The Best Lemon Herb Shrimp | Paleo and Whole30

It’s late. You have nothing out to thaw for dinner, but you are committed to not eating out again. Outside of a PB&J, what’s a girl to make? Lately I have found that seafood is the answer on nights where I failed to think ahead (which is most!) With a quick thaw under warm water, my lemon herb shrimp will easily have you out of the kitchen and at the dinner table in way under 30 minutes.

What is in Lemon Herb Shrimp

Lemon herb shrimp is made with just a few ingredients: wild-caught shrimp , compound herb butter, and lemon juice. See below for what I look for in shrimp. You may be wondering how butter is Whole30 or Paleo compatible, but if you caught my post last week on DIY Herb Butters, there are instructions on how to sub ghee to make it so. While lemon is pretty self-explanatory, I have only one thing to say…ditch the lemon juice in a bottle unless you want to bleach your hair like a girl in the 80s. Lemons last quite awhile if you rinse them in a vinegar solution (1/4 cup vinegar to a gallon of water) or you can buy lemons, squeeze all the juice and freeze in ice cube trays to have when you need them.

The Best Shrimp to Buy

I am careful when I buy shrimp and look for wild-caught that has nothing in it but shrimp. Look at labels before buying because many brand contain preservative solutions. Run frozen shrimp under cool water in a strainer while you prep your side dish or maybe change clothes and unwind from your day with a pre-dinner glass of wine (kombucha or Topo Chico for Whole30). Shrimp will be thawed in around 8-10 minutes.

What to Serve with Lemon Herb Shrimp

The Lemon Herb Shrimp is great on its own as an appetizer. But there are several ways to make this into a full meal.

Serve the shrimp on top of baby spinach or arugula for a warm salad. The juices from the shrimp will wilt the greens ever so slightly and give you an amazing and super healthy finished dinner in around 15 minutes. Top with some toasted sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.

For something more substantial, serve it over noodles of some sort. With the exception of zucchini (or other veg) noodles, your side dish may take longer to make than the shrimp. This is especially true if your herb butter is ready and waiting in the fridge. Pro Tip: Make the herb butter as soon as you get home and let it hang out in the freezer to firm up.

  • Zucchini noodles are the fastest of the three. Cook no longer than 3-4 minutes so the noodles don’t become soggy.
  • Spaghetti squash will definitely take the longest at around 30-45 minutes in the oven. Save that for a night when you have more time. It is delicious, though, and I’m not typically a spaghetti squash lover.
  • Good old pasta noodles will take you down a traditional Italian route, especially with a glass of super bright pinot grigio. Whether gluten free or regular, pasta will take closer to 20 minutes to cook when you factor in taking time for the water to boil. Note: Whole30ers skip pasta until you are in your Food Freedom. And Paleo peeps, use a grain-free variety like Jovial brand Cassava pasta.

Lemon Herb Shrimp | Paleo and Whole30

If you have forgotten to thaw shrimp, run it under hot water for 8-10 minutes and it will be ready to go. Dry the shrimp off with paper towels so it will get golden browned and not just steam.


  • 1 lb wild-caught shrimp, thawed and dried off with paper towel

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • Olive oil for sauteing

  • 4 oz Lemon Herb Butter (or Ghee for Whole30 and Paleo), chilled and sliced into 4 pieces

  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more to taste)

  • Sliced green onion for garnish, optional


  • Make your side dish.
  • Make sure there is no residual water on shrimp then season well with sea salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  • Add shrimp in a single layer with space between if possible to avoid steaming the shrimp. Let cook until pink and opaque halfway through then turn the shrimp to cook the other side.
  • Add the butter and lemon juice to the pan and remove the pan from heat.
  • Swirl the pan around to gradually melt the butter and emulsify with the butter and shrimp juices.
  • Serve over your chosen side and garnish with green onion if you want to.

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