About This Cajun Shrimp and Rice Recipe
Cajun seasoning is one of my favorite spices to use in various dishes. It adds a lot of flavor to the dish and can be used with everything, from pork, chicken, and seafood, and even with veggies, soups, and dips. It gives any food an excellent earthy, smoky, and spicy taste.
Cajun food originated in the early 1700s from the Acadians who had to flee Canada and move to the fertile bayou lands of southern Louisiana in the US. They adapted to the geographical changes and learned to preserve their food using spices, smoking, and splicing techniques.
Today, Cajun cuisine reflects the mixture of various cultures in Louisiana, resulting in delicious food that is heavily seasoned, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the food is spicy. Most of the time, the food gets a lot of heat from the heavy use of cayenne pepper.
There are many variations of Cajun seasonings available in stores. You can also make it at home by combining smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
In this recipe, I used Cajun spices to boost the flavor of the shrimp. I like shrimps because not only are they healthy, but they are also very versatile. I can enjoy them steamed, sautéed, grilled, in tacos, salads, or in one-pot meals like this one. And the ease of a complete meal cooked in one skillet is priceless, especially on the weekdays.
This Cajun shrimp and rice is a comforting and satisfying meal. The succulent shrimps combined with the flavorful rice and veggies give you spoonfuls of rewardingly complex flavors in each bite!
What You Need for This Cajun Shrimp and Rice Recipe
- Shrimps: I like to use large and peeled raw shrimp for this dish. You can either peel them yourself or buy them prepared to save some time. I recommend using large shrimps because they stay super juicy and have a more appealing texture.
- Rice: I have used long grain basmati rice, thoroughly rinsed and drained.
- Cajun Seasoning: It is a wonderful mix of spices and herbs that gives the dish an excellent earthy, smoky, and spicy taste.
- Oil: I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Tomatoes: I like to use diced tomatoes because I like the chunky tomato texture.
- Tomato Paste: Just a little bit of tomato paste adds a rich, concentrated tomato flavor.
- Veggies: I like to use shallot, garlic, bell pepper, and celery to flavor the rice. They add a wonderful sweetness and earthy freshness to the dish.
- Fish Broth: I like to use fish broth for cooking the rice because it has more flavor than plain water.
- Lemon Juice: Just a splash of lemon juice gives a lovely kick of acidity that brightens the whole dish.
- Veggies: I like to add bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes in this recipe, but you may also use carrots or other veggies you prefer, or just omit them entirely.
- Shrimps: It is one of the main ingredients of this dish, but because this recipe is so versatile, you can even enjoy it with chicken, for example, if you wish.
What is the best rice to use for this recipe?
I recommend using the long grain basmati rice because it will keep its texture and will not become mushy.
Can I use frozen shrimp for this dish?
Yes. Frozen shrimps are frozen shortly after they are caught, so you can just thaw and use them. Thaw them overnight in the fridge or keep them under running water for a few minutes.
How do I peel the shrimps?
I like to buy the already peeled ones, but if you can’t find them, you can easily peel them at home; it will just take a little time. Cut the shell on the back of the shrimp, and remove it. When deveining shrimp, locate the black vein running on its back and, using the tip of the knife, lift it and take it out. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry.
Easy Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Cajun shrimp and rice is a one-pot meal that’s super simple to make and delivers a punch of flavor in every mouthful!
Yield: 4 servings
How To Make Cajun Shrimp and Rice Step By Step
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the finely chopped shallot and minced garlic, and cook until soft, for about 3 minutes, adding a little bit of water if needed.
Stir in half of the Cajun seasoning, add the finely chopped bell pepper and celery, and sauté for around 3 minutes, or until the veggies are softened.
Add the rice, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste, mix well, then start adding the broth one ladle at a time, same as when you cook risotto.
Cook the rice until it is tender but slightly al dente, adding more broth when needed and stirring constantly. It will take around 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, season the shrimps with the remaining Cajun seasoning.
Stir the shrimps into the rice 5 minutes before the rice is cooked, cover, and let the shrimps cook until they are pink and opaque.
Drizzle the lemon juice, garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley if you wish, and enjoy!
- Pat the shrimps dry to help the Cajun seasonings stick to them.
- To keep the shrimps succulent, don’t overcook them. Cook them just until they are pink and opaque.
- Before cooking the rice, rinse it thoroughly and drain it. This step is essential in this recipe because rice contains a lot of starch, so it is essential to remove it to avoid the rice turning sticky and mushy.