Grilled Shrimp Skewers with California Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

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 Grilled Shrimp Skewers with California Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

Summertime entertaining can be blissfully simple when you rely on recipes that have quick prep and cooking times, like these shrimp skewers. They’re paired with a creamy California Avocado and cilantro sauce that just screams sunny skies and picnic tables. 

Serve up these skewers as a part of a summer holiday spread or make them the main dish, accompanied by some grilled corn and watermelon slices. The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled (or more!) if you’re feeding a tableful of guests.

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Making the California avocado-cilantro sauce is as simple as throwing some ingredients in a blender or food processor and pressing “start.” The beauty of sauces with California avocados as the main ingredient is that they have a natural creaminess without needing to add buttermilk or cream. 


Tips for making the avocado sauce:

  • When adding the garlic clove to the sauce, I recommend grating it into the blender using a microplane. This ensures that you won’t end up with any chunks of garlic. If you don’t have a microplane, mince the garlic very finely before adding to the blender. 
  • There’s no need to chop the cilantro before adding it. Throw it into the blender – leaves, stems and all – then blend away. 
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a little extra milk or water, adding one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. 

Tips for making the shrimp skewers:

  • If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers in warm water for 30 minutes before threading on the ingredients to avoid the skewers from cooking too fast.
  • I used a mixture of cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and salt to season the shrimp, which matches well with the California avocado-cilantro sauce. Feel free to switch up the herbs and spices to your heart’s content!
  • Thread the skewers through two parts of each shrimp to avoid the shrimp from spinning around the skewers when they’re flipped partway through cooking. 
  • Shrimp cook very quickly and the last thing you want is over cooked shrimp. Two minutes per side should do the trick!

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with California Avocado Cilantro Sauce Recipe

Serves: 4 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


  • Canola oil for brushing on grill
  • 1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails intact
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 24 grape tomatoes


  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium heat then lightly brush with canola oil.
  3. Pat the shrimp dry and place them in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, cumin, paprika, oregano and garlic powder
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the tomatoes with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
  5. Thread the shrimp and tomatoes, using about 6 shrimps and 3 tomatoes per skewer.
  6. Grill until the shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. 
  7. Serve warm with the California Avocado-Cilantro sauce.

California Avocado-Cilantro Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh, California avocado, peeled, seeded and halved
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 7 Tbsp. nonfat milk
  • 1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves and stems (not chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt 

California Avocado-Cilantro Sauce Instructions:

  1. Place the avocado, yogurt and milk into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. Add the cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt. Puree until almost completely smooth, with some flecks of cilantro still visible.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

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Dara Michalski

Dara Michalski, a Canadian (“Canuck”) living in the United States, is the recipe developer and photographer behind the healthy recipe and running site, Cookin’ Canuck. Dara has been sharing her easy, innovative and healthy recipes with her readers since April 2009. More recently, she started writing about her adventures with running, including her first marathon.

Starting in September 2011, Dara’s cooking and view on health went through a transformation, leading to a 30-pound weight loss and a new dedication to moderation in eating and exercise. She believes that healthy eating doesn’t need to equal boring food!

Dara is a brand advocate. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog is part of their partnership with our organization.

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