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Quick and easy Cajun shrimp is one of my favorite recipes to make when our schedules are crazy and I want something delicious and super low-effort. The beautifully-spiced butter sauce gives the succulent shrimp so much flavor and the perfect amount of heat, and it’s impossibly versatile, great with pasta, grits, rice, and veggies.

Close-up of tender, juicy Cajun shrimp in a large silver skillet.

🍤 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Cajun shrimp is one of the best recipes for anyone with a packed, hectic schedule. Or anyone who just doesn’t have time to make an involved, elaborate meal. Or who likes shrimp. Ok, it’s great for everyone. But it really is a solid option to keep in mind if you don’t have a ton of time to cook. There’s no special prep needed, and shrimp cooks in a matter of minutes, so you could be sitting down to your meal in as little as 10 minutes depending on your sides.
  • The simple butter sauce is absolutely incredible, full of flavor and the right amount of heat. If you’re not a fan of heat, don’t worry. You can dial down the amount of cayenne you use, or leave it out entirely. I highly recommend using at least ⅛ teaspoon, though. It really makes a difference!
  • You’ll be amazed by how versatile Cajun shrimp is. It can be a totally different dish every time just by changing up your sides! Serve it with pasta a la shrimp carbonara, or pair it with white rice for a twist on this shrimp scampi with rice. Have it with mashed potatoes, grits, roasted okra, or make it into a po-boy-style sandwich like our copycat Liuzza’s BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • I said it before, but it bears repeating. Cajun shrimp cooks so quickly, which is great! But it also means you can easily overcook things if you’re not careful. When you start the recipe, keep a close eye on the butter. Browned butter is delicious, but not what we’re going for here. The shrimp will only need 2-3 minutes in the pan total. Time it wrong and you’ll have rubbery, tough shrimp that’s unpleasant to eat.
  • The spice blend in this recipe is incredibly simple and uses every day spices you can find at basically any grocery store. You’re welcome to use a store-bought Cajun seasoning, like Tony Chachere’s, instead of the homemade blend if you want.
  • Any size shrimp works here. Most likely you’ll be using frozen shrimp, so make sure to defrost them in the fridge overnight before cooking your Cajun shrimp dish.
Overhead photo of a large silver skillet full of a tender, slightly curled Cajun shrimp.

🦐 More Delicious Shrimp Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Easy Cajun Shrimp Recipe

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this easy recipe for tender Cajun shrimp will be the highlight of any meal!
4 servings


  • Large skillet
  • Large wooden spoon or silicone spatula
  • Tongs optional


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste, see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 pound raw shrimp defrosted if frozen; peeled, deveined


  • Place large skillet on stovetop over medium heat. When pan is warm, add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and let butter melt completely, swirling and titling pan occasionally to distribute butter across entire surface.
  • When butter has melted, add ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons paprika to skillet. Simmer spices in melted butter 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • After 30 seconds, quickly but carefully place 1 pound raw shrimp in skillet, arranging shrimp in one even layer if possible. Cook shrimp, undisturbed, 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, flip shrimp over and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until shrimp are just opaque and curled into loose "J" shape. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Once shrimp are cooked through, carefully transfer shrimp to serving plates. Serve warm with pasta, rice, grits, and/or grilled vegetables.
  • Cayenne Pepper: For mild heat, use ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper. For medium heat, use ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free butter.
  • Make it Paleo/Whole30: Replace the butter with ghee.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 157calProtein: 23gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 719mgPotassium: 356mgTotal Carbs: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gNet Carbs: 1gVitamin A: 780IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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