This lemon harissa baked shrimp is an easy, 20 minute sheet pan dinner. The shrimp are sweet, spicy and a tad tangy. If you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal after a busy day, this is it!
After a long day at work, I come home so tired. I just want to kick my feet up, watch re-runs and keep it simple. This lemon harissa shrimp is just the thing for that. It cooks literally in 7 minutes (!), so you’ll have a lot of free time the rest of the night.
Shrimp dinners are also pretty fun for me because Tim doesn’t love seafood, so I get to pile a ton of shrimp on my plate!
Meal prep tips for couples, small families or roomies:
- Consider having 1 night a week where you can make a meal that’s just for you
- Plan your solo meals on a list app before shopping day, so you can get excited for them and also stay on track in the grocery store!
- On our Wunderlist (super helpful list app) grocery list we call it “Ashley and Tim” night. It’s really nice to treat yourself to your favorite foods once a week. Our shared meals throughout the week are still tasty but if I’m craving lemon harissa shrimp and Tim is craving Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi (his go-to fave), everybody wins!
Grocery Shopping Tip: I like to buy a bag of frozen shrimp and just defrost it when I’m in a shrimp mood. They last a long time in the freezer and are usually cheaper than fresh shrimp, so more bang for your buck!
Quick note about defrosting seafood or meat: Defrost meats in the fridge (rather than on the counter) overnight to prevent bacteria growth. If you don’t have time for an overnight defrost, you can put the shrimp in a bowl and cover them with COLD water and then let them defrost on the counter. I know the cold water seems counter intuitive but it helps defrost the shrimp without lowering them to “danger zone” temperatures where bacteria thrive.
How to avoid overcooked shrimp
When I say this shrimp is quick, I’m really not kidding! Since they roast in the broiler, I highly recommend setting a timer. After 7 minutes these lemon harissa glazed shrimp are perfectly moist.
If you accidentally head into 9 or 10 minute territory though, you’ll end up with rubbery shrimp…nobody wants rubbery shrimp. P.S. not all broilers are created equally, so if you know yours gets super hot, set the timer for 5 minutes and check the shrimp’s done-ness, then add more time if needed.
When the shrimp are cooked, I like to drain off any excess shrimp juice on the sheet pan (this is where all of the flavor is!) and save it. I like to mix the sheet pan shrimp drippings with some leftover marinade and drizzle it all over the meal.
What’s in the marinade?
This marinade is super easy because you shake it up in a mason jar. It can also be drizzled on lots of other meats and veggies for roasting. The key ingredients in this marinade are:
- Harissa: Spicy pepper puree from Northern Africa (I used Trader Joe’s brand but you can find harissa in your grocery store’s international aisle). Tip: Taste test some harissa before using it. Every brand of harissa is different, so it might be super spicy or more mild. I used 1 tsp of harissa in this marinade, but feel free to play around with that amount based on your spice tolerance.
- Lemon: Nice and bright!
- Honey: So the heat doesn’t overpower everything!
- Fresh Basil: Because it’s delicious : )
For years I stuck strictly to making shrimp in a skillet on the stove, but oven baked shrimp are way easier.
If you set a timer, there’s really no risk of overcooking it, so you end up with perfectly cooked shrimp every time. I think my favorite part about this 20-minute meal, is that it’s all baked on one sheet pan.
Sheet pan dinners are helpful, because you can adapt them to whatever you have in the fridge. I love eating these shrimp with roasted veggies. I use half of the sheet pan to roast a quick cooking veggie like zucchini but you can use lots of other vegetables here.
Other roasted veggies that would be GREAT with these sweet and tangy shrimp:
- Red Bell Peppers
In addition to the roasted zucchini, I also ate this shrimp with a little brown rice. The rice soaked up all of the shrimp drippings/marinade flavor, which was AWESOME! As Tim can attest, I like my food doused in sauce…the more sauce the better. If you don’t like super saucy meals, you don’t have to drizzle the shrimp drippings or extra marinade over the top.
I’m new to this whole sheet pan dinner trend, but I think I’m hooked now! Having everything cook on one pan (and really quickly) is a true night saver!
I know the feeling of working all day and feeling so drained that coming home and staying in the kitchen all night is daunting. If more free night time is an option, SIGN ME UP!
What types of sheet-pan meals do you love roasting up? Let me know in the comments below!
- 10-12 shrimp
- 1 tsp harissa
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of ground ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn the oven on to broil (high setting).
- Add harissa, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, basil, cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper to a mason jar. Shake the jar so that all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour half of the marinade on the raw shrimp, toss and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. Place the shrimp individually (leave the excess marinade in the bowl)on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Broil the shrimp for 6-8 minutes until cooked through. I like to serve the shrimp with brown rice and roasted veggies. Drizzle the leftover marinade (from the jar, not the half that was mixed with the raw shrimp) over the shrimp, rice and veggies for serving.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.