Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp

Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp was featured in one of their unlimited shrimp feasts. These tasty shrimp are buttery, spicy, and great for an appetizer or main dish.

Homemade Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp and lemon wedges on two plates

Red Lobster Shrimp

Red Lobster is one of the most popular chain restaurants in the US — and for a good reason! It serves up some of the best seafood around.

For shrimp lovers who like a lot of spice in their lives, a visit to Red Lobster isn’t complete without at least one order of Cajun-style shrimp. If you find this spicy shrimp dish addicting, why wait until the next Endless Shrimp promo to indulge? Just make your own at home with this easy-to-follow Cajun shrimp recipe.

How to Make Cajun Shrimp

We will show you how to make the perfectly cajun spiced shrimp in no time at all.

Choosing Shrimp

There is a lot of shrimp in the sea, and not all are the same size. If you are unfamiliar with buying shrimp, choosing the right size can be confusing.

While you may be used to restaurants using terms like jumbo and extra-jumbo to describe the shrimp on their menus, grocery stores typically sell shrimp based on a number range that characterize the average number of shrimp that make up a pound.

While you can use any size shrimp you want, if you’re going to copy the dish as closely as possible, use the same size shrimp that Red Lobster does and choose the 26/30 size. Expect to get generous portions per pound of shrimp.

Peeling and Deveining Shrimp

Some stores sell ready-to-cook with all the dirty work done for you, but do yourself a favor and don’t buy them. Not only are ready-to-cook shrimp more expensive, but they are often not as fresh as the shrimp that require peeling and deveining. Don’t worry, once you get over your initial queasiness, preparing shrimp for cooking is simple.

Peeling a shrimp is easy. First, decide whether you want to leave on the tail. It is a matter of choice, but many people think leaving the tail on looks more attractive. If you are keeping the tails on, lay the thumb of one hand over the last segment of the shell to prevent it from being removed and with the other hand reach underneath the shrimp where the legs are and gently peel off the rest of the shell. There is no need to be so careful.

Deveining a shrimp takes a little more skill. Hold the shrimp in your hand, using a sharp paring knife cut a shallow slit in the middle of the shrimp’s back. Cut just deep enough to expose the black ‘vein’ and remove it with the tip of the knife. Avoid cutting through the ‘vein’ because it is actually the digestive tract of the shrimp. Give the shrimp a good rinse under the faucet before patting dry.


Here is what you need to make Cajun shrimp:

  • Raw Shrimp (medium size is best)
  • Margarine or Butter – butter gives the best flavor
  • Cayenne pepper – want a spicier version, add more
  • Salt – is needed to balance out the flavor
  • Black pepper – another layer of heat, fresh cracked black pepper is best
  • Paprika – this adds a tiny beat of heat and lots of color
  • Cumin – this adds some heat, but a nice middle note of flavor
  • Dry mustard – adds a tiny bit of tang
  • Dried thyme – adds a great herbal flavor
  • Dried oregano – adds a bit of herbal flavor
  • Onion powder – rounds out the flavor of the shrimp
  • Garlic powder – rounds out the Cajun spice flavor
Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp Ingredients

How to Make Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp.
  3. Mix together all the spices.
  4. Place margarine in a baking dish. Put the baking dish in the oven until butter has melted.
  5. Add shrimp to the baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the spice mix over shrimp and toss to coat shrimp in butter and spices.
Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp in a dish before baking
  1. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until shrimp is done.
  2. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

You can also serve Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp with rice or plenty of bread so you can mop up the extra sauce.

Cajun shrimp and lemon wedges on a blue plate

Tips for Making and Serving Cajun Style Shrimp

  • Don’t be fooled. The Cajun shrimp seasoning is spicy. Feel free to reduce the level of cayenne pepper in the Cajun shrimp seasoning if you like spicy food.
  • Use a skewer to keep the shrimp from curling. Prevent shrimp from curling too tightly while baking by threading them on a bamboo skewer. Soak a bamboo skewer for thirty minutes in water to keep them from scorching in the oven. After coating a shrimp with the butter mixture, poke it with a skewer from the bottom to the top. Adjust the curl to your liking.
  • Serve with cheesy grits. Up your Cajun shrimp game by serving them on top of a big bowl of cheesy grits.

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Cajun Shrimp’s spicy sauce is simply margarine or butter combined with a homemade cajun spice mix. The deep flavor comes from a variety of seasonings commonly found in Cajun cuisine.

Homemade Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp and lemon wedges on a blue plate

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Homemade Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp and lemon wedges on two plates

Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp

Make spicy Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp at home. 
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Red Lobster Recipes, Shrimp
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 343kcal


  • 1 pound shrimp , use at least medium size
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  •  Place the margarine in a 13 x 9 baking pan, and then place the pan in the oven. While the pan is in the oven wash and peel shrimp. Devein the shrimp. By the time you have finished prepping the shrimp, the margarine should be melted in the pan.
  •  In a small bowl mix together the spices and blend well. Place shrimp into the pan, and then sprinkle on the seasonings you have just blended together on the shrimp. Mix the shrimp, margarine, and spices until the shrimp is coated well with margarine and shrimp. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, remove shrimp and check for doneness. 
  • The shrimp should be pink when done. So, our recipe uses margarine, as most restaurants use margarine because it is less expensive than butter. If you really want to try to ramp up this recipe use butter instead of margarine. Be sure to serve the shrimp with fresh lemon wedges.


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 2897mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 2355IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 4.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Tommy Graham

    4 stars
    It was a good recipe, but a little too hot. I like hot, but will cut the cayenne down to 2 teaspoons next time.

  2. Lorna Ledoux

    16 Tablespoons to a Cup. I calculated 7 Tbsp. Yes I agree. I’m a fanatic when it comes to heat but this was way overboard in the burning that I had to take Zantac.
    I reduced the cayenne spice to 2 tsp., reduced the salt to 1 1/2 tsp., Raised the Paprika up to 1 1/2 Tbsp., dropped the mustard to 1 1/2 tsp. and added 1 1/2 Tbsp. of packed brown sugar. This made the perfect harmony to the spice blend. Sweet and Spicy. Was a great hit.

    • Stephanie

      This was a completely spicy dish when served at the Red Lobster. I typically try to duplicate recipes, not to re-work them. I will have to try your spiced shrimp. I love the combination of sweet and spice.

  3. Nanch22

    Holy Blazes Batman! This was H*O*T !!! Wowza !!! YOW !!!! That said – I loved it! Thank goodness I had a salad to put out the heat between bites. I used all butter and added that 1/2 cup of white wine. Served over Giada De Laurentiis Organic Bucatini pasta (found at Target). My husband was literally sweating profusely. Wouldn’t serve it for company – LOL. Oh, and btw, just because you eat it cold the next day – it’s just as HOT!

  4. Arizonahazel

    I made this last night and ended up throwing it out. We thought it was TERRIBLE. I cut the cayenne to 1 tsp. instead of 4 and halved the other spices. It burned all the way down. (And we love New Orleans food).

  5. Anonymous

    For an extra special treat, you can add 1/2 cup white wine to the recipe when adding the seasonings. It cooks down and gives the shrimp a tasty sauce.

  6. Jen

    This was really delicious! Even my husband who doesn’t like shrimp that much really enjoyed this dish! It was easy to prepare and utilized spices I had on hand HOWEVER it was reeeeeeally spicy! I cut out some of the cayenne but will do a smidge less than half what is called for next time just so we can talk in between putting bites in our mouths. 🙂

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