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Baked Cajun Shrimp

Dive into Flavor with Baked Cajun Shrimp: A Spicy Sensation

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Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a dish that’s bursting with bold flavors and succulent shrimp. Baked Cajun Shrimp is a celebration of spice and seafood, perfect for impressing dinner guests or treating yourself to a memorable meal. With its simple preparation and irresistible taste, this recipe is destined to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s embark on a flavorful adventure!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tin foil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Marinate the Shrimp: In a large bowl, combine the peeled and deveined shrimp with olive oil, Cajun seasoning, sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Toss until the shrimp are evenly coated with the seasoning mixture.
  3. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Arrange the seasoned shrimp in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are not overcrowded. This allows the shrimp to cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior.
  4. Bake the Shrimp: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the shrimp for 8-10 minutes, or until they are pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery.
  5. Garnish and Serve: Once baked, remove the shrimp from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the shrimp.
  6. Enjoy: Dive into the spicy goodness of Baked Cajun Shrimp and savor the explosion of flavors with each bite!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Adjust the Spice Level: Customize the spice level of the dish by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to suit your taste preferences.
  • Add Vegetables: For a complete meal, add your favorite vegetables to the baking sheet along with the shrimp. Bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes complement the Cajun seasoning beautifully.
  • Grill Option: If you prefer, you can grill the Cajun shrimp instead of baking them. Simply skewer the seasoned shrimp and grill over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are cooked through.
  • Serve with Dipping Sauce: Whip up a quick dipping sauce using ingredients like mayonnaise, lemon juice, and additional Cajun seasoning for an extra burst of flavor.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly: This recipe is naturally keto-friendly, as shrimp is low in carbs and high in protein. Serve the Baked Cajun Shrimp with a side of sautéed greens or cauliflower rice for a complete keto meal.
  • Low-Carb Option: To reduce the carb content further, omit the lemon juice and reduce the amount of sweet paprika in the seasoning mix. You can also use less olive oil for coating the shrimp.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe? A: While fresh shrimp is preferred for optimal flavor and texture, you can use thawed frozen shrimp if fresh shrimp is not available. Ensure that the shrimp are fully thawed and pat them dry before seasoning.

Q: What size shrimp should I use? A: Large shrimp (around 21-25 count per pound) work best for this recipe, as they are meaty and cook quickly in the oven without becoming tough.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: While Baked Cajun Shrimp is best served fresh out of the oven, you can prepare the seasoning mixture and marinate the shrimp in advance. Simply bake them when ready to serve for maximum flavor.

Q: How should I store leftovers? A: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave until warmed through before serving.

Q: Can I use shrimp with tails on? A: Absolutely! Leaving the tails on the shrimp adds visual appeal and makes them easier to pick up and eat, especially if serving as an appetizer.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

In conclusion, Baked Cajun Shrimp is a delightful dish that brings together the bold flavors of Cajun seasoning and the succulence of shrimp in a mouthwatering symphony of taste. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or craving a flavorful weeknight meal, this recipe is sure to impress. With its simple preparation and explosive flavors, Baked Cajun Shrimp is destined to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. So, gather your ingredients, preheat the oven, and get ready to savor the spicy goodness of this delectable dish. Bon appétit!

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