Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet – Iowa Girl Eats

Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet is an easy and flavorful low carb dinner recipe that takes just 15 minutes to make. Super easy and so delicious!

Fry shrimp and asparagus

This past spring break, the family and I packed up our car and drove 17 hours south to Gulf Shores, AL.


But it was worth it – we’ve never been there and were so impressed with the area! Powder white sand, turquoise water teeming with dolphins and as much local seafood as we could stomach. I’ll spare you the Forrest Gump series, but we’ve made it our mission to try every way the Gulf Coast serves fresh shrimp and…mission accomplished. I think my blood was 25% clarified butter by the end of our vacation!

With our journey in mind, I went the healthy route and made Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet to share with you — a simple yet superb wok-style dish that takes just 15 minutes to make with a handful of ingredients.


These fresh, light, and healthy shrimp and asparagus are more than the sum of their parts, and every time I make them I’m convinced I won’t taste as good as the last time. Luckily it always hits the spot. The combination of lemon + garlic + shrimp + asparagus will exceed your expectations.

Close up of shrimp and asparagus in a pan

ingredients required

What you need for this easy pan recipe:

  • Giant Shrimp: I buy frozen, deveined, wild-caught gulf shrimp at the grocery store, then thaw them in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes before peeling them. We usually leave the tails on, but can remove them before cooking if you prefer.
  • Old Bay Spice: This slightly hot spice flavors the shrimp and pairs perfectly with the fresh lemon in this dish. At the time of writing this article, 5/23, Old Bay seasoning is gluten free.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: to fry the shrimp and vegetables in it. I haven’t messed with cutting or substituting butter for the Evoo, but I think it would be delicious.
  • Asparagus: Chopped fresh asparagus becomes crisp and tender after just a few minutes in a hot pan. You’ll need a bunch that’s about the equivalent of a pound of asparagus.
  • Shallot or Onion: gives the dish a slightly sweet, caramelized onion flavor.
  • Garlic: Tons of fresh garlic add desirable flavor to every bite.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice AND lemon zest help the garlic and Old Bay flavors pop.

Lemon zest is the outer peel of the lemon that you remove with a zester. Lemon Zest adds a ton of lemon flavor without adding acidity. It really brightens and brightens this dish.

Lemon zest on a cutting board

How to serve lemon shrimp and asparagus

As previously written, this one-pan meal is low-carb, packed with protein, and can be enjoyed on its own. However, feel free to pair it with cooked brown or white rice, sautéed cauliflower rice, or even over a bed of sautéed baby spinach.

Lemon prawns and asparagus in a bowl with brown rice

How to make this recipe

Start seasoning jumbo, 16/20 count shrimp with Old Bay seasoning on both sides. The numbers you see on packages of shrimp — 16/20, 40/50, etc. — tell us how many shrimp of the same size are in a pound. So, 16-20 pieces of jumbo shrimp equals 1 pound of shrimp in total.

Prawns seasoned with aged bay leaves on a cutting board

heat Extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the seasoned shrimp and sear 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Place the cooked shrimp on a plate and set aside.

Fry jumbo shrimp in a pan

heat more Extra virgin olive oil then add to the pan fresh asparagus Spears chopped into 2 inch sections, plus chopped shallot or onion. With seasoning Salt And pepper then sauté until asparagus is crispy-tender, 4-5 minutes.

Add mince fresh garlic then sauté until very fragrant, about a minute or so.

Fry the asparagus in a pan

The final step is to return the cooked shrimp to the pan along with the pan zest of a lemonPlus fresh lemon juice. Toss everything together to combine and reheat the shrimp.

Fry the prawns and asparagus in a pan

That’s all you wrote!! Serve with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges to increase the freshness factor.

Like I said, this dish is divine on its own, but feel free to serve it with cooked white, brown, or cauliflower rice. No matter how you serve it, I know you’re going to love this fresh and healthy dish – enjoy!

Bowl of shrimp and asparagus

More light + low carb dinner recipes

Prawn and asparagus pan


Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet is an easy and flavorful low carb dinner recipe that takes just 15 minutes to make. Super easy and so delicious!


  • 1 pound 16/20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound), ends trimmed and then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled and then halved
  • To serve: cooked white or brown rice, sautéed cauliflower rice, chopped fresh parsley


  1. Pat shrimp very dry with paper towels, then season both sides with Old Bay seasoning and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sear 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Place shrimp on a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, then add the asparagus and shallot, season with salt and pepper, then sauté for 4-5 minutes until the asparagus is crisp and tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute or until very fragrant.
  4. Return cooked shrimp to pan along with lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (if lemon is large, you may not need to squeeze all of half). Toss to combine and reheat the shrimp, then add to bowls along with cooked white or brown rice or sautéed cauliflower rice. Scatter over the chopped parsley, then cut the remaining half of the lemon into wedges and serve with each bowl.


  • If you don’t have an Old Bay or are sensitive to heat (Old Bay is a bit spicy), season shrimp with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning mix.

Adapted from One Lovely Life

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Shrimp and asparagus pan photo collage

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin

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