This spicy shrimp meal prep is super easy and super delicious! Wake up your senses and get over your afternoon slump with the tangy lime cabbage and spicy shrimps! Make sure to follow my instagram for updates of my next meal prep recipe! Every Sunday I post the recipe on my story, and later that week, the official recipe is up on my blog!Jump to Recipe
Another Week, Another Easy Meal Prep
Okay guys we are in week number four! Honestly don’t think I’ve ever been this successful meal prepping – and I’ve been working in the office for close to three years now. Isn’t that crazy? Last week’s chicken was so delicious but I found that it didn’t keep me full all day, I think next time I’ll be making more fajita veggies (they were the best part anyway!) Extra vegetables are always a good thing – and they don’t add too much strain on your wallet!
So this week I’m trying something different. I was craving shrimp, and as I was scouring our local grocery store circular I saw they were on sale! I tend to decide what I’m cooking after consulting the circulars. I’ll even go out of my way to get something on sale. That’s what happens when you are on a tight budget! But don’t worry, I am still finding time and money to treat myself! Last week I went out to dinner with a friend, and over the weekend my boyfriend and I ate two pints of Ben and Jerry’s! Yeah, we splurge on the good stuff, so worth it!!
Where was I? I lost my train of though thinking about the ice cream, oops! Oh right! Week four’s meal prep! I was craving shrimp and lucky me, it was on sale! So I went over to the store, picked up the shrimp, and a small cabbage, and went home to start meal prepping. One HUGE bonus of still living with my parents, is that my mom STOCKS UP on a lot of stuff. So when I’m planning my meal prep, or we’re talking about what to cook for dinner that week, guaranteed, she has half the ingredients hiding in her pantry already.
Cabbage is a vegetable I used to HATE. I would run away as a child when my mom suggested we eat cabbage with dinner. It did nothing for me. Until my mom starting roasting cabbage, I wanted nothing to do with it. The first time I had roasted cabbage it was kind of like oh this isn’t soooo bad I guess. Since then my love for cabbage as grown, which I sometimes forced. You can ask my friends whom I eat lunch with at work, when I first started meal prepping I would say “I’m really trying to enjoy cabbage more.” Well it worked!
So in this recipe, I tried something a little different. I have been known to use cayenne pepper and cumin on my sauteed cabbage before, but this time I wanted something a little different, so I added the lime juice! The limes really counter act the spice of the cayenne pepper (and trust me, a little goes a LONG WAY with cayenne pepper.) The lime soothes your tongue after the spicy shrimp dances on your taste buds – and they have a super spicy kick to them!
Spicy Shrimp = Easy Meal Prep!
I know this recipe seems like there’s a lot going on – but trust me it’s not so bad! I was even surprised by how quickly this came together in the end. It may not be a one pan meal, or sheet pan meal prep, but I only used two pans! One to cook the Mexican rice, and the other to do the spicy shrimp and cabbage! But look out for another spicy shrimp meal prep coming soon – I promise that one will only use one pan!
Since the rice needs to cook for at least 20 minutes, it gives you plenty of time to cook the shrimp to perfection! Once you get all the spices and liquids into the rice, bring it to a boil and let it cook! Since the shrimp take so little time to cook through, I had moved onto the cabbage by the time the rice was completed. It helped a lot to slice up the cabbage before I even started the rice. Everything moved super smoothly!
How Spicy Do You Want It?
I learned the hard way that cayenne pepper goes a LONG way. Even a tiny amount of cayenne pepper is going to make these spicy shrimp burn. I used 1/2 a teaspoon for these spicy shrimp. HALF OF A TEASPOON. HALF. That kick of spice at the end was incredible for that little. I’ve learned a lot since I’ve started this blog, and one the biggest thing I learned is this. You don’t need a lot of herbs and spices to make the flavor known. I used to use SO MUCH when in reality I only needed HALF OF A TEASPOON to give my food the desired flavor. That being said, if you like things SPICY, feel free to use more.
Using Frozen Shrimp Like Me?
So I don’t know about you, but I only buy fresh shrimp if I’m trying to impress someone (like my boyfriend!) Otherwise I’m buying the frozen shrimp from my local grocery store. So that’s what I did – they had a sale for $7.99 for the pound of shrimp so I jumped on that really fast! And thankfully shrimp doesn’t take too long to thaw either. Sometimes I’ve gone to the store for a bag of shrimp, and then cooked them the same night for dinner. Check out my most recent how to post – How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp – for more information!
After your shrimp thaw, they are going to be super wet! Which is not always a problem, but in these case it will make mixing the dry rub very difficult. It took me years to figure this one out, I was always so perplexed as to why none of my spices were sticking. They would just clump together and leave my meat extremely uneven, not to mention my hands would be COVERED in the spices. Which is the opposite of my goal when cooking.
Using Paper Towels to Pat Shrimp Dry Before Cooking
In order to make the spicy shrimp meal prep – you MUST pat down the shrimp after you thaw and peel them. I put them between layers of paper towels and patted them dry as best I could before adding my spicy seasonings. Not only does this method help the spices stick better, but it will make is so much easier to get a good seer on your meat. When the shrimp, or any meat, goes into the pan wet, all the water trapped inside will leak into your pan leaving behind a wet mess!
So no matter what kind of meat your cooking – if there’s a dry rub or if you are looking to get a nice hot seer, make sure to dry off the meat beforehand! The spicy shrimp came out so delicious, moist, and they had a beautiful seer on them.
Make sure you check out my other meal prep posts as well, in case you’re looking for next weeks’ lunch!
Spicy Shrimp & Cabbage over Mexican Rice
Spicy Shrimp and Cabbage
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 lb green cabbage thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbsps olive oil divided
- lime juice from two big limes
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper divided
- 1 tsp cumin divided
- 1 tsp parsley divided
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- cojita cheese optional
- cilantro optional
- lime wedges optional
- Using a small pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent, 7 – 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Add rice, stir to coat in oil. Add cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Mix thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, and let simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
Spicy Shrimp and Cabbage
- Peel and wash your shrimp, and pat dry with paper towels (very important!!!)
- Combine shrimp, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp parsley.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.
- Add remaining olive oil (2 Tbsps) and the garlic. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add sliced cabbage and lime juice to the pan, stir to coat the cabbage in juice.
- Add remaining parsley, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
- Lower heat and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until cabbage is soft and liquid has evaporated.
- Serve over the rice. Top with cojita cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.