Today’s Cajun shrimp recipe makes an utterly simple but delicious dish that happens to be one of our favorite ways to cook shrimp.
The shrimp is tossed in the Cajun seasoning before getting quickly sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and butter. The spice mixture sticks to the shrimp and gives it a golden- brown color that is loaded with flavors. The result is succulent, juicy shrimp layered in a distinctive warm and toasty base.
The Cajun seasoning is the star of this recipe. It elevates the shrimp and once combined with garlic and butter, the spice makes your regular weeknight dinner irresistible.
Is Cajun Shrimp Healthy?
Our Cajun shrimp recipe is made from scratch with carefully measured ingredients and nutrition in mind, so yes, it is healthy.
Since shrimp is the main ingredient, this recipe is high in protein. One serving of our recipe contains up to 36.4 g protein, which is approximately 70% of your recommended daily intake.
Though our Cajun shrimp recipe includes butter and several seasonings, we portioned each element carefully. The amount of saturated fat and sodium aligns with our carefully constructed Dietary Guidelines while still bursting with flavor.
Cajun Seasoning for Shrimp
Cajun seasoning is a rustic blend made of several ordinary spices found in most Cajun cuisine. The mixture has long been popular for amping up every type of protein — chicken, beef, seafood, you name it. Each Cajun seasoning blend tends to have its own spin, but in general, they all contain:
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
Various other seasonings and spices like thyme or white pepper can be added to adjust the experience. Some Cajun seasonings even include salt to boost the flavor. If you use a store-bought one, you’ll want to check the label and ingredient list so that you can account for the extra salt it adds to the recipe.
You can also try making Cajun seasoning from the ingredients in your pantry and save it for later use. The homemade variant should be kept in an airtight container and placed in a cool, dry place for maximum shelf life — usually around 6 months.
Is This Recipe Spicy?
Yes, in general, Cajun shrimp features a nice touch of heat. The chili powder and cayenne pepper are the key components that lend the dish its signature kick.
How to Make Cajun Shrimp
The name Cajun shrimp may make you think it’s a complicated dish to make at home. But you don’t need a bunch of hard-to-find ingredients or any challenging cooking techniques for this recipe, and it takes no longer than 30 minutes of prepping and cooking.
Marinate the shrimp with the homemade Cajun seasoning.
Stir-fry the vegetables. Set aside.
Stir-fry the marinated shrimp.
Sauté the shrimp with butter.
Return the veggies to the pan.
Garnish the dish.
Serve the Cajun shrimp over warm rice.
The marination step makes a huge difference in this recipe compared to other versions out there. Toss shrimp in the seasoning mixture early on to bring out the aroma and create a more complex taste. The food will have a depth of flavor that you can’t get purely by cooking shrimp in the spices.
Another important thing is to avoid overcooking the shrimp. You just want the shrimp to cook quickly and char on the outside without turning them into rubber. A short time (2 – 3 minutes on each side) on a hot pan is more than enough. Once the shrimp are no longer translucent and have a beautiful orange, pinkish color, they are ready to be served.
How to Store and Reheat the Leftover Cooked Shrimp
To store the cooked Cajun shrimp, we recommend keeping the dish in an airtight container or wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerated Cajun shrimp stay fresh for 3 – 4 days while frozen ones will last up to 3 months.
Having Cajun shrimp leftovers in the fridge means that your next meal is a breeze. And not to worry, once reheated properly, the dish will retain its original flavor and texture beautifully.
It’s best to heat the shrimp up using a similar cooking technique on the stovetop. Simply add a little olive oil or butter to the pan and warm them up until they’re heated through.
What to Serve With Cajun Shrimp
We served the succulent Cajun shrimp over a bed of hot rice so as not to waste a single drop of the flavorful sauce. The dish is delicious, versatile, and can be served in different ways to make it a balanced meal.
Our Greek salad is perfect for those heavy, protein-rich mains. It’s lightly touched with vinegar olive oil dressing to tickle your taste buds and balance out the flavor. And there’s still plenty of room for a glass of lemon watermelon juice to liven up your palate, allowing you to enjoy the meal even more.
Cajun Shrimp Recipe
- 12 oz peeled and deveined shrimp equals to 22 oz raw
- 2 tbsp garlic chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 4 oz red bell pepper chopped
- 4 oz onion chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 1/2 cups cooked medium-grain rice
- Season 12 oz shrimp with 2 tbsp garlic, 2 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp sriracha, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Marinate the shrimp for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 oz bell pepper, and 4 oz onion. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked veggies to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and the marinated shrimp. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 tbsp unsalted butter to the pan and sauté the shrimp for another 5 minutes or until the surface gets lightly charred.
- Return the stir-fried veggies to the pan. Stir occasionally to combine the vegetables and shrimp, about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp parsley and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.
- Serve over warm rice.