Wow, talk about the power of a completely unassuming (and super fast!) shrimp dish. This is incredibly delicious. Incredibly. Delicious.

And did I mention super speedy? That’s the great thing about shrimp; you can usually count on it being a pretty quick meal to throw together and I never, ever complain about that. Do you?


I happen to love shrimp more than life itself. It’s definitely in my top-foods-ever category. And it’s because of recipes like this – the tasty, quick and really healthy ones – that keep me coming back for more. The combination of light and creamy coconut milk with tomatoes, garlic, a hint of lime and cilantro…well, it’s phenomenal. Light and fresh and fantastic. The sauce is definitely on the saucy side of things so serving this in shallow bowls so the beautiful, warm rice can soak up the wonderful sauciness is a really good idea. Consider yourself warned.

And just to leave you on a happy note, here are a few of my other favorite shrimp dishes:
Coconut Shrimp Curry
The Best Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp Enchiladas
Butter and Garlic Shrimp Penne


What To ServeA simple side salad (or something more fun like these simpleΒ Caprese Skewers)
A good dinner roll, like these Parker House Rolls, to soak up any extra juices
Fresh Fruit

One Year Ago: Simple Barley Pilaf
Two Years Ago: Whole Wheat Dinner Muffins
Three Years Ago: Chicken Tikka Masala

Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Lime Tomato Sauce

Yield: Serves 6

Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Lime Tomato Sauce


  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cans (14.5-ounce each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (14-ounce each) light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • Hot, cooked basmati, jasmine or long-grain rice for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium and add the red peppers, cooking until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced green onions, both white and green parts, 1/2 cup of the cilantro, red pepper flakes (if using) and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and salt to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes to help develop the flavors and reduce the sauce just slightly.
  3. Add the shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes until the shrimp are pink and tender (overcooking the shrimp will make them tough so keep a close eye on the mixture).
  4. Stir in the lime juice. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice garnishing with the remaining cilantro. This makes a soupier-type mixture so deep plates or bowls would be best for serving.

Recipe source: adapted from Skinny Taste {I doubled the recipe and adapted ingredients accordingly, added all parts of green onion to the mixture to saute, edited lime juice amount, simmered uncovered, etc.}

40 Responses to Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Lime Tomato Sauce {Quick and Healthy Dinner!}

  1. Darcine says:

    Can I use already cooked shrimp? I happen to have some in the freezer. How would you adjust the recipe? Thanks

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it – you’d have to experiment. Maybe cook the sauce until the flavors develop and then stir in the cooked shrimp?

  2. go source says:

    Damn, thank you so much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I research Coconut Milk at the market! Crazy!

  3. Aubri says:

    I liked this Mel! The flavors definitely need time to mesh. I actually liked it better the next day. For leftovers, I ate it like soup, and just added a little bit of rice (to cut down on calories). It was really good! I think that it would be great with some grilled chicken too, instead of shrimp). I would say to just be careful not to over cook your shrimp. I’ve never made shrimp like this before (we usually grill it)…so I did over cook it just a bit. I think mine probably only needed like 3 minutes in the boiling sauce.

  4. Kelsey says:

    I rarely take the time to comment on recipes but this one was too amazing to not comment on. Oh my goodness. It might be the best thing I’ve ever made. EVER! I think I would make it every night if I could. I halved the recipe, used fresh tomatoes and added some sambal sauce (Indonesian hot sauce, you could probably use Sriracha). Amazingness. Thank you so much! I also made your skillet chicken and broccoli pasta the other night. Also delicious but doesn’t beat this one πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m one of those people who just can’t eat cilantro (HUGE aversion to it), but everything else about this dish sounds incredible! Would you recommend I just leave the cilantro out or substitute it with something else?


  6. […] Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Lime Tomato Sauce […]

  7. JennyP says:

    This was fantastic! I served it over jasmine rice the first night, the over spaghetti for leftovers. Great over both! Your site has become a favorite since I found it and look forward to trying many more of your recipes. Thank you!

  8. Amy says:

    The BEST shrimp dish I have ever tried! Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!

  9. Venessa says:

    Could I substitute scallops (happen to have some handy)? If so, do I need to change anything about the preparation?

  10. aqngie says:

    another great recipe!

  11. Tiffiny says:

    Made this for dinner last night and had leftovers for lunch. So delicious and light and healthy, too! Oh and don’t forget super fast to make. Those are the makings of a perfect meal to me. I’d say in the last couple months, easily more than half of my dinners have included coconut milk and dice tomatoes…and I love it! Keep the recipes coming, Mel! And thanks so much!

  12. Sally says:

    I finally made this dish with rice milk as a substitute for the coconut milk. I imagine the coconut milk is what gives this dish it’s unique and complex taste. Alas, the rice milk has no unique flavor. The dish was good, but lacked pizazz. So, tonight with the leftovers I contemplated how to make it as good as I imagined it had to be. I added Thai basil and hit a homerun! Yum!
    Thank you for helping me be brave enough to experiment with a substitute.

  13. Susannah says:

    Sounds soooo delish! Can’t wait to try it! Pinning now… πŸ™‚

  14. The Omnivore says:

    That sauce sounds incredible! I’ve been avoiding shrimp lately for health reasons (not something I’m at all pleased about) but I could definitely see trying this out with some scallops instead (almost as good). And for my vegetarian — I think that sauce over rice would be divine, maybe with some tofu cubes for protein. Definitely on the to-make list!

  15. Staci says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I halved the recipe since there are only 4 of us and my kiddos don’t have huge appetites. My 5 year old likes shrimp and loved this recipe! Another Mel’s Kitchen Cafe home run! Thanks a million for what you do!

  16. Deborah says:

    I am definitely trying this one – looks fantastic!!

  17. Kristi says:

    Garlic, Coconut, and shrimp. Three of my favorite things!

  18. Namrata says:

    Hi Mel,

    How many tomatoes would you say I need to chop up (since I plan on using fresh tomatoes and not canned)?

    Thanks so much! This looks delicious!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Namrata – I’d say probably 5-6 regular-sized tomatoes. Of course you could add more or less depending on your preference!

  19. What an awesome idea for shrimp, Mel! This looks so mouthwatering and perfect for weeknights. Love it!

  20. Wow, this does look delicious and I love all the ingredients! I actually had on tonight’s menu your taco and cornmeal crepe enchiladas. But I just learned we will be having extra guests for dinner tonight. I think this will be less work and an impressive presentation! πŸ™‚

  21. Abbie says:

    This recipe looks absolutely delish!!! I found your website about a month ago and just can’t stop reading from it. I am addicted. Your recipes have been the majority of our meals for the last two weeks. It’s made meal planning so easy. I love how easy they are and quick they come together. Thanks for what you do!!!!

  22. Stephanie says:

    It was a rush tonight and I decided to make this and it came together so fast and we loved all the flavors packed in it! Cilantro and lime are a personal favorite. Fabulous recipe!

  23. Maria says:

    Looks delicious, must try soon. My kids LOVE shrimp and this would be right up their ally with the yummy sauce and rice.

  24. angela @ another bite please says:

    this looks great…i love the use of coconut milk…that flavor is soooo good. and we love shrimp + and quick = lovin.

  25. That looks amazing! I love anything with coconut milk in it πŸ™‚

  26. Kathy says:

    Sounds delicious! I’ve been wanting shrimp lately and I bet this would be perfect!

  27. I am totally making this for dinner tomorrow!! I LOVE dishes like this one πŸ™‚ And “top foods ever”? totally trying this! Pinned.

  28. Pauline says:

    Can’t wait to try it…..shrimp is just about my favorite entree ever. Add coconut milk? Oh help me, please!
    And did I mention that the chipotle chicken skewers are THE BEST GRILLED CHICKEN EVER EVER EVER. I’ve been snacking on the leftovers….where in the world did this recipe come from? Whoever came up with it should instantly be inducted into the Chicken Hall of Fame. This is a Prize Winning Recipe.
    (FYI: I miss printing recipes with photos….any chance your new people can help you with that?)

  29. Sally says:

    Thank you Mel!
    Now to get difficult. Since I can’t do cows milk or coconut I would be using soy or rice milk. Would I need to thicken it a bit?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sally – the sauce isn’t overly thick (it’s actually quite soupy which is why we ate it in shallow bowls with rice) so you might get away with just using the soy or rice milk as is. If you want it slightly thicker, whisk in a bit of cornstarch to the milk before adding.

  30. Tahnycooks says:

    This is looks great! My 9 year old son would love this too, he loves shrimp! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Sally Michel says:

    What can you substitute for coconut milk as I have a reaction to that?

  32. Tami says:

    Do your kids eat shrimp? I don’t think my kids have ever tried it and I’m wondering if they would eat this.

    • Mel says:

      Tami – yep, my kids eat it so well that I have to cut them off after several servings because I can’t afford it. πŸ™‚

  33. This sounds fabulous, as all things you make do! πŸ™‚

    Pinning this to my dinner ideas board!

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