shrimp and asparagus stir fry

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


But so worth it — we’d never been and were so impressed with the area! Powdery white sand beaches, turquoise-hued water filled with dolphins, and as much local seafood as we could handle. I’ll spare you the Forrest Gump line, but we made it our mission to try every which way the Gulf Shores were serving up fresh shrimp, and…mission accomplished. I think my blood was 25% clarified butter by the end of our vacation!

It was with our trip in mind that I went the healthy route and whipped up Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet to share with you — a simple yet outstanding, stir-fry-style dish that’s made with a handful of ingredients, in just 15 minutes.


This fresh, light, and healthy shrimp and asparagus is more than the sum of its parts. Each time I make it I’m convinced I won’t like it as much as the last time, but it always hits the spot. The lemon + garlic + shrimp + asparagus combo will blow your expectations out of the water.

close up of shrimp and asparagus in a skillet

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy skillet recipe:

  • Jumbo shrimp: I buy frozen, de-veined, wild-caught gulf shrimp at the grocery store then thaw in a bowl of water for 20 minutes or so before peeling. We usually leave the tails on but feel free to take them off before cooking if you prefer.
  • Old Bay seasoning: this slightly-spicy seasoning flavors the shrimp and pairs perfectly with the fresh lemon in this dish. At the time of this writing, 5/23, Old Bay seasoning is gluten free.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: to saute the shrimp and vegetables in. I haven’t played around with cutting or replacing the evoo with butter, but think it would be delicious.
  • Asparagus: chopped fresh asparagus becomes crisp-tender after sauteing for just a few minutes in a hot skillet. You’ll need one bunch which is about a pound of asparagus.
  • Shallot or onion: provides a slightly sweet, caramelized onion flavor to the dish.
  • Garlic: tons of fresh garlic adds craveable flavor to each bite.
  • Lemon: fresh lemon juice AND lemon zest helps the garlic and Old Bay flavors pop.

Lemon zest is the outside peel of the lemon which you remove using a zester. Lemon zest adds a ton of lemon FLAVOR without adding sourness. It really lightens and brightens this dish.

lemon zest on a cutting board

How to Serve Lemon Shrimp and Asparagus

As written, this one pan meal is low carb, full of protein, and can be enjoyed all on its own. That said, feel free to pair it with cooked brown or white rice, sauteed cauliflower rice, or even over a bed of sauteed baby spinach.

lemon shrimp and asparagus in a bowl with brown rice

Try Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

How to Make This Recipe

Start by 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 equal a pound. So, 16 – 20 pieces of jumbo shrimp equals 1 pound shrimp all together.

shrimp seasoned with old bay on a cutting board

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add the seasoned shrimp and saute for 2-3 minutes a side or until cooked through. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a plate then set aside.

jumbo shrimp sauting in a skillet

Heat more extra virgin olive oil in the skillet then add fresh asparagus spears that have been chopped into 2″ sections, plus chopped shallot or onion. Season with salt and pepper then saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.

Add minced fresh garlic then saute until very fragrant, about a minute or so.

asparagus sauting in a skillet

Last step is to add the cooked shrimp back into the skillet along with the zest of a lemon, plus fresh lemon juice. Toss everything together to combine and warm the shrimp through.

shrimp and asparagus sauting in a skillet

That’s all she wrote!! Serve with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges to dial up the freshness factor.

Like I said, this dish is divine all on its own, but feel free to serve 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

Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet

5/5 (7 REVIEWS)


Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet is a light and flavorful, low carb dinner recipe that cooks in just 15 minutes. Super easy and so delicious!


serves 3-4

  • 1lb 16/20-count jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus (~1lb), ends trimmed then cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 lemon, zested then sliced in half
  • For serving: cooked white or brown rice, sauted 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 oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp then saute for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove shrimp to a plate then set aside.
  3. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil to the skillet then add asparagus and shallot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until asparagus is crisp tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute or until very fragrant.
  4. Add cooked shrimp back into the skillet along with the lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (if lemon is large you may not need to squeeze in the whole half). Toss to combine and re-warm the shrimp then scoop into bowls alongside cooked white or brown rice, or sauted cauliflower rice. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top then slice remaining lemon half into wedges and serve with each bowl.


  • If you don't have Old Bay or are sensitive to heat (Old Bay is a tad spicy), season shrimp with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend.
Adapted from One Lovely Life

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

photo collage of shrimp and asparagus skillet

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin