for the cook. It’s a 15 minute meal if you buy cleaned shrimp out of the shell. Removing the shells, adds about 10 minutes of prep. No biggie.
To create really buttery, flavorful shrimp, I recommend roasting it in a single layer on a tray with a generous amount of garlic and your favorite olive oil (yep, olive oil). To really bring it to the next level, you want to shower the cooked shrimp with fresh herbs and several spritzes of lime.
Why Olive Oil Works with Roasted Garlic Shrimp:
Something magical happens when you roast shrimp in olive oil with garlic and finish with lime juice. It tastes pleasantly buttery. I don’t know why, it just does. Plus, it’s lighter than the flavor of butter, so it doesn’t compete with the shrimp. But, that’s not all.
I have a secret weapon: A few dashes of cayenne chili right at the end adds some heat and intensifies the other flavors. It’s unreal. Of course, if you are opposed to spicy food, you can use paprika instead.
Which Herbs Go with Shrimp:
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what flavors really compliment shrimp, and I am loving the savory spiciness of oregano with lime, chili, and garlic. It’s not too heavy, but it’s really yummy. Actually, I wish I had some crusty bread to sop up all the olive oil on the tray.
Other Herbs You Could Try:
I love how informal this dinner feels served family style on a sheet tray and how it would compliment a bowl of salad greens, pasta, or fresh bread. I think a glass of white wine or light beer would be nice too.
Fresh versus Frozen Shrimp: Good news! You can use either fresh or frozen shrimp in this recipe, and I’ll show you a quick trick for making this work with either ingredient.
How to Defrost Frozen Shrimp for Roasting
I had a bag of cleaned, shell-on frozen shrimp. I put it in the fridge the day before, and it was still frozen the next day. So, what I did, and what I recommend is that you bring a medium pot of water to boil. Place the frozen shrimp inside and boil for 2 minutes. Strain and then you can easily remove the shells and proceed with this recipe.
Also, if you need help cleaning the shrimp yourself, you can see how with this post I wrote for shrimp fettuccine alfredo.
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Sheet Pan Chili Garlic Shrimp
- 2 pounds shrimp deveined, shells removed
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves finely chopped
- 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Spread the cleaned shrimp onto a sheet tray. Add the garlic, salt, and olive oil and toss to coat. Transfer to the center rack in the oven and roast until the garlic is very aromatic and the shrimp is pink with red tails, about 15 minutes.
- Hot out of the oven, sprinkle immediately with oregano, the juice of 1 lime, and as much or as little cayenne powder as you like. Serve immediately. Adjust salt to taste.
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