Baked Cajun shrimp is a flavorful and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or as a crowd-pleasing appetizer. The Cajun seasoning adds a zesty kick to the succulent shrimp, creating a dish that’s both spicy and satisfying. Here’s a simple recipe for baked Cajun shrimp:
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Prepare the Shrimp:
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with olive oil, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Ensure the shrimp are well coated with the seasoning.
- Marinate the Shrimp:
- Allow the shrimp to marinate for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the flavors to infuse into the shrimp.
- Arrange in Baking Dish:
- Place the marinated shrimp in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle the melted butter over the shrimp for added richness.
- Bake in the Oven:
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Be cautious not to overcook to maintain the shrimp’s tenderness.
- Broil for Crispiness (Optional):
- If you prefer a slightly crisp texture on the top, switch the oven to broil for the last 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.
- Garnish and Serve:
- Remove the baked Cajun shrimp from the oven. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.
- Serve Warm:
- Serve the baked Cajun shrimp over rice, pasta, or with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful juices. Enjoy!
- Cajun Seasoning: Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper based on your spice preference. If you prefer less heat, reduce the cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning.
- Shell-On Shrimp: You can also prepare this dish with shell-on shrimp for added flavor. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Side Suggestions: Pair the baked Cajun shrimp with a side of steamed vegetables, a fresh green salad, or a cool cucumber salad for a well-balanced meal.
This baked Cajun shrimp recipe is quick, flavorful, and a great way to enjoy the bold tastes of Cajun cuisine. It’s a fantastic option for busy days when you want a delicious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.