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Grilled Za’atar Shrimp

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Our Grilled Za’atar Shrimp recipe makes a delectable Middle-Eastern-inspired main dish. This simple recipe takes just over 30 minutes from start to finish!

Grilled shrimp on skewers with za'atar seasoning.

We recommend using fresh, not frozen shrimp for these kebabs. Za’atar seasoning can be found in most local and specialty stores and online. You can add this spice mixture to most meats, seafood, vegetables, or meat substitutes.

Grilled Za'atar Shrimp Seasonings

What is za’atar?

Za’atar is a rich, earthy flavored spice mixture that usually consists of its namesake za’atar (dried hyssop from the mint family), toasted sesame seeds, dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, salt, and citrus zest. The recipe for za’atar changes from region to region. Za’atar’s uses numerous. It can be used on baked or grill foods or as a topping for vegetables and cheese. This spice mixture shares some similarities to Dukkah, though the latter contains more nuts and seeds.

Grilled Za’atar Shrimp Ingredients:

  • Extra-large shrimp: 2 pounds of 26/30
  • Metal or wooden skewers
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest: I recommend zesting the lemons before squeezing the juice! 
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Za’atar seasoning
  • Salt 
  • Paprika (optional)
Grilled Za'atar Shrimp
Sabrina Baksh/derrickriches.com

Making Grilled Za’atar Shrimp:

  • Peel and devein shrimp. Blot dry with paper towels and place shrimp into a resealable plastic bag. 
  • Combine marinade ingredients and pour over shrimp. Toss to coat, seal bag, and place into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Preheat your grill for 375 degrees F, medium-high heat. 
  • Once heated up, oil your grill grates.
  • Remove shrimp from marinade and thread 4-5 shrimp per skewer. 
  • Place za’atar shrimp onto the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side or until the shrimp are firm and pink in color.
  • Once cooked, remove from grill, assemble onto a platter, and spritz of fresh lemon juice. Serve with your favorite sides.
  • Store leftover grilled za’atar shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Rewarming Leftover Shrimp:

Since these grilled za’atar shrimp are already cooked, we need to avoid overcooking them when reheating. I recommend heating a little olive oil or butter in a pan and rewarm the shrimp for 30 seconds per side or until they are hot to the touch. Promptly plate them and serve.

Like this recipe? Try our popular shrimp recipes!

Grilled Achiote Shrimp Skewers
Cast-Iron Jumbo Shrimp

Grilled Za'atar Shrimp

Grilled Za’atar Shrimp

An easy and flavorful shrimp recipe to try on the grill. Remember to always buy fresh, not frozen shrimp for kebabs. Za’atar seasoning (a seasoning of sesame seeds, sumac, and other herbs and spices) can be purchased in most grocery stores, online, and sold by various Middle Eastern grocers. You can add this spice on any kind of meat, vegetable, or meat substitute.
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: Fusion, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 364kcal


  • 2 pounds shrimp extra large, peeled, deveined, and tails left on
  • 4-6 skewers (metal recommended)
  • for marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large lemons juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Za’atar seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste marinade and increase if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • Peel and devein shrimp. Blot dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Place shrimp in a resealable plastic bag. Use two if necessary.
  • Combine marinade ingredients and pour over shrimp. Move around to distribute evenly. Seal bag and place into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. No longer than this or the acid from the lemons will begin to change the texture of the shrimp.
  • Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Right before placing shrimp on grill, make sure to oil the grill grates.
  • Remove shrimp from bag and thread onto skewers; about 4 shrimp per skewer. Place onto the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side or until the shrimp are firm and pink in color.
  • Once cooked, remove from grill, assemble onto platter and give them a little spritz of fresh lemon juice before serving. I recommend grilled vegetables to go with this dish.


Image and recipe by: Sabrina Baksh


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 572mg | Sodium: 1909mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 5mg

Check out all our best grills and smoked appetizer recipes!

Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.



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