Made with homemade Cajun-style blackened seasoning and ready in under 15 minutes, this blackened shrimp recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner! Plus, it stores well in the fridge so it works well as meal prep for easy lunches.
What is Blackened Shrimp?
Blackening, or “blackened”, is a cooking method associated with Cajun cuisine that is done by darkening a food with a spice mixture in a hot pan or cast-iron skillet. The specific spice blend used to blacken a food may vary from one recipe to the next, but it typically includes paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt. Some blackened seasoning also includes brown sugar; however, this is optional.
How to Make Blackening Seasoning
Once you’ve got the basics of the blackened seasoning down, you can easily mix and match the spice mixture to create the exact flavor combination that you enjoy. My version of blackened shrimp calls for paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and salt, but a pinch of chili powder and brown sugar would mix in very nicely too.
Why You’ll Love this Blackened Shrimp Recipe
- Quick – Ready in less than 15 minutes, this recipe is super quick to make.
- Easy – Just toss your shrimp in some spices and cook – that’s it!
- Versatile – From tacos to salads to bowls, there are so many ways to enjoy blackened shrimp.
- Bold Flavors – The blackening seasoning ensures these Cajun shrimp pack a flavor punch.
- Protein Packed – A great source of protein to add to any meal.
Blackened Shrimp Ingredients
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this easy blackened shrimp recipe:
- Shrimp – You can use small, medium, or jumbo shrimp, as well as fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. Just be sure to thaw the frozen shrimp before cooking them.
- Blackening Seasoning – A mixture of spices to create a homemade blackening seasoning; paprika, garlic, onion, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt.
- Olive Oil – A bit of oil to cook the shrimp and add some healthy fats.
To Make it Gluten-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is gluten-free.
To Make it Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is dairy-free.
How to Make Blackened Shrimp
Once you’ve created your spice mixture, blackening shrimp (or any seafood for that matter) is easy. Here’s how to make blackened shrimp:
- Combine your spices in a small jar or bowl,
- Add the shrimp to a bowl and sprinkle with the spices,
- Toss to coat the shrimp in the seasoning,
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add the shrimp,
- Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until darkened and crispy,
- That’s it!
You can find the detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
This blackened shrimp are a great source of protein. To create a more balanced meal, I suggest serving them with a source of complex carbohydrates, such as rice, some fiber, in the form of vegetables, and additional healthy fats, such as oil, dressing, or avocado.
Not only is blackened shrimp easy to make but it’s incredibly versatile. The cooked shrimp can be eaten on its own, with a dip, layered into tacos, wrapped in burritos, served in lettuce wraps, made into rice bowls, topped onto pasta, or topped onto your favorite salad for a quick, easy, and absolutely delicious meal.
Storage + Reheating
To Refrigerate: Allow the blackened shrimp to cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, place the cooked shrimp in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: For the best results, once thawed, reheat the shrimp in a pan with a bit of oil on the stovetop on low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until warm. They can also be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
More Shrimp Recipes:Print
Made with a Cajun-inspired spice mixture, this blackened shrimp recipe is packed full of flavor, while being quick and easy to make!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Cajun
- 1 pound deveined shrimp, raw, thawed if frozen
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine the spices; paprika, garlic, onion, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Add raw shrimp to a medium bowl, cover with the spice mixture, and toss shrimp until well coated in the spices. If time permits, set aside 15 minutes to allow the shrimp to marinate, however, this is not necessary.
- In a large cast-iron skillet or heavy bottom pan, warm olive oil. Add shrimp, arranging them in a single layer, and allow to cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through and lightly blackened on both sides.
- Serve the cooked shrimp immediately on its own or with lime wedges and fresh cilantro or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If using frozen shrimp, ensure that they are completely thawed before cooking. If time permits, place them in an airtight container and allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight. If you are pressed for time, you can thaw frozen shrimp by placing them in a bowl with cold water for about 20 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 135 calories
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1 grams
- Protein: 23 grams