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Grilled Lobster Tails with Pesto

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Lobster is one of our favorite proteins to grill. Not only does it cook quickly, but the flame-kissed flavor is amazing! These grilled lobster tails with pesto are indulgent and gorgeous. Make a lasting impression with this easy lobster recipe.

Grilled Lobster Tails with Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This grilled lobster tails with pesto will have you coming back for more. The tails are halved, grilled over charcoal, and topped with a delicious cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto. This dish is the perfect main course for anniversaries, birthdays, or fancy dinner parties.

What you’ll need:

  • Raw whole lobster tails (5-6 ounces each)- Buy fresh whenever you can, but if you only have access to frozen lobster tails, then certainly use that! They need to be thawed before prepping and cooking,
  • Fresh herbs: This recipe calls for cilantro (coriander) leaves and flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for the pesto. If you are not a cilantro-lover, you can use just flat-leaf parsley.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the recommended oil for pesto making.
  • Toasted pepitas: Are toasted pumpkin seeds. If you have raw pumpkin seeds, coat them in a little oil and salt, Spread them out on a baking sheet, then pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let them cool completely before using.
  • Sharp kitchen shears or knife: Depending on the method you choose, you’ll need one of both of these items.

Grilled Lobster Tails with Pesto: Shopping list

  • 4 lobster tails, raw and thawed (6 ounces)
  • Cilantro
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Toasted pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Garlic 
  • Coarse salt
  • Red chili flakes
  • Black pepper (optional)
lobster prep

Prepping the lobster:

  • There are two ways you can prepare this dish. We used the first option.
  • Place lobster tails onto a cutting board. Cut each piece down the center lengthwise using sharp kitchen shears to create two halves. Briefly rinse under cold water to remove debris and blot dry with paper towels. Spoon about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of pesto onto the exposed flesh side of each halved tail.
  • Use sharp kitchen shears to make a vertical cut from the top to about 1/2″ above the tail. Do not cut through the tail. You can make diagonal cuts on both sides (about 1/4″ -1/2″), gently part the shell, and pull the lobster meat on top. The shell will serve as a platform with the exposed flesh above it. Carefully top with pesto mixture. 
Grilled Lobster with Pesto 2

Cooking Times by Method: 

We designed this grilled lobster tails with pesto recipe using a charcoal grill; however, you can apply it in other ways.

  • Oven method: Follow recipe instructions and cook for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. 
  • Pellet Grill: Cook at 425 degrees F. for 5-6 minutes.
  • Smoker: Cook at 350-375 degrees F. Use alder or oak wood chips for extra smokiness. Lobster tails will take 20-30 minutes, depending on size. We recommend prepping method two (or 4 whole lobster tails) for smoking.
shellfish on grill

Making Grilled Lobster Tails with Pesto:

  • Place cilantro, parsley, pepitas, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper into a food processor. Secure the lid and begin processing. Slowly pour in olive oil through the top. Check for consistency and add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil if needed. The mixture should have a pureed texture. Taste for salt content and add a little more if needed. Set aside.
  •  Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  •  Place lobster tails onto a cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut each tail down the center lengthwise to create two halves. Briefly rinse under cold water to remove debris and blot dry with paper towels. 
  •  Spoon about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of pesto onto the exposed flesh side of each halved tail.
  •  Add lobster tails onto the grill, shell side down. Close the lid and let them cook for 8-10 minutes or until the shells turn pink and the flesh has an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
  •  Once cooked, remove the lobster from the grill and place it onto a serving dish. 
  •  Spritz with fresh citrus juice (lime if using cilantro, lemon, or just flat-leaf parsley). Enjoy!
Grilled Lobster Tails with Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Grilled Lobster Tails with Pesto

These grilled lobster tails with pesto are indulgent and gorgeous. Make a lasting impression on special occasions with this recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, American BBQ
Keyword: grilled lobster, grilled lobster tail, lobster tail recipe, pesto
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 4 lobster tails uncooked and thawed (5-6 ounces)
  • For pesto:
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • Pinch of black pepper optional

Instructions

  • Place cilantro, parsley, pepitas, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper into a food processor. Secure lid and begin processing. Slowly pour in olive oil through the top. Check for consistency and add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil if needed. The mixture should have a pureed texture. Taste for salt content and add a little more if needed. Set aside.
  • Preheat grill for medium heat.
  • Place lobster tails onto a cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut each one down the center lengthwise to create two halves. Briefly rinse under cold water to remove any debris and blot dry with paper towels. Spoon about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of pesto onto the exposed flesh side of each halved tail.
  • Add lobster tails onto the grill, shell side down. Close the lid and let them cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the shells turn pink and the flesh has an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
  • Once cooked, remove the lobster from the grill and place it onto a serving dish. Spritz with a bit of fresh citrus juice (lime if using cilantro, lemon if you are using just flat-leaf parsley). Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1574IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg

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