Blackened shrimp is a treat.
These delicious little morsels can be grilled, pan-fried, or even deep-fried for a unique texture and flavor that is sure to please.
Blackened shrimp have a distinct smoky taste, yet there is a fine line between the smokiness of the Cajun seasoning and the delicate sweetness of the shrimp themselves.
What you serve with blackened shrimp can make or break this dish.
If you pair it with something that is too sweet, too tangy, or even too strong in flavor, the recipe will lose its appeal.
The following sides are good accompaniments to blackened shrimp because they allow the shrimp to take center stage, providing just enough flavor to enhance without overpowering this delicious dish.
What to Serve with Blackened Shrimp
If you’re serving blackened shrimp as a main course, you might want to serve some sides to accompany it. For instance, a green salad with your favorite dressing and grilled corn on the cob would be a good match. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, serve a bowl of tomato soup with crusty bread.
If you’re trying to figure out what to serve with blackened shrimp, try one of these delicious side dishes:
1. Creamy Coleslaw
When you’re serving this dish, you need a side that’s going to keep up with the bold flavors.
Creamy coleslaw has a crisp and refreshing crunch, and it’s the perfect way to cool down all those spicy notes.
One thing to consider before choosing this particular side dish is that not everyone loves mayonnaise as much as we do, so you might want to make sure your guests are okay with it before serving this dish!
2. Oven-Baked Crispy Potato Wedges
Oven-baked crispy potato wedges are a great accompaniment to this distinctive main course because they add a crunchy, savory element that will make all the other tastes in the meal pop.
If you’re going for something creative and unique, or if you have a picky eater coming over who might not be able to handle the bold flavors of shrimp, these potato wedges are a must-have on your plate.
How to make this side dish at home:
- Start off by pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, grab 4 large Russet potatoes and wash them in cold water.
- Then choose which spice blend you’d like to use: salt and pepper, garlic and rosemary, or Cajun seasoning.
- Finally, chop the potatoes into wedges (if you’re using garlic and rosemary, drop each wedge into melted butter before placing it on the baking sheet), sprinkle them with your spices of choice, and toss them in the oven for 20 minutes.
A word of caution: Don’t make them too crispy!
The last thing you want is to eat a forkful of shrimp and end up with nothing but a mouth full of crunchy potato after biting down on one of these bad boys.
Make them as crispy as you’d like—but always keep in mind that they’ll need to be eaten alongside some shrimp, so leave yourself some room for error!
3. Warm Rice Pilaf
First off, we think that the rice pilaf is a great option: it’s delicious and versatile enough to go with any type of seafood, and it’s cheap enough that you can make extra and save it for another meal.
It’s also pretty easy to make—all it takes is a quick boil in water.
This side really brings out the smoky flavor of the shrimp, and it pairs well with any sauce or seasoning at all.
And if you’re not sure how to make rice pilaf yet, or if you need some help getting started, check out this recipe.
4. Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes
Feta-stuffed tomatoes are not only beautiful, they’re easy to make and totally delicious!
Here’s how to make it at home:
- Use a paring knife to cut off the top of each tomato. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of each tomato and discard the insides (or save them for another dish). Place each tomato upside down on a paper towel and press gently to drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes.
- In a bowl, mix together about 1 cup of crumbled feta, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped oregano (or 1 tablespoon of dried oregano). Mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Scoop the cheese mixture into each tomato until full. Sprinkle with more parsley if desired and serve!
One thing to consider before choosing this side dish: If you don’t like feta or simply prefer your tomatoes stuffed with something else, try this recipe with goat cheese instead.
5. Garlic Roasted Asparagus
What better way to round out your seafood meal than with an easy side dish of garlic roasted asparagus?
Here’s how we make it:
- First, wash and trim the asparagus.
- Then lay them out on a baking tray and drizzle olive oil over them.
- Chop up some garlic cloves and sprinkle them over the asparagus.
- Finally, season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus is.
A savory side dish that goes perfectly with your blackened shrimp dish.
6. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
We make these brussels sprouts in the oven at a high temperature.
It makes them caramelize and gives them a nice, nutty flavor.
Here’s how to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the oven is heating, cut up brussel sprouts into quarters, chop shallots into small pieces, and cube up a bunch of bacon.
- Then toss all three of those ingredients together on a baking sheet, and top them with some salt and pepper.
- Once the oven is hot enough, put them in there for 40 minutes or so and let them roast!
- Be sure to check on them occasionally and pull out any ingredients that appear done before others (i.e., remove bacon bits first if they get crispy faster than the brussel sprouts).
- Once everything’s done cooking, pull out your tray and… voila!
You’ve got yourself a delicious side for your shrimp!
The key to this dish is how much time you spend caramelizing the brussel sprouts: if you leave them in too long they’ll lose their crunchiness and become mushy.
So keep an eye on them after the first 15 minutes!
7. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a great side for any kind of shrimp dinner.
So how do you make them at home?
- Cut your sweet potatoes into fry-shaped slices (how thick you want your fries to be is up to you).
- Toss the sweet potato slices in a light coating of vegetable oil and transfer them to a baking pan.
- Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until they’re as crispy as you like them.
If you want to go even fancier—and feel free to get creative with this—you can add sliced garlic cloves or sprinkle some cinnamon before you bake the fries.
That way you’ll get a little extra flavor without too much added work.
8. Green Salad
Have you ever tried to make a green salad at home?
We have, and it wasn’t easy!
But after trying out a few different recipes, we learned a lot about what makes a salad delicious.
A green salad is the perfect side dish for shrimp, because greens like romaine lettuce and spinach can have a cooling effect on your tongue when paired with spicy foods.
It’s also great when you’re having guests over for dinner, because it’s incredibly easy to customize to your guests’ tastes.
If someone doesn’t like tomatoes or onions, just leave them out!
They won’t even notice.
If a guest wants more vegetables in their salad, just add them!
The sky is the limit.
Cornbread is a good side dish because it’s also Southern-style cooking, and it won’t overpower the main dish.
We like to serve cornbread in small servings, accompanied by butter and honey for dipping.
It’s an easy bread to make from scratch, so it’s not as time-consuming as making biscuits or other breads from scratch.
10. Fried Okra
As another Southern-style side dish to accompany your meal, fried okra is delicious! Be sure to slice the okra into bite-sized pieces before frying them.
It’s also important to use buttermilk when coating them before frying—this helps add flavor and crispiness!
A light sprinkle of salt after frying will make them even better.
What Wine Goes with Blackened Shrimp?
You’ve got a date coming over and you want to make something delicious.
What wine should you serve?
Here are the top 8 wines to pair with your blackened shrimp:
1. Sauvignon Blanc
The acidity in this wine is the perfect complement to the spicy blackened seasoning on the shrimp.
Plus, Sauvignon Blanc’s grassy notes are a great match for the pungent aroma and taste of blackened dishes.
One thing to consider before choosing this particular wine: if you have a lot of spice-averse guests, you might want to choose something a little more mellow.
2. Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is a fantastic option for pairing with your shrimp dish.
The fruitiness of the wine will really balance out the spicy flavors of the blackening seasoning on the shrimp.
It will also be a great complement to whatever sides you choose to serve with the shrimp, as well as any sauces you might want to add to the meal.
This particular bottle is also sure to please all palates in your household—it’s not too dry and not too sweet, but just right.
Plus, it’s sort of cheap!
Before you make up your mind about this wine, there is one thing to consider: Chenin Blanc is a light-bodied white wine, so if you’re looking for something that’s more full-bodied or bolder in flavor, this might not be the right pick for you.
But otherwise? You can’t go wrong with this selection!
3. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is really good for this pairing because it’s an acidic and light red wine that can stand up to the spices in the shrimp.
You want a wine that’s bold enough to hold its own against the spices without competing with them, and this one does it perfectly.
Something to keep in mind is that pinot noir isn’t always cheap—it can be a little hard to find quality wines at lower prices.
If you’re sticking to a budget, look for pinots from France or South Africa instead of California—they tend to be more affordable.
4. Cabernet Franc
We love this particular choice because of the way its rich berry flavor balances out the spiciness of the shrimp.
The result is an absolute symphony of flavor that will have your guests asking for second helpings (and maybe even a third).
Before you commit to this pairing, though, consider whether you’ll be serving other dishes with it.
If you’re planning to serve a side of vegetables, you might want to go in another direction to balance out the flavors.
This is the perfect choice for a number of reasons, not least of which is because it’s a delightful wine that’s full-bodied and spicy, with hints of pepper and smokiness.
It’ll complement the blackened shrimp beautifully, allowing the flavor to be enhanced rather than overpowered.
That being said, you may also want to take into consideration that some people don’t enjoy red wines all that much—so if you’re more of a white wine fan at heart, you might want to keep that in mind before choosing this particular pairing.
Sure, Grenache is pretty clearly a red wine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great with this dish.
This particular red pairs perfectly with the tanginess of shrimp that’s been covered in spices and then cooked until it’s just right.
The fruitiness of that red brings out the sweetness of the shrimp, and the spiciness of both the wine and the shrimp make for a one-two punch of flavor in every bite.
And one thing to keep in mind before you pick up some Grenache to go with your next batch of shrimp is that you want to make sure it’s at least four years old—and preferably closer to eight or nine.
If it hasn’t aged long enough, it won’t have developed enough tannins yet.
Malbec is an excellent choice to pair with this meal. For starters, it’s not too sweet, and it has a moderate tannin level.
That means the wine won’t overpower the shrimp, but it will still enhance the flavors of both.
The slight sweetness in Malbec also helps balance out the spiciness in the dish—so if you like your food hot, this is a great pick for you.
Now, if you want to make sure you choose a good Malbec wine, this is what we suggest: go ahead and pick up a bottle from Argentina.
Some of the best Malbecs in the world come from Argentina, and they’re incredibly affordable.
A good choice would be one of their inexpensive entry-level bottles because they have such high quality standards that even those are still really fantastic wines.
I know what you’re thinking. Rosé with shrimp?
Well, let me tell you why we think this is a great match for that spicy blackened shrimp.
The full body of the rosé pairs beautifully with the buttery richness of the shrimp, and when you take into account the sweetness of both, it just makes sense to bring them together.
But before you go running off to grab a bottle, there’s one thing you should consider: what kind of rosé are you in the mood for?
Some people prefer a dry rosé, while others like something that’s a little sweeter.
It all depends on your preferences!
If I were choosing a wine for this meal, I would personally go with The Pinot Project Rosé.
It’s sweet enough to complement the shrimp without spending too much time in the spotlight.
6 Ways to Enjoy Blackened Shrimp
Shrimp and grits (See Also: What Salad to Serve with Shrimp and Grits?), or fried shrimp with cocktail sauce, is what people think of when they hear “blackened shrimp.”
But there are way more ways to enjoy this low-calorie protein.
When you’re craving a blackened shrimp recipe, we’ve got you covered:
As Taco Filling
If shredded chicken can make tacos, why not blackened shrimp?
The meaty texture will hold up to a good charring on the grill, so feel free to cook this recipe up on your favorite flat-top or grill grates.
Serve it alongside a big spoonful of creamy slaw made from mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice and cilantro.
Blackened Shrimp on Toast
This appetizer is perfect for a light meal or as an appetizer before your main dish.
The blackened shrimp are smoky and savory atop thick toast, then drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice for added flavor.
This tasty bite pairs well with bubbly Champagne or sparkling Rosé.
See Also: 11 Best Tomatoes for Bruschetta
Mixing avocado with a little bit of lemon juice, garlic powder and salt makes a delicious spread for cavier bruschetta.
Add some blackened shrimp on top, and voila! You’ve got a delicious snack perfect for entertaining guests or just wanting something special on a Monday night!
In Cold Salad
The smoky flavor of blackened shrimp pairs perfectly with the acidity of orange zest and juice.
Throw in some chopped shallot, olive oil and a pinch of salt, and you’ve got yourself an incredible cold salad to dress up your meal.
Blackened shrimp is great in curry because it adds a deeply smoky flavor to whatever sauce you’re using as a base.
Make your own coconut-based curry sauce and simmer your blackened shrimp inside for 5 minutes or until heated through—it’s so easy!
Shrimp cooks super fast, so it’s an ideal ingredient for quick-cooking soups like this one with peas and spinach.
You’ll have dinner on the table in just 20 minutes!
10 Sides to Serve with Blackened Shrimp
- Creamy coleslaw
- Oven-baked crispy potato wedges
- Warm rice pilaf
- Feta-stuffed tomatoes
- Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and shallots
- Sweet potato fries
- Green salad
- Fried Okra
- Pick any of the sides from this list to serve with your meal.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to eat in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.