Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa

Courtesy of its unfortunate position at the beginning of the workweek, Monday can be demoralizing. It’s the day when my to-do list is the longest, the respite of Saturday is furthest away, and I’m more prone to stress in general. This week, I’m determined to improve my Monday ’tude with the help of a shift in perspective and this easy, healthy dinner recipe, Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa.

Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa — Easy, quick, and delicious! Healthy recipe with fresh lemon and garlic. Not too spicy with lots of flavor! {gluten free and dairy free} Recipe at | @wellplated

Yes, Monday is the beginning of a new week, which means we have a long haul to Friday night. It also means that it’s a NEW WEEK. We can flip the page! Monday is a fresh start and a chance to reset our intentions and behaviors.

Behaviors like….all of the dip I ate last night. And tacos. And ribs. And boozy brownies (recipe for that outrageousness coming soon).

Ben and I hosted a party to watch The Big Game, and while half of the guests were more into the commercials than the football, everyone was into the food, even Ben. The man who cooks but once a year slow-roasted five pounds of ribs. They were outstanding. Obviously, I needed show my appreciation and encourage his kitchen activity by inhaling as many as possible. It was the noble, supportive thing to do.

Fast forward to today. My hair smells like a mix of barbecue sauce and buffalo dip, we don’t have a fresh vegetable in the house, and my to-list is growling at me with the ferociousness of a mama bear protecting her cubs…except her cubs are named “Laundry” and “Giant Mail Pile” and (worst of all) “Tax Prep.”

Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa – An Easy, Healthy Shrimp Recipe for Busy Nights

ONE PAN Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa. Quick, easy and delicious! Your whole family will love this healthy recipe. Recipe at | @wellplated

Today is Monday, which means that we have a fresh start to the week. To help keep the stress down and healthy habits up, I have the ideal recipe for your dinner tonight. It’s a healthy Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa that cooks entirely in ONE pan (including the quinoa), is ready to go in 30 minutes, and is packed with protein and whole grains. A touch of chili powder and cayenne give it zest, lemon juice keeps it fresh, and as the name suggests, a generous handful of fresh garlic brings the recipe to life.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa — Quick, easy, and healthy! Shrimp sautéed with lemon and garlic, and everything cooks in ONE PAN, even the quinoa. {gluten free and dairy free} Recipe at | @wellplated

This Garlic Shrimp was inspired by the classic flavors of shrimp scampi (and if you love that dish as much as I do, you’ll also want to check out this Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles and this Garlic Shrimp Pasta), but I made a few important swaps to lighten the recipe and make it more satisfying. The garlic, lemon, and parsley are here to stay, but I replaced the butter with olive oil and omitted the pasta (the classic accompaniment for shrimp scampi) in favor of quinoa.

I am unabashed in my love of quinoa. This powerhouse grain is high in protein (7 grams per serving), contains essential amino acids, and is gluten free. Unlike many whole grains, quinoa cooks quickly (we’re talking 20 minutes), and best of all, it’s delicious.

For all of these reasons, quinoa is one of the most-used ingredients in my pantry. I’ve tried a number of brands over the years, and my consistent favorite is Bob’s Red Mill. I find that it has the best texture (other brands I’ve tried become mushy) and most pleasant flavor. I also value the intense focus Bob’s Red Mill places on sourcing and processing its ingredients in order to produce the highest quality, most nutrient-dense products possible.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa. Fast, healthy, and delicious! Recipe at | @wellplated

This Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa marks my fourth year partnering with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you healthy recipes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I had the opportunity to meet Bob himself in Portland (yes, he is a real person! And yes, he looks exactly like he does on the bag), and I can tell you that this man is the real deal. His passion for health and providing his customers with high-quality, healthy ingredients is remarkable.

If you are looking to eat more healthfully this year, I hope simple, nutritious, and flavorful recipes such as this easy Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa will be a wonderful resource for you. I firmly believe that eating a healthy diet should never leave you feeling deprived and that you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare a wholesome meal. By making little swaps here and there (using quinoa in place of white pasta or white rice, for example), you can benefit from a more wholesome diet without sacrificing flavor or time in the kitchen.

Easy Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa and Lemon. Like shrimp scampi, but healthier with extra protein from the quinoa. Everything cooks in ONE PAN! {gluten free, dairy free} Recipe at | @wellplated

It’s a new week, a new month, and (in the scheme of 2017) a new year too. Raise those forks high, and let’s dig in!

(Craving a quick Asian-inspired healthy shrimp recipe instead? Might I recommend this ultra-fast Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai?)

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa — Quick, easy, and healthy! Shrimp sautéed with lemon and garlic, and everything cooks in ONE PAN, even the quinoa. {gluten free and dairy free} Recipe at | @wellplated
4.84 from 18 votes
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Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa—Easy, quick, and delicious! Healthy recipe with fresh lemon and garlic. Not too spicy with lots of flavor.


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
  • 1 pound raw tail-on shrimp — 26–30 count, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder — divided
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion — about half of 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic — minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley — plus additional for serving


  1. In a large nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium high. Add the shrimp, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Sauté just until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the shrimp to a plate so they do not overcook.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in the same skillet, then add the onion. Let cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Stir to coat the quinoa with the oil and let brown for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, then increase the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer until the quinoa is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
  3. Zest the lemon directly into the pan, then juice the lemon and add the lemon juice and parsley to the skillet as well. Toss to combine, then top with the reserved shrimp. Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley. Serve warm.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa, Healthy Shrimp Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 4)) — Calories: 218, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 1022mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 24g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. This looks so lemony, fresh, and tasty. I really love quinoa but my boys are a little more apprehensive. I think I’ll try this and maybe they will get on the quinoa bandwagon :)

  2. Wonderful, I love quinoa. And I love you how combined ingredients that are quick to cook. So you end up with quick and healthy dish (:

  3. Nothing makes monday better than simple , tasty dinners with minimal clean-up!  This shrimp with quinoa looks and sounds insanely good!  I LOVE shrimp!

  4. I’ve never cooked quinoa before but I’ve seen recipes where you’re supposed to rinse it first, is it the same for this recipe and brand or does it go by the brand?

    • Hi Dawanna, great question! I find the need to rinse really varies by brand. For example, Bob’s Red Mill does not have any issues with bitter taste, so I never rinse. That’s the only brand I regularly use, so I can’t advise on others. If you’d like to play it safe, you can always rinse first!

  5. Keen on quinoa, you have found your inner genius Erin. Thank you for this one. Also, I agree on Bob’s high quality products.

  6. hey girl- this look so good! I love shrimp!

  7. Hi Erin,
    I was wondering if this would work with another protein besides shrimp? Thanks! Barrie

    • Hi Barrie, bite-size pieces of chicken works well too! It would just take a little longer to cook than the shrimp. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  8. Christie Albarelli Reply

    My husband made this for us for our Valentine’s Day dinner. It was Delicious! It had so much flavor and just the right amount of spice! We didn’t have any quinoa in the house so he just used a box of Near East quinoa blend and tossed the spice packet.  Defiantly a keeper and one we will make again. Thanks!

    • That sounds delicious, Christie! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe for a special meal. Thank you so much for leaving this wonderful comment!

  9. I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit. Great recipe! Thank you!

  10. I want to make this!  Question, what does zest the lemon mean.  I think of it as grating off the outside rind, bit I see slices of lemon in the picture.  Do you mean to thinly slice the lemon?  Just not getting what to do with the whole lemon.


    • Hi Katherine, you’re correct that zesting a lemon is grating off the outside rind! I used lemon slices for garnish to show that the recipe has a lemon flavor, but you can squeeze additional juice on the dish if you’d like!

  11. Oh my goodness, I just happened to see this recipe while looking for something else. I made it on a whim; and boy was I glad that I did. It was scrumptious! I am a lemon lover, which made it all the more delectable. I could not stop eating it and  ,immediately, sent the recipe to my friends and family.  I must  say that I do not like food that is too spicy or hot, so I refrained from using the chili powder as suggested. The cayenne pepper was just the right amount of heat for me and mine.  I also cut the amount of parley in half.

    I could hardly wait to reach home today in order to eat the remaining portion- and I am not going to share. 
    I am , definity, going to prepare this dish again. I plan to make it a staple amongst my seafood dishes.

    A nice glass of Chardonnay complimented this dish perfectly.

    • Judith, this is so wonderful to hear! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe, and I hope the others you shared it with will too. I truly appreciate your taking the time to leave this lovely review, and it makes my day to know the recipe was a hit for you!

  12. Can I use frozen shrimp for this? It looks really wonderful and am excited to try it!

    • Hi Shea, yes, you can start with frozen raw shrimp! Just be sure to thaw them safely before proceeding with the recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  13. Blessings Johnson Reply

    I made this recipe and it turned out delicious however I tweaked it just a little bit. I used orzo pasta and added asparagus and it was delicious. Thank you

  14. My first quinoa dish! So good. I’ll make it again. 

  15. Made this tonight! Quick and easy and It was wonderful! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this, Stephanie! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this nice review!

  16. Erin, would you suggest preparing the dish, refrigerate, and bake later?  If so, temp? Baking time?

    • Hi Joanne! Since this is a stovetop vs. oven dish, I would recommend that you make the whole thing all the way through, then reheat it gently in the microwave. The shrimp might get a little dry, so you could even try undercooking them a bit so that they are fully cooked and a better texture when reheated. I hope that helps!

  17. Any ideas of vegetables to pair this with?

    • Hi Jennifer, I think a green salad would be delicious, as would roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts!

      • I made it yesterday, it was absolutely delicious. I cannot wait to make it again! I might even try it with chicken as another option. Thanks!
        I added 1/2 cup shredded spinach leaves and 1/2 of a red bell pepper while frying the onions to add some vegetables.

        • Jennifer, thanks so much for trying this recipe and reporting back with your tweaks! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  18. Danielle Van Alstine Reply

    Loved this recipe. Didn’t have chicken broth so just added water, was still amazing! My husband even said it’s the first quinoa recipe he’s liked!! yay! Next time I would sautee some more veggies in a separate pan and add them on top. Otherwise awesome! The lemon zest just makes it pop!

    • Danielle, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for taking the time to write this review and share your feedback!

  19. Looks delicious. I have two questions
    1. I dont have cayenne powder, what can i replace it with?
    2. How long can this last in the fridge?

    • Hi Amira, you can omit the cayenne powder entirely or add a shake or two of red pepper flakes for a little spice. The dish will probably last a day or two in the fridge, but I hesitate to recommend it because shrimp tends to become rubbery and overcooked when reheated. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  20. How can you make this with success boil in bag quinoa? I really want to make this but that’s all I have 

    • Brittany, I have never used the boil in a bag, so I’m honestly not sure! As long as it is regular, uncooked quinoa, if you measure it out it should be fine.

  21. Made this recipe tonight but added a package of frozen stir-fry veggies when I added the quinoa and chicken broth. I am all about one dish meals that I can make and then freeze in single serving containers. Delicious!!

    • YAY Lynnell, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to share this review and your tweaks!

  22. Made for dinner tonight. This was my first time cooking quinoa, so I was a little nervous…came out perfect, and was a big hit with husband and kids. Thank you Erin!

    • Jonnell, thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to come back and leave a review! I’m so glad it was a success!

  23. Made this a few weeks ago. What a wonderful taste sensation! This dish has the perfect balance of taste, texture and ease of preparation. I did substitute some Italian seasonings for the parsley and liked the subtle flavors they added. I am visiting friends and plan on cooking it for them. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! 

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Steve! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your tweaks and leave this awesome review!

  24. I just finished making this for dinner and everyone liked it! Who said healthy can’t taste good?

    • Monica, I’m so glad to hear the dish was a hit! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and reporting back.

  25. I would like to prepare on Saturday and take to church dinner Sunday. Wouldn’t it be good cold like a salad also?

    • You know, I’ve never tried this cold! You could maybe make it, then taste it to see how you like it cold. If you do, then you’ll know that it’s a good way to serve it. If not, you’ll have dinner ready for the week :)

  26. Awesome dish!!

  27. I had gastric bypass a year and a half ago and am always looking for new, healthy recipes to help continue to stay on track. This was easy to make and very flavorful. Even got a thumbs up from my picky husband. Thank you so much!

  28. I know this is an old recipe, but I love it so much! Made it just this week with celery added at the time of the onions for some more color and veggies. It was a wonderful lemon and garlic flavor, and the cayenne and chili powder add a perfect amount of heat. Thank you for posting! I will be trying it again next week with chicken instead of shrimp.

  29. This was quick, healthy, filling, AND delicious! The lemon really brings it to life. Thank you for the recipe, it will be on regular rotation in my house.

  30. We loved this dish! I added a bag of spinach and sauteed it down before I added the quinoa, and I added toasted pine nuts at the end for a little crunch, but it was easy and delish! And clean up was easy. Thank you!

  31. I’ve made this before and LOVE it. So much flavor. But I’m curious about the calories per serving and how you calculated only 218. When I calculate it I get 327 per serving. 

    • Hi Marcy! The nutrition info is just an estimate, and it will vary according to ingredients and brands used. If exact numbers are important, I recommend calculating it yourself with the specific brands you use, and it sounds like you’ve already done exactly that! I’m so glad you love the recipe.

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