Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil and Cilantro

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

Majorly excited today for two reasons:

1) It is Friday. Enough said.

2) I’ve teamed up with the wonderful people over at Mina Harissa to share another recipe for their delicious, good-enough-to-eat-straight from-the-jar harissa sauces.

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

I know I can be a little dramatic when it comes to describing food (my mom has accused me of using the word ‘obsessed’ far too many times on the blog, oops!), but I could literally eat about fifteen of these grilled harissa shrimp skewers in one sitting. And this recipe only makes six of them, so yeah.

That is truly how good they are!

[Also, check out my fancy shrimp deveining knife! Cool, huh?]

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of harissa and specifically, Mina harissa sauces. They are bold in flavor and can be used in so many different ways–as a condiment and topping, or as a flavor boost in almost any dish (like these spicy harissa lamb meatballs with feta).

One of my biggest pet peeves in life to having to buy an ingredient for only one cooking application–so trust me, I would not be saying this otherwise.

You will never run out of uses for this stuff.

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

Traditionally, harissa is extremely spicy because it is made almost entirely from red chili peppers. I happen to love spicy food (the more, the merrier!), but if you do not, guess what? You’re in luck!

Mina Harissa makes a mild harissa. It is delicate and flavorful with just the slightest hint of spice. It also lends itself extremely well to marinating seafood and meat as you can be extremely liberal with it and not have to worry about numbing your (or your friends) taste buds before the meal even begins.

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

And this is the perfect entertaining recipe (such as those upcoming Labor Day parties!) because it is simple and quick to prepare, yet elegant enough to have your friends ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over every bite.

Seriously. Just grab some shrimp, toss them with mild harissa, and let them hang out and marinate in the fridge for an hour or two! Thread them on some wooden skewers and grill away.

Nothing is better than crispy shrimp grill marks.

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

My favorite way to serve these grilled shrimp skewers is with a generous drizzle of homemade basil oilsimply basil leaves, olive oil, and sea salt pureed in a blender–and fresh cilantro leaves.

The freshness of the herbs pairs extremely well with the harissa. Plus, the contrast in color with the vibrant grilled shrimp is beautiful!

Go get your shrimp on!

Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil and Cilantro

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Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers

  • 1 lb wild raw unshelled shrimp (or 3/4 lb raw, shelled and de-veined shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup Mina Mild Harissa, plus more for basting
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cooking oil spray
  • fresh cilantro leaves

Basil Oil

  •  1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Marinate Shrimp:  Shell and de-vein the shrimp and place in a medium bowl. Toss with Mina mild harissa, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the shrimp to marinate in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Allow to rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling.
  2.  Prepare Basil Oil: Place the oil, basil leaves, and salt in a blender container, and puree/blend until smooth. Place the oil in a small airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use (oil can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks).
  3. Using small wooden skewers (soak the skewers in water if using on an outdoor grill), thread 3-4 shrimp on each skewer, running the skewer through the neck and once near the tail (see photos above).  Lightly season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Place a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of Mina mild harissa in a small bowl (do not use the marinade for this step) for basting and set aside.
  4. Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking oil. Lay the shrimp skewers in the grill pan (do not over crowd the pan) and grill  on for 2-3 minutes on each side–brushing the shrimp with additional harissa as you grill them–or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through
  5. Drizzle the shrimp skewers with basil oil and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

Mina Harissa is available at some Whole Foods and grocery store locations, and can also be ordered online on Amazon.

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Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil & Cilantro |

Today’s post and recipe development project was sponsored by Mina Harissa. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and use in my own kitchen!