Head to the Greek Isles this week with my Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ this quick healthy meal has it all: juicy shrimp, a silky lemon sauce, and rich, briny olives. The sauce looks creamy but is made without any dairy ~ come find out the delicious secret!
Shrimp in lemon sauce with olives exemplifies the healthy Mediterranean diet
I love Greek food. I love all Mediterranean food, but have a special weakness for Greek flavors. Greek cooking is sunny, simple, and so good for you. When I think Greece I think olives and olive oil, seafood, lemons, wine, feta cheese, and lots of fresh herbs. Any combination of these ingredients make an amazing meal!
Greek lemon sauce turns simple sautéed shrimp into an outstanding meal
If you google Greek shrimp you’ll come up with lots of recipes that use tomatoes and feta cheese. That’s how I used to do shrimp all the time until I discovered this amazing lemon sauce. It’s the same sauce I used in my Greek Meatballs in Lemon Sauce, and that recipe was sent to me by a reader who lives in Athens (thank you Alexandra!!) The sauce is so versatile that I’ve been able to translate it into many different meals. My Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is the poultry version, if you’re not a shrimp lover.
What you’ll need for this dish
The sauce is a simple, almost primal ~ it consists of stock (in this case chicken or fish) thickened with a mixture of fresh lemon juice and egg yolks. It looks creamy, but there is no dairy in it. The flavor and texture is pure heaven, and goes so well with the bite of the olives. I used both Greek cracked olives and an oil cured Moroccan variety. It really pays to buy your olives fresh from an olive bar rather than rely on jarred, there are so many to choose from and they go so well with healthy Mediterranean dishes.
TIP: It’s hard to find pitted olives in any kind of variety, so I leave the pits in and warn my diners.
If you love the ease of cooking with shrimp
- you may want to try my Chimichurri Shrimp, the sauce can be made ahead and the rest takes just minutes.
- If you think you can handle it, take the heat up a notch further with my Shrimp Fra Diavolo,
- Shrimp in Romesco Sauce makes a fun appetizer or light meal, and the sauce is such a gorgeous color!
Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives
- 1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on if you like)
- olive oil
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, you can use up to 1/2 cup for a super lemony flavor
- 1 cup chicken or fish stock
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 cup mixed olives
- fresh thyme leaves
- Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until smooth and set aside.
- Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium heat until hot. Saute the shrimp for about 4 minutes, turning once, until they are pink and cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover and keep warm.
- Heat the stock in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the egg yolks to temper them. Pour that yolk mixture back into the pan slowly, while whisking, and continue to heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture just starts to thicken and comes to a simmer. NOTE: it won’t get really thick, it will just get a little thicker and glossier. Once it comes to a simmer take off the heat immediately and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce into a medium casserole or gratin dish and place the shrimp in the sauce. Top with the olives and thyme. Serve immediately with rice, couscous, or crusty bread.
Questions and Reviews
1500 mg. is a ton of sodium! Would rinsing the olives help to cut the sodium? I’ve reduced salt in my food.
I added quite a lot of olives, but you could certainly reduce that amount, or leave them out entirely.
This was spectacular! I’ve made it twice, once as the recipe is written, and once adding two cloves of minced garlic (thrown in for about a minute just at the end of cooking the shrimp) and half an anchovy (added after the shrimp were removed from the pan). Also finished the sauce with a knob of butter. Both versions were really good. It’s a great recipe as written, and a good jumping-off point for other herbs.
Served it over Israeli Couscous. What a presentation!
I used a half cup of Kalamata olives from Costco, and half cup of Spanish Green olives with pimento. They are too salty, and I will follow your advice next time in buying from an antipasto bar at my grocery. I think something cured but not canned would be a better choice.
It occurs to me that capers or pickled artichoke hearts might also be good in this.
Thanks Sue! I look forward to your posts – each and every one!!
Love you back Morgan!
Thanks so much for this recipe . It is one of the best seafood dishes I have ever made! Looking forward to making it for friends when we are all able to get together again.
Thanks for the feedback Maria!
Just thought would let you know that I made this last night. Found it simple to make and delicious. My husband loved it and will be adding it to my repertoire of recipes. Always looking for good and different recipes for shrimps. Enjoy browsing through your recipes and the few that have tried have been excellent. Thank you!
I made this today and it was delicious! I added a teaspoon of lemon zest as I like it extra lemony… I wish I could post a photo, it looked beautiful as well!
Sue, you must have read my mind. Just looking to make shrimp, scallops and fish for dinner and this perfect recipe popped into my feed! I love the Greek twist! Too bad I can’t serve it to my B & B guests – so M and I will just have to eat it all ourselves !!! Thanks! V
This looks delicious! I have shrimp in the freezer, and my lemon trees is loaded. As I was writing the recipe down, I couldn’t see when to add the other 1/2 cup of hot stock. But, I’ll guessing it’s added to the tempered egg/lemon mixture. I smash my olives with a meat tenderizer, and the pits come out easily. Not as pretty, but, I have too much dental work to take that chance!
Hey Chris! What you do is ladle out 1/2 cup of the hot stock to add to the eggs, blend well, and then stir that back into the pot that has the rest of the stock in it.
Wow, you replied before I’d finished writing the recipe card! I’m so impressed. Thanks. 🙂
Just love this recipe and it is going to be my dinner tonight. Will hold back 1/2 of the sauce to use with chicken tomorrow night. It’s just me (husband away) so I can do that!!!
I am salivating already. YUM!!
Hope you enjoy it Mary 🙂 I actually have several other recipes that use this type of Greek lemon sauce if you end up loving it.
This looks amazing, however I’m intolerant of eggs 🙁 (hives and stomach pains occur). Can you think of anything that might be able to take the place of the egg yolk?
That’s a tough one, Hannah. I think you might want to try this with a classic flour and butter roux type of thickening. I go with a ratio of 1 to 1 flour to butter, and then add a little hot stock. You would get a thickened sauce that you can flavor with lemon, and then enrich with half and half, or cream.
I tried this recipe with excellent results, I did at paprika to spice it up a little bit. My husband said it was delicious I served it on a bed of white lemon rice. And white wine.
Sounds lovely, thanks for coming back to let me know Claudia!