This quick and simple Tandoori Shrimp dish can be on the table in no time flat! It’s perfect for folks doing a Whole30 or anyone who wants a flavorful and fuss-free weeknight supper.

A side shot of Tandoori Shrimp on a black plate with lime wedges.

I always keep a bag of frozen shrimp stashed in my freezer so I can break it out in case of dinner emergencies. Got one, too? Then it’s time to make Tandoori Shrimp!

A collage of the cooking steps to make Tandoori Shrimp.

What is tandoori?

Rather than a specific recipe, tandoori refers to a type of Indian cooking that utilizes a tandoor, a high-temperature cylindrical clay oven. Traditionally, proteins are marinated in yogurt or coconut milk and mixed with a pungent spice blend before they’re roasted in the tandoor. Like most American suburbanites, however, I don’t own a traditional tandoor, so I simply cook my tandoori-inspired meat and seafood in our kitchen oven or out on our backyard grill.

What’s in tandoori spice blend?

Tandoori spice blends (a.k.a. tandoori masala) can vary, but it usually contains garam masala (which typically consists of coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg), garlic, ginger, onion, and cayenne pepper. I buy a tandoori spice blend at the store or online, but you can mix some yourself by following this recipe.

What shrimp should you use for this recipe?

I always buy frozen shrimp at the store. The “fresh” stuff you see displayed behind the seafood counter is usually just previously frozen shrimp that’s been thawed for sale—and once frozen shrimp has been thawed, you need to cook it pretty quickly or it will go bad. That’s why it’s better to buy frozen shrimp and thaw it when you’re ready to cook it!

Buying the right kind of seafood can be confusing, so it’s best to refer to the latest recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Here’s their guide to better shrimp. Personally, I prefer bigger shrimp, so I buy jumbo size prawns (about 21-25 shrimp per pound).

Can I use another protein instead?

For sure! You can check out my Super Easy Tandoori Chicken and Tandoori Fish recipes on the blog for the step-by-step instructions. Also, my Sheet Pan Tandoori Chicken is super quick and easy!

Can tandoori shrimp be cooked on the grill?

Yes! Stab the marinated shrimp onto pre-soaked wooden skewers and grill them on a medium-hot grill for a minute or two on each side. Easy peasy!

Ingredients

  • Fresh or frozen shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Full-fat coconut milk or plain coconut yogurt
  • Tandoori spice mix or masala (no salt added)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Limes, slices into wedges

How to make shrimp tandoori

If using frozen shrimp, thaw them under running water for 5 to 7 minutes, or until no longer icy. Peel and devein the shrimp if not already done.

Frozen jumbo shrimp in a colander being rinsed with water. On the right, someone is peeling the shell off a shrimp.

In a large bowl, combine the Diamond kosher salt, coconut milk, Tandoori spice mix, and lemon juice. 

Making the marinade for Tandoori Shrimp.

Whisk until well-distributed.

Whisking the marinade for Tandoori Shrimp until it is uniform.

Add the shrimp and toss to coat well. You can marinate the shrimp for up to 30 minutes if desired. 

Adding the peeled and deveined shrimp to the tandoori marinade.

Heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle position. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Placing the tandoori shrimp on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the shrimp over at the halfway point. (If your shrimp are smaller than jumbo, they may take just 5 minutes to cook!)

Using a pair of tongs to flip over the tandoori shrimp at the halfway point.

The shrimp are finished cooking when they turn opaque and pink on the outside. They’re easy to overcook, so don’t dawdle. No one likes rubbery shrimp!

The Tandoori Shrimp fresh out of the oven and ready to serve.

Sprinkle with minced fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges. (Yes, lemons are just as good!)

Sprinkling minced fresh cilantro leaves on top of a platter of Tandoori Shrimp.

Serve with cauliflower rice, roasted vegetables, or a big green salad!

An overhead shot of Tandoori Shrimp on a black platter, surrounded by lime wedges.

What do I serve with tandoori shrimp?

Tandoori shrimp can be served as an appetizer or even as a Game Day snack. If you’re serving it as a main dish, some great vegetable side dishes include Simple Cauliflower Rice, roasted vegetables, or a big green salad.

How do I save leftovers?

Leftover tandoori shrimp can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days. When I eat the leftovers (or any leftover shrimp dish), I don’t reheat it because the smell can be pretty pungent. Luckily, Tandoori Shrimp tastes great cold—I just pile the shrimp on a bed of lettuce and dig in.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Tandoori Shrimp

4.83 from 17 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 people
This quick and simple Tandoori Shrimp dish can be on the table in no time flat! It’s perfect for folks doing a Whole30 or anyone who wants a flavorful and fuss-free weeknight supper.

Ingredients 
 

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Instructions 

  • If using frozen shrimp, thaw them under running water for 5 to 7 minutes, or until no longer icy. Peel and devein the shrimp if not already done.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Diamond kosher salt, coconut milk, Tandoori spice mix, and lemon juice. Whisk until well-distributed.
  • Add the shrimp and toss to coat well. You can marinate the shrimp for up to 30 minutes if desired. 
  • Heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle position. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the shrimp over at the halfway point. (If your shrimp are smaller than jumbo, they may take just 5 minutes to cook!)
  • Sprinkle with minced fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges. (Yes, lemons are just as good!)

Video

Notes

The shrimp are finished cooking when they turn opaque and pink on the outside. They’re easy to overcook, so don’t dawdle. No one likes rubbery shrimp!

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. The only mistake I made the first time I made it was not making enough! I’ve learned my lesson!