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

Yield: 6 Appetizer Servings (OR 2-3 Main Course Servings)

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

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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.

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! 

33 Responses to “Grilled Harissa Shrimp Skewers with Basil Oil and Cilantro”

  1. #
    Christina — August 22, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    These look so good I can almost taste them. I think they might have to go on the Labor Day menu!

  2. #
    Tieghan — August 22, 2014 @ 8:45 am

    That basil oil sounds and looks so good. I love basil. Well, and I love harissa + shrimp, so this is my kind of meal!

    Ps did you get a grill pan??

  3. #
    DessertForTwo — August 22, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    Ok, I’ve been wanting to buy harissa for my kitchen for ages, but I didn’t know which brand to buy! Thanks for a great rec, Laura! :)

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:33 am

      Gotta get some Mina! Thanks girl!

  4. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — August 22, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    This shrimp looks unbelievable!!!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:34 am

      Thanks Jocelyn! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  5. #
    pippa@popovertopippas — August 22, 2014 @ 9:52 am

    Yum, I will have to make these with the extra Harissa sauce that I have in my fridge! Brian would love it.

  6. #
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert — August 22, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    These shrimp are just gorgeous! I need some now…

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Thanks Jen! Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. #
    Crystal | Apples & Sparkle — August 22, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Oh yum, these sound so good, harissa & basil oil sounds like such an amazing flavor combo.

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:31 am

      They went so well together!! :)

  8. #
    Mariana @The Candid Kitchen — August 22, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    I think I am obsessed 😉
    Have recently started experimenting with Harissa and can’t get enough of it!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Isn’t it the best?! So versatile!

  9. #
    Nathalie C. | Devoted Foodie — August 22, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    Yum! This looks SO good!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:31 am

      Thanks Nathalie!!

  10. #
    Mom — August 22, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    This looks fabulous! I need to find out where I can pick some up, besides at your apartment. Did you use your grill pan? It almost looks as though you are outside at a proper grill! PS. I did not “accuse” you of using “that word” too often, just mentioned!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Yeah! Just a grill pan, but it’s really nice for shrimp especially. I’ve actually seen Mina at Giant–it was near the Mexican ingredients (not sure why).

  11. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — August 22, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

    I might exaggerate a little too but I AM obsessed with harissa! I love this recipe! I am making it this weekend for sure. Plus you had me at point #1…FRIDAY! :)

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:34 am

      Hah! So guilty of exaggerating. Since I know you love harissa, you gotta try these. I think you’ll love them! Let me know!

  12. #
    Kevin | keviniscooking — August 22, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    Laura these take my breath away! Wow, so scrumptious looking and harissa with a basil cilantro sauce – HEAVEN! Grilling them this weekend, thanks!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:31 am

      Thank you SO much!! Let them know how they turn out!

  13. #
    sue/the view from great island — August 22, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

    Those grill marks are to die for, and love the pretty sauce!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Thank you, thank you!

  14. #
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit — August 22, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

    YUM! I would like to eat this please!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Shrimps on the barbie! (Sorry.)

  15. #
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane — August 23, 2014 @ 6:41 am

    Wow, I love the simplicity of these, that you’ve paired them with that beautiful-sounding basil oil … and your gorgeous photos!!

    • Laura replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Thanks Helen! The basil oil is awesome–I have another recipe coming up soon that uses it too! :)

  16. #
    Mina — August 25, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    Hi Laura…. LOVE what you’ve created with our harissa. Can’t wait to try this harissa-shrimp recipe!

  17. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — August 27, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    wow these shrimp skewers look amazing… and that harrisa marinade especially looks incredible, love the colour! i definitely will be recreating these skewers, they look so delicious. thanks for the great recipe!

  18. #
    Joanne — August 28, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    My stomach is growling just looking at this. I love with Mina harissa you can practically see how intensely flavorful it is with those vibrant colors!

  19. #
    Charlotte — January 13, 2015 @ 9:44 pm

    This harissa shrimp recipe looks so yummy and exotic. Def making this. Loving harissa right now.


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