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BAKED CAJUN SHRIMP

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Baked Cajun Shrimp is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With a blend of bold spices, this recipe brings out the best flavors in shrimp, making it a hit at dinner parties or a simple family meal. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Baked Cajun Shrimp, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes.

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Ingredients

  • 12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground oregano

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Shrimp

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with oil.
  2. Mix the Spices:
    • In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper, thyme leaves, and ground oregano. Mix well to create the Cajun seasoning blend.
  3. Season the Shrimp:
    • Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the canola oil over the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the shrimp and toss again to ensure the shrimp are evenly coated with the spices.

Step 2: Bake the Shrimp

  1. Arrange on Baking Sheet:
    • Spread the seasoned shrimp in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are not crowded.
  2. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Step 3: Serve

  1. Serve Hot:
    • Remove the shrimp from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. Serve the Baked Cajun Shrimp hot with your favorite side dishes.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Shrimp: Use large shrimp for this recipe for the best flavor and texture. If using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before seasoning.
  • Spices: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your taste preference. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.

Variations:

  • Cajun Shrimp Tacos:
    • Serve the baked Cajun shrimp in warm tortillas with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a drizzle of lime crema for a delicious twist on tacos.
  • Cajun Shrimp Salad:
    • Add the baked Cajun shrimp to a fresh salad with mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette for a healthy meal.
  • Cajun Shrimp Pasta:
    • Toss the baked Cajun shrimp with your favorite pasta and a light garlic butter sauce for a quick and flavorful dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a different type of oil?

Yes, you can use olive oil or avocado oil instead of canola oil if you prefer.

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2. How do I store leftover shrimp?

Store any leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in the oven or on the stovetop before serving.

3. Can I use pre-cooked shrimp?

While pre-cooked shrimp can be used, fresh or frozen raw shrimp is recommended for the best flavor and texture. If using pre-cooked shrimp, reduce the baking time to avoid overcooking.

4. What can I serve with Baked Cajun Shrimp?

Baked Cajun Shrimp pairs well with rice, quinoa, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad. You can also serve them with crusty bread to soak up any extra seasoning.

5. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

You can prepare the shrimp and seasoning ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Bake the shrimp just before serving for the best results.

Baked Cajun Shrimp is a flavorful and spicy dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its bold Cajun seasoning and tender shrimp, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re making it for a quick weeknight dinner or a special gathering, this dish is easy to prepare and full of delicious flavors. Give this Baked Cajun Shrimp recipe a try and enjoy a comforting and delightful meal. Happy cooking!