One of the easiest and fastest ways to prepare shrimp is to broil them. In this truly easy recipe, I season the shrimp with a tasty Cajun-style seasoning before cooking them. This 20-minute recipe is so easy and quick, it's the perfect weeknight dinner!
I cook shrimp fairly often for my family. 🍤 It's one of those foods that everyone around here likes, even The Picky Eater. And they like it regardless of how I make the shrimp or how I season them. So it's up to me to vary the recipes that I use.
Whenever I have a bag of shrimp in the fridge (or freezer) and I'm unsure how to make them, there's a good chance I'll end up making this recipe. It's just so tasty! The seasoning is wonderful - bold, savory, and very flavorful. And just as importantly, it's a truly easy and quick recipe to make.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make broiled shrimp. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Shrimp: I prefer to use jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, with the tails on. If you prefer tails off that's fine. But do use large or jumbo shrimp.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this flavorful oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Cajun seasoning: Kosher salt (use less salt if using fine salt instead of kosher), smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the spices are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Cooking shrimp under the broiler is so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to coat the shrimp in olive oil and spices. Mix them gently but thoroughly.
Now, arrange them in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil them until cooked through. Depending on the size of the shrimp, this should take between 4 and 7 minutes.
This recipe was written for jumbo shrimp - 16-20 per pound. If your shrimp are smaller, they will obviously cook faster, so keep an eye on them. For large shrimp, I would check them after 5 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Broiling is my favorite way to cook shrimp. And it's an especially appropriate method for Cajun-style shrimp because the high heat really brings out their bold flavor.
I do make grilled shrimp and baked shrimp quite often. Shrimp stir fry is wonderful and so is skillet sausage and shrimp.
But this is one of the shrimp recipes that I make most often for my family. It's so flavorful and it's also very easy!
There's no need to flip them, which is also why I don't thread them on skewers. That's part of this recipe's charm and another reason it's so easy.
I don't recommend using frozen shrimp. If yours are frozen, you can quickly defrost them by placing them in a large bowl, covering them with cool water, and replacing the water once or twice. They should be defrosted after about 5 minutes in the water.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a couple of ideas for you:
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil to coat the shrimp. You can also use melted ghee (clarified butter).
- Add more spices, such as onion powder and cumin. Try ½ teaspoon of each.
- Thread the shrimp on skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes before using them) and alternate them with cherry tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with the same olive oil mixture.
Sometimes I quickly mix them and the pan juices into fresh spinach or arugula leaves - this wilts the leaves just enough to cook them ever so lightly.
If you happen to have leftovers, keep them in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to three days.
As for how to use the leftovers, they are very tasty in a salad, or you can gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Broiled Shrimp with a Cajun-style seasoning
- 1 lb. jumbo shrimp 21-25 shrimp per pound, peeled and deveined, tails on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Heat your broiler on high (450 degrees F), with an oven rack set 6 inches from the heating element (not directly below but the second rack from the top). Line a rimmed broiler-safe baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup).
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Place them in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil, kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne. Toss to coat with a large spoon.
- Arrange the seasoned shrimp in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. If there's any remaining olive oil mixture in the bowl, spoon it evenly on top of the shrimp, as shown in the video below.
- Broil the shrimp until opaque and cooked through, 6-7 minutes for jumbo shrimp, 5 minutes for large shrimp.