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Quick cooking Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special…a fun meal to enjoy any night of the week. Seasoned with paprika and cayenne pepper, then tossed in a lemon butter sauce with crisp caramelized garlic. Every last shrimp has just the right amount of heat, lemon, butter, and crispy garlic. Serve this shrimp up with mounds of steamed rice and a creamy lemon pepper sauce for dipping. Simply add a couple of pineapple wedges on the side for a truly tropical feel. And if you really love sauce…do a double-dip with a sweet and spicy chili sauce. Trust me, it’s beyond GOOOD.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

Anyone else slowly starting to dream up that topical spring vacation? I’ve hit that point in the winter when I want nothing more than a trip to Florida for some warmth and sunshine. Anyone else?

When I was growing up, my family would travel to Florida every Easter. I’m longing for one of those trips right now! So instead I’ve been thinking about all the places I’m excited to travel to once traveling is “normal” again. Since traveling is still difficult right now, or at least out of the country is, I figured a fun dinner inspired by a tropical destination is exactly what we all need.

Enter this shrimp, it feels very fresh and topical. The fun part is that we can all make this at home, and pretty darn easily too!

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

The inspiration and backstory.

This shrimp was very much inspired by the shrimp you’ll find on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It’s served up at the local food trucks, one of the more popular being Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, hopefully you’ve experienced the famous garlic shrimp. After reading about Giovanni’s shrimp, it sounded way too delicious. I knew I wanted to try and create a homemade version.

The funny thing is that I’ve actually shared a similar recipe years ago inspired by the famous Hawaiian garlic shrimp, but I wanted to give it another try as I didn’t love my original recipe. So here we are. There seem to be a lot of recipes for this specific shrimp online, each varying from the other just slightly. I read Giovanni’s menu, looked through photos on Pinterest, and tried to find as much info I could before diving into creating the recipe.

The most popular trucks are Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp. If you’re visiting, both trucks are worth stopping in for some shrimp. I used Giovanni’s as more of my inspiration. Again, this is just my take, I’m sure it’s not exactly how they make their shrimp by any means.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

The quick details.

The key is using shell-on shrimp, which adds so much flavor to the dish. Some people like to eat the entire shrimp, shell and all. While others prefer to suck the sauce off then remove the shell and eat. I still can’t quite get fully on board with eating the shell, so I cooked half the shrimp with shell on/tail on, and the other half, shell off. It gives you all the wonderful flavors and mix of shrimp to enjoy. But you can do whatever you prefer, of course.

And don’t forget to devein your shrimp. I’ve made this mistake before, so putting out a friendly reminder for you guys!

Once you have the shrimp all prepped, toss them into a mix of paprika and cayenne. I like to go heavy on both spices, but make sure to use the cayenne pepper to your taste.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

Pan sear the shrimp in olive oil until crisp on both sides, then pull it out of the skillet and cook the garlic and butter. The trick here is to slowly caramelize the garlic in the butter. You need to be careful not to burn the garlic. Instead, you want the garlic to turn deep golden in color and become crisp. It happens quickly so keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn.

As soon has you have the garlic crisp, toss in more butter and add the shrimp back, tossing it with all that butter. At this point, just squeeze over lots of lemon juice…beyond delicious. The shrimp is a little spicy, perfectly buttery, and that garlic…well it just seals the deal. It’s rich, caramelized, and just ever so slightly crispy.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

Before you serve, the sauces.

Of course, these sauces are not traditional. You can make them both or simply make the shrimp. But you know that over here we love sauce, so the more the better.

The creamy lemon pepper sauce adds just the right amount of creamy tang, but the chili sauce adds a sweet and spicy element. Both are delicious and pair wonderfully with the shrimp. Again, make one, both, or neither…though I do recommend both!

Be sure to serve each plate of shrimp with steamed rice and lemon wedges. Then add the sauces and spoon over any leftover lemon butter from the pan.

If you’re in need of a little reprieve from winter, this is the perfect tropical-inspired dinner! Hope you guys love this one as much as we do!

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 446 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Lemon Pepper Sauce


  • 1. Pat the shrimp dry. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the flour, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet to a plate. Set aside.
    3. If needed, let the skillet cool slightly. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and the garlic together over medium heat. Cook until the garlic begins to turn golden, 2-3 minutes. Melt in 4 more tablespoons butter. Add the shrimp and toss. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp is warmed and the garlic is dark golden and crisp. Squeeze over the lemon juice, remove from the heat.
    4. To make the lemon pepper sauce, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Serve the shrimp with the garlic butter spooned over top. Add rice, lemon wedges, lemon pepper sauce, and chili sauce on the side.


Spicy Chili Sauce: mix 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1-2 cloves grated garlic, and a pinch each of chili flakes and salt. Add 1/4 cup chopped pineapple if desired. 
Shell on Shrimp: for best flavor use, shell-on shrimp. You can either suck the sauce off the shell and then eat the shrimp. Or eat the shell, though I prefer to not eat the shell. 
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Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special |

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  1. 5 stars
    Our fish co-op this week delivered Jumbo Prawns from Louisiana. I’m not sure how sustainable that is when you live in CA, but it deserved a special Tieghan recipe at any rate.
    I added a large handful of cherry tomatoes from the garden for the second butter round and served it over creamy Polenta. It was hard not to go back for seconds!!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this! Agree with the others the sauce was completely unnecessary. Made with half smoked paprika and half sweet and omitted the cayenne because my guest doesn’t like spicy. Cooked with the creamy polenta from our other favorite HBH shrimp recipe (Spicy garlic lemon butter shrimp) – we all loved it!

    1. Hi Kimberley,
      Happy Monday!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT

  3. 5 stars
    OMG!! This is so good and it comes together in minutes. I highly recommend both sauces. They compliment each other. I made the sauces first and then cooked the shrimp. I served it with cauliflower rice. Amazing! Thanks, Tieghan

    1. Hey Carol,
      Happy Monday!!💐 Thank you so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

    1. Hey Mary,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    The shrimp turned out delicious and that yogurt sauce was perfect with it, it was a tad too spicy for me so the yogurt sauce helped tone it down. It was also incredibly quick and easy, instant hit!

    1. Hey Katie,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out and sharing your feedback! I love to hear that it was a hit!☀️

  5. 5 stars
    Ah-mazing! Delicious, I loved both sauces, but I feel that the lemon pepper sauce is not needed for this recipe.

    1. Hey Darlina,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have the best week:) xxT

  6. 5 stars
    These are my new favourite prawns. So delicious. I will say there is really no need for either sauces. I made them, they are tasty, but we like the prawns without. Highly recommend them. I left the shells on and agree, helps to retain the flavour and tenderness.

    1. Hi Jodi,
      Happy Sunday!! I love hearing that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out and sharing your feedback!! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Love this shrimp dish. I served as an appetizer and everyone loved it. Making again as an appetizer for tonight company and will have extra to serve again as an appetizer tomorrow night. Different couples of course! Enjoy your recipes very much! You are very creative have have great dishes and ideas!

    1. Hey Suz,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! Have a wonderful weekend☀️ xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan, huge fan of your blog and cookbooks! I made this tonight for my family following your recipe almost to a T and it turned out great! Some of my family members said it was restaurant quality. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Melissa,
      Happy Sunday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it! xxTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Holy moly, this recipe was so quick and easy but incredibly delicious!!! Made it for my girlfriends and I tonight and they were begging me for the recipe. This was my second time cooking shrimp. The first time was a disaster and I was scared to make it again. This recipe was spot on with cook times and flavor. So happy to add this recipe to my repertoire.

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!! I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  10. 10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Both sauces are a must!!! The flavors you put together blow my mind and my husband. I’ve cooked your recipes since March 2020, five or six night a week, you have never disappointed. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Margaret,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Shannon,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

        1. Hey Megan,
          Wonderful! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan