With grilling season getting closer and closer, it is never too early to cook over some hot Cowboy Charcoal. Been craving some al pastor lately, but wanted to switch things up. Decided to try making some Skewered Shrimp Al Pastor instead! 

Sponsored by Cowboy Charcoal.
Shrimp Al Pastor garnished and served.

This shrimp al pastor recipe is just like the kind you’d find in Mexico. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up this flavorful recipe. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Get ready to be obsessed with this Skewered Shrimp Al Pastor recipe. We’re talking about shrimp that’s so juicy that it practically melts in your mouth, all thanks to a marinade that’s bursting with flavor. These shrimp are coated in a marinade filled with flavors like smoky chipotle, tangy citrus, and a kick of spices, resulting in a unique flavor profile. Then, we’re skewering these flavor bombs and grilling them over an open flame so you get that perfect charred goodness with every bite.

Skewered Shrimp With Coal

Love cooking with skewers? Then, you’ll love these recipes – Spicy Tequila Lime Shrimp Skewers, Shrimp and Sausage Skewers, Lobster Skewers with Bang Bang Sauce and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Skewers!


Shrimp & Toppings

  • Shrimp: The star of the dish, providing a delicious seafood flavor and protein-rich base for the al pastor marinade.
  • Lime Juice (garnish): Adds a refreshing citrusy tang to complement the savory flavors of the shrimp and marinade.
  • Chopped Cilantro (garnish): Enhances the freshness of the dish with its bright and herbaceous flavor profile, also balancing out the richness of the shrimp and marinade.

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Marinade Ingredients 

  • Fresh pineapple: Adds natural sweetness and tanginess, tenderizing the shrimp while giving it a tropical flavor.
  • Onions: Provides a savory-sweet base, while also adding depth and complexity to the marinade.
  • Orange: Adds citrusy brightness and acidity, enhancing the overall taste of the marinade. You could also use regular orange juice if you like. 
  • Garlic Cloves: Infuses aromatic garlic flavor, enriching the marinade’s taste.
  • White Vinegar: Adds tanginess to balance the sweetness, furthermore creating a well-rounded flavor.
  • Chipotle Paste: Gives smoky heat and depth, providing the marinade with its spicy kick.
  • Cilantro: Offers fresh, herbaceous notes.
  • Achiote Paste: Adds rich, earthy flavor and a vibrant red color, typical of al pastor seasoning.
  • Ancho Chile Powder: Provides mild, fruity heat and depth.
  • Cumin: Infuses warm, aromatic flavor with a hint of earthiness.
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Oil: Ensures even coating of the shrimp for a crispy outer crust. 


Skewered Shrimp Al Pastor

For our cook, we are not using pork, but we will be using really hot Cowboy Charcoal. We are going to blend a similar al pastor marinade and then set the shrimp into that marinade in a medium bowl to sit for 30-60 minutes. We do not want the shrimp to over-marinate since they will begin to “cook” from all the acid in the juices. This will make them too soft, so just let it sit for about 30-60 minutes, and you will be in perfect shape.

Next, we will skewer the shrimp al pastor in our own style of a trompo so they still get that residual heat from the hot coals. Place them over the fire to grill shrimp for about 4 minutes per side or until they are done and golden brown. Pull them off and top with lime juice & cilantro to finish.

This little ode to a classic Mexican fire-cooked dish is one of my favorites. Add these shrimp to corn tortillas to make Al Pastor Shrimp Tacos if you like. This will feed a crowd and still keep them coming back for more!

Skewered Shrimp Al Pastor

Tips for Shrimp Al Pastor 

  • Throw in a little orange zest into the marinade for an extra citrusy finish. 
  • Pat shrimp dry with paper towels before marinating to remove any excess moisture. 

More Shrimp Recipes

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Store leftover shrimp al pastor in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the shrimp for up to 3 months, but make sure to let it thaw completely before reheating. 

Reheat the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side in a hot skillet over medium heat.

With the leftover shrimp, whip up some shrimp al pastor tacos!

What to serve with shrimp al pastor

The shrimp pair perfectly with some white rice and black beans with a side of pico de Gallo, guacamole, or queso fresco. You can also add a dollop of sour cream, a few lime wedges, and some chopped white onion or red onion on top for more flavor. 

Shrimp Al Pastor Recipe FAQs


Al Pastor is a style of cooking inspired by Lebenese immigrants that moved to Mexico. Their use of spit style cooking with doner kebabs & gyros combined with the flavors of Mexico to make Al Pastor. The most famous dish that comes from this is Tacos Al Pastor!

Traditionally, this style of cooking uses thin slices of pork as the meat source, marinated overnight in a combination of dried chiles, seasonings, pineapple juice, and achiote paste.

The pork is then layered onto a spit, called a trompo, trimmed for excess fat, and placed over an open fire in a vertical-style spit.

It is slowly roasted until the orange color turns bright orange with charring, and then is thinly sliced off to make tacos. They are some of the most delicious tacos you could ever have.

Can I make this recipe on the stovetop?

Absolutely! Grab a cast iron skillet or cast iron grill pan skillet and cook the shrimp without placing them on the skewers. 

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

​Absolutely! Frozen shrimp would also work well for this recipe. Just make sure to thaw them completely before marinating.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the marinade?

​Certainly! Feel free to adjust the amount of chipotle paste and chili powder to suit your taste preferences. Start with less if you prefer a milder flavor, and add more for extra heat.

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Shrimp Al Pastor

Crush this fire cooking thing with these Skewered Shrimp Al Pastor. Simple recipe yet effective cook over hot Cowboy Charcoal!
Author:Derek Wolf
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people


Shrimp & Toppings

  • 2 lbs of Shrimp
  • Lime Juice garnish
  • Chopped Cilantro garnish


  • ½ cup of Pineapples cubed
  • ½ cup of Onions cubed
  • 1 Orange juiced
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ cup of White Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Chipotle Paste
  • ¼ cup of Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp of Achiote Paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp of Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Cumin
  • 1 tbsp of Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Salt
  • 2 tbsp of Oil


  • In a blender, add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix until thoroughly blended.
  • Pour marinade over the top of shrimp and let sit in fridge for between 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Do not let marinade for more than 1 hour or shrimp will be too soft).
  • Using Cowboy Charcoal, fill a full chimney of coals, light and let preheat for 15 minutes. Pour coals into grill and place into one pile for direct cooking.
  • Pull shrimp out of fridge, take out of marinade & discard leftover marinade. Add shrimp to skewers and lay over hot coals for 4-5 minutes per side or until the flesh is white & no longer translucent.
  • Once done, pull shrimp off, garnish with lime juice + chopped cilantro and enjoy!



Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 365mg | Sodium: 2070mg | Potassium: 856mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1079IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 3mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

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