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These spicy Cajun grilled shrimp are full of big flavor! Covered in a homemade spice blend, they’re fast and easy to grill.

Cajun grilled shrimp
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Here’s a grilled dinner idea that’s quick, easy and full of huge flavor: Cajun grilled shrimp! If you love Cajun spices and a little heat, you’ll love this smoky, tender shrimp: and it takes less than 5 minutes on the grill. Serve it up with a side of grilled peppers, and it’s a fantastic summer meal. And if you can’t do spicy food: we’ve got a mild version for you too! It all depends on the homemade spice blend you decide to whip up. Here’s how to do it!

Want a stovetop variation? Try Easy Cajun Shrimp!

The shrimp you need for Cajun grilled shrimp

You’ll just need a few ingredients for Cajun grilled shrimp: and most of the ingredients are spices! But the most important of all is the shrimp, of course! Here are a few notes about the type of shrimp to look for:

  • Medium to large shrimp: we used 26-30 per pound size
  • Tail on or peeled: we find tail on looks the prettiest, but you may want to do fully peeled for ease of use
  • Deveined: this is preferable to save a step of deveining
  • Fresh or frozen: you can use either! Frozen can be as high quality as fresh if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
Grilled Cajun shrimp

Use Cajun seasoning or blackened seasoning

Besides the shrimp, the other main ingredient in this spicy Cajun grilled shrimp recipe is the seasoning! We recommend making the homemade seasoning blend to get just the right flavor. But you can use storebought in a pinch! Here are the two seasonings to try, depending on what spice level you’d like:

  • Cajun seasoning (spicy!): This homemade Cajun seasoning is spicy, featuring paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, fennel seed (optional), cumin, cayenne, and salt and pepper.
  • Blackened seasoning (mild!): This blackened seasoning has similar flavors but less heat! It features paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, celery seed, allspice, cloves, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

You can also head to Blackened Shrimp if you prefer a more mild version of this recipe.

Cajun grilled shrimp

How to make Cajun grilled shrimp (basic steps)

Once you’ve got the ingredients in hand, it’s so simple to make this recipe. Shrimp cooks so quickly that it’s one of our favorite things to throw on the grill. Seriously, who needs to smoke things for hours when you can have this big of flavor in just a few minutes? Here are the basic steps (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Preheat a grill to medium high: that’s 375 to 450 degrees, the grill temperature for most vegetables and seafood.
  • Mix the shrimp with olive oil and seasoning. See the notes above!
  • Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side, until opaque and tender. That’s it!

Add grilled peppers as an easy side dish

Here’s an easy side dish to add to Cajun spicy grilled shrimp: grilled peppers! Multi-colored peppers look beautiful: and they’re tender with a lightly sweet flavor. Here are a few options for grilling up some bell peppers:

Grilled Cajun shrimp with peppers

More grilled vegetables to pair with Cajun grilled shrimp

There are lots more tasty grilled vegetables to make a meal out of this Cajun grilled shrimp. The only thing to keep in mind is the physical space on your grill. You may have to make them in batches! Here’s what we’d recommend to make it a meal:

Want more grilled seafood? Try our Grilled Scallops, Grilled Salmon, Grilled Tilapia, Grilled Cod, or Grilled Ahi Tuna.

How to thaw shrimp

Frozen shrimp is incredibly convenient; you can load up your freezer for healthy dinners for months! The only hard part about frozen is remembering to thaw it! Here are two methods for thawing shrimp, depending on when you start:

  • Day before: If you think ahead, simply place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day of: Place the frozen shrimp into a large bowl with very cold water. Stir the bowl every 5 minutes to break up clumps of shrimp that freeze together. The shrimp should be defrosted in about 15 minutes.

This spicy Cajun grilled shrimp recipe is…

Pescatarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Cajun grilled shrimp

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


These spicy Cajun grilled shrimp are full of big flavor! Covered in a homemade spice blend, they’re fast and easy to grill. 




  1. Thaw the shrimp. Then pat the shrimp dry. 
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil and Cajun seasoning. Mix with your hands to combine.
  4. Place directly on a grill and grill 1 to 2 minutes per side (2 to 4 minutes total), until bright pink and cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and squeeze on fresh lemon juice from several wedges of the lemon, to taste.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Cajun
  • Diet: Low Calorie

More shrimp recipes

Shrimp is a great healthy meal choice if you eat seafood. Here are some of our favorite healthy shrimp recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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