Spicy Cajun Shrimp
Spicy and delicious Cajun shrimp served with sauteed vegetables . It’s a quick and healthy frying pan that’s ready in less than 30 minutes !
If you’re looking to get out of a boring dinner rut, this Cajun shrimp recipe is the answer. Cook the delicate crustaceans in a hot skillet with bold seasonings that instantly add strong flavor to every succulent bite. Combine the dried seasoning mix with the olive oil to help the seasoning stick to the surface.
Chopped paprika, onion, and garlic add Louisiana-inspired flavors to the dish. The vegetables are sautéed briefly until tender, then tossed with the marinated shrimp. To make it a complete meal, serve it over grits or pasta or alongside steamed rice.
For a strong Cajun seasoning mix, use several concentrated dried spices such as smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and oregano. This combination results in a delicious grilled flavor without having to go outside.
To add a hint of spice, use three ground chili peppers, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. You can easily adjust the heat level to your liking or make it more intense by adding freshly chopped chili. The recipe has a nice long heat but it doesn’t burn.
I recommend using extra jumbo sized shrimp, which yields two servings. Look for 16 to 20 counts, that’s how many pieces per pound. Peel and wrap shrimp before cooking to remove digestive tract and make eating easier. I often leave the tails on insulators so that the smaller portions cook slower, which prevents the rubbery texture.
Sweet peppers, onions, and garlic add delicious flavors and more nutrition to the dish. Cut it into small pieces, about an inch. You want them to cook quickly and stick to the shrimp when serving. Smaller pieces also deliver more flavor in a shorter period due to the higher surface area. To add more vegetables, thinly sliced zucchini or mushrooms are an excellent addition.
The cast iron skillet retains heat well and sears shrimp in just a few minutes. Add the pieces in a single layer and let them sizzle undistributed. After about 2 minutes, flip and cook until opaque and pink in appearance. This process ensures even cooking and prevents overcooking.
Add the vegetables back to the skillet to heat up, and immediately enjoy garnishing with parsley. I like to serve lemon slices to squeeze them on top. Citric acid naturally enhances the flavors in spices with a bright citrus scent.
What do you serve this with
- cauliflower grits
- Angel hair or spaghetti pasta
- Steamed white rice or brown rice
Use two types of dried red pepper
Cajun dishes often use chili peppers to impart heat and a distinct flavor. Red pepper flakes tend to be a mixture of hot peppers and hot seeds and are mostly made of hot peppers. The fine particles envelop the shrimp and provide an instant kick while the larger pieces give off a prolonged heat, as it needs to be chewed to release the capsaicin. Cayenne pepper is higher on the thermometer at 35,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), so a few can pack a fiery bite.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp
Spicy and delicious Cajun shrimp served with fried vegetables. It’s a quick and healthy frying pan that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 7 minutes
Total time 22 minutes
- ▢1 pound shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and deveined
- ▢ 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ▢½ teaspoon smoked paprika, or sweet
- ▢½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ▢¼teaspoon garlic powder
- ▢¼teaspoon onion powder
- ▢Half a teaspoon of black pepper
- ▢¼ teaspoon dried seasoning
- ▢½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ▢⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ▢1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ▢1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ▢½ cup white onion, ¼ inch dice
- ▢½ cup red pepper, ¼ inch blossom
- ▢½ cup green pepper, ½ inch dice
- ▢2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- ▢4 pcs lemon
- If using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cold water until they are no longer frothy, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, place in a bowl and fill with room temperature water until dissolved. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon olive oil, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add onions and fry for 1 minute. Add the red and green bell peppers and saute for a minute. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add shrimp in one layer.
- Cook, without stirring, until it turns pink on the bottom and begins to curl, about 2 minutes. Quickly flip and cook until pink, translucent, and rolled into a loose “C” shape, about 1 minute.
- Add the fried vegetables, stir for a minute, then turn off the heat. Transfer the shrimp to a serving plate. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon slices.
- iron frying pan
- Make it spicier : Use ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.