Cajun Shrimp Boil in the Ninja Foodi is so easy and delicious, you’ll never make it any other way again!
I’ve had shrimp boils before and was less than impressed. They just seemed kind of under-seasoned and, well… boring. That has all changed now that this Cajun Shrimp Boil with Cajun Butter has come into my life and I bet you’ll love it too!
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What is a Cajun Shrimp Boil?
A seafood boil is the generic term for a one pot meal that centers around seafood of some kind. You can have crab boils, shrimp boils, lobster boils, crawfish boils and I’m sure there are many more types of boils.
You may have heard of a shrimp boil or even low country boil, so a Cajun Shrimp Boil is just a spiced up version of a shrimp boil.
The great thing about a shrimp boil or this recipe for Cajun Shrimp Boil is you can customize it anyway you like. You can use all shrimp, or a mixture of shrimp and crawfish. Lobster tail would be delicious. You could even throw mussels in there.
Skip the potatoes or the corn if you like, add in more veggies. Spice it up with more hot peppers. Use any kind of sausage you like. Literally, you can make this however you like. There are just a few things to keep in mind when switching up ingredients.
What Type of Sausage Can I use?
You can use any kind of sausage you like as long as it is already cooked. I chose to use Andouille sausage because I love the flavor and I’m making a Cajun Shrimp Boil, so it fits perfectly with my flavor profile.
You can use a beef sausage, a turkey sausage, summer sausage… the sky is the limit here, but make sure you either cook it first or buy one that is precooked.
We only go under pressure for 2 minutes and, I’m afraid, even with the included time to pressure, that your sausage will not completely cook if it is raw going in.
The Best Way to Cook Shrimp in the Ninja Foodi
Honestly, I was afraid to cook shrimp under pressure because I am very picky about shrimp and I’m not a fan of overcooked shrimp. In most of my shrimp recipes, like this delicious Shrimp Scampi, I put the shrimp in after the dish has cooked and let the residual heat cook the shrimp.
I have found that this delivers the best results when using thawed shrimp. If you want to cook shrimp that are thawed with the shell off, I really encourage you to use this method of adding the shrimp at the end.
Shrimp only take a few minutes to cook and can easily become rubbery and overcooked.
When you want to prepare steamed shrimp that are frozen or thawed with the shell on, I suggest using the steam function of the Ninja Foodi.
Remember to keep the vent open during steaming.
Season the shrimp how you like and put them in the basket. Add 2 cups of water to the inner pot and steam for 7-8 minutes or until the shrimp are done to your liking.
You can always open the lid during steaming to check on them, but remember the steam is hot, so be careful.
I decided to live on the edge a little bit with this recipe and I was shocked at how good the shrimp were. I had planned, right up to the minute of filming the YouTube video, to add the thawed shrimp at the end and let the residual heat cook them. Only, I didn’t do that! I threw caution to the wind and said, “let’s try this instead!”
So I added the frozen shrimp directly to the Cajun Shrimp boil and crossed my fingers that this wouldn’t be a disaster. Guess what??? It worked beautifully! The shrimp were like butter and very delicious. Now, this did not produce shrimp with a snap like a perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp would have, but it was super easy and the texture was really good.
How to Make Cajun Shrimp Boil in the Ninja Foodi
Don’t let the ingredients in these spice blends deter you from making this delicious meal. You can always use whatever seasonings you like or even use a prepared seasoning blend.
I enjoy making up my own, but I realize you may not have these spices on hand and it is fine to substitute. If you do have these spices, I really encourage you to give my blends a try. They are absolutely delicious in this dish.
This recipe feeds 6 people easily, so you can definitely cut back on the ingredients without any issues if you want fewer servings. I would keep the spices the same though. Also keep the liquid amounts and the timing the same.
There is minimal prep involved with this dish, but the size you cut your vegetables does matter. Here are my tips for prepping the ingredients.
Tips for preparing ingredients for this shrimp boil
I recommend cutting off both ends of the ears of corn and leaving the husk on. Since the corn is on the bottom of the pot and will be in the liquid, this will prevent overcooking and also keeps your corn hot until you are ready to serve it. The silk comes off so much easier, too, so I hope you give this a try.
You can cut the corn into any size pieces you like. I chose to cut mine in half, but you can cut into thirds if you prefer and it will be fine.
I used Yukon gold potatoes (any type of gold/yellow potato is fine) instead of Russets because Russets tend to cook faster and fall apart, while the gold potatoes hold their shape better and have a better texture in this type of recipe. No need to peel them, either.
For small gold potatoes, I cut them in half. The larger ones, I cut into quarters. If you want to use fingerling or new potatoes, keep them whole. Make the potatoes as close to the same size as you can, so they cook evenly. Mine were about 2″ chunks.
You can cut your sausage into any size pieces you’d like or keep them whole. I cut mine lengthwise on the diagonal just for presentation and they were perfect.
Just make sure your sausage is cooked before adding, because I cannot guarantee that uncooked sausage will reach a safe internal temp during the short pressure cooking time.
If you are using lemon, make sure to put it towards the top. The rind of the lemon can cause the broth to be very bitter if it is on the bottom and in the liquid.
I used medium/large shrimp in this recipe, the count is 35-40 per pound. They were on the smaller side and you can easily go up to 25-30 count per pound without any issues. I would not use small shrimp in this recipe. I think Jumbo shrimp would be fine as well.
Keep the shrimp frozen until you add them to the pot. Thawed shrimp will cook too fast and become overcooked.
If your shrimp are thawed, I would not add them until the pressure cook time is over, and then add them in and close the lid. The residual heat will cook them. Or, you can put on the steam function for a few minutes. Make sure your vent is open when steaming.
If you choose to add in the zucchini, keep them in as large of pieces as you can. I cut mine in half, but whole would have been better.
If you have the 8 quart Ninja Foodi or reduce the amount of ingredients for the 6.5 quart and want to make rolls at the same time, you can see how I did that in the YouTube video: Cajun Shrimp Boil in the Ninja Foodi
The rolls were on the dense side, but I think that had more to do with the prepackaged bread I used than the pressure cooking itself. I had made homemade bread before while making this recipe and the inside was not dense at all.
Layering the Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp Boil
The way you layer the ingredients is important because you don’t want your potatoes on the bottom or there is a possibility that the starch will stick to the bottom of the inner pot and cause the water notice.
I use the corn and onions as the first layer and then the potatoes to prevent this. You also want the shrimp close to the top so they don’t fall into the liquid as they cook.
This is how I layered my shrimp boil
Because this is such a full pot, expect it to take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure. Only use 2 cups of liquid and honestly, you might even try using just 1 cup.
Pressure cook for 2 minutes and do an immediate release. It will also take a good amount of time for all the pressure to be released.
How to Make Cajun Butter
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. You can also make it up and freeze it.
Bring 1 stick of butter to room temp.
Mix in the following seasonings:
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp ground chipotle powder
Combine the spices with the butter until it is a smooth spread. Adjust the seasonings to you liking and serve with the Cajun Shrimp Boil or any other dish that has Cajun influences. Melt some and use it as dipping butter for shrimp. Delicious!
If you LOVE Cajun food, check out this recipe for Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi!
Cajun Shrimp Boil in the Ninja Foodi
- Pressure Cooker
- 2 onions quartered, I used Vidalia
- 3 ears of corn
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1-2 red chili peppers dried
- 1 bulb garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 14 ounces Andouille sausage
- 4 sprigs Thyme
- 1 lemon halved
- 2 lbs shrimp large & frozen
- 1 zucchini
Whole Spice Seasoning Blend
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin seed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- Place the quartered onions in the inner pot. Cut the ends off of 3 ears of corn and leave the husks on. Place corn in the inner pot. Quarter the potatoes and place in the inner pot. Add in the whole spice seasoning blend. Add 2 cups of chicken stock.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of water over frozen shrimp and toss with shrimp seasoning. Add to inner pot. Cut the zucchini in half and place in pot.
- Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 2 minutes. When the time is up immediately release the pressure and remove the lid.
- Melt the Cajun butter and pour over shrimp boil. Serve and Enjoy!
- Blend room temp butter with seasonings.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.