Grilled Lemon Shrimp with Pesto Couscous.
This grilled shrimp couscous is a lovely weeknight summer meal! Grilled lemon shrimp with a kick is served over couscous tossed with basil pesto and a spritz of fresh lemon. Easy, delicious and comes together quickly!
Dinner tonight is going to be SO GOOD.
We’ve got some grilled lemon shrimp served with pesto couscous, for a fancy looking but simple meal that comes together in no time at all!
Seriously, you won’t believe how quickly this dish can be made. It’s a great weeknight meal because it’s so satisfying. It feels so… special. It will take around 30 to 40 minutes to fully come together, but it tastes like it took much longer. And the couscous and pesto take the longest to make, which is only about 15 minutes!
This is the kind of meal that we love to have for weeknight dinners. It makes you feel like you’re having an extraordinary meal – almost like it’s a dish that should be served in a restaurant. The leftovers are also so, so delicious. Which means that lunch the next day is solved. And maybe even a leftover dinner too!
Let’s get to it!
The shrimp gets a quick marinade of olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic and lots of fresh lemon zest. I basically coat the shrimp in this mixture and let it hang out for a few minutes, then I skewer it and grill. I never let this marinate for more than 30 minutes.
The actual skewers are just used for ease in this case. It’s much simpler to grill a few shrimp on a skewer like this so it can be turned once. As opposed to picking up every piece of shrimp with tongs and turning it. You can leave them on the skewer for serving or you can easily pop them off and serve on top of or mixed in with the couscous. Either way, they look so pretty!
Pesto couscous is my solution to giving couscous an extra boost of flavor – in the easiest way possible. I do this with grains all the time. See my summer flank steak bowls. I use a condiment such as pesto, chumichurri or my cilantro lime vinaigrette and toss the grain with it. Not only does it turn the couscous (or rice, quinoa, etc) a gorgeous shade of green, but it makes every bite taste wonderful.
It’s an awesome way to elevate your side dish in one simple step. The pesto can be made ahead of time or you can even use store-bought pesto. Toss it into the cooked grains and you’re good to go!
Favorite side dish trick, ever.
P.S. Oh my gosh, I said this last year and I still haven’t done it. I must make a dedicated pesto recipe post for you guys to reference! My pesto is so good, easy and foolproof. I can’t even tell you how often I make it. I will try to get that posted in the next week for you. In the meantime, it’s linked below!
I like to pop some cherry tomatoes on the skewers with the shrimp. The shrimp is only on the grill for a few minutes, so it’s a great time to use tomatoes. You could use another vegetable too – or even add some chopped tomatoes or spinach to the pesto couscous.
Toss everything together and spritz with lemon to serve!!
This tastes amazing!
Grilled Lemon Shrimp with Pesto Couscous
Grilled Lemon Shrimp with Pesto Couscous
- Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Place the shrimp in a bowl or dish. Stir together the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pour the mixture over the shrimp, tossing well so every bit is coated. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes while the grill preheats. You can also start cooking the couscous at this time.
- Skewer the shrimp - this just makes it easier to grill and pieces will not get overcooked! You can add cherry tomatoes on the ends if you'd like.
- Place the shrimp skewers directly on the grill. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes then gently flip over. Grill for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is opaque and pink. Remove the shrimp and place them on a baking sheet to cool slightly.
- Serve the shrimp over the pesto couscous, with fresh basil and more pesto for drizzling. Add a spritz of lemon too!
- Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. It should only take about 15 minutes total!
- To toast the pine nuts, place them in a skillet and heat over low heat. Shake and stir until the nuts are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Don’t walk away from the nuts!
- To make the pesto, combine the basil, cheese, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs remain, and then with the processor running, stream in the olive oil. Start with the 1/2 cup and add the extra if needed to reach the desired consistency. Add the salt, pepper and pepper flakes and blend again. Taste and season additionally if needed. (This makes a full batch of pesto - you won’t need it all. And it stays great in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 3 months.)
- Stir ¼ cup of the pesto into the couscous. Taste and stir in more if desired. You can also drizzle it on top if you wish!
- Serve the couscous in a large bowl of plate. Top with the shrimp skewers. Add fresh basil leaves and serve!
Extra pesto for everyone!