The Ultimate Guide to the Best Seasonings for Shrimp

The best spices for shrimp

Shrimp, with its mild flavor, can be transformed into a delicious and flavorful dish with the right seasonings. Whether you prefer store-bought blends or want to create your own homemade seasonings, there are several options that can enhance the flavor of shrimp. In this article, we will explore some of the best seasonings for shrimp and discuss why they are highly recommended.

1. Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning is a popular choice among seafood lovers. This seasoning blend is a unique combination of 18 herbs and spices that provide a mild heat that enhances the flavor of shrimp. In addition to ingredients such as ginger, cloves, basil, and allspice, it also contains celery salt and paprika for a distinctive and familiar taste.
What sets Old Bay Seasoning apart is its versatility. Not only does it work well with shrimp, but it can also be used to season chicken and vegetables. Plus, it is free of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a common flavor enhancer found in many foods. However, it’s important to note that Old Bay Seasoning contains red and black pepper, so people who prefer milder seasonings should be aware of this.

2. Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Shrimp Boil Seasoning

For those who enjoy a spicy kick, Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Shrimp Boil Seasoning is an excellent choice. This seasoning blend has been on the market for over a century and is known for its spicy flavor and heat. Made with all natural herbs and spices, it contains ingredients such as cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, and lemon juice.
One of the notable benefits of Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Shrimp Boil Seasoning is its completeness. It provides all the necessary seasoning, eliminating the need to add additional spices. This makes it convenient for home cooks, especially those who may be less experienced in seasoning dishes. Furthermore, this seasoning is not limited to shrimp and can also be used for crawfish and crab preparations.

3. Shrimp Magic Seasoning (Magic Seasoning Blends)

If you prefer an all-natural seasoning blend, consider Shrimp Magic Seasoning from Magic Seasoning Blends. This complex blend of herbs and spices adds depth and flavor to shrimp dishes, ensuring that they are never bland or ordinary.
There are several ways to use Shrimp Magic Seasoning. Sprinkling it on cooked shrimp can instantly elevate the flavor profile. It can also be incorporated into cocktail sauce for dipping or added to batter for fried shrimp to create a unique and crispy texture. What’s more, this seasoning blend is an all-in-one option, meaning there’s no need to add extra salt or pepper. It is also free of preservatives, MSG and gluten, making it a versatile and healthier choice.

4. McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a popular option for seasoning shrimp, and McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning is an excellent example of this flavor profile. This blend contains a combination of red and black peppers, paprika, garlic, onion, celery and thyme, along with a touch of salt. The result is a balanced seasoning that enhances the natural flavor of the shrimp.
What makes McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning so special is its versatility. It can be used on shrimp, poultry, fish and even rice. If you like your shrimp hotter, you can adjust the amount of seasoning you use. For one pound of shrimp, 2 to 3 teaspoons of this seasoning blend should be sufficient.

Homemade Shrimp Seasoning Blends

Making your own seasoning blends at home can be a rewarding and beneficial experience. By creating your own blends, you have control over the ingredients and can tailor the flavors to your liking. It is also an excellent option for those following special dietary regimens, such as low-sodium or sugar-free diets. Here are two homemade shrimp seasoning ideas to try:

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Substitute

  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • 1/16 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/16 tsp cloves
  • 1/16 teaspoon allspice (ground)
  • 1/16 teaspoon ginger powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in a dry place. This homemade substitute for Old Bay Seasoning allows you to recreate the flavor of the popular seasoning blend with readily available spices.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Combine all ingredients thoroughly, making sure they are evenly mixed. Store the homemade Cajun seasoning in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to control the heat to your liking.


When it comes to seasoning shrimp, there are several excellent options. Old Bay Seasoning, Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Shrimp Boil Seasoning, Shrimp Magic Seasoning from Magic Seasoning Blends, and McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning are among the top choices for enhancing the flavor of shrimp dishes. Each of these seasonings offers a unique blend of herbs and spices that can elevate the flavor of shrimp to new heights.
For those who prefer homemade options, creating your own seasoning blends allows for customization and control over the ingredients used. The homemade substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning and Cajun Seasoning in this article are simple yet flavorful alternatives that can be easily made with common pantry spices.
Whether you choose store-bought seasonings or experiment with homemade blends, adding the right seasonings to shrimp can take your dish from ordinary to extraordinary. So go ahead and explore these flavor combinations to create a delightful culinary experience with shrimp.


What are the best spices for shrimp?

The best seasonings for shrimp include Old Bay Seasoning, Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Shrimp Boil Seasoning, Shrimp Magic Seasoning from Magic Seasoning Blends, and McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning.

Can I make my own shrimp seasoning blends at home?

Yes, you can make your own shrimp seasoning blends at home. Homemade substitutes for popular seasonings such as Old Bay Seasoning and Cajun Seasoning can be easily made using common pantry spices.

Are these seasonings versatile or just for shrimp?

Many of these seasonings, such as Old Bay Seasoning and McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning, are versatile and can be used to season other foods such as chicken, vegetables, and seafood such as crab and crawfish.

Are these seasonings free of additives such as MSG?

Yes, several of these seasonings, including Old Bay Seasoning and Shrimp Magic Seasoning, are free of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other additives. They deliver delicious flavor without the need for artificial enhancers.

How can I adjust the heat of these seasonings?

The heat level of these seasonings can be adjusted based on personal preference. For example, in the case of McCormick Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning, you can add more or less seasoning to control the level of heat in your dish.

Where can I buy these seasonings?

You can find these seasonings at most grocery stores or online retailers. They are widely available and easy to purchase for use in your shrimp dishes.