Spicy shrimp recipe with citrus avocado sauce – easy

Spicy shrimp with citrus avocado dipping sauce

I have an old friend and mentor who once gave me a list of words to live by, things like “My credibility is my word,” “I will always do my best” and this one: “Never make assumptions.”

In the cooking world (as with the rest of life) they can be tough but oh so important words to live by.

Take this spicy shrimp recipe, for example. When I saw the amount of allspice that it called for I made the assumption that it was way too much and I cut it in half right off the bat.

But then I cooked a test shrimp. Hmmm, a little bland, needs a bit more…um, spice….

A simple reminder.


Spicy shrimp recipe with citrus avocado dipping sauce

This dish will catch everyone off guard because the flavours are so unexpected. People will assume that there is some sort of chili powder mixture on the shrimp (see what I mean). And then they’ll drag the shrimp through the extra creamy avocado sauce, pop it in their mouth and be completely surprised and amazed.

Please do serve this shrimp with the avocado sauce recipe below, or even a basic guacamole (with a good squeeze of lime).

It works great as an easy and impressive appetizer but makes a nice main dish too, along with a salad and rice.

Spicy shrimp recipe with citrus avocado dipping sauce

Spicy shrimp recipe with citrus avocado sauce

(torn out of a Food & Wine magazine back in 2002)


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled with tails left on
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients except shrimp, in a large bowl and mix well. Add shrimp and toss to coat. (I like to use my hands for this part).
  2. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes. (While the shrimp is marinating mix up the avocado sauce.)
  3. To cook the shrimp: sauté in a large pan over medium high heat until pink, turning once. (Do this in 2-3 batches).
  4. Or grill over medium heat

 Citrus avocado sauce

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a blender or food processor puree the avocado, garlic orange and lime juice.
  2. Season with salt & pepper then gently blend in the olive oil.

If spicy shrimp is your thing try our spicy Cajun shrimp recipe

Cajun shrimp -2

Two grilled shrimp recipes with a molasses twist

Molasses grilled shrimp with garlic and herbs

I don’t know about you but it’s HOT in my neck of the woods. Atlantic Canadian “hot” isn’t exactly stifling compared to other parts of the country so we’re all in a happy mood. No complaints.

It isn’t great driving weather though for those of us with kids who have had enough of the road trip before we’re even out of town.

Our new solution, the Perplexus. It’s a brilliant car toy. My son received one as a birthday gift and it kept three kids entertained during our 2 ½ hour drive to a friend’s cottage over the weekend. An electronics-free enjoyable two-and-a-half-hour car trip in 30 degree weather with three wrong turns. Okay, they fought over it a bit. But there were no punches thrown, no Perplexus thrown and hardly any hair pulling.

All this heat has been great for eating supper on the deck and getting out of the kitchen in general. As I have said before, I’m no wiz with the barbeque but grilled shrimp I can do. Here are my two favourite shrimp marinades for speedy outdoor meals. Both work in the oven too.

Molasses grilled shrimp recipe

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.

Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (turns pink), turning once.

Jamie’s citrus grilled shrimp recipe with a molasses twist

(Adapted from Jamie Oliver)

  • Zest of 1 orange (a microplane grater is great for this)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.

Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (pink), turning once.


One more thing…

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Spicy Cajun shrimp – a 30-minute meal that feeds a crowd

I come from a large family and we love to have big gatherings that usually involve food. Finding dishes that are delicious, can feed an army, and don’t involve chicken, turkey or ham can be hard to come by. Thirty-minute from-scratch meals that can feed us all are rarer yet, which is why I think this recipe has been so enduring.

My dad discovered it in a Bon Appetit magazine in 1992. The article it appeared in was titled “Too busy to cook” and featured quick and easy recipes that are dinner party worthy but speedy enough to prepare on a week night. This recipe doubles well, triples even as long as you have a dish that’s large enough to accommodate the shrimp in a single layer.


We love it best over basmati rice to sop up all of the tasty juice. I have also had delicious results using the marinade for haddock.


Below is my ever so slight adaptation of the original recipe.

Spicy Cajun Shrimp

  • ½ cup olive oil (I have dropped this to 1/3 cup with good results)
  • 2 Tbsp. Cajun Seasoning (*see below for homemade version)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro (more is good)
  • 1 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • Dash of Worsteshire sauce
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large baking dish and add the shrimp, tossing to coat well.
  2. Let the shrimp rest in the marinade for about 30 minutes.
  3. Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.

*Don’t like bought Cajun seasoning? Here’s the homemade blend that we use:

  • 1 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp rosemary
    2 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    1 clove garlic
    1/4 onion, minced
    1 bay leaf
    pinch cayenne pepper

 Spicy Cajun shrimp and easy meal that feeds a crowd