With a cooking time of less than 30 minutes, no chopping required and made entirely in one large skillet, this flavorful Cajun shrimp and rice is an easy weeknight meal that the entire family will love. Made with a handful of simple ingredients, you can make this delicious recipe as is or get creative and add extra vegetables and protein.
Let me introduce you to Jambalaya's undervalued cousin.
With the same base of rice, flavor from homemade Cajun seasoning and presence of shrimp, you can see the resemblance.
And while you might like Jambalaya for her extra pizz-azz (like Andouille sausage and okra), you have to appreciate today's Cajun shrimp and rice recipe for her simplicity.
Because on busy weeknights, one-pan meals are the easiest way to get dinner on the table.
Especially when they require no chopping, are ready in less than 30 minutes total and are so full of flavor (like today's Cajun shrimp recipe!).
From this Ground Beef and Broccoli to this Lemon Herb Shrimp Rice Skillet (the Italian herb cousin of today's recipe), you can't really have too many simple rice skillet dinners in your back pocket.
- Butter- Salted or unsalted butter will work. If you need the recipe to be dairy free, you can substitute avocado or olive oil.
- Rice- Use a white long grain rice such as basmati or jasmine rice.
- Cajun Seasoning- I like to use this homemade spice blend because it has just the right amount of heat for us but any Cajun spice mix you have on hand would work.
- Sea Salt- Adjust to your tastes- depending on the seasoning mix you use, you may need less or more.
- Shrimp- I prefer to use 71-90 count so that there is some shrimp in every bite, but large shrimp will work too. Thaw, peel and devein shrimp (I like to buy the peeled ones to reduce a step!), wash and then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Frozen Corn- No need to thaw.
1. Toast Rice. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes to lightly toast.
2. Cook. Add the seasonings and water and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Add corn. Stir in the corn to give it a chance to heat up as the rice cooks the rest of the way.
4. Cook shrimp. Immediately after stirring in the corn, spread the shrimp out on top and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 4-5 more minutes until the water is absorbed, the rice is tender and the shrimp are cooked through and pink.
5. Serve. You can stir the shrimp in or leave it on top.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Extras can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Add a little water (just a splash) and rewarm in the microwave until heated through.
Make it Your Own
- Up the Veges: Add up to 3 cups of additional vegetables. If using vegetables that are uncooked, saute them in a bit of oil or butter until partially softened before adding the rice in the first step. Some tasty additions would be:
- Bell Pepper (or stir some chopped roasted red peppers in at the end)
- White Onion
- Spinach (Stir it in at the same time as the corn)
- Use Chicken Broth- Give the dish an extra flavor boost and use chicken stock or broth instead of water.
- Add More Protein- Stir in some cooked and chopped Andouille sausage or try it with black beans.
- Use a Different Type of Rice- If you would like to make this with brown rice instead of white rice, increase the water to 4 cups.
Garnish the dish with:
- Green onions
- Fresh parsley
- Red Pepper Flakes
And try serving it alongside:
- A piece of crusty bread
- Santa Fe Salad
- Cajun Honey Butter Corn
- Mixed Berry Spinach Salad
- Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
Make your own small batch mix by combining the following!
¾ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
a pinch dried thyme
If you have dietary restrictions, check the packaging of specific ingredients that you use to ensure they are compliant. This recipe is:
- Dairy Free - If you use olive oil in place of butter.
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
And if you liked this Shrimp and Rice Skillet…
…you might also like:
Cajun Shrimp Rice Skillet
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 and ½ cups long grain white rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt plus additional to taste
- 1 (16 oz) bag frozen shrimp thawed, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup frozen corn no need to thaw
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once butter is melted, add rice to skillet and stir until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the Cajun seasoning and salt followed by the water. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the corn, place the shrimp on top, cover and allow to cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the rice is tender.
- Serve immediately.
More One Pot Meal Ideas!
This shrimp skillet is such an easy meal to make and I love the cajun flavors. I would definitely make this again and add it to our dinner menu rotation!
I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe, Kathryn!
I love how quick and easy this is to make!! Quickly became a favorite at my house!
I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe, Toni!
This is the best shrimp recipe I have ever had...so flavorful and so perfect.
Thank you for your kind review, Gunjan!
I love one-pot meals like thiis. The whole family loved this cajun-inspired dish and have asked me to make it again soon.
I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe, Beth!
I made this rice skillet for dinner last night and my whole family enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe, Tayler!