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Cajun Shrimp

This Cajun Shrimp recipe has the most flavorful sauce that’s great for serving over rice or pasta! It’s easy to make and easy to add corn, black beans, and more!

Cajun Shrimp in a skillet with sauce, bell peppers, and lime wedges.

Cajun Shrimp

This Cajun Shrimp recipe is going to forever change your typical dinner rotation! Just wait until you taste this incredible sauce, you’re going to want to drink it! (And I grant you permission to do so. 😁) 

This recipe is so versatile- there are a ton of add-on options, including black beans, corn, diced avocado, and more.

There is also plenty of sauce to serve with some pasta (my buttered noodles are a great choice), or with some rice and beans! 

Be sure to check out my pro tips below as well as my tips for cooking with shrimp– you’ll be glad you did!

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and sauté in olive oil with red bell peppers. Set aside. Deglaze the skillet with juice from diced tomatoes. Add butter and garlic and cook for 1 minute. 

A plate of cooked shrimp and bell peppers next to a skillet of melted butter and garlic.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth mixture (chicken broth, heavy cream, honey, hot sauce, and seasonings) in small splashes, stirring continuously.   

Making a Cajun sauce in a skillet with garlic, seasonings, cream, and broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add diced tomatoes. Simmer/reduce for 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese over low heat.

Adding diced tomatoes and cheese to a Cajun sauce for shrimp.

Add the cooked shrimp and bell peppers. Stir to combine. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro. Serve with rice, buttered noodles, black beans, or salad!

Adding cooked shrimp and bell peppers to a skillet with Cajun sauce.

Pro Tips

  • Sauce: This recipe makes a lot of delicious sauce and is great for serving over rice or buttered noodles! (See notes section of the recipe card for my tips on perfectly cooked rice.)
  • Cajun Seasoning: I use McCormick Cajun Seasoning, consider using reduced or no sodium seasoning if preferred.
  • Hot Sauce: I use Frank’s Hot Sauce for this recipe.
  • Cheese: Cheddar Jack, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella are all great options for this, I like to use a combination of cheeses. Shred it from a block, packaged shredded cheese doesn’t melt quite as well. If using mozzarella, use low moisture/whole milk.
  • Heat Level: For less heat, use just 1 tsp. of hot sauce and omit the cayenne/red pepper flakes. You can also use regular diced tomatoes instead of Rotel with green chilies.
  • Additions: Black beans and/or corn can also be added to this dish, you can add them when the tomatoes are added.

Tips for Cooking With Shrimp

  • Size: The size I use is large, and is labeled as 26/30 per pound. (This means that it takes between 26-30 shrimp to equal a pound.) You can use fresh or frozen.
  • If using frozen shrimp: Run them under cool water until completely thawed, then pat them dry. You may also need to remove the shells/veins.
  • Shrimp can go from cooked to overcooked very quickly, consider setting a timer to avoid overcooking. One way to mitigate this is to peel them after you sauté them, the shell helps protect them from cooking too quickly.
  • Shrimp curled into a “c” =cooked. A shrimp curled into an “o” = overcooked.

A skillet filled with Cajun Shrimp in a Cajun sauce with cilantro in the background.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Cooked/leftover shrimp can be frozen and reheated for future meals, and sauce does reheat well.
  • To reheat: Let it thaw completely and reheat in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until just heated through. Overcooked shrimp becomes rubbery, so try to avoid that.
  • You can also reheat this in a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop, it applies a nice, even heat without being too direct or harsh.

Cajun Shrimp on a white plate with sauce and white rice.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Large Skillet Same size as the skillet pictured in this recipe.
  • Kitchen Tongs– Easy way to handle the shrimp in the skillet.
  • Garlic Twister– Fresh garlic in this recipe is a must if at all possible.
  • Measuring Spoons I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
  • Pinch Bowls for measuring out seasonings ahead of time.

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Cajun Shrimp in a skillet with Cajun sauce. bell peppers, and lime wedges.

Cajun Shrimp

5 from 20 ratings
This easy Cajun Shrimp recipe has the most flavorful sauce that's great for serving over rice or pasta!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. uncooked shrimp, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cups heavy cream, can sub half and half
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 10 oz. Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, juice reserved
  • ¾ cup cheddar jack cheese, shredded. See notes.
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

Seasonings

  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, I use light
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: mustard powder, oregano
  • 1 pinch EACH: cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes

For Serving

  • Lime Wedges
  • Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

Equipment

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Thaw the shrimp completely (if frozen) and pat the surface dry. You may also need to remove the shell, tail, and veins.
  • Drain and reserve the juice from the diced tomatoes, we’ll use the liquid to deglaze that skillet after cooking. (You should have about ¼ cup.)
  • Combine the chicken broth, heavy cream, honey, hot sauce, and seasonings and set aside.

Cook the Shrimp

  • Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and diced red peppers and cook for about 1 minute + 20 seconds per side. (Use a timer to avoid overcooking). Tilt the pan to transfer the shrimp and peppers onto a clean plate. Note that they’ll cook a little bit more as they sit, and again when added back to the sauce.

Make the Sauce

  • Add the reserved juice from the tomatoes and set the heat to medium. Use a silicone spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the skillet. Reduce the liquid by half.
  • Add the butter and the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes, until the raw flour smell is cooked off.
  • Add the chicken broth mixture in small splashes, stirring continuously. (This is the mixture that we combined in step 3 of prep work.)
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a gentle bubble. Add the drained tomatoes and let it simmer and reduce for 10 minutes, uncovered. During this time the flavors will meld, and the sauce will thicken and concentrate.
  • Reduce heat to low. Slowly sprinkle in the cheese, stirring continuously, until melted and combined. Slowly stir in the lime juice.
  • Add the shrimp and peppers and stir to combine. Add the fresh lime wedges to the skillet and remove from heat. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice, beans, or salad! (See notes for rice cooking tips.)

Notes

My Process for Perfectly Cooked Rice:
  • Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Add 1 cup white long grain rice and bring it back to a boil. 
  • Cover tightly and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn heat off. (Lift lid and ensure liquid is gone, if not, simmer 5 more minutes.)
  • Optional: Remove from heat and let the rice sit in the pot, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Any rice stuck to the bottom will release during this time.
  • This will yield 3 cups of flavorful rice.
  • Note: Other varieties of rice will require different amounts of liquid and simmering time.

Pro Tips:
  • Sauce: This recipe makes a lot of delicious sauce and is great for serving over rice or buttered noodles! (See notes section of the recipe card for my tips on perfectly cooked rice.)
  • Cajun Seasoning: I use McCormick Cajun Seasoning, consider using reduced or no sodium seasoning if preferred.
  • Hot Sauce: I use Frank's Hot Sauce for this recipe.
  • Cheese: Cheddar Jack, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella are all great options for this, I like to use a combination of cheeses. Shred it from a block, packaged shredded cheese doesn’t melt quite as well. If using mozzarella, use low moisture/whole milk.
  • Heat Level: For less heat, use just 1 tsp. of hot sauce and omit the cayenne/red pepper flakes. You can also use regular diced tomatoes instead of Rotel with green chilies.
  • Additions: Black beans and/or corn can also be added to this dish, you can add them when the tomatoes are added.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Cooked/leftover shrimp can be frozen and reheated for future meals, and sauce does reheat well.
  • To reheat: Let it thaw completely and reheat in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until just heated through. Overcooked shrimp becomes rubbery, so try to avoid that.
  • You can also reheat this in a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop, it applies a nice, even heat without being too direct or harsh.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. There are 4 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 279mg, Sodium: 743mg, Potassium: 632mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 2890IU, Vitamin C: 48mg, Calcium: 292mg, Iron: 2mg
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46 comments on “Cajun Shrimp”

  1. Delicious 🤤 

  2. This is unbelievably delicious. My husband can’t get enough of it and talks about it at least weekly!! So delicious!!! ❤️❤️

    • I’m SO glad that your husband loves this one! I love the flavors – they’re so unique and addicting! Thank you again for a wonderful review Laurie, I appreciate you!!!! 🩷🩷🩷

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