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This Pan Seared Shrimp recipe is the perfect way to have a one-pan, quick dinner that your whole family can enjoy. It uses 3 simple ingredients and has a cooking time of about 5 minutes. Pair these juicy and fresh cast iron shrimp with a salad or other side dish for easy meal planning.
Why Make This
- Great for seafood lovers: It should go without saying that I love seafood. And, you probably do too since some of my most popular recipes are copycat bang bang shrimp, seared scallops with cauliflower risotto, keto shrimp and grits, and shrimp scampi. This quick recipe is one of the best shrimp recipes for making an easy, delicious meal.
- Quick: use this recipe to learn how to pan sear shrimp in a cast iron skillet in less than 5 minutes.
- Perfect for a range of healthy ways of eating: this main protein fits with those looking for shrimp as a main dish on Whole30, Paleo, low-carb, keto and more.
Ingredients Needed for Pan Seared Shrimp:
- Shrimp: Jumbo shrimp or extra large shrimp (you get 8-12 shrimp per pound), but you can use smaller shrimp or whatever size of shrimp you can get from the grocery store. I’m also using fresh shrimp but you can you frozen shrimp, if you prefer. Just be sure to thaw out your shrimp in cold water.
- Fajita spice mix: If you don’t have the spice mix, then no stress, you can substitute it with things like my cajun seasoning, homemade taco seasoning and spicy dry rub recipes, which include black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Salted butter (or ghee): You can also use my garlic butter recipe, lemon garlic butter sauce or cajun butter garlic sauce, which is an easy way to get extra flavor from fresh garlic cloves. If you’re particularly sensitive to salt, use unsalted butter. You can always add a dash of salt at the end.
- Lemon wedges (Optional): For garnish and/or to squeeze fresh lemon juice over your juicy shrimp.
- Fresh parsley leaves (Optional): For garnish
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional): this was already included in my spice mix so I did not use them, but they work great for adding extra heat.
Be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the post for the full ingredients and instructions.
How to Make Cast Iron Shrimp
Making pan seared shrimp in a cast iron pan or other skillet with browned bits is super easy. Here are the directions:
- Pat the raw shrimp dry with paper towel and toss the shrimp in the spices.
- Preheat your pan so that you have a hot skillet or cast iron pan.
- Add the butter, then place the shrimp in a single layer in the pan.
- Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side of the shrimp to get a nice sear. You can see my note below about the type of pan to use.
Top Tips and Cooking FAQs
- Preheat your pan: just like my seared scallops, preheating your pan helps to get a great brown sear. You want your butter to sizzle. But, if your butter starts to turn brown immediately, your pan is too hot. Just remove the pan from the heat for 30 seconds to a minute. This way, your shrimp doesn’t burn too, giving you overcooked shrimp!
- Use shrimp without added solutions: look for shrimp that says “shrimp” in the ingredients without anything else. The added solutions work against you, making it nearly impossible to sear your shrimp.
- Use peeled and deveined shrimp to save time
Skillet or Cast Iron: Best Pan for Searing Shrimp
But, many people prefer cast iron because once pre-heated, the heat distributes around all areas of the pan evenly. That’s why it’s an awesome tool to have in the kitchen for everything from these shrimp to strip steak, scallops, pan-seared halibut, surf & turf, and chicken.
Instead of limiting myself to one pan or another, I allow my butter to tell me when to add the shrimp to the pan. You can tell that your pan is hot enough once the butter starts to dance and sizzle.
What to Eat Pan Seared Shrimp With:
There are a few ways to turn this easy, pan-seared shrimp recipe into a quick meal. Some ideas are:
- Make a Keto Shrimp Taco Salad: swap the shrimp for ground meat in Keto Taco Salad Supreme
- Make Shrimp Lettuce Wraps: add the shrimp to slices of romaine or butter lettuce and top with your favorite salsa. If you like making your sauces at home, then one possibility is this Homemade Pico De Gallo recipe or this Restaurant Style Salsa.
- Add a quick vegetable side dish: some quick options are sauteed asparagus, air fryer green beans, creamed spinach, and keto mushroom risotto.
- Make a Shrimp Caesar Salad: Use these shrimp in my keto caesar salad recipe. I personally love this one because it has my Creamy Caesar Dressing poured all over it.
- Make a Mexican-inspired Salad: add spring mix, Cojita cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, and the creamy cilantro dressing that I included in this Keto Mexican Shrimp Salad recipe.
How to Store Pan Seared Shrimp
The best way to store any leftover shrimp is in an airtight container for the next day (up to 3-4 days).
More Keto Shrimp Recipes
These are one of my favorite keto seafood recipes. Here are some other easy shrimp recipes.
If you try this recipe, please stop back and leave it a star rating and/or a review in the comments. Stay connected & share photos of your creations with me & others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Pan Seared Shrimp Recipe (Cast Iron Shrimp)
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- Toss the shrimp in the seasoning mix and set aside.
- Pre-heat a cast iron skillet for 2-3 minutes. That will allow it to get to medium-high heat.
- Add the ghee or salted butter and allow it to coat the bottom of the pan. You know your pan is hot when the butter sizzles.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. I used jumbo shrimp so they took 2 minutes per side. However, if you are using smaller shrimp then it will cook faster.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!