These easy 10-minute Cajun Shrimp are super easy to make and so tasty. You can add them to your favorite pastas or salads, or just eat them as is.
These quick and easy shrimp go great with blackened chicken alfredo or with air fryer brussels sprouts.
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Cajun Shrimp Recipe Details
I love this Cajun Shrimp recipe because it’s so flavorful and versatile. With lots of seasoning, it packs so much deliciousness into every dish you add it to.
- TASTE: Smoky, garlicky, and a little spicy, these Cajun Shrimp are bursting with flavor. The slightly sweet taste of the shrimp is the perfect complement.
- TEXTURE: This dish is full of juicy shrimp that are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. The lightly charred seasoning adds great texture, as well as flavor.
- TIME: This recipe only takes 10 minutes from start to finish.
- EASE: This dish is so simple and easy! You can whip it up even on the busiest of nights.
What You’ll Need
- Shrimp- Thawed, shelled, and deveined, this juicy shellfish is the star of the show.
- Garlic- This pungent flavor tastes great with shrimp.
- Olive oil- You’ll need this to help the blackened seasoning stick to the shrimp.
How to Make Cajun Shrimp
- Peel and season the shrimp. Thaw the shrimp and then peel off the shells. Put them in a large bowl and add the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and cayenne (optional). Mix thoroughly.
- Cook the shrimp. Melt some butter in a skillet and cook the shrimp over medium heat for a few minutes on each side, until they are pink and opaque.
- Serve. You can serve these blackened shrimp over rice, on top of pasta in a cream sauce, or atop a salad.
Pro Tip: To know when your shrimp is fully cooked, watch for when they turn from translucent and grayish to opaque and pink. Then take them off the heat.
- Use raw shrimp- Pre-cooked shrimp can easily become overcooked, so try to use raw shrimp that are either fresh or frozen (and thawed).
- Pre-mix the seasonings– This will give the shrimp an even coating of all the spices. Adding them one at a time can lead to uneven distribution, so mix them together first.
- Preheat the pan- To get that nice crisp outside on the shrimp, heat the pan and melt the butter in it, spreading it thoroughly, before adding the shrimp. They will cook faster this way, creating a nice crust.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp- Shrimp should take about 2-3 minutes on each side to fully cook. They will also turn pink and opaque. Watching for this helps to avoid rubbery shrimp.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add lime- This flavor goes really well with shrimp, especially Cajun Shrimp. Add fresh lime juice to the shrimp when they’ve finished cooking for a citrusy burst of flavor.
- Make it spicier- The cayenne pepper is what adds the heat to this dish. You can skip it for those who don’t like spice, or add extra to really kick up the heat.
- Broil or grill them- You can make this Cajun Shrimp recipe in the oven or on the grill. They will yield different flavors this way. You can also make them into Air Fryer Shrimp.
- Add veggies- Saute these shrimp with chopped onions, jalapenos, or tomatoes. You can also make this more of a sauce by adding crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Cajun spice, or seasoning, comes from Louisiana, where Cajun cuisine originated. There are lots of variations, but most blends container paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper, and oregano.
That depends. This Cajun Shrimp dish does not have to be spicy if you don’t want it to be. If you prefer them to be less spicy, then just skip the cayenne pepper.
This Cajun Shrimp is so versatile and can be enjoyed with so many other dishes. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy it.
- Meats: Serve these shrimp with other proteins, such as Garlic Butter Steak Bites, Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops (VIDEO), and Baked Chicken Drumsticks.
- Pasta: Add them on top of Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, Easy Penne Alla Vodka, or Cajun Chicken Pasta.
- Salads: Enjoy it with Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, Rice Noodle Salad, or Broccoli Cranberry Salad.
- Grains: Eat this Cajun Shrimp with Wild Brown Rice, Jambalaya, Shrimp Quinoa Bowls, and Garlicky Israeli Couscous.
Make This Cajun Shrimp in Advance
Make ahead: A day or so ahead of time, you can make these shrimp and then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Just be careful not to overcook them when you go to heat them at serving time. You can even marinate them raw, the night before and cook them the next day. Just make sure to keep them airtight sealed in the fridge while marinating.
Storing: These blackened Cajun Shrimp will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Once the shrimp have cooled, you can place them in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight and then reheat on the stovetop before serving.
More Tasty Shrimp Dishes!
Full Recipe Instructions
Blackened Cajun Shrimp
- 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne for spiciness optional
- Start off by thawing out your shrimp and removing the shells. I like to leave the tail on but you can remove that as well if you want.
- Then melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the shrimp a few minutes on both sides until they are pink and opaque. ￼
- Serve warm with rice or make into it an Alfredo shrimp recipe with pasta and Alfredo sauce.
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This was really yummy. We made enough for leftovers but ended up eating it all tonight. 🙂 As you suggested, I cooked fresh tomato and onions with the same seasonings as the shrimp and served it along side. Yummo!
Hi Tracy 🙂 So happy to hear everyone loved this cajun shrimp recipe so much! Thank you for giving this recipe a try and for leaving your awesome feedback! I hope you find more delicious recipes to try from my blog! 🙂
Hi! Can you cook these in advance and serve (possibly the next day) at room temperature with a spicy Remoulade? Kind of like a shrimp cocktail?
Hi 🙂 Glad to hear you found my recipe! Technically you could serve them at room temperature but that would be more personal preference. This cajun shrimp is meant to be served as a hot dish. Not sure how it will taste at room temperature with a dip. If you give it a try please let me know how it goes! 🙂