Home > Recipes > One Skillet Cajun Shrimp & Rice

Kevin Curry

One Skillet Cajun Shrimp & Rice

If you’re in a pinch with time and/or you have some leftover brown rice (or loads of it in your pantry that you want to get rid of), then try this quick cajun-inspired chicken, shrimp and rice dish!  This is a remixed version of the Taco Chicken & Rice dish I recently made, showing just another way to turn leftover brown rice into a delicious meal prep.

If you want to use your own creole or cajun seasoning, that’s fine too – just watch the sodium! You can also use cajun rubs that I used in this cajun chicken recipe.  But one thing that that makes this particular standout from a cajun cooking standpoint is including the holy trinity of cajun cooking! These three ingredients you MUST include: onion, bell pepper and celery.  To boost the flavor I highly recommend the bay leaf – you can keep your grocery store costs low by buying it “a la carte” in places like HEB and Whole Foods where you measure out some popular seasonings instead of buying an entire jar.

And if you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can leave it out but it does add to the richness of the dish, not to mention, the mixing in of seafood in rice dishes is popular in southern cajun cooking.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup (white) onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 1/2 lb raw chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or less depending on your heat preferences)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice (Note: I am using short-grain brown rice)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 18oz water (TIP: use the tomato can for measurement so it should be 1 1/2 cans)
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste (Substitute: tomato sauce)
  • 3/4 lb raw jumbo shrimp
  • 2 bay leaves (optional but recommended)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Garnish
    • fresh chopped parsley



Step 1

Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions turn brown and slightly translucent.

Step 2

Increase heat to medium-high, then toss in the chicken pieces and sear. As it cooks, toss in the paprika, cayenne, oregano and turmeric.

Step 3

After about 3 minutes, toss in the leftover cooked rice and quickly fold everything together. Then immediately add diced tomatoes, water and tomato paste. Stir it up, reduce the heat to medium and bring to a light simmer. Add a few pinches of sea salt & pepper.

Step 4

Gently fold in raw shrimp, then add the bay leaves. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low heat with a gentle simmer.

Step 5

Ensure the shrimp are cooked through, then remove the heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir and allow to thicken as it slightly cools. Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.

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Prep 5min
Cook 20min
Total 25min

Nutrition per serving

About Kevin - author


Hey, I'm Kevin

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

By experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I learned healthy eating is not boring! By making a few adjustments to my favorite foods, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my wellness goals while satisfying my desire for BANGIN food! 😅 Now I try to help people around the world realize that same level of freedom in eating regardless of budget. Welcome, let's #DemocratizeWellness together!