Blackened Shrimp is a deliciously flavorful and easy Cajun recipe. Simply sprinkle prepared shrimp with blackened seasoning and sugar, then sauté with garlic and butter until cooked through. In less than 15 minutes, you have the perfect addition to tacos, pasta, or grits!

Serve up this Cajun shrimp with fresh lemon slices.

Best Blackened Shrimp Recipe

After I made this blackened seasoning recipe, I’ve used it in so many ways. From blackened salmon and blackened mahi mahi, to Cajun cornbread dressing

I realized recently that I had not seasoned shrimp with it. And boy was I in for a treat!

The bold flavors melded perfectly with the buttery shrimp. Cooking them in a cast-iron skillet gave them a delightful, crusty sear, as well.

Serve them up on their own, turn them into tacos, add them to pasta, or even make this shrimp and grits recipe or blackened shrimp tacos!

It’s easy to learn how to cook this shrimp recipe, and it will quickly become your go-to when you are craving fresh shrimp or Cajun cuisine.

Shrimp, butter, and blackened seasoning are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this blackened shrimp recipe include:

  • Shrimp. The main ingredient! Look for a 20/24 count (large-sized). While you can use smaller shrimp or bigger, you will want to adjust the cook time accordingly. Get peeled/deveined, but the tails can either be on or off.
  • Blackened seasoning. This blend is so easy to make at home! Or opt for a bottle from your local grocery store. It can be used interchangeably with Cajun seasoning, as well.
  • Brown sugar. A sweetener perfectly balances out the spice of the seasoning. You can use coconut sugar, if needed.
  • Butter. Salted butter creates the base for cooking the shrimp, but unsalted butter will work, too.
  • Garlic. Fresh minced garlic is essential to bringing out the flavor of this dish.

How to Make Blackened Shrimp

Below, you’ll find the steps to follow to make delicious blackened shrimp:

Prep the Shrimp

If you didn’t buy prepared shrimp, you need to get them ready to cook.

Carefully remove the peel from the shrimp, then use a fork to devein. You can either leave the tails on or pull them off; it’s up to you.

Place all of the shrimp in a large bowl. Use paper towels to pat them dry so the seasoning sticks.

Make the Seasoning Blend

In a small bowl, combine the blackened seasoning, sugar, and salt. Use a fork or whisk to thoroughly mix the ingredients together.

Season the Shrimp

Once everything is ready, it’s time to flavor the shrimp.

Sprinkle the homemade blackening seasoning over the shrimp. Carefully toss until all of the pieces are well-coated.

Set the shrimp aside.

Sauté the Butter and Garlic

Add the butter to a large skillet. You can either use a cast iron or stainless steel pan. Over medium or medium-high heat, allow it to melt.

Then, add the garlic to the melted butter. Sauté for 15-30 seconds, until it becomes fragrant.

Cook the Shrimp

Next, add the shrimp to the skillet with the garlic butter. Be sure to spread them out in a single layer so they cook evenly. A hot pan is important; the higher heat gets the crusty sear on the outside.

Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, making sure to flip the shrimp halfway through. The cooking times might vary based on the size of the shrimp.

The shrimp are done when they become opaque and the tails start to curl in.

If you’re concerned about the heat of the seasoning, serve this Cajun shrimp with fresh lemon slices to cut the spice.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Shrimp is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can mix up the seasoning ahead of time.
  • How to store: Keep leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
  • How to freeze: For the best flavor, you need to freeze shrimp soon after cooking. Line the leftovers on a tray in a single layer and place that in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then, transfer the shrimp to a freezer-safe bag and store it for 12 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm the shrimp back up in a skillet over medium heat. You can try the microwave, but the texture won’t be as good.

What is blackened shrimp?

Blackened shrimp is a delicious and easy way to prepare this seafood favorite. The key to anything that’s “blackened” is in the flavor. Blackened seasoning is a blend of spices, including paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and oregano.

A closeup of blackened shrimp on a white plate.

What to serve with blackened shrimp?

Blackened shrimp is on the spicier side, so it goes well with rich carbs. Try it alongside your favorite rice or pasta dish, or with cornbread.

Is blackened shrimp healthy?

Shrimp is a healthy protein option when prepared with spices, like this blackened seasonings. Because it is seared in a skillet and not breaded, there are few added calories, making this a dinner you can feel good about.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Make it yourself. It is simple and healthy to throw together your own mixes like homemade blackened seasoning for this recipe.
  • Dealer’s choice. You can choose to leave the tails on or off for this dish.
  • Dry it off. Be sure to pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel before seasoning it.
  • Heat it up. A hot cast iron skillet is key to that crusty sear.
  • When life gives you lemons. Add a slice on top of this shrimp to cut the heat for the best results.
Perfectly cooked shrimp is seasoned with Cajun spices.

What to Serve with Blackened Shrimp

This recipe is the perfect base to a healthy and flavorful meal.

Of course, you can serve this spicy shrimp over your favorite pasta, Instant Pot White Rice, or Cauliflower Rice for a low-carb option.

It is also delicious topped with Mango Avocado Salsa or Mango Salsa.

Other healthy sides like Green Beans Almondine or Air Fryer Broccoli are easy and tasty.

More Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp is a simple and delicious ingredient that can be prepared in so many ways for the perfect weeknight meal.

Shrimp Cocktail is a classic appetizer sure to impress everyone. And Shrimp Tacos on corn tortillas are a crowd pleaser, as well.

Shrimp Fried Rice, Shrimp Creole, Teriyaki Shrimp Stir-Fry, and Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo are popular recipes that are full of flavor.

Try this Air Fryer Shrimp recipe if you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner.

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5 from 1 vote

Blackened Shrimp Recipe

Blackened Shrimp is a deliciously flavorful and easy Cajun recipe. Simply sprinkle prepared shrimp with blackened seasoning and sugar, then sauté with garlic and butter until cooked through.
Serve up this Cajun shrimp with fresh lemon slices.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. shrimp 20/24 count/pound, peeled, deveined, tails on or off
  • 2 Tbsp. blackened seasoning or Cajun*
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • Lemon slices
  • Parsley finely chopped

Instructions 

  • Peel, devein, and remove the tails from all of the shrimp, if you prefer. Add the shrimp to a large bowl and then pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  • Whisk together the seasoning, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and then sprinkle the mix over the shrimp. Toss until they’re well coated.
  • Add the butter to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Wait until it melts and then add in the garlic. Saute for 15-30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer and cook for 2-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. You’ll know they’re done cooking when they become opaque and their tails begin to curl.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

If you don’t have Blackened or Cajun seasoning, you can also substitute with: 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. black pepper, ½ tsp. dried thyme, ½ tsp. dried oregano, ¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp. salt (for a total of ¾ tsp. salt)

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Shrimp is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can mix up the seasoning ahead of time.
  • How to store: Keep leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
  • How to freeze: For the best flavor, you need to freeze shrimp soon after cooking. Line the leftovers on a tray in a single layer and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then, transfer the shrimp to a freezer-safe bag and store it for 12 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm the shrimp back up in a skillet over medium heat. You can try the microwave, but the texture won’t be as good.

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 198mg, Sodium: 2391mg, Potassium: 310mg, Fiber: 0.03g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 185IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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