Spicy roasted shrimp are a quick and easy appetizer with just 3 ingredients that’s ready in about 15 minutes. These delicious, flavorful shrimp are always a hit!
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So is it just me, or do you see shrimp as an appetizer at someone’s house and think, “Oh, classy!”
Shrimp isn’t super fancy, I don’t think, but I do feel like a shrimp appetizer is stepping things up.
And always welcome. People love shrimp! People go crazy for shrimp!
I personally love that shrimp is SO stinkin’ easy to make. My quick and easy Mexican shrimp skillet is on the regular rotation because of this, as are shrimp tacos. And I love some easy shrimp creole over rice for a quick dinner.
It’s a great protein and it cooks incredibly quickly. Shrimp is also really versatile because it can take on the flavor of whatever you season it with.
(Check out this southwestern-flavored Air Fryer shrimp, too, if you have an Air Fryer.)
And today I’m sharing spicy roasted shrimp, which is super flavorful and absolutely delicious thanks to the spices we add.
(Also, roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook shrimp, even just for shrimp cocktail. It adds so much more flavor than boiling them.)
Bonus: this recipe is just 3 main ingredients!
We toss the raw shrimp with a mixture of Cajun seasoning and cayenne (plus salt and olive oil of course) and roast them in the oven until they are tender and juicy and absolutely delicious.
I should mention, too, that this isn’t just any Cajun seasoning.
Their spices are sourced from the best growing regions around the world and have such bold flavor. They’re also Non-GMO Project Verified and have no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Using high-quality ingredients like this is one of those easy ways to elevate your cooking. 👍
Plus, I just love to support a small, boutique company that has a serious passion for food. ❤️
You can find The Spice Hunter online from their website and in a number of local stores. Check their website to see where they are near you. And follow them on social media for more recipe inspiration!
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OK, back to our shrimp recipe for today.
I’ve got some notes, tips and FAQs coming up below on how to make spicy roasted shrimp. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on spicy roasted shrimp:
- I used a pound of extra large shrimp, which come 26-30 a pound. You can substitute another size shrimp, but you’ll need to adjust your cooking time.
- The shrimp need to be completely thawed (more on that in a minute) as well as peeled and deveined for this recipe. Please plan accordingly. (You can ask your seafood counter to prep these for you if needed. Or buy the deveined easy-peel frozen shrimp that are almost ready to go.)
- You can leave the tails on if you prefer.
- Want it spiced but not spicy? You can skip the cayenne pepper and substitute black pepper if you’d like to tone these down a little.
- Like it super spicy? You can increase the cayenne up to ¼ teaspoon and/or serve this with a spicier dipping sauce.
Speaking of, just pick your favorite sauce for serving these with.
I love a good cocktail sauce or tartar sauce with shrimp. However, I happened to be out of both of these — and the ingredients to make them — the last time I made this dish.
So I whipped up a brand new concoction that was really delicious! It was ¼ cup mayonnaise with 1 heaping tablespoon of coarse ground mustard. Easy and went really well with the spicy shrimp.
Use what you love.
But wait, you say, my shrimp are frozen. Yup, mine too most of the time.
Fun fact: Buying frozen seafood is often the best way to get it super fresh if you don’t live right by the coast. That’s because the seafood is flash frozen right after it’s off the boat, preserving it at peak freshness. And in some places, the “fresh” seafood in the grocery store counter has actually already been thawed, so its shelf life is ticking down.
I’ve got a lot of experience with frozen seafood and frozen shrimp, so here are a couple of options for you on how to thaw it depending on how much time you have.
How to thaw frozen shrimp
You can place frozen shrimp in the refrigerator (in a well sealed container) overnight to thaw.
You can thaw frozen shrimp quickly by placing them, frozen, in a colander and rinsing them in the sink with cold water for 2-3 minutes, until they are completely defrosted.
How to roast shrimp
- Roast shrimp in the oven at 400 degrees F.
- They will take about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. Extra large shrimp take closer to 10 minutes while smaller shrimp will take less time.
You’ll want to keep an eye on yours so you can pull them out just as they are cooked through. Overcooked shrimp = no good.
Finally, while I’ve been talking about these as an appetizer to serve at a party or while entertaining, you could definitely use these spicy roasted shrimp to make a main dish shrimp dinner.
You could toss the shrimp with some tender pasta, such as spaghetti or linguini, add a white wine sauce and maybe wilt in some fresh baby spinach. Nom, nom, nom.
I hope you give this easy shrimp appetizer a try, whether for a holiday cocktail party or just an anytime get together with friends - or even for a quick dinner!
Any way you serve it, this spicy shrimp will definitely be a hit.
P.S. Check out these other easy shrimp appetizers:
- 1 lb. extra large frozen shrimp (26-30 per pound size), thawed if frozen, and peeled and deveined (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons The Spice Hunter Cajun Creole seasoning mix
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (see notes)
- Cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or another dipping sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Toss the shrimp with olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and cayenne until well coated. Spread onto an ungreased baking sheet in an even layer.
- Roast at 400 for 8-10 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce of choice.
I used a pound of extra large shrimp, which come 26-30 a pound. You can substitute another size shrimp, but you’ll need to adjust your cooking time.
The shrimp need to be completely thawed as well as peeled and deveined for this recipe. Please plan accordingly.
You can quickly thaw frozen shrimp by rinsing them in a colander under cold running water for 2-3 minutes. Pay dry really well and they are ready to use.
You can substitute black pepper if you don’t want these to be very spicy. Or you can add up to ¼ teaspoon cayenne if you want a lot of heat.
Serving Size:2-3 shrimp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 975mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g