This Cajun shrimp recipe is wonderfully spicy with succulent shrimp simmered in tomato sauce spiced with chilies, Cajun seasonings and more. Great for dinner or an appetizer.
It's time for some shrimp, my friends. Spicy shrimp, that is. I'm always up for shrimp because it's so much lighter in the calorie department than other proteins, but that doesn't mean they're boring when it comes to flavor.
And! They take to my preferred spices so awesomely! A big hearty CHEERS to shrimp!
Today we're talking Cajun Shrimp, and I know you're going to love this recipe.
I'm cooking these shrimp up in a nice and spicy tomato sauce that is simmered with the Cajun Holy Trinity of onions, bell peppers (though I'm using jalapenos here for extra heat), and onions, along with a good portion of Cajun Seasonings and a few other ingredients that REALLY bring the FLAVOR.
Some Cajun shrimp recipes are actually blackened shrimp, more like a stir fry of the shrimp a few minutes per side, but mine is a wonderfully saucy version that is sure to satisfy.
It's great as either a dinner or to serve as a party appetizer.
Let's talk about how to make Cajun shrimp, shall we?
How to Make Spicy Cajun Shrimp - the Recipe Method
First, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook down the peppers, onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes.
Next, add the garlic and cook another minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
Stir in the butter, tomato sauce, Cajun seasonings, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce and sweet chili sauce. Adjust with salt and pepper.
Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. You can simmer longer to develop more flavor.
Add the shrimp and tuck them into the sauce. Simmer about 5 minutes to cook the shrimp, stirring here and there, or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Garnish and serve.
BOOM! DONE! Easy Cajun cooking, right? I love easy. And spicy.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- The Heat Factor. I used jalapeno peppers here for a nice, easy level of spice and heat. You can dial down the heat factor by either coring out the jalapeno peppers or using bell peppers instead. Amp up the heat factor by incorporating more jalapenos or spicier peppers, such as the serrano pepper, or even a habanero pepper. Or, bring in more hot sauce or an extra blast of Cajun seasonings. Cayenne pepper is also a nice addition when seasoning.
- The Sauce. If you enjoy the Cajun tomato sauce for this recipe, it is very similar to my Creole Sauce Recipe, which you can use for other dishes, like Cajun pasta, Cajun chicken and so much more. So full of flavor. A favorite.
- Other Seasonings. If you don't have a good Cajun blend on hand, use Creole seasoning, or use a blend of cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.
- Serving. I like to serve my Cajun Shrimp with crusty bread with garlic butter to sop up all that wonderful spicy sauce and extra red pepper flakes. It works great as an easy dinner or party appetizer this way. I love Cajun shrimp and rice. It’s also delicious served over cheesy grits. Or, toss it with noodles for an easy and delicious Cajun Shrimp Pasta! The recipe works nicely served on tortillas, taco style, or over crusty French bread po’ boy style.
About the Cajun Seasonings
A good Cajun seasoning blend is my very favorite seasoning blend in the world. It's my typical "go to" blend when cooking my every day meals.
If you scroll through the recipes on this site, as well as thumb through the several cookbooks I’ve written, you’ll find “Cajun Seasonings” in the ingredients quite often. Talk about HUGE, easy Cajun flavor.
Cajun spices are usually a blend of certain chili powders along with garlic, onion, salt and a potential slew of other ingredients. No two people make it exactly the same, though you WILL find many commonalities, which is why I love it so.
Check out my Homemade Cajun Seasoning Blend Here, along with instructions on how you can make your very own personal blend.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my Cajun shrimp recipe! I love it!
Check Out Some of My Other Popular Cajun and Creole Recipes
- Cajun Pasta with Shrimp and Smoked Andouille
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Red Sauce
- Cajun Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Shrimp Creole
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Seriously Awesome Jambalaya
- Blackened Shrimp
- Firecracker Shrimp
- Low Country Boil
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.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped (use bell peppers for a milder version)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend see recipe notes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Hot sauce to taste Crystal preferably, or similar, about 2-3 tablespoons is good
- 1 tablespoons sweet chili sauce Sriracha is good here
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
- Juice from 1 lemon
- FOR GARNISH: Chopped fresh parsley, sliced jalapenos or serrano peppers, sliced cherry tomatoes, spicy chili flakes, extra hot sauce
- FOR SERVING: Crusty bread
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat and cook down the peppers, onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
- Stir in the butter, tomato sauce, Cajun seasonings, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce and sweet chili sauce. Adjust with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You can simmer longer to develop more flavor.
- Add the shrimp and cover them with the sauce. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring here and there, or until the shrimp are cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Garnish and serve.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 3/26/21 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 2/11/19.