This Easy Cajun Butter Shrimp is the perfect skillet dinner for busy weeknights! The shrimp are quick to cook and packed with flavor. Serve with vegetables and rice or spoon them over pasta!
Quick and easy seafood at home! Winner! Plus, you can adapt the seasoning to make this as spicy or as mild as you, and your family, like.
Juicy shrimp, coated in a delicious cajun spice, and all ready in 10 minutes! These Cajun shrimp are perfect for serving as an appetizer/main at your Mardi Gras celebration or for any night when you need food in a hurry!
This cajun shrimp really is EASY.
To make the shrimp, you cook the butter and garlic together, starting with a cold pan, add in some cajun seasoning, and once everything is hot, the shrimp gets cooked for just 4-5 minutes, a splash of water is added at the end to bring the butter into a quick sauce.
Then serve, maybe garnished with some green onion and chili slices.
You can use a storebought cajun seasoning or make your own up using your favorite recipe (This is my homemade cajun seasoning recipe).
Most cajun seasoning blends include salt if yours doesn’t, then you will need to add salt to your finished dish.
As well as cajun seasoning, the recipe calls for some sugar, paprika, and the optional addition of cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper is a personal preference, add as little or as much as you like.
As written, the recipe has a little heat to it but isn’t so spicy that the kids won’t enjoy it.
Using frozen shrimp
You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. Just be sure your frozen shrimp are fully defrosted and dried before you use them.
I like to buy frozen, shelled, and deveined raw shrimp in big bags. I keep it in the deep freeze, and then whenever I get a shrimp craving, I know I don’t have to head to the store!
To quickly defrost shrimp, that you are going to cook straight away, place your shrimp in a bowl, cover room temperature water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Let the shrimp sit for 15 minutes, and they should have defrosted fully. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with kitchen paper towel.
If you have time, and forethought, defrost the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Again, drain any liquid away and pat dry.
What to serve with Cajun Shrimp
This Easy Cajun Butter Shrimp recipe is so versatile. You can easily serve these as an appetizer or a main course.
As an appetizer, they work well with a fresh corn salad. (maybe this corn and chickpea one from way back in the early days of my blog)
Or serve them for lunch and wrap them up in lettuce leaves (for the healthy choice) or flour tortillas! Add them to your rice bowls or top half an avocado with a big pile of shrimps.
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Easy Cajun Butter Shrimp
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning – see note 1
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional ) -see note 2
- 1 lb raw shrimp (shelled and deveined) – see note 3
- 2 tbsp water
- green onion – chopped
- fresh coriander leaves
- red chili – sliced
- Peel and finely chop the garlic then add it to a heavy skillet along with the butter and salt.
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
- Place over medium-high heat and allow to melt.
- Once the butter has just about melted, add in the cajun seasoning, brown sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using).
2 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Stir together and once sizzling add in the shrimp. Give the skillet a shake to get the shrimp in a single layer.
1lb/450g raw shrimp
- Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, then stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.
- Add the water to the pan and stir well to release anything from the bottom of the pan.
2 tbsp water
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Garnish with green onion, fresh coriander and chopped chili as desired.
- Cajun seasoning can vary in salt content, so taste your final butter sauce and add extra if needed.
- Cayenne pepper gives this recipe a mild kick. If you like it spicy, then you can increase the amount to taste. Or leave it out entirely if your cajun seasoning is spicy or you want a mild dish.
- I like to use Large or Medium Large shrimp for this recipe. By the count, this is 31/25 count shrimp or 36/40 count shrimp.