Looking for a healthy, flavorful meal that’s easy to prepare in just 30 minutes? Try this garlic shrimp and quinoa recipe!

With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious dish that perfectly suits your taste and dietary needs. It’s a fantastic choice for a quick weeknight dinner or any special occasion.

quinoa with shrimps in a cast iron pan.

Shrimp is a household favorite for quick weeknight dinners because it’s versatile and can take on so many flavors! We use it in various recipes, like Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles, Spicy Shrimp Tacos, and this Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa.

Not only is this meal delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients, making it an ideal option for guests with dietary restrictions as it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.

For a complete and satisfying meal, pair it with roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze, a simple Lebanese fattoush salad, or steamed greens.

Why I love this recipe

  • Quick and easy: perfect for busy weeknights or weekends when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen. It can be ready in just 30 minutes, or even less if you already have cooked quinoa in the fridge.
  • Great for meal prep: this dish stores well and reheats easily, making it perfect for meal planning. You can prepare a large batch on the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week.
  • Versatile: easily customizable to suit your tastes or dietary needs. Feel free to add different vegetables for extra color and nutrition or switch 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

Ingredients I used to make the spicy shrimp and quinoa.

Here are some helpful notes about the ingredients for this recipe:

  • Shrimp: for easy prep, you’ll want to buy raw, tail-off, peeled, and deveined shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, thaw them completely in the refrigerator and pat them dry with paper towels before cooking. You can substitute the shrimp with scallops, chicken, tofu, or black beans for a vegetarian option.
  • Quinoa: any type will work, but white or tri-color quinoa complements the garlic and shrimp with its milder flavor. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-meshed strainer to remove its natural coating and bitter taste. Feel free to use any grain you prefer, such as rice, barley, farro, or couscous.
  • Oil: use olive oil for the recipe, or opt for butter to create a garlic butter shrimp variation.
  • Garlic: adjust the amount of fresh minced garlic according to your preference. If you’re not a fan of garlic, leave it out or use garlic powder instead.
  • Chili powder: customize the spiciness level by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili powder.
  • 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.
  • Lemon juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright and refreshing flavor to the dish. Avoid bottled lemon juice.
  • Fresh parsley: this is optional and serves as 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: this dish is perfect for meal prep as you can prepare it ahead of time. After cooking, store the quinoa and shrimp in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat them individually and then combine them.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of shrimp should I buy?

It’s recommended to buy raw, tail-off shrimp that’s been peeled and deveined.

Why is my shrimp rubbery?

Shrimp becomes rubbery when it is overcooked. To prevent this, cook the shrimp just until it turns pink and opaque and curls into a “C” shape. This usually takes only a few minutes.

Can I make garlic shrimp quinoa without shrimp?

Absolutely! You can create a vegetarian version by omitting the shrimp and adding vegetables or protein alternatives like tofu or black beans.

Is this dish spicy?

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.

shrimp with quinoa garnished with chopped parlsey.

Have you tried this shrimp and quinoa recipe yet? Share your feedback or variations in the comments below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask – we’re here to help!

How To Make It: Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

(5 stars) 82 ratings
Looking for a healthy and flavorful meal that you can prepare in just 30 minutes? Try this garlic shrimp and quinoa recipe! With just a handful of basic ingredients, you can whip up a delicious dish that's easily customizable to suit your taste. Whether you need a quick weeknight dinner or want to impress your guests, this recipe is a fantastic option.


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 it to a boil, uncovered. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water is fully 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: adjust the recipe to make more or less by simply modifying the serving size on the recipe card. The ingredient amounts will adjust automatically, making it easy to double or triple the recipe as needed.


Serving: 1 portion, Calories: 300 kcal, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Protein: 29 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 181 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #aseasyasapplepie. We’d love to see what you come up with!