This Cajun shrimp with rice pilaf is such a comfort food! This perfect bowl of deliciousness is packed with yummy shrimp and veggies, and it's ready in 45 minutes.
I LOVE eating shrimp and seafood in general. This shrimp and rice recipe is one of my most favorite meals. With just the right amount of heat and bold flavor, this is an easy and delicious recipe to prepare on a busy night.
What You'll Need to Make a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Pilaf
Here is the full list of all ingredients needed for this recipe. For precise measurements, please look at the recipe card.
- Shrimp: I used raw, extra-large shrimp. Make sure it's peeled and de-veined.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter.
- Salt: Adding flavor.
- Pepper: Just a little bit of black pepper for adding flavor.
- Cajun seasoning: You can add as much or as little you want. It depends on how spicy you like it. I find that half a teaspoon gives mild spiciness.
- Mushrooms: My favorite mushrooms are Bella mushrooms. You can substitute them with any other mushrooms you prefer.
- Garlic cloves: Adding flavor while we sauté the mushrooms.
- Olive oil: Just a little bit of oil to sauté diced onion. You can replace it with another oil you like.
- Onion: Adding flavor to rice pilaf.
- Parboiled rice: Rice I always use for this recipe is parboiled medium grain rice (Mahatma brand). You can find it in most food stores.
- Chicken stock: I used chicken stock in this recipe, but you can substitute it with chicken broth as well.
- Smoked paprika: Adding flavor and color to the rice.
- Carrot: I used fresh carrots. Just make sure it's thinly sliced so it's fully cooked. Otherwise, it might be crunchy.
- Peas: For this recipe, I used frozen peas. It does not require a long cooking time, and it holds its color and texture once all ingredients are combined.
- Corn: I also used frozen corn. It's always easy to have frozen veggies on hand throughout the year.
How to Make a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Pilaf
Even though this recipe requires several steps, with a little bit of preparation, you will have a restaurant-style meal in no time. I suggest that you measure and prepare all ingredients before you start making this recipe.
- 1. Sauté sliced mushrooms until golden.
- 2. Cook rice and veggies.
- 3. Cook shrimp.
- 4. Combine and mix everything with a spatula.
Possible Recipe Variations
You can always use a different type of rice. Just make sure to read the instructions for the amount of water needed for cooking. Also, the cooking time might differ. I recommend Arborio rice. This type of rice is also perfect for risotto because it ensures a creamy texture.
Some other types of rice that are great for pilaf are jasmine or basmati rice, both long-grain rice. Instead of shrimp, you can use scallops, chicken, or even leave out the meat altogether.
How to Store a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Pilaf
Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in microwave.
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and de-veined
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
- 8 oz Bella mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion diced
- 1 cup parboiled rice
- 4 cups chicken stock (or broth)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large carrot thinly sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup frozen corn
Thaw and rinse shrimp if using frozen. You can leave a tail on if preferred.
To prepare mushrooms, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Add thinly sliced mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for another 4 minutes or until mushrooms are golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the olive oil and diced onion to a medium-sized dutch oven on medium heat to make the rice pilaf. Toss to coat and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the rice, salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika and toss to coat. Then, add chicken broth. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until tender or most of the liquid is gone, occasionally mixing (usually, it takes about 20 - 22 minutes). Add sliced carrot after 10 minutes since it takes longer to cook than other veggies. After cooking the rice, add peas and corn and cook for another 5 minutes. The total time for cooking rice and veggies is 28-30 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, melt the butter for the shrimp in a medium-size skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp and seasoning (cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper) and cook until shrimp is pink and opaque (around 3-4 minutes).
Add mushrooms to rice pilaf and mix to combine. Add shrimp to the mixture as well. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if preferred and serve!