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Experience the bold and vibrant flavors of Louisiana with this quick and easy Cajun Shrimp recipe. Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s perfect for those busy nights when you want a meal that’s both easy and packed with flavor.
Butter, olive oil and garlic create a rich base for this simple but striking dish that combines succulent shrimp with a dynamic blend of Cajun spices. Whether served as a quick family meal or as a star dish at your next gathering, it promises to be an instant favorite.
Table of Contents
Ingredients You Need to Make Cajun Shrimp
- Butter: Choose a high-fat variety for a richer flavor and reduced splattering during cooking.
- Olive Oil: Look for extra virgin olive oil for its robust flavor, which complements the spices well.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are best for this recipe. They should be firm to the touch, without any sprouts or soft spots.
- Shrimp: Medium-sized shrimp are ideal as they often pack more flavor. Be sure they’re fresh and have a clean, sea-breeze aroma.
- Cajun Seasoning: This can be store-bought or homemade (see more on this below).
- Fresh Parsley: Choose Italian flat-leaf parsley for its vibrant color and slightly peppery taste. Choose bunches that are bright green and perky, avoiding any that are wilted or yellowing.
Customizing Your Seasoning
When making Cajun Shrimp, consider the salt content of your Cajun seasoning, as brands vary. Start with a smaller amount if you’re using a saltier blend, and then adjust to taste. For more control, start with a salt-free blend and add salt, or create your own blend, allowing you to perfectly balance the spices and saltiness to your liking.
3 Recipe Tips
- Don’t Overcook the Shrimp: Shrimp cook very quickly and can turn rubbery if overcooked. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the heat as soon as they turn pink and opaque.
- Season Evenly: Sprinkle the seasoning uniformly over the shrimp to ensure each one is well-coated and flavorful.
- Garnish at the End: Add the fresh parsley just before serving to maintain its bright color and fresh taste.
- Shrimp Size Flexibility: Don’t worry if medium shrimp aren’t available. Large or even jumbo shrimp work just as well. Just remember to adjust your cooking times.
- Craft Your Own Cajun Seasoning: Creating your own seasoning blend can add a unique touch to the dish. Experiment with spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to find your perfect mix.
- Enhance with a Citrus or Wine Twist: After adding the shrimp to the skillet, a splash of lemon juice or white wine can add an extra layer of zesty or rich flavor.
- Veggie Boost: Want more texture and flavor? Sauté bell peppers or onions in the skillet before adding the shrimp.
- Creamy Variation: For a touch of indulgence, swirl in a splash of heavy cream at the end of cooking.
- Cheesy Garlic Bread: A classic choice, perfect for soaking up any flavorful juices.
- Creamy Coleslaw: Offers a cool, crisp contrast to the spicy shrimp.
- Corn on the Cob: Lightly buttered, it complements the shrimp’s bold flavors.
- Corn Maque Choux: A classic side dish from Louisiana that would pair beautifully.
- Steamed Rice: Serves as a neutral base, allowing the Cajun spices to shine.
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries: Their natural sweetness balances the heat of the Cajun seasoning.
- Garden Salad: A simple, fresh salad with a light dressing can be a refreshing accompaniment. A few great options:
- Cheesy Grits: Adds a Southern touch that pairs wonderfully with the shrimp.
- Simple Vegetables: Vegetable sides like Lemon Garlic Asparagus or Roasted Broccoli and Carrots pair well.
- Creamy Cucumber Salad: A cool, tangy cucumber salad can provide a crisp, refreshing balance.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, gently warm in a skillet over low heat to avoid overcooking. Avoid microwaving as it can unevenly heat and toughen the shrimp.
More Great Shrimp Recipes
How to Make Cajun Shrimp
Toss shrimp with Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl.
In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until sizzling. Stir in garlic until fragrant, then add seasoned shrimp, spreading them into an even layer. Cook until the shrimp are nicely browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a platter or serving bowl; garnish with grated parsley if desired, and serve.
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or to taste (recipe note #1)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
- Place raw shrimp in a medium bowl; sprinkle Cajun seasoning over and toss to coat evenly.
- Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir until sizzling. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add shrimp to skillet and spread into an even layer; cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to platter or serving bowl and garnish grated parsley if desired; serve.
- Different brands of Cajun seasoning have varying levels of salt, so begin with a tablespoon, or less if the one you have is notably salty, and adjust according to your taste. If you opt for a seasoning without salt (which I prefer), combine 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt. From there you can adjust the quantities of each ingredient to suit your taste.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.