Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa – a simple, healthy, and gluten-free shrimp recipe for busy nights!

garlic shrimp and quinoa in a cast iron pan

Healthy doesn’t have to be flavorless and boring! This garlic shrimp and quinoa recipe is not only a quick and tasty meal but is also filled with nutrition.

A touch of chili powder and cayenne give it zest, lemon juice keeps it fresh, and a generous handful of fresh garlic brings the recipe to life. Quinoa is high in protein, contains essential amino acids, and is gluten-free. It also cooks quickly and best of all, it’s delicious.

Remember, when you’re working with quinoa, don’t skip the rinse! Quinoa has a bitter coating which 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.

This garlic shrimp and quinoa recipe is easy and takes only 35 minutes to prepare. Start by cooking the quinoa with garlic, onion, and chili powder, then add the broth. While the quinoa is cooking, cook the shrimp, then mix the quinoa and shrimp together, drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

It’s a quick meal to whip up on a weeknight as a nice light dinner, but impressive enough to serve when you have guests. You can also prepare it the night before and have lunch ready for the next day. You will have a protein-packed, healthy, and – most importantly – delicious lunch.

Serve the garlic shrimp and quinoa with a salad and enjoy a flavorful, low-calorie, meal.

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

For more easy Shrimp Recipes, be sure to check out my Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Shrimp and Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa.

And more healthy Quinoa Recipes: Healthy Quinoa Fried Rice, Quinoa Breakfast Bowl, and Apple Kale Quinoa Salad

garlic shrimp and quinoa in a cast iron pan
5 from 28 votes
Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Author: Elena Tomasi
Course: Main Dish

Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa - a simple, healthy and gluten-free dinner ready in 35 minutes. Only 260 calories per serving

For the quinoa:
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup (190 grams) uncooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups (500 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
For the shrimp:
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb (225 grams) raw tail-on shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
You will also need:
  • fresh parsley finely chopped
  • juice of half lemon
  1. In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold running water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until the onion softens slightly.
  4. Add the quinoa and ½ teaspoon of chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. garlic shrimp and quinoa
  6. Sautee for 1 minute, then add the broth.
  7. 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.
  1. 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.

  2. garlic shrimp and quinoa
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. 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.
Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (1 portion) — Calories: 250, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 168mg, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 17g

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86 comments on “Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa”

  1. This is my kind of a meal – tasty, pretty quick to pull together and healthy!

  2. I’m right there with you. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring or flavorless. What a wonderful high protein and elegant looking dish.

  3. I’m not a fan of Quinoa yet, but I really like shrimps and you make this dish look so beautiful – I think I should try it!

  4. This looks absolutely amazing! We love shrimp and we are starting to eat more quinoa. And I love how easy it is to put together. Pinning!

  5. This is a very well done recipe! Get pic and presentation, as always!

  6. Tried the recipe today. It’s so yummy and my husband loves it! Thanks!

  7. Hi do you have to cook the quinoa before adding the oil and onions?

  8. Thanks for making your recipe printable

  9. This looks yummy! I’m trying out the whole “meal prepping” thing.
    How long will this last? I’m looking for something I could eat on for 5 days. Is it something I could freeze?

    Thanks so much! Regardless, I will be trying this recipe out!

  10. Would it work to substitute the quinoa for cous-cous?

  11. How many servings does this recipe yield?

  12. Made this tonight and it was so so good!! Will for sure be making this again!

  13. How long should the quinoa have been cooking before beginning to cook the shrimp?
    It doesn’t say…sorry but I’m a novice 🙂


  14. Made it, absolutely loved it! I added quite a bit more shrimp and some bell peppers, Trinidad perfume peppers and a little extra chili pepper!


  16. Easy and tasty. The lemon at the end makes it.

  17. Made this last night. My husband ha never tried Quinoa’s before. He lliked it. This is a keeper.

  18. Delicious but most importantly quick and easy recipe. Will make again for sure!

  19. I have home made chicken stock, but no vegetable stock. Which would be better, chicken stock or water?

  20. I am not very confident in cooking new things, usually because it turns out horribly. When my husband found out I was experimenting with supper, I think he cringed a little. I have been dieting and am bored with the same old stuff. This recipe was so easy to make and absolutely delicious!! Thank you for sharing!!

  21. The recipe calls for chili powder but the picture is showing fresh chili peppers. Which did you use?

  22. Am I missing how much shrimp this calls for?

  23. Sounds great. Any suggestion for replacing chili powder? Need flavor but not heat, thanks.

  24. Made this recipe today. It was the first time we tried quinoa and we loved it. This recipe was quick and easy to make, and had great flavor! The whole family enjoyed it! Thanks for this recipe it’s a keeper!

  25. This was delicious!! It was my 2nd date with this guy and I had him over for dinner.
    It was a hit!!
    Thanks, Elena!!

  26. Made this dish the other night and it was phenomenal !! Great recipe Elena .. thank you

  27. Just cooked it and loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Hi. This the taste is amazing. What’s the serving size ?

  29. Oh, my…..This is awesome!!!Anti-quinoa hubby Loves this! I added peppers and mushrooms, but otherwise ollowed recipe to a T!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  30. Never had quinoa before, but I’m trying to eat all these things that are rising in popularity.

    This was AMAZING. I did use garlic powder and fried onions, and added about 1/2 tsp turmeric to the quinoa, but WOW! Loved it! Thank you for such an easy to follow, tasty, and healthy recipe. Loved it!

  31. I tried this tonight, and the whole family- 2 adults, 5 y/o, and a 2 y/o- loved it! I do think next time I will probably add more garlic. It tasted delicious, but we really couldn’t taste the garlic, and…. we love garlic, lol. Thanks for sharing this!

  32. the quinoa cooks in the oil is that what i understood?

    • You cook the onion and garlic, then add the quinoa and sautee for 1 minutes. Then you add the vegetable stock (so the quinoa cooks in the vegetable stock)

  33. I just made this meal for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I was wandering if I wanted to add fresh asparagus can I just add it when I add the stock so it cooks with the quinoa? Thanks

    • I am glad you loved it, Debbie! 🙂
      I would cook the asparagus with the shrimp. Step 9: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes minutes. Then add the shrimp and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of chili powder. Season with salt and pepper, and sautee until no longer translucent.

  34. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe!

    On my website you will see ads based on your browsing habits. I guess you visit Papa John’s website a lot…. that’s why you can see those ads! I surely can’t see them from my browser. Maybe that’s why you think the portions are really small. 🙂
    Nobody complained before, and I don’t think all my readers are tiny mice with eating disorders.

  35. I just did it.. very easy, tasty, I am so glad I found this recipe!! Worth it 100%…

  36. This is just what I am looking for in a recipe to serve for lunch with three friends! Thank you!!
    You mentioned pairing it with a salad. Could you please suggest a good one that I could make?
    Thank you thank you!!

  37. Mmm yum! I LOVE everything about this recipe. I shall make it tomorrow!

  38. I love this dish! Thanks for a great Recipe!

  39. Really not into quinoa but hubby wanted it along with shrimp. I stumbled across this recipe and decided to give it a try. It was amazing! As in A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Truly a winner. I did add an extra clove of garlic and a bit of green bell pepper (maybe 1/2 of a very small one because I had it in the fridge and I saw that someone else had added it -sooooo). Outside of that, I followed the recipe exactly, and I cannot say enough about how delicious it was!!!

    I will definetely be visiting this site many times over!


  40. OMG This is such a great recipe, thank you for posting! I have been looking for a good quinoa recipe for sometime now, most of them only looked nice on the picture but that’s about it. I loved how everything turned out. I just added a couple of things to give it color, chopped tomatoes while cooking the quinoa and fried chopped red bell pepper (bec I want to finished the small pc I have in the fridge) before I tossed in the shrimp. It was perfect.

  41. Absolutely delicious. Made it with chicken stockas that was all i had! Thank you!  

  42. This was so so delicious and flavorful and super easy to make!!

  43. This recipe was a huge hit!!! I tweaked it a little bit.  I had doubled the quantity from the recipe listed here. I didn’t have vegetable broth so I substituted it with chicken broth. As for the quinoa I used tri-color quinoa. SO GOOD. My boyfriend asked that I add this dish to our top 10 recipe list. 

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