Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa
For a healthy and flavorful meal that’s easy to prepare in just 30 minutes, try this garlic shrimp and quinoa recipe! With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a delicious meal that can be easily customized to suit your tastes and dietary needs.
It’s the perfect option, whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a dish to impress your guests.
Shrimp is one of our favorite household staples for quick weeknight dinners because it’s versatile and can take on so many flavors! We use it in various recipes, such as Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles, Spicy Shrimp Tacos, and this Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa.
This dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making it ideal for guests with dietary restrictions since it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
Pair it with roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze, a simple Lebanese fattoush salad, or steamed greens for a complete and satisfying meal.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and easy: perfect for busy weeknights or weekends when you want something delicious but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. You can have it ready in just 30 minutes, or even less if you have cooked quinoa in the fridge.
- This dish is perfect for meal prep because it stores well and reheats easily. You can make a big batch on the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week.
- Versatile: this recipe is easily customizable to suit your tastes or dietary needs. You can add different vegetables to give it some extra color and nutrition, or even swap out the shrimp for chicken or tofu.
- Healthy: thanks to the quinoa (which is high in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients) and shrimp (a lean source of protein), this meal is satisfying and filling.
Ingredients & easy swaps
Here are a few notes about the ingredients for this recipe:
- Shrimp: for easy prep, you’ll want to buy raw, tail-off shrimp that’s been peeled and deveined. If you’re using frozen shrimp, make sure to completely thaw them in the refrigerator and pat them dry with paper towels before cooking. If you prefer, you can substitute the shrimp with scallops, chicken, tofu, or black beans for a vegetarian option.
- Quinoa: any type of quinoa can be used, but white or tri-color quinoa tends to have a milder flavor that pairs well with the garlic and shrimp. Quinoa has a natural coating that can give it a bitter taste. To remove this coating, rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer under cold water while gently rubbing the seeds together in your hands. If you don’t have quinoa, feel free to use any grain you like, such as rice, barley, farro, or couscous.
- Oil: to make this a garlic butter shrimp recipe, use butter instead of olive oil.
- Garlic: the amount of fresh minced garlic can be adjusted according to your preference. If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can leave it out or use garlic powder as a substitute.
- Chili powder: you can increase or decrease the amount of chili powder to adjust the level of spiciness to your liking.
- Vegetable stock: I used 1 teaspoon of my homemade vegetable stock powder. If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, you can use chicken broth or water instead.
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright and refreshing flavor to the dish. Avoid using bottled lemon juice.
- Fresh parsley is only a garnish. Feel free to omit it.
See the recipe card below for a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.
How to make this quinoa garlic shrimp recipe
Make-ahead & storage tips
To store: place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
Make-ahead: garlic shrimp quinoa can be made ahead of time for quick and easy meal prep. Store the cooked quinoa and shrimp in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the quinoa and shrimp separately and then combine them.
It’s recommended to buy raw, tail-off shrimp that’s been peeled and deveined.
Shrimp can become rubbery if overcooked. To avoid this, be sure to cook the shrimp just until it turns pink and opaque and curls into a “C” shape. This usually takes only a few minutes.
Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of this recipe by omitting the shrimp and adding in more vegetables or protein alternatives, such as tofu or black beans.
This dish does have a bit of spiciness to it due to the addition of chili powder. However, you can adjust the amount of chili powder to your liking to make the dish more or less spicy.
More healthy and tasty quinoa recipes
Have you tried this shrimp and quinoa recipe yet? Did you make any modifications or put your own spin on it? Share your feedback with us in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear from you! And if you have any questions, we are always here to help!
How To Make It: Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa
For the quinoa:
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup (190 g) uncooked quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (475 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
For the shrimp:
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb (450 g) raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
You will also need:
- fresh parsley finely chopped
- the juice of half a lemon
- In a medium pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onion and cook until it softens slightly, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the quinoa, chili powder, and salt.
- Sautee for 1 minute, then add the broth.
- Bring to a boil, uncovered. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked and tender.
- Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- 15 minutes in, start cooking the shrimp. Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of chili powder. Sautee until no longer translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Mix everything together:
- Mix the quinoa and shrimp together, drizzle with lemon juice, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
- Shrimp: you can use either fresh or frozen shrimp, with the tail on or off, depending on your preference. If using frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw them completely in the fridge before starting the recipe.
- Garlic: adjust the amount of fresh minced garlic based on your preferences.
- Chili Powder: increase or decrease the amount of chili powder to adjust the spiciness level to your liking.
- Storage: leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
- Make-ahead: store the cooked quinoa and shrimp in separate, airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the quinoa and shrimp separately and then combine them.
- Scaling the recipe: you can easily adjust the recipe to make more or less by simply adjusting the serving size on the recipe card. The ingredient amounts will adjust automatically, making it easy to double or triple the recipe as needed.
I have made this exact recipe about five times now…since finding it just over a month ago! It’s difficult to eat only one serving, it’s so good! I think the measurements are all perfect as is, but I sometimes like to add extra garlic and veggies (I did cubed sweet potato, broccoli, peas and mushrooms this past time). I love the taste when using Better than Bouillon as the stock, and I like to add shredded chicken for more protein. Also, like others have said, do not forget to add the lemon juice! It’s still yummy without it, but the lemon juice adds a nice touch!
I’m so happy I found this delicious recipe :)
Thank you for the feedback, Lou! :)
An easy and nutritious way to use shrimp. Going on my list of favourite shrimp recipes!