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Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet

Try out the much-loved sauce with over 2 million shares. This sweet and savory honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only FIVE ingredients and cooks in less than 15 minutes! 

This smoky and sweet honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only five ingredients and cooked in less than 15 minutes!

Today we’re making some honey garlic shrimp skillet which is a reader favorite and one of the more popular recipes on the blog. It’s so easy to make but delivers big on flavor despite its simplicity. All you need are shrimp, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and honey to make this quick and easy recipe. These five ingredients reward you with a sweet and savory flavor combo and delicious caramelized bits of honey and garlic.

It’s such a great, fast fix for a quick weeknight meal with a side of veggies and some rice, or on a bed of pasta/noodles. And if you’re not a fan of shrimp but just love the honey garlic sauce, try making some honey garlic chicken instead. Or try some honey garlic salmon. There are so many ways to enjoy this sauce! So let’s start cooking.

This smoky and sweet honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only five ingredients and cooked in less than 15 minutes!

The Best Shrimp Recipe

It’s easy to understand why the honey garlic sauce is much-loved and super popular. It uses just a few pantry staples to create a sticky-sweet and savory Asian-inspired sauce that goes well with pretty much everything. I first discovered the beauty of the sauce with this crispy honey garlic chicken and adapted it to a shrimp recipe in 2015. It’s still going strong even now and I have adapted it many other ways.

The sticky sauce will eventually build up in the pan when cooking the shrimp. If you rub the shrimp into the stuck-on yummy bits (aka fond), you get even more flavor. The recipe is so versatile, you can use it as a base and build on it with red pepper flakes, lime juice, cilantro, smoked paprika, or sesame oil. You can also make it super saucy and smother some rice or noodles in it. And it goes great with greens like broccoli, green beans and asparagus.

What Is The Honey Garlic Sauce Made Of?

Honey garlic sauce is made with honey, soy sauce, garlic and the optional fresh ginger. Honey gives the sauce a sweet and sticky flavor which balances out the savoriness of salty soy sauce. Garlic adds the typical pungent flavor associated with most Asian sauces and while ginger is optional, it is highly recommended to add an undertone of warm and peppery flavor. Ginger and garlic are your typical paired aromatics when stir-frying in Asian cuisine.

Honey garlic shrimp in a cast iron pan.

How Long Does it Take To Cook Shrimp?

Shrimp cooks REALLY quickly, about 2 minutes per side in a hot pan. Depending on the size of your shrimp and how big your pan is, shrimp will cook in 4-5 minutes total. It’s really easy to tell when the shrimp is fully cooked by looking at the color and shape. Raw shrimp will start off translucent and gray. Once it starts cooking, it will turn opaque and pink. The key to not overcooking it is to remove it from the heat once it is fully pink, with no grey bits left. Perfectly cooked shrimp will curl into a loose “C” shape while overcooked shrimp will curl into a tight “C” shape.

How To Make Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet (1 Min)

HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP SKILLET RECIPE TIPS

Shrimp – I used jumbo, peeled and deveined shrimp with tails on because they just tend to look better in pictures. However, you can use whatever kind of uncooked shrimp you like: peeled and deveined with tails off or unpeeled shrimp.

If you use frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw it out beforehand and pat it dry so the sauce isn’t diluted. You could technically use a bag of cooked shrimp with this recipe, just cut the cooking time to where you’re basically just reheating up the cooked shrimp in the pan and tossing it in with the sauce.

Sauce – Combine the ingredients for the sauce then divide it in half. Half is for the marinade and the other half is for the finishing drizzle. This recipe does not yield much sauce so if you want it super saucy, try adding in an extra tablespoon of honey and soy sauce. Or you could double it and thicken it with some cornstarch slurry later.

Soy sauce – I used reduced-sodium soy sauce for this recipe and my go-to brand is La Choy. If you want to make honey garlic shrimp without soy sauce, you could try using tamari instead.

Garlic – You can use fresh garlic or garlic powder, whichever you have on hand, and whatever is easier for you. If substituting to garlic powder, try using 1/2 teaspoon to start. For freshly minced garlic, I find it easier to use a mini grater or garlic press rather than chopping it up.

Ginger – Ginger gives the sauce a warm, peppery taste but if you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out. Most households don’t keep ginger as a pantry staple so an easier way to do this is to buy ginger paste in a tube. It keeps well in the fridge and is easy to use. I used Gourmet Garden’s ginger paste for this recipe.

Searing – Shrimp tends to cook quickly so you’ll want to get your pan nice and hot before starting so they have a gorgeous sear. One to two minutes per side and your shrimp is cooked! You know the shrimp is cooked when the color changes from translucent to opaque (see-through gray to solid pink). You’ll know the shrimp is overcooked when it starts to shrink in size into a tight C-shape and is rubbery.

If you’re using a 10″ pan, try searing in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. If the shrimp are too close together, the heat buildup between them will end up steaming them instead of searing them.

This smoky and sweet honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only five ingredients and cooked in less than 15 minutes!

Sticky bits –  The honey will caramelize a little and stuff will get stuck to the bottom of the pan. There will be more fond (the caramelized sticky bits) on a cast iron pan vs a non-stick pan but you should still see some on a non-stick. Use some tongs and gently rub the shrimp into the stuck-on bits to get them nice and blackened. Here’s where you get the smoky aftertaste.

Thickening the sauce – You can thicken the leftover drizzled sauce with a cornstarch slurry. If you prefer more sauce to soak your rice, you also double the sauce and thicken it with some cornstarch for a typical sticky Asian sauce.

Add more flavor – Add more flavor with some red pepper flakes to taste. Or drizzle some lime juice to add some citrus to the sauce. You can also season with some smoked paprika or do a finishing drizzle with some sesame oil.

Garnish – Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley or green onions.

What Goes With Honey Garlic Shrimp?

Serve your honey garlic shrimp with some white rice or coconut rice and some greens on the side like broccoli, green beans or some asparagus. You can also serve it over some mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. It also goes great with noodles like these buttery Hibachi noodles.

And that’s it! It’s an easy, fuss-free way to enjoy a sticky-sweet and savory sauce with juicy, succulent shrimp. Good luck and happy cooking!

MORE SHRIMP RECIPES TO TRY

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This smoky and sweet honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only five ingredients and cooked in less than 15 minutes!

Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Try out the much-loved sauce with over 2 million shares. This sweet and savory honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only FIVE ingredients and cooks in less than 15 minutes! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. jumbo or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Sauce:

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced / 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine the sauce ingredients and divide the sauce in half.
  2. Marinate the shrimp with one-half of the sauce for 15-30 minutes. Discard marinade.
  3. Over medium-high heat in a skillet, pan-sear the shrimp in some oil. Sear them on both sides until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side.
  4. Dish and serve hot, drizzled with the remaining sauce and fresh parsley or green onions as an optional garnish.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes

Rubbing the shrimp onto the stuck on bits (fond) blackens the shrimp and gives it a slight smoky aftertaste.

This recipe sears better in a cast iron pan and may not perform as well with caramelized bits in non-stick pans.

Try adding in some red pepper flakes or fresh lime juice for more flavor.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
Slow cooker creamy tortellini soup in a white bowl.

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197 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara
    March 23, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    Can you tell me if I can use precooked shrimp/ Really want to try it.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

      If you use pre-cooked shrimp, I suggest skipping the marinating. Cook down the sauce before hand so it’s nice and thick and do a super quick simmer of the shrimp in it after (so you don’t overcook it). Simmer for less than 5 minutes. If you notice the shrimp starting to shrink, stop the simmering as it’s approaching being overcooked!

  • Reply
    Darryl
    March 4, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    Try maple syrup instead of honey my ladies, it’s immaculate !!!

  • Reply
    Tracy Oberdorf
    January 8, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    My son and I made this tonight, fantastic. We made it on our George Foreman. My husband doesn’t know what he’s missing by not liking seafood.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 23, 2017 at 5:09 PM

      First time hearing it made on the George Foreman. Was the clean up okay with the sticky sauce?

  • Reply
    Lai
    December 10, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I rarely comment on or rate recipes but this was PERFECT as is. Definitely going in my regular rotation. I served it with rice to soak up that yummy sauce and asparagus which I sautéed quick in the cast iron when the shrimp was done. I sprinkled mine with some Korean chili flakes for a little head and OMG, I couldn’t stop eating it. The hubs, our 5 year old and I all had two servings! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 23, 2017 at 5:00 PM

      Wow, perfect sides! I’m like you and I love soaking up rice with sauce. And asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. Curious though how Korean chili flakes are different from regular chili flakes? Glad you guys liked it, Lai!

  • Reply
    Karen Nagel
    December 2, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    I just made this tonight and it was very good. I didn’t have a cast iron skillet and you were right I didn’t get that carmelized yummy stuff but it was still very flavorful. I also didn’t have jumbo shrimp but I will be making it again and use those. It was easy and healthy. Thanks. I also appreciate the fact that you didn’t need ingredients that you will never use again…:)

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 7, 2016 at 3:55 PM

      Good to know, Karen. It’s such a pity it doesn’t caramelize as well in non-sticks. For me, that’s one of the best parts! Also, I’m glad to hear how easy it was for you both in effort and pantry wise! Always happy to hear my mission of trying to make everyday food with everyday ingredients is working 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane La Pointe
    November 8, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!! We loved it. Yes, I added more garlic, but other than that, this recipe is a keeper.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 10, 2016 at 1:56 PM

      You’re very welcome Diane! No harm in adding more garlic if you love it 🙂

  • Reply
    Lynne
    September 25, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Help!! I made the shrimp tonight and while it was good, I think I did something wrong, and I’m not sure what. I defrosted the shrimp, cleaned it, patted it dry, and covered it with 1/2 of the marinade. I was surprised that it didn’t seem very sticky; it was almost runny. I marinaded it for the allotted time and the shrimp wasn’t really coated, although I had stirred it once or twice. l added a little oil to the pan and cooked as directed and sadly there were no caramelized bits in the pan to brown the shrimp. I poured the remaining marinade over the plated shrimp and it was good. Can you perhaps tell me where I goofed? Had the marinade been thicker, I think this would have gone from good to terrific. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can give me!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 25, 2016 at 8:13 PM

      The soy sauce dilutes the consistency of the honey to make it slightly thinner. If you want a thicker sauce for the drizzle, you can bring the remaining sauce to a boil and thicken it with some cornstarch slurry. Although if you go that route, I recommend doubling the initial sauce and using 1/3 for the marinade and 2/3 for the sauce reduction so there’s more drizzle to go around once reduced. Did you use a non-stick pan to sear the shrimp? It does not sear/caramelize as well on non-stick but works wonderfully with a cast iron. You also need to sear the shrimp over high heat. The first batch might not caramelize as well but the second will once all the leftover marinade on the shrimp adds on in the pan.

      Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Lynne
        September 25, 2016 at 10:47 PM

        Thanks for the quick response! At the risk of sounding uninformed (which I am lol!) what is a cornstarch slurry? I assume that’s more than just adding a little cornstarch to the marinade? Yes – I did use a non-stick pan; next time perhaps I won’t add any oil to the pan first. I was wondering about putting some of the marinade in the pan and cooking the shrimp in that so that it I could get the sticky bits at the end; I will try that next time. I will follow your advice and double the marinade.

        It’s interesting that a recipe will work perfectly for some but others (like me) have a more difficult time even with the same ingredients. One of life’s mysteries I guess…. 🙂 Thanks again for the help; I do appreciate it.

        • Reply
          The Cooking Jar
          September 25, 2016 at 11:05 PM

          That’s perfectly fine! We all have to learn something new at some point! A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch and cold water (use cold water as hot water makes it clump. Always mix the cornstarch slurry first and don’t add cornstarch directly to the sauce) and this slurry once mixed with a sauce that has reached a boiling point will serve to thicken it super fast. Once you add it in, the sauce will look white while it incorporates. When the sauce returns to its normal color, that’s when you know it’s reached the thickest consistency it can with the slurry. For the recipe, I recommend maybe 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water. Add more if you want it thicker.

          And it’s all about execution, even with the same ingredients. I made this dish two ways before posting. Once the way in the recipe and before that while adding in the remaining sauce with the shrimp while it cooked. Unless you’re careful, at high heat the honey from the sauce will quickly burn into a bitter, sticky mess which does not taste great at all. That’s why I decided to go with the method in the recipe. But then again, I used a cast iron pan. This method might work for non-stick.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    September 4, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    This recipe was truly delish! Outstanding flavors with so few ingredients. I love heat so I added the red pepper flakes and it was the perfect ratio of hot, sweet and savory. And talk about quick! Went from pan to plate in just 3 minutes! Seared crispy shrimp, garnished with fresh scallions served over 5 minute rice with steamed broccoli. So healthy, so effortless and what a treat! Can’t wait to make it again and again!

    • Reply
      Laurie
      September 4, 2016 at 12:04 PM

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe!

      • Reply
        The Cooking Jar
        September 19, 2016 at 1:55 PM

        I can tell you love it, Laurie 🙂 So much love in your descriptions. I love it! Glad you found a staple in this one!

  • Reply
    Cat
    August 17, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Has anyone tried worschesture sauce instead of soy sauce. Ive done it with other recipies but not ones including honey?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 19, 2016 at 1:52 PM

      I personally have not, Cat! Just been waiting to see if any others chimed in 🙂

  • Reply
    Ilysa
    August 7, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    Just made this with a side of garlic asparagus … Delicious and easy weeknight meal! I highly recommend adding the red pepper flakes. Gives it a nice kick. I will definitely be making this again.. Probably with some sort of rice side dish.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 9, 2016 at 6:00 PM

      Some have tried brown rice or coconut lime rice. I don’t have a recipe for coconut lime rice on the blog, but I do have a slightly sweetened, ginger infused coconut rice recipe with toasted coconut flakes.

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    June 16, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    I added a bit of oyster sauce and siracha 🙂 yum!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 23, 2016 at 2:19 PM

      Oyster sauce is the best! I use liberal amounts of it with my veggies. So good!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    May 18, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    This was SUCH a great recipe! So easy to make with ingredients I always keep in the kitchen (minus the fresh shrimp obviously). I will definitely be keeping this in the regular rotation!

    One question though. I noticed that the marinade/sauce was kind of runny, which is fine for the marinade part, but when I tossed the remaining half with the shrimp at the end, I noticed most of it stayed in the pan. I didn’t want to add extra honey for fear of changing up the flavor too much. Any advice?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      May 23, 2016 at 4:07 PM

      If you want a thicker sauce, you can always heat up the remaining half of the sauce and bring it to a simmer. Add in some cornstarch slurry, to thicken it. Only a little is needed. You could also double the amount of the remaining sauce so you have more of it once thickened. Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Elizabeth
        May 23, 2016 at 10:00 PM

        Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Meranda
    May 1, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    So my husband found this and asked me to make it. It was so simple and so flavorful! I did your suggestion with the lime and red pepper flakes, thank you for that! Paired it with wild rice and a green salad. You did good on this one! My husband LOVED it!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      May 11, 2016 at 1:53 PM

      Great to hear, Meranda! People seem to love it with lime juice. Adds a touch of tartness to the sweet and savory flavors already there. Thank you for letting me know!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 17, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Sesame oil works great with this recipe. My hubby and I both love it!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      April 25, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      Sesame oil as a finisher will definitely give this a great flavor. Good addition!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    April 16, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Hi! I found your site through pinterest, and I just bought all of the ingredients for this dish! I’ve never actually made a shrimp dish before so this may be a dumb question….but I bought a pound of frozen peeled/deveined shrimp. Do I have to defrost the shrimp before marinating it and following your recipe?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      April 16, 2016 at 6:29 PM

      Yes, defrost the shrimp and drain it completely before marinating. A tip on how to quickly defrost is to soak them all in a bowl of cold water then drain it completely. The water melts away the ice faster. Just make sure to completely drain the shrimp of all water so the marinade isn’t diluted! Good luck!

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