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Moroccan Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

This easy, sweet and spicy shrimp recipe is seasoned with homemade Moroccan seasoning and pan fried until crispy. Pair them with Moroccan couscous or garlic rice and your favorite vegetable for a simple, healthy meal any night of the week.

spicy shrimp in a cast iron skillet

Why I love this spicy shrimp recipes

Sometimes I just don’t want to cook, because I’m sick of cooking or I don’t want to do dishes.  But, usually its because I’m lazy.   So when I’m looking for something quick and easy but still yummy, I usually make something like this.

These spicy shrimp is made with a homemade Moroccan seasoning and only take about 15 minutes. If you serve it will fresh vegetables and some Moroccan couscous you’ll have a healthy and delicious meal.  It doesn’t get much easier.

closeup of moroccan shrimp with coucous

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Ingredient notes: I like to use raw peeled, deveined shrimp for this recipe. If you can’t find any, you can always peel or devein them yourself.

homemade moroccan seasoning ingredients

How to cook shrimp on the stove

Mix the seasoning. In a small bowl, stir the homemade Moroccan seasoning ingredients together. If you want to leave out the sugar, you can, and if you want to make the shrimp even spicier, you can do that too.

That’s the beauty of homemade seasoning blends. If you don’t feel like making your own, you can easily use store bought Moroccan seasoning (Cajun would work well, too)

sweet and spicy shrimp in a cast iron skillet

Sauté the shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and toss them with the seasoning, until they’re evenly coated.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add some olive oil and let it get nice and hot before adding your shrimp.

Cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes, turning as needed to evenly cook both sides of each shrimp – I like to use a kitchen tongs for this.

When the shrimp is fully opaque and pink, remove from heat. Don’t forget to scrape up all the juicy bits from the bottom of the pan before you serve the shrimp.

closeup of sweet spicy shrimp next to moroccan couscous

FAQS and tips for making sweet and spicy shrimp

What seasonings go well with shrimp?

We love Moroccan seasoning on shrimp because my homemade blend is spicy and just a little sweet, but it’s also great with Italian seasoning or traditional seafood seasoning like Old Bay.

Can you cook frozen shrimp?

Absolutely! Since shrimp is relatively small in size, it won’t make a huge difference in the cooking time if you’re cooking your shrimp straight from the freezer. It will, however, probably put off a bit of water, so you might want to compensate for that.

How long do you fry shrimp for?

If your shrimp are thawed, they should take about 3 minutes to cook in a frying pan. You may need to adjust for the size of the shrimp, but once they’re completely pink and opaque, they’re done.

How do you keep shrimp tender?

Make sure you thaw your shrimp before cooking, and cook them quickly at a high temperature. It only takes about a minute for shrimp to go from tender to rubbery, so keep a close eye on them while they’re cooking.

More shrimp recipes:

More seafood recipes you’ll love:


Moroccan Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

This easy, sweet and spicy shrimp recipe is seasoned with homemade Moroccan seasoning and pan fried until crispy. Pair them with Moroccan couscous or rice and your favorite vegetable for a simple, healthy meal any night of the week.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Moroccan


  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl.
  2. Toss the mixture with the shrimp until evenly coated.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the shrimp to the pan and fry until thoroughly cooked – turning occasionally (shrimp should be completely pink).


  • Serving Size: 1 plate
  • Calories: 217
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 795.8 mg
  • Fat: 8.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 34.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 273.7 mg

Keywords: dairy free, gluten free, easy, healthy, spicy, shrimp, seafood

Moroccan seasoning inspired by Once Upon a Chef.

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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  1. This looks so good Melissa. Do you think I could do it with Chicken instead of shrimp? I have a shellfish allergy 🙁

  2. I made this last night with my girlfriends and it was a total success!!! thank you for sharing this delicious recipe =)

  3. I tried this recipe yesterday its great very delicious, I added some lime juice and one clove of garlic.
    Thanks Melissa

  4. I tried this delicious recipe with skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Wonderful!

    1. Yes! I haven’t tested the recipe that way, but I’m almost certain it will turn out great. Let me know if you do. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  5. So in the recipe instructions you say mix seasoning and flour together. But no where in the recipe do you have flour listed or an amount. So what is it for the correct recipe

    1. Sorry about that. I actually updated the recipe to make it easier and gluten free! After testing it a few more times, I realized that the flour isn’t really necessary to get the same results, so I removed it, but I missed it when updating the instructions. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m going to update it now!

  6. I found the flavors to be good, but so salty that my wife wouldn’t eat it. :/ Any chance you meant 1 tsp of Kosher salt instead of regular salt?

    1. Yes. That’s all we use in our house. I’m sorry. I should have specified (I normally do). I will update the recipe to reflect that.

  7. Flavors were great but I followed the recipe as is using coarse salt and it was way too salty for our taste. Next time I would cut the salt in half.

  8. I made tonight and the shrimp turned out great. I increase the brown sugar, used minced garlic instead of powder and added a little water at the end to dilute some of the seasoning in to a “sauce”. Served over basmati with asparagus. Delicious!

  9. Thanks for this recipe! It was quite quick, the spices were dark so it was hard to tell if the shrimp was cooked by sight so I ended up accidentally over-cooking them but the flavours were great! Instead of searching for my sugar, I topped the shrimp with a drizzle of honey after I plated them and it was a nice mix of flavours. Served with leftover rice and some spinach that was sauteed with ginger, garlic and lemon. I will make this again.

  10. So easy! Very tasty. Love the combination of spices. I used another person’s suggestion of drizzling honey on top. That put it over the top! Thank You for the recipe

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