Cajun Shrimp and Rice

4.91 from 11 votes

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This recipe for shrimp and rice has all the spicy, mouth-wateringly deliciousness you expect from Cajun cooking, and it can be made in just 30 minutes with minimal clean-up required. Try this one-pot flavor sensation today!

overhead of skillet shrimp recipe: shrimp with bacon, rice and herbs in a skillet

Cajun cuisine holds a special place in my heart and my kitchen. This rich, culinary tradition has brought us classic gems like Cajun Dirty Rice, Cajun Shrimp and Sausage, and Shrimp Etouffee

Today’s recipe for Cajun shrimp and rice is another such jewel. The perfectly curated blend of Cajun herbs, spices, and veggies transform regular shrimp and rice into a delectable dream. 

This already irresistible dish then gets topped off with plenty of crispy bacon. It’s bursting with so much flavor, you’ll hardly believe how easy it is to make!

succulent shrimp mixed with bacon, cajun rice and herbs


  • Shrimp – Medium-sized shrimp are my top pick for shrimp and rice recipes. Any size will work, just be sure to adjust cooking time. 
  • Cajun Seasoning – A pungent, spicy, aromatic blend that adds a depth of warmth and flavor. 
  • Bacon Salty, sweet crispy bacon bits are the ultimate edible garnish. 
  • Veggies Onions, green pepper, and celery are known as the “Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking.” 
  • Herbs – Thyme, bay leaf, and garlic add complexity while harmonizing the flavors of the dish. Parsley adds fresh flavor and a vibrant pop of green. 
  • Brown Sugar – Offers a touch of balancing sweetness. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Adds flavor and acidity. Sub in equal amounts of lemon juice or white wine vinegar if needed. 
  • Tabasco – I prefer hot, vinegary tabasco for this shrimp and rice dish, but you can substitute in Louisiana hot sauce, Cholula, or Tapatio. 
  • Rice – Go for plain long grain or sub in basmati or jasmine rice. 
  • Chicken Broth Chicken or vegetable broth are equally acceptable. 
  • Wine – Delivers a nice finishing dash of flavor and acidity. You can also use white wine vinegar. 
cut bacon lardons, jumbo raw shrimp and rice in small bowls


1. Season the Shrimp. Put the raw shrimp in a small bowl. Season with one teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning and set aside. 

2. Cook the Bacon. Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven, rendering until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, setting it aside on a paper towel. Keep the fat from the bacon in the pan.

3. Add the Vegetables. Transfer the celery, onion, and green pepper to the Dutch oven and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the minced garlic and saute for another minute. 

cajun holy trinity in small glass bowls: celery, onion and bell peppers chopped

4. Season & Simmer. Stir in the chicken broth, rice, brown sugar, vinegar, Cajun seasoning, thyme, hot sauce, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for about 18 minutes. 

5. Add the Wine and Shrimp. Mix in the shrimp and wine, stirring to combine. Cover and cook for about another 3 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque. 

6. Garnish & Serve. Sprinkle crispy bacon and chopped parsley on top before serving. Enjoy!

close up of cajun shrimp and cooked bacon in rice

What is Cajun Seasoning Made Out Of?

Most store bought brands of Cajun seasoning contain a combination of black, white, and cayenne peppers along with onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. You will also find blends with salt, cumin, mustard powder, chili pepper and more. 

My DIY recipe for Cajun Seasoning is technically Creole seasoning, due to the addition of dried aromatic herbs like oregano and thyme. The foundational Cajun spices remain the same, though, and you can make shrimp and rice recipes with either. 

Why are these two spice blends so similar? The term Cajun refers to the first French colonists that migrated from Acadia, Canada to Louisiana in the 1700s. Creole, on the other hand, refers to the descendants of these settlers who were born in the region, particularly New Orleans. 

How Do I Store Leftover Shrimp and Rice?

Store any leftover shrimp and rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stove. Avoid the microwave as it might make the shrimp rubbery. 

Is it Necessary to Devein Shrimp?

Technically speaking, you don’t need to devein shrimp. This small black line that is often visible in larger shrimp is a portion of their digestive tract, and it is completely safe to eat. 

However, there are a couple of reasons to remove them. The two primary reasons are visual and textural. The veins are unsightly and sometimes carry gritty sand with them. 

Luckily, deveining shrimp is not a difficult process. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by carefully removing the shells from all your shrimp.
  2. Use a paring knife to gently scrape down the curved back of the shrimp, then use the tip to extract the thin, grayish vein.  
  3. Completely remove the rest of the vein with a pair of kitchen tweezers or your finger. 
  4. Repeat the process with the remainder of the shrimp.  Give them a nice rinse with cool water and pat dry. 
overhead of cajun shrimp in casserole pan with rice, herbs and vegetables


If you like the flavors in the Cajun shrimp and rice, I know you’ll love my recipe for Cajun Shrimp and Grits.

Or, try one of these other one pan meals that are just as easy to make:

This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking September, 2020, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in March, 2023.

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overhead photo: cajun shrimp and rice in large pot

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

4.91 from 11 votes
This Cajun shrimp and rice recipe makes an easy, satisfying dish that is brimming with herbs, sensuous spices, and succulent shrimp.
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes


  • 1 lb shrimp (medium) peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning divided
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine


  • Season raw shrimp with 1 teaspoon of cajun seasoning. Set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven, render bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towel. Leave bacon fat in pan.
  • Add onion, green pepper, and celery and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  • Add bay leaf, brown sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, cajun seasoning, thyme, salt, rice, and chicken broth. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Cover with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 18 minutes.
  • Add shrimp, wine and stir to incorporate. Cover with lid and cook for about 3 minutes. Shrimp should be pink and opaque.
  • Before serving add the crispy bacon and a sprinkle of parsley.



Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 308mg | Sodium: 1195mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 935IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cajun, Creole, Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled photo collage of Cajun shrimp and rice dinner


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 4 stars
    Made this dish last evening and we loved it! the next time I will reduce the vinegar and sugar so the two aren’t quite so pronounced in the final flavor profile.

    1. 5 stars
      I should have given this a 5 star rating. My wife wrote “Excellent” on the recipe and said we would have to do it again!

      1. So sorry for the late reply as I have been away on a much needed vacation outside the USA. Needless to say, about your comment…Thanks so much Mike. Appreciate you coming back top let me know!

    2. So sorry for the late reply as I have been away on a much needed vacation outside the USA. Needless to say, about your comment… Appreciate you coming back top let me know Mike. Glad you could adapt to your preferences!