As Easy As Apple Pie

Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa Recipe

Are you looking for a super quick, yet flavorful meal this week? I have the perfect recipe for you!

Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa is a dinner favorite for busy nights! It requires minimal ingredients, it’s healthy, gluten-free and best of all, it’s completely customizable!

Make this tonight, your family will love it!

Garlic shrimp and quinoa in a cast iron pan.

Garlic shrimp with quinoa recipe

Shrimp is a healthy, versatile staple for quick weeknight dinners. It can be flavored in many ways and used in a variety of recipes like these Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Shrimp or Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa.

This garlic shrimp quinoa is not only a quick and tasty meal filled with nutrition, but it’s also impressive enough to serve when you have guests.

A note about the key ingredients

  • Shrimp – you can use fresh or frozen. If fresh, peel and devein the shrimp or save yourself some work and buy peeled and deveined shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, make sure you thaw them completely in the fridge before starting the recipe! You’ll also want to pat them dry with paper towels before cooking! 
  • Quinoa – I love quinoa! It’s high in protein, contains essential amino acids, and is gluten-free. Quinoa has a bitter coating that needs to be rinsed away before use. Place it in a fine-meshed strainer and run cold water over it while gently rubbing the seeds together in your hands.
  • Garlic – you can adjust the amount of fresh minced garlic based on your preferences.
  • Vegetable stock – I used 1/2 teaspoon of my homemade vegetable stock powder. You can use chicken broth or even water.
  • Lemon juice – just finishes off the dish with a nice bright flavor. Use freshly-squeezed lemon juice, not the bottled one!
  • Fresh parsley – it’s a garnish. It’s ok to omit it if you don’t have it.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

I like to keep the tails on, but if you’re just looking for a quick dinner and aren’t out to impress anyone, remove the tails before cooking!

How to make this shrimp recipe

This quinoa shrimp recipe is easy and takes only 35 minutes to prepare or even less if you have leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge.

Simply cook the quinoa, after 15 minutes start cooking the shrimp, then mix everything together. Finish the dish with a drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.

Recipe variations

This recipe is incredibly flexible, so feel free to add in whatever you love most.

  • Veggies – add bell peppers, sautéed mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, corn, black beans, or kale.
  • Grains – swap the quinoa for any grain, such as rice, barley, farro, or couscous.
  • Oil – to make this a Garlic Butter Shrimp, use butter instead of olive oil.
  • Protein – scallops make a wonderful substitution for the shrimp.
  • Herbs and citrus – replace the parsley with cilantro and squeeze some lime juice at the end.
  • Add-in – for a heartier dinner or if you’re extra hungry, stir in some steamed cauliflower rice at the end.

Serving suggestions

This shrimp quinoa recipe pairs well with light and flavorful dishes. Here are a few of my favorites:

How to store and reheat leftovers

  • To store: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. 
  • To reheat: gently reheat leftovers in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Alternatively, reheat individual portions in the microwave in 30-second increments, stopping to stir each time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of shrimp should I buy?

Buy peeled and deveined shrimp if you can, it will make the preparation process so much faster!
Also, make sure you’re buying raw shrimp instead of pre-cooked. Cooking pre-cooked shrimp can lead to a very rubbery result.

How long do I cook the shrimp?

Shrimp cooks super quickly, all you need is about 3-4 minutes per side (so watch carefully!). Once they turn pink and opaque, they are done. If you cook shrimp for too long they will become rubbery and dry.

Is this dish spicy?

There’s a little kick from the chili powder, but it’s a spice level that most people can handle. If you don’t love spicy shrimp, just season with salt and pepper.

If you make this recipe, please leave a feedback and rating in the comment section below. I always love hearing how it turns out for you! ♡

Garlic shrimp and quinoa in a cast iron pan and a spoon.

More healthy quinoa recipes

Healthy Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Fall Harvest Salad

garlic shrimp and quinoa in a cast iron pan
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Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa is a dinner favorite for busy nights! It requires minimal ingredients, it's healthy, gluten-free and best of all, it's completely customizable!

Ingredients

For the quinoa:

  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup (190 g) uncooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups (475 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped

For the shrimp:

  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb (225 g) raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

You will also need:

  • fresh parsley finely chopped
  • the juice of half a lemon

Instructions

Quinoa:

  • In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold running water.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until the onion softens slightly.
  • Add the quinoa and ½ teaspoon of chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • 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, add the parsley, and mix well.

Shrimp:

  • While quinoa is cooking, cook 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 ¼ teaspoon of chili powder. Season with salt and pepper, and sautee until no longer translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Mix everything together:

  • Mix the quinoa and shrimp together, drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
    Serve the spicy garlic shrimp and quinoa immediately, while still hot.

Notes

  • Shrimp – you can use fresh or frozen. 
  • Tail on or off?  – I like to keep the tails on, but if you’re just looking for a quick dinner and aren’t out to impress anyone, remove the tails before cooking!
  • Garlic – adjust the amount of fresh minced garlic based on your preferences.
  • To store –  leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • To reheat – gently reheat leftovers in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • Scaling the recipe – you can easily double or triple the recipe. Simply click on the number of servings in the recipe card and slide the toggle that appears to the number of servings you want to make. The ingredient amounts will change accordingly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 portion, Calories: 266 kcal, Carbohydrates: 36.1 g, Protein: 16 g, Fat: 6.4 g, Saturated Fat: 0.8 g, Cholesterol: 60.2 mg, Sodium: 168 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 0.6 g
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