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Fresh shrimp? Check. Homemade pesto? Check. Combine the two and throw em on the grill, and you’ve got a main course that pairs perfectly with rice pilaf, salad, or grilled veggies. (Hint: Also great to toss with pasta.) Though you can definitely use pre-made pesto, we can’t recommend the homemade version enough especially if you have some fresh basil growing in the garden!

Grilled Pesto Shrimp

(makes about 4 servings)


  • 2 pounds extra large or jumbo shrimp, peeled (tails left on), and deveined
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (omit for nut allergies)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • Wooden or metal skewers, for grilling


  1. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers.
  2. Combine the olive oil, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well-blended, and reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto in a small bowl (for extra dipping later).
  3. Pour the rest of the pesto onto the shrimp and let it marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly grease the grill. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side the shrimp should look slightly charred and plump.
  5. Serve the shrimp skewers with a lemon wedge for garnish and a little extra pesto on the side.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef

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