Nothing says NOLA like a Cajun spiced shrimp dish! Flavorful, colorful and delicious...be sure to try this cajun recipe next Fat Tuesday.
Oh yea! This Cajun Spiced Shrimp recipe is a perfect dish for Fat Tuesday or whenever you're craving a delicious shrimp dinner. Not quite a Shrimp Etouffee, but either way, this cajun shrimp meal is definitely delish and one that you'll keep in mind for Mardis Gras next year.
Ingredients for cajun spiced shrimp
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shrimp (fresh or frozen)
- White rice
- The Holy Trinity (onion, celery, green bell peppers)
- All purpose flour
- Whole peeled tomatoes
- Chicken broth (or shrimp broth)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Bay leaf
- Cajun seasoning (paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper)
- Green onion
How to make it
Step 1 - Cook the shrimp. Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven and cook the shrimp (sprinkle with a little of the cajun seasoning too). We'll be adding it back into the dish later, so you just want to get it opaque right now...don't over cook 'em. Remove when cooked and cover.
Step 2 - Soften the vegetables. I've seen people start to make the roux in step 2, but for me, I like to make sure my veggies are nice and soft so I add a little more olive oil to the pot and cook them up now. Add your garlic towards the end of cooking. When the onions are soft and opaque, remove them from pot and cover.
Step 3 - Make the roux. Here's where I make my roux. Melt some butter on medium heat in the same dutch oven and add some flour. Whisk consistently until the roux thickens ( toothpaste consistency) and becomes the color you're looking for (a blonde shade here).
Step 4 - Add the veggies back in. Now I add my semi-cooked vegetables back into the roux, mix altogether and cook for a minute or two.
Step 5 - Add everything except the parsley and green onions. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the cajun seasoning, into the pot. Gring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or so.
Step 6 - Add back the shrimp. Add the cooked shrimp back into the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 7 - Add the parsley and green onions. In the last minute of cooking, add the parsley and green onions to the pot. Same some of both for garnish.
Step 8 - Garnish and enjoy. Garnish your bowl with the rest of the parsley and green onions. Enjoy!
Tips, Tricks, FAQs
Should you use fresh or frozen shrimp?
Either one is totally fine. If you're using frozen, just make sure you thaw it out good and pat it dry before cooking but either fresh or frozen is totally fine.
Can you use something other than shrimp?
Yea totally. Shrimp, crawfish, chicken and even sausage...they'll all work here. I know there's a lot of people who have shellfish allergies so don't hesitate to do this with chicken or sausage. I may actually even prefer it.
Is this Shrimp Etouffee? What's the difference between this and a Jambalaya or a gumbo?
It's definitely kinda like Shrimp Etouffee. I tend to make mine a little more liquidy to have it be technically considered Etouffee, but it is very similar.
This Cajun spiced shrimp recipe is a shrimp dish, whereas Jambalaya, on the other hand, is technically a rice dish. Gumbo is definitely more liquidy than both of them, and typically uses a variety of meats, whereas we're only using one here.
Can I make the roux before cooking the vegetables?
Yea, you totally can. Again, I prefer to cook my vegetables a little bit prior to making the roux, but either way is fine. I'm usually pressed for time, so cooking them beforehand helps me cut down on my overall cooking time...which to me is never a bad thing in my eyes.
Regardless of what you call this dish, this Cajun spiced shrimp recipe is absolutely delicious!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
If shrimp is your thing...you gotta try my Shrimp Oreganata. It's a recipe that's been in my family for decades and it's AWESOME! Another family recipe you'll like is my Shrimp Scampi. Even if it's not Christmas time...it's always time for this Shrimp Scampi recipe!
Tools I used in this recipe:
- Lodge 7.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- KP Kitchen Measuring Spoons/Cups
- Pyrex Measuring Cups
- Pyrex Custard Cups
- Riveira Wooden Cooking Utensils
Ok, so if you made this Cajun Spiced Shrimp...would definitely appreciate if you leave a comment below and let me know what you thought! Always love hearing from you guys...and don't worry I'm an Italian from New Jersey...I got thick skin!
Cajun Spiced Shrimp Recipe
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ lb raw shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes broken apart
- 14.5 oz chicken broth
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 tbsp green onions
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup white rice
- Cook the rice - follow manufacturer's instructions but add 1 tsp of the seasoning into the pot. Set aside when finished.
- Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot of Dutch oven. When heated, add your shrimp in a single layer (working in batches if need be). Season with the cajun seasoning and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes. Shrimp should be opaque but not overcooked. Remove shrimp, set aside and cover.NOTE ON SEASONING - Season all of your shrimp with 1 tsp of the cajun seasoning total! Meaning if you work in 2 batches, season the first batch with ½ tsp of seasoning, and the second batch with an additional ½ tsp of seasoning.
- Next, heat the remaining olive oil and add your onions, peppers, and celery. Season with a little salt & pepper to taste, and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. In the final minute of cooking, add your garlic. Remove from pot, set aside, and cover.
- Make your roux. Add the butter to the same pot and melt. When melted, slowly whisk in the flour and stir continuously until you get a thick paste-like consistency with a light brown color. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent the roux from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the vegetables back into the pot and mix all together. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf to the pot of vegetables. Season with the rest of the cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook on low for about 10-12 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Add your cooked shrimp back into the pot. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add half of the fresh parsley and green onions to the pot. Mix together.
- Serve over the rice and garnish with the remaining parsley and green onions.
- You can ABSOLUTELY substitute the shrimp with crawfish, chicken or even sausage. It will taste just as good!
- If you want your dish thicker, feel free to only add ½ of the chicken broth.
- The longer you cook your roux, the darker your dish will be. If you prefer to have a darker dish, cook your roux a little longer until it becomes a peanut butter shade.
- Feel free to detail your shrimp. Keeping the tails on gives it a better presentation, but if you're anything like Michele (The Guinea Pig), and prefer to "dig in", de-tailing them if fine.
- I like to serve this with a toasted loaf of French bread, topped with olive oil and a little minced garlic.
- Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking method and ingredients used. It's advised you calculate your own nutritional values if needed.