Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto


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I realize that after Labor Day everyone basically stops wearing white and gears up for Pumpkin season – but I’m a rebel and I don’t subscribe to that notion! So I’m opting for some Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto and a side of grilled bread!!

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto from (@whatsgabycookin)

It still feels like summer here in LA so I’m soaking that up until October. So….let’s start with the grilled bread. Have you had it before? It basically makes any slice of bread the best thing you’ve ever tasted. Clearly, I have a thing for it. Just give your favorite loaf a thick slice, liberally drizzling it with olive oil and then grill it until it’s just toasty! Perfection.

Then you’ve got the shrimp. I skewered all the shrimp and then drenched them in some lemon juice, olive oil and some cilantro sauce and let them marinate for a bit. The flavor is gonna be off the charts.

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto from (@whatsgabycookin)

Once the grill is ready, everything gets slightly charred and smoky and then finished with some extra lemon juice and more cilantro vinaigrette!  100% perfection.

Alternatively, if you’ve put away the grill for the season, this entire recipe could be done on an indoor grill pan over medium high heat!

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto from (@whatsgabycookin)

Check out some of my favorite Shrimp Recipes here:

  1. Avocado Shrimp Tostadas 

  2. Coconut Curried Shrimp with Coconut Rice

  3. Creamy Goat Cheese and Shrimp Pasta

  4. Summer Corn Risotto with Shrimp

  5. How to Cook Perfect Shrimp Every Time!

  6. Shrimp Scampi with Couscous

  7. Shrimp and Crab Seafood Rolls

  8. Zucchini Noodles and Grilled Shrimp

  9. Arugula Pesto Pasta with Garlic Shrimp

  10. Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

  11. Spanish Paella

  12. The Ultimate Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Grilled Shrimp and Bread with Cilantro Pesto

5 from 4 votes


For the Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves stems removed (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Grilled Shrimp and Bread

  • 2 lbs medium shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • Wooden skewers soaked in water or metal
  • 1 loaf of bread sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces on a bias
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 lemons halved and grilled


For the Cilantro Sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately. Or you can refrigerate the vinaigrette for up to 5 days.

For the Grilled Shrimp and Bread

  • Thread about 6 shrimp on each of the soaked wooden skewers and set them on a large plate of cutting board while skewering the rest.
  • Drizzle about 1/3 of the vinaigrette over the skewered shrimp along with the juice of the lemon, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. Set the shrimp aside to marinate for about 10-20 minutes while you prepare your grill.
  • Arrange the thick slices of bread on a large platter and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
  • Prepare your gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Place the pieces of bread over the heat and grill for a few moments on each side until the bread has grill marks. Using a pair of tongs, flip the bread over and let the other side grilled for a minute or so more until both sides have nice grill marks. Remove the bread from the grill and set aside.
  • Place the shrimp skewers on the grill over medium high heat and grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side until the shrimp are pink. Remove the skewers from the grill and set aside.
  • Serve the shrimp and bread with the remaining cilantro vinaigrette and grilled lemon halves.


I like to grilled some extra lemons too! Just halve the lemons, throw them on the grill until they get some nice charred markets and then remove them for later!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mya

    I’m a vegetarian but my fiance would love this recipe & I’m loving the pesto recipe! I might use the pesto recipe tonight instead of my store bought pesto (I’m a very novice chef) – I was planning on cooking pasta with pesto, potatoes, and green beans. Definitely pinning this for the future! Love your blog; I’m a new follower!

  2. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I could get into this one for summer. Looks yummy!

  3. Monika

    Wow! This looks like the PERFECT weekend dinner! It screams summer! So flavorful – can’t wait to try this.

  4. Sarah

    This looks amazing. I have a Big Green Egg. It’s pricey, and you have to use hardwood charcoal, but it will get smoking hot for grilling, or you can set the temp low and slow and smoke pork butts for 18 hours. I absolutely love it. It’s actually really easy to use.

  5. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    This is seriously perfect for summer! I have a serious obsession with grilling bread – delicious!!

  6. Diane @ Vintage Zest

    I love how this looks! I need to get over my fear of raw shrimp. 🙂

  7. D

    I recently bought a new grill – a Vision ceramic kamado grill from Costco – and I LOVE it .. it’s similar to the big green egg – but it’s black – and much better value … pricey – but such a wonderful grill… it can be used as a grill, a smoker, an oven … extremely versatile – here’s a forum where you can read about kamado cookers – they have a number of forums

  8. Dafogle

    your shrimp looks soooo delicious …and cilantro pesto .. why the heck not! Yum….

    I have a Vision Grills ceramic grill – A kamado cooker – similar to the big green egg – but better value – purchased from Costco – I LOVE it … you can grill, smoke, bake – so it’s incredibly versatile. You can read about kamado grills at … highly recommended

  9. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    These shrimp look perfect for grillin’ up a storm here in Austin! Love that cilantro pesto, too. I’m so looking forward to seeing ya at the Ziplist dessert party tomorrow! 🙂

  10. bakingismyzen

    This photo is STUNNING. Will be making this one…thanks! ~Carmen

  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I would love to smear that pesto on just about everything!

  12. The Italian Dish

    Brilliant idea for cilantro! Looks terrific, Gaby.

  13. ashley – baker by nature

    No room for a grill here in my tiny NYC apartment (BOO), but we go over to the park at least once a week and use the massive ones they have there – shrimp and bread coming with us FOR SURE next time!

  14. Jen @JuanitasCocina

    I looooove cilantro pesto! This is making wish I had some right now!

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  16. Elle Kay

    I made this tonight and it was WONDERFUL!!! When I saw the cilantro pesto, I knew it would be good; didn’t know just HOW good! Thank you for sharing this.

  17. Megan Robison

    Love this recipe! We made this last weekend while camping (just made the cilantro pesto ahead of time and threw it into the cooler. So delicious!

  18. Kevin

    I think I’ll try this, albeit without the walnuts. Definitely a perfect summer recipe!

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  20. Lexi @Lexi’scleankitchen

    You had me at pesto! Can’t wait to try this, and to put this cilantro pesto on everything!

  21. Sam @ Bites of Wellness

    Pretty sure I could drink that cilantro pesto right from the bowl – sounds AMAZING!! And with shrimp – heaven!!

  22. Jeanine

    Love the look of that cilantro sauce – and I love anything on grilled bread too 🙂

  23. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    I was out on Nantucket Island this weekend and I rocked my white shorts the whole time. Summer totes isn’t over yet! Lol. Love this fresh recipe SO MUCH. Pesto with shrimp is a great combo!

  24. Catheryn

    I remember this recipe used to be a cilantro walnut pesto but it’s different now. Is there any way to get the old recipe for the pesto? I can’t find it in your website anywhere, and it’s DELICIOUS!

    • Gaby

      sure is!! Here you go!

      1 bunch fresh cilantro
      1/3 cup walnuts
      2 cloves garlic
      3 ounces olive oil
      1 lemon, juiced
      kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

      In a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro, walnuts, garlic and olive oil and blend until a pesto like consistency is formed. Taste and add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Blend for another few seconds until incorporated. Remove the pesto from the blender and set aside until read to serve.

  25. Michelle

    My family loved this. We used the leftover cilantro pesto for our chicken, quesadilla, and roasted cauliflower. The best!

  26. Wendy McConnell

    This looks delicious! What do you do with the grilled lemons?

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  28. Mary Beatty

    I may even add a little angel hair pasta to this recipe. Sounds delicious!

  29. Hannah

    5 stars
    I’m new to WGC so this was the first recipe I tried but I can promise it won’t be my last! The shrimp, the sauce, the happy-summer-vibes. It was all perfect. And it’s one of those recipes that I typically have all the ingredients on hand so I can’t wait to make it again and again!