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Cajun Shrimp is an easy weeknight dinner that’s full of flavor! This recipe includes homemade Cajun seasoning that you can make as spicy as you want. It gives the shrimp an amazing flavor – you would never guess that it only takes 10 minutes to make.

Serve this with rice or pasta or just add a simple vegetable on the side. You will love this easy dinner! 

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Easy cajun shrimp

Do you ever hear the name of a dish and think it must be really complicated to make? I felt that way about Cajun Shrimp until I tried making it myself and, guess what, you don’t need a bunch of ingredients to make it and it only takes 10 minutes. Fast, easy and simple – my favorite kind of dinner! 

Before I made it, I figured there were all kinds of spices and seasoning in it that I’d have to search high and low for. I hate buying spices I only will use once! That’s not the case here: not only are the ingredients simple, but you probably already have them on hand.

Cajun shrimp seasoning

How to Make Cajun Seasoning for Shrimp

Cooking Cajun Shrimp is all about the seasoning and it couldn’t be easier to make. This recipe makes enough for four servings, but you can easily double or triple it so you have it on hand whenever you want to make something Cajun-style.

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

The cayenne pepper is what gives this mix its spicy kick, so feel free to increase the amount if you want your shrimp spicier.

If you make a bigger batch you can store the extra Cajun seasoning in an airtight container. Keep it in a cool, dry place and it will last up to six months. I love having my own spice mixes on hand – they are so much cheaper than buying the premade ones at the store.

Toasting the spices brings out the oils to bring a depth of flavor to the recipe.


Toast the Spices for the Best Flavor

One step that makes a big difference in this recipe is toasting the spices first. It’s very easy to do and it’s a great technique to know how to do.

Toasting the spices first brings out the aromatic oils and gives them a depth of flavor that you wouldn’t get if you skipped the step. The process creates a more complex taste by layering in warm and toasty flavors.

You don’t need any special equipment – you can toast them in the same pan you use to cook the shrimp.

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add all of the spices and stir them continuously for 30 seconds. That’s all you have to do to toast them. At this point, they will be so fragrant and all of the flavor will be released.

How to Make Spicy Shrimp

After toasting the spices, add one pound of peeled and deveined shrimp to the pan and cook them in the spices and oil until they turn pink and are cooked through. This only takes a few minutes.

Once the shrimp are cooked through, they’re ready to serve. You can serve them just how they are or pair them up with some of these ideas – there are a lot of great ways to switch it up.

Cajun shrimp cooking

Different Ways to Serve Cajun Shrimp

  • Serve the shrimp on a bed of white rice or brown rice.
  • Make Cajun shrimp pasta with penne, fusilli, rotini or other pasta you like.
  • Serve them with veggies like broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers and red onion. Or do a mix!
  • A simple green salad on the side is always great, too.

Every time I make this Cajun Shrimp recipe, I’m still surprised at how much flavor it has because it’s just so easy to make. I love that you can make an amazing dinner in less than 30 minutes. I think you’re gonna love it, too!

Cajun shrimp recipe

Some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this recipe:

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Cajun shrimp cooking

Cajun Shrimp Recipe (Spicy Version Included)

4.82 from 38 votes
This Cajun Shrimp recipe is perfect with rice or pasta or salad – it's an easy recipe with homemade cajun seasoning and only takes 15 minutes to make!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper use up to 1/4 teaspoon for spicier shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined
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  • Add smoked paprika, thyme, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and oil to a large skillet. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté over medium-high heat until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot plain or over rice or pasta.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Double or triple the cajun seasoning mix and save it for later in an airtight container.
Source: adapted slightly from Taste of Home magazine.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 519IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Homemade cajun shrimp

Cajun Shrimp is an easy dinner recipe – done in less than 15 minutes with a homemade cajun seasoning – and it’s perfect served with rice or pasta!

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

4.82 from 38 votes (29 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I upped the cayenne and added a bit of ancho pepper powder. Then used this rub as a quick marinade for the shrimp, threw them on the grill for a quick and tasty dinner. Awesome flavor! Definitely a keeper.

  2. Just finished this great dinner. Thank you. I used liquid hot sauce instead of the cayenne. It had a great bite.

  3. I’m not sure what “Laura” and “nora” are smoking here in the comments section, because this recipe is absolutely delicious. My husband and I actually triple this recipe when we make it. We use it for our shrimp and grits recipe and it’s a favorite in our home. It’s amazing! Flavors fire on all cylinders. My taste buds do the tango – what more could you want from a recipe?! Thank you for providing such a quality recipe. I lack in the culinary creativity department and rely on delicious finds like this. Keep on making to-die-for delights like this.