This Cajun shrimp recipe yields delectable shrimp infused and coated with a vibrant and zesty seasoning. It's delicious, offering the perfect mix of heat and savory notes. It's a quick and effortless recipe, perfect for weeknight dinners.
Toss the shrimp in our homemade Cajun spice blend and sear until juicy and flavorful, all in under 15 minutes. Enjoy!! Drizzle this Cajun butter sauce for an add-on feeling.
Why We All Love This Recipe
Control the Heat: You can adjust the heat level to match your taste if you prefer your Cajun shrimp mild or fiery spicy(check this Cajun coleslaw for more info).
Quick & Effortless: It's quick to whip up(same as this Cajun chicken breast and this Cajun shrimp tacos), perfect for those busy nights. This spicy shrimp is your go-to meal if you're craving something zesty and satisfying.
Versatile in Serving: Enjoy it with a cozy bowl of white rice, toss it into your favorite pasta, or pair it with veggies. This Cajun shrimp is low carb and fits seamlessly into any meal plan.
Easy-to-Follow Steps: The simple and detailed instructions of this Cajun shrimp recipe make cooking more relaxing and fulfilling.
How to make Cajun Shrimp?
Shrimp: For the best results in this Cajun shrimp recipe, use raw, uncooked shrimp. Large, medium, or small sizes will work, but make sure they're peeled and deveined. If buying frozen, opt for pre-peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience. Peel and devein fresh shrimp.
Paprika and Cayenne Pepper: Paprika adds a smoky flavor, and cayenne pepper adds a rich heat. Adjust the cayenne pepper to your preference.
Olive Oil: Feel free to substitute with another light cooking oil, such as avocado oil, if you prefer.
Garlic and Onion Powder: These add rich, savory flavors.
Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is always recommended for the best taste.
Thyme: Adds fresh flavors.
Parsley: Contributes rich herbal notes that complement the shrimp's flavors. Cilantro is an equally good alternative.
Red Pepper Flakes: Enhance the dish with a rich, smoky flavor.
How to make it?
Prep Your Shrimp: If using frozen shrimp, ensure they are thoroughly thawed until they turn soft. On the other hand, if you are using fresh shrimp, make sure to devein(gently remove the vein along the back) and wash it under cool running water. Then, pat dry the shrimp with a paper towel.
Seasoning: In a medium-sized mixing bowl or a ziplock bag, add shrimp, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and salt. That's it! Our homemade Cajun seasoning is ready!
Combine: Toss and combine until the shrimp is well coated with the seasoning. Then, marinate the shrimp for 10-15 minutes for the best flavor.
Sizzling: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet.
Cooking: Cook the shrimp on each side for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and are cooked through.
Finish & Serve: Then garnish with chopped parsley. Finally, serve Cajun shrimp hot with white rice, or enjoy it alone.
What to serve with?
Rice: Enjoy with white or brown rice.
Vegetables: Opt for spicy roasted vegetables for a balanced dinner. Or try roasted shishito peppers for a spicy variation.
Potatoes: Mashed potatoes or spicy roasted sweet potatoes make an excellent pair.
How to store the leftover Cajun Shrimp?
In the Refrigerator: Store the Cajun shrimp in an airtight container. They remain suitable for consumption for up to 3 days.
In the Freezer: For extended storage, store the spiced shrimp in the freezer for up to a month.
Thawing: Thaw frozen shrimp overnight in the refrigerator or gently defrost them in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
Reheating: Gently reheat the shrimp in a skillet over low heat to maintain their juiciness and succulence. It's a delightful way to savor the flavors without the risk of them turning rubbery, as sometimes happens with microwave reheating.
Creamy Cajun Shrimp: Add heavy cream to the skillet after cooking the shrimp for a rich, creamy sauce. Perfect for pasta!
In Tacos: Serve the leftover spicy shrimp in tortillas with lime wedges and fresh salsa for a zesty twist.
Toss in Salad: Toss the cooked shrimp with a green salad and a light dressing for a refreshing meal.
Add Sausage: Mix sliced sausage with bell peppers for an extra hearty dish.
Make a Soup: Add chicken broth and veggies to create a warming, spicy soup.
Tips for Best Results
Overcooking: Cook until they turn pink and opaque, usually 2-3 minutes on each side on medium-high heat. Overcooked shrimp can become rubbery.
Fresh Lemon Juice: Sprinkling lemon juice and garnish Cajun shrimp with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Overcrowding: For optimal cooking, avoid overcrowding the skillet. Cook in batches if necessary to ensure each piece is perfectly done.
Tools needed for this recipe
Large Nonstick Skillet: A must-have for cooking the shrimp evenly.
Wooden Spoon: Great for gently flipping the shrimp on medium-high heat.
Measuring Spoons: Precision is critical in balancing the spicy blend, garlic powder, and other seasonings to achieve the perfect flavor.
Printable recipe card
- Make sure your shrimp are cleaned, peeled, and deveined.
- In a mixing bowl, add the shrimp with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Toss everything together until the shrimp are well-coated.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque.
- Garnish Cajun shrimp with chopped parsley and serve immediately.