This blackened shrimp recipe is a spicy food lover's dream made with succulent shrimp seasoned with piquant blackening seasoning, then seared in butter. Cooks in only 5 minutes!
For all my spicy food loving friends, this is the recipe for you. Blackened shrimp is going to be your new go-to meal, not just for nights when you're super busy and need a quick and easy meal, but anytime you're craving BIG FLAVOR.
What I love about shrimp is how quickly it cooks up, no matter how you cook it. But when you coat it in a powerful blend of seasonings and sear them in butter over high heat? It's heaven. Seriously, HEAVEN.
What is Blackened Shrimp?
For the best blackened shrimp, it's all about the seasoning and the cooking process. Blackened shrimp is spicy shrimp that's been brushed or dipped in butter, thoroughly seasoned in piquant blackening seasoning, then seared over high heat, usually in a cast iron pan, until it develops its telltale dark crust.
The crust forms from the darkening of the seasonings while being cooked in butter over high heat. Without that high heat, you're unlikely to form that crispy outer crust. You can use olive oil to achieve the same crust, but butter is traditional, and plays a big role in the resulting flavor.
The seasoning is also extremely important.
About the Blackened Seasoning
Blackening seasoning, aka “Blackened seasoning”, is a mixture of chili powders, herbs and spices. It is essentially a cross between Cajun and Creole seasoning blends, with strong flavors. It is quite "spicy", though not always "hot", depending on how you make it.
If you enjoy Cajun and Creole cooking, you’ll love blackening as well.
The most typical ingredients in a blackened seasoning include chili powder, garlic and onion powder, black pepper, oregano and thyme, along with salt, though many variations exists from cook to cook.
Try my Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe which is big on spicy flavor, with just the right touch of heat. You can use this recipe to easily adjust the seasoning to your own preferred heat levels.
I use blackening seasoning not just for blackening foods, but for seasoning in general. Use it as a rub for chicken, beef, pork, seafood, basically anything you'd toss on the grill. Stir it into soups and stews. Anywhere you might use a Cajun or Creole seasoning, you can use blackened seasoning.
So, let's talk about how we blacken the shrimp, shall we?
Blackened Shrimp Ingredients
For the Blackening Seasoning
- Smoked Paprika. Or use regular paprika.
- Cayenne Powder. Use more for a spicier blend.
- Onion Powder.
- Garlic Powder.
- Ground Black Pepper.
- Sea Salt.
- Dried Basil.
- Dried Oregano.
- Dried Thyme.
For the Shrimp
- Shrimp. Peeled and deveined.
- Butter. Melted.
How to Blacken Shrimp - The Recipe Method
Mix all of the blackening spices together in a small bowl. Make sure it is blended evenly.
Brush the shrimp generously with melted butter.
Generously coat each with blackening seasoning.
Heat a large cast iron pan to high heat and add the shrimp.
Cook 2-3 minutes to blacken one side. Then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until they are cooked through.
Serve. BOOM! Your life is now complete.
That was super quick and easy, right? I love easy. This is a great recipe for a slow cook like me.
Next question is, how do we serve up our cooked shrimp?
5 Ways to Serve Blackened Shrimp
- Blackened Shrimp Tacos
- Blackened Shrimp Pasta
- Blackened Shrimp Fajitas
- Blackened Shrimp with Rice
- Blackened Shrimp Salad
It's also great served as an appetizer. So delicious blackened.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy the recipe. Go make it extra spicy, will ya? Have fun.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- You can blacken all sorts of different foods, like blackened fish, pork, even vegetables. Try my Blackened Chicken and blackened salmon recipe, which use the same cooking process. It's SERIOUSLY good.
- Try my Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe which is big on spicy flavor, with just the right touch of heat. You can use this recipe to easily adjust the seasoning to your own preferred heat levels.
- I use blackening seasoning not just for blackening foods, but for seasoning in general. Use it as a rub for chicken, beef, pork, seafood, basically anything you'd toss on the grill. Stir it into soups and stews. Anywhere you might use a Cajun or Creole seasoning, you can use blackened seasoning.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Blackened Shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 3-4 days. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate the shrimp promptly.
Try Some of My Other Shrimp Recipes
- Grilled Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwiches
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Shrimp Creole
- Spicy Cajun Shrimp
- Shrimp and Red Bean Chili
- Shrimp in Fiery Chipotle-Tequila Sauce (from my cookbook! "The Spicy Food Lovers' Cookbook")
- Grilled Buffalo Shrimp
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- Firecracker Shrimp
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Aguachile (Mexican Shrimp Ceviche)
- Spicy Ramen Noodles
- Camarones a la Diabla (Diablo Shrimp)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Blackened Shrimp Recipe
FOR THE BLACKENING SEASONING
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika or use regular paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder use more for a spicier blend
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
FOR THE SHRIMP
- 1 Pound Shrimp peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup butter melted
- Mix all of the blackening spices together in a small bowl. Make sure it is blended evenly.
- Brush the shrimp generously with melted butter.
- Generously coat each with blackening seasoning.
- Heat a large cast iron pan to high heat and add the shrimp.
- Cook 2-3 minutes to blacken one side, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until they are cooked through.