Blackened Shrimp is a delicious shrimp dish made with shrimp tossed in a blackened shrimp seasoning that includes a delicious array of spices and then is cooked to perfection! This recipe comes together in just 20 minutes and is perfect to serve on salads, in pastas, in tacos, with rice or simply on its own! 

Shrimp tends to be the food included in most fancy or celebratory dinners in my house. There is just something about a delicious shrimp recipe that makes things feel special! For more favorite shrimp recipes, try my Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas, Easy Coconut Shrimp Recipe and Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

A wood plate with Blackened Shrimp on it, on a burnt orange colored background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy shrimp recipe. This blackened shrimp recipe is super easy and super fast! Shrimp cooks really quickly, and you only need to combine the spices, toss the shrimp in them and get cooking! 
  • So many ways to use this recipe! This blackened shrimp recipe is incredibly versatile! It’s a great foundational recipe that you can make and then use how you want: tacos, over pasta, in salad, in burrito bowls, etc. The options are endless! 
  • Incredibly flavorful. The combination of spices is perfect with the shrimp! You can pick out the subtle hint of chili powder, the touch of oregano and the punch of cumin. The bold flavors are amazingly delicious! (Another delicious cajun recipe is my Cajun Chicken Orzo!)

Ingredient Notes

Blackened Shrimp ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a beige textured background.
  • Blackened Shrimp Seasoning Blend: This blend of spices includes chili powder, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and cumin.  
  • Brown Sugar: I used light brown sugar but dark will work too. The touch of sweetness enhances the flavors in the spice mix and provides a sweet element. 
  • Shrimp: You’ll need fresh shrimp that is uncooked, shelled, and deveined shrimp.
  • Olive Oil: Even when using a nonstick pan, it’s important to cook the shrimp in the olive oil. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the shrimp. Dab the shrimp with a paper towel. Place in a medium bowl.
  2. Make the blackening seasoning. In a small bowl, add the chili powder, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt and cumin. Mix to combine. Add to the bowl with the shrimp and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes. 
  1. Cook the blackened shrimp. Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add a single layer of shrimp (if you need to work in batches you can). Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. 
  2. Serve. Serve this blackened shrimp recipe plain, on tacos, in salads, with rice, etc. 
Blackened Shrimp covered in dried spices in a black skillet.

Recipe Tips

If using cooked shrimp, you won’t need to cook as long in the skillet, just enough time to warm them up.

Serve as blackened shrimp tacos, in lettuce wraps, or over a bed of noodles and cream sauce for a delicious blackened shrimp Alfredo, or with rice. 

If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to give your shrimp time to thaw prior to cooking. 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

This recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, so there isn’t much to make ahead of time. You can, however, combine the blackened shrimp seasoning in advance. 

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

I recommend freezing raw shrimp to use for later than freezing cooked shrimp. Freezing cooked shrimp will cause the shrimp to get a bit tough once frozen, thawed and reheated. 

A metal spatula scooping up cooked Blackened Shrimp from a black skillet.

Recipe FAQs

Is blackened shrimp spicy?

Depending on the amount of chili powder in blackened shrimp seasoning, it can have a hint of kick. This blackened shrimp recipe makes a slightly spicy shrimp dish. Reduce the chili powder if you are concerned about spice. 

What does blackened shrimp mean? 

Blackened shrimp is a cooking method that includes a collection of spices that gives food a dark color when cooked. It isn’t burnt, it’s just seasoned shrimp that takes on a dark color due to the seasoning rub. It is commonly associated with cajun cuisine. 

What to serve with blackened shrimp?

Serve with a side of Orzo Rice or on top of a bed of Fettuccine Alfredo noodles. Pair with some Oven Roasted Broccoli or a fresh Rocket and Pear Salad

A wood plate on a white background, with cooked Blackened Shrimp on the plate and chopped parsley for garnish.

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Close up photo or cooked Blackened Shrimp covered in spices and topped with fresh parsley, on a wood plate.
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5 from 3 votes

Blackened Shrimp

Delicious Blackened Shrimp is easy to make and packs of punch with flavor! Raw shrimp is tossed in a bed of spices featuring paprika, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder and cumin and then cooked to perfection. You can use the blackened shrimp on tacos, salads, burritos, or wraps.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika - I use regular, but can use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar - packed, I used light brown sugar but dark will work too
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 pounds shrimp - uncooked, shelled, and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • If the shrimp is overly wet, dab the shrimp with a paper towel. Place the shrimp in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a small bowl add the chili powder, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt and cumin. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes. 
  • Add the olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
  • Remove and serve shrimp plain, on tacos, salads, rice, or however you’d like!


If using cooked shrimp, you won’t need to cook as long in the skillet… merely just enough time to warm them up.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. 


Calories: 197kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 5g (2%)Protein: 24g (48%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 214mg (71%)Sodium: 1563mg (65%)Potassium: 256mg (7%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 1107IU (22%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 110mg (11%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
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