This hearty one-pot 30-minute Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice brings the fabulous spicy flavours of Louisiana to your dinner table! An easy, full-flavoured recipe using shrimp or prawns and leftover rice.
A great way to use leftover rice!
This Easy Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice is a spicy, wholesome, easy weeknight meal that would also be a fun dish to serve at a dinner party with friends. Place a large bowl or platter of this southern-flavoured rice dish in the middle of the table, and invite your friends to dig in and serve themselves!
Origins of Cajun Cuisine
Before our last trip to Nova Scotia, I read about the history of the Acadians from this part of the country, how they were expelled from Canada by the British in the 1700's, and where some of them settled in the bayous of southern Louisiana.
"Acadians" became shortened to "Cajuns" and, as we all know, a fabulous cuisine developed there in the south.
The Acadians were known to be industrious farmers, hunters and fishermen leading a simple life off the land. Today's Cajun cuisine reflects those roots. It uses simple ingredients, often stretching a meal with rice, and due to Louisiana's location near the Gulf of Mexico, it often features seafood.
Cajun flavours begin with the triad of celery, onions and peppers, along with a spice mix of cayenne, garlic, paprika and herbs.
While Cajun flavours go well with chicken, as in this recipe for Grilled Cajun Chicken Thighs with Zesty Quinoa, they also complement seafood. With prawns in the freezer and leftover rice, I made this one-pot Easy Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice. So tasty!
- olive oil: for browning the sausage and sautéing the shrimp and veggies
- andouille sausage: substitute chorizo if you can't find andouille
- red bell pepper
- Cajun seasoning: store-bought or homemade*
- cooked rice
- large shrimp or prawns (about 20 to 24)
- sea salt
- green onions
- cilantro: for garnish and extra flavour
This dish is similar to Jambalaya (which actually had its roots in Spanish Paella.) The main difference between the two is the rice. Fried rice uses cooked rice so it's much quicker to prepare than Jambalaya, where the rice cooks along with the vegetables.
Make your own Cajun spice mix in minutes!
You can buy pre-made Cajun spice mix, but it's simple to mix your own. It uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry: salt and pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. See How to Make Cajun Seasoning Mix.
This Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice is quick to make
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice. However, I purposefully cook and freeze extra rice to have on hand to make this quick and easy dinner.
- First, brown the andouille sausage (available in specialty delicatessens or butcher shops). Remove it to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Next, stir and flip and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the skillet and add to the bowl with the sausage.
- Sauté the celery, onion and pepper.
- Next, season with garlic and Cajun seasoning, then add the rice.
- And finally, add the sausage and cooked shrimp, heat through, garnish and serve!
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly in a covered container.
So easy! And so good!
If you're looking for something different to spice up your meal plans this week, try this one-pot 30-minute Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice. You might also like this Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry, another 30-minute meal!
Easy Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 7 oz andouille sausages thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1 ½ tsp Cajun seasoning store-bought or homemade*
- 4 cups cooked rice cooled
- 12 oz large shrimp (about 20 to 24) cooked and peeled
- sea salt to taste
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1 tbsp cilantro roughly chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. When it shimmers, add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Set aside in a bolw and cover to keep warm.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add shrimp. Cook for 1 minute without stirring, then stir and flip and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the skillet and transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
- Add the third tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the celery, onion and red pepper, stirring until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and Cajun seasoning, and stir while cooking for about 1 minute.
- Add the rice and continue stirring while cooking until rice is warm, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked shrimp and sausage and cook, stirring until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Check the seasoning, adding sea salt if necessary. Garnish with green onions (scallions) and cilantro and serve immediately.
This post was originally published in 2017. I have updated it with new information to make it more useful.
I adapted this recipe from Food Network's Cajun Crawfish Fried Rice.
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