Cajun Grilled Shrimp (Whole30 + Paleo + Keto)
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This Cajun Grilled Shrimp recipe is packed with flavor and made with simple ingredients for a date-night recipe or spicy weeknight dinner you’re going to love! Make it on the grill in minutes.
This Cajun Grilled Shrimp is the byproduct of an incredible Mother’s Day gift! One year, I was given this cast iron shrimp pan by my husband and boys, and I knew I had to put it to use making something fantastic! Luckily, I was given the chance to do so when my two oldest boys went to my parents for a sleepover. This meant I could up the ante on spice without much complaint.
If you follow my weekly meal plans, you’ll already know that I’m no stranger to seafood. With recipes like this Pan-Roasted Cod with an Orange-Basil Relish, Pan Seared Salmon, and Whole30 + Paleo Broiled Lobster Tails, I do my best to incorporate some version of fish or seafood into my family’s dinners at least twice a week. This being said, the shrimp pan was the perfect gift and continues to get good use! If you’re looking for a great gift for Mother’s Day or any other occasion, I would highly recommend it.
However, to break in my new pan, I didn’t want to make just anything. Instead, I wanted to really go all out and make a delicious dinner to show my husband just how appreciative I was of this gift. What resulted, was maybe the easiest recipe I’ve ever made! Weird how that works, isn’t it? To create what I was aiming for, I drew upon the flavors of the south for inspiration and used spices such as cayenne and paprika to pack a punch.
Ultimately, this Cajun Grilled Shrimp came together in about 10 minutes (plus the time in which the shrimp were left to marinate) and has quickly become a go-to for quick meals and summer barbecues! If you adjust the seasonings to take down the spice a bit, it’s kid-friendly, too!
How to Make Cajun Grilled Shrimp
The secret to making this Cajun Grilled Shrimp recipe incredible is in the marinade!
To start, add onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne, paprika, seafood seasoning, and olive oil to a medium sized bowl. Use a fork or whisk to mix the ingredients thoroughly, and add the shrimp to the bowl.
Toss the shrimp in the oil mixture until each piece is evenly coated, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
After the hour is up, start the grill, and allow it to heat thoroughly. Once heated, allow the cast iron pan to heat for 5-6 minutes or until completely warm.
Cook the shrimp for 5 minutes or until they are completely pink. Remove the cooked shrimp from the heat, garnish with parsley and a heavy squeeze of lemon, and enjoy!
*Pro-Tip: If you do not buy shrimp with their tails already removed, I recommend removing them before letting the shrimp marinate and grill. Then, there’s no fuss while eating, and you don’t run the risk of losing a tail in the rest of your food.
Skewer Cooking Option for Cajun Grilled Shrimp
If you don’t have a cast iron shrimp pan, no worries! You can still make this Cajun Grilled Shrimp recipe on the grill using skewers. Both wooden and metal skewers will work just as well. However, if you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to let them soak in water at least 30 minutes before placing them on the grill. The moisture prevents the skewers (and your shrimp) from burning.
Then, follow the same instructions to marinate the shrimp. While the grill heats, thread the shrimp onto the skewers, and place them on the grill. Let the skewers cook for 5-6 minutes making sure to flip them over halfway in between. Once again, you’ll know the shrimp are finished when they turn pink all the way through and are slightly opaque.
Ingredients and Alternatives for this Cajun Grilled Shrimp Recipe
As you can see, this Cajun Grilled Shrimp recipe calls for quite a large assortment of spices. While they’re all fairly common and easy to find, you can absolutely condense the list by using a pre-made Cajun seasoning blend instead. Personally, I like to use Bill Baron’s Cajun Seasoning, but feel free to use whatever you like best!
Also, while this recipe uses shrimp, the marinade would work on pretty much any protein source you prefer! I recommend sticking to a lighter meat like chicken or even a white fish like tilapia to let the full flavors of the Cajun seasoning shine through. Yet, the truth is, anything from chicken, to turkey, and even salmon would work!
How to Serve Cajun Grilled Shrimp
The great thing about this recipe is how versatile it can be! Whether you’re serving the shrimp skewers as an appetizer or making them a main meal, there are endless options to choose from! One of my favorite ways to eat this Cajun Grilled Shrimp is as a surf and turf with steak. However, they’re just as satisfying and super filling all on their own.
Depending on your dietary needs, I recommend serving these skewers on top of a bed of rice or cauliflower rice with roasted veggies such as broccoli or asparagus and a house salad if you’re looking to get fancy!
Or, you could add them to a bed of lettuce and dress them up for an amazing, protein-rich salad, stuff them into tacos, or create kabobs. Your only limitation is your imagination!
Of course, if you make these Grilled Shrimp or any of my other recipes, please tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your creations, connect, and share your page. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Stay tuned for new recipes, easy meal plans, decoration tips, and more every week!
In the meantime, enjoy!
- 2 lb jumbo shrimp uncooked; peeled with tail on
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika I prefer smoked
- 1/4 tsp seafood seasoning I prefer New Bae from Primal Palate, you can also use Old Bay
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped for garnish
- 1 lemon sliced into wedges for garnish
- If you are going to use wooden skewers, be sure to soak in water for at least one hour
- Start the grill, allowing it to heat thoroughly
- In a large bowl, whisk together onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne, paprika, sea food seasoning and olive oil
- Add the shrimp to the bowl, cover with plastic kitchen wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour
- If you are using skewers, thread the shrimp; if you are using the shrimp cast iron, allow it to heat on the grill for at least 5 minutes
- Cook the skewered shrimp for 5-6 minutes, flipping once halfway through or until pink and opaque; Cook the cast iron shrimp for 5 minutes or until pink and opaque
- Remove the shrimp, garnish with parsley and heavy squeeze of lemon
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