Pack your shrimp with flavor with the best shrimp dry rub! Using a blend of savory seasonings, it only takes 5 minutes to make and brings a great depth and smokiness to your shrimp. Whether your shrimp is grilled, sauteed, or baked, this spice blend will have your back. Use it for a fast weeknight dinner or a fun weekend cookout!
Shrimp is by far my favorite seafood to cook:
- it thaws quickly (I usually buy it frozen),
- it takes no time to cook, and
- it’s incredibly versatile.
And when you combine it with a super easy shrimp seasoning like this one, it’s a no-brainer dinner.
I have used this exact combo in shrimp tacos, shrimp fajitas, grilled shrimp avocado salad, and many more – the options are truly endless.
Read on to see how easy this dry rub is to make, then go and make some for dinner tonight!
Grab these ingredients
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Kosher salt – salt is the most important ingredient for seasoning any food. In this case the recipe calls for Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is my preferred salt. It is less salty by volume than other salts which means it leaves a little more room for error when salting your food. If you are using a different type of salt (kosher or otherwise), you’ll want to use this salt conversion chart from Epicurious to determine how much salt to use.
- Ground black pepper – if you can use freshly ground pepper it’s going to lend more flavor, but preground also works.
- Smoked paprika – this is going to lend a wonderful smoky flavor to the shrimp. Don’t substitute regular paprika here as it won’t be flavorful enough. If you don’t have smoked paprika, try doing ¼ tsp regular paprika and ¼ tsp ground chipotle powder, or if you don’t have chipotle powder use chili powder. The flavor profile will be a little different but it will still taste good.
- Garlic powder – while fresh garlic is great for flavor when grilling, garlic powder is going to incorporate much easier into the rub. Just make sure it’s fresh!
- Ground cumin – this spice lends a warm, earthy flavor to the rub and cuts some of the bite of the garlic.
Do you need new spices?
If you can’t remember the last time you bought spices, it may be time to get new ones. Spices lose potency over time and if your spices are old the rub won’t have as much flavor as it should. Here are three ways to check your spices for freshness:
- Look: take a look at your spices. Are they vibrant or has their color faded?
- Smell: put your nose down to the bottle (though not too close!) and take a whiff. Do you smell the spice immediately or do you have to take a couple deep inhales to get any scent?
- Taste: take a small pinch of the spice and give it a taste. Is it strong on your tongue or can you barely taste it?
Use one or all three of these methods to see if your spice shelves need an overhaul.
Making seasoning for shrimp
All that you need to do to make this grilled shrimp seasoning is measure out the spices with measuring spoons then add them to a small bowl and stir to combine. It really is that easy.
This recipe will make enough dry rub for 1 pound of shrimp.
For directions on how to use this dry rub when grilling shrimp, check out my easy grilled shrimp recipe.
Storing shrimp dry rub
If you are either making the dry rub ahead of time or want to make a big batch at once, place the rub in an air-tight container (I like to use a mason jar) and store it in a cool, dark place. It will keep for several months this way, depending on how fresh your spices were to begin with.
Should you season shrimp ahead of time?
Yes, you should always season shrimp before you cook it. Whether you’re making grilled shrimp, sauteed shrimp, or baked shrimp, you’ll want to at least add some salt to it before it finishes cooking.
Ready to develop your grilling skills?
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If you make this shrimp dry rub, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
5 Minute Shrimp Dry Rub Seasoning
- ¾ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- Measure out each ingredient with the appropriate measuring spoon and place it into a small bowl.
- Use a small whisk or other utensil to stir the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
- This recipe makes enough for 1 pound of shrimp.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe by increasing the ingredients accordingly.
- Store the rub in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. The spice rub will keep for several months.
- Check your spices for freshness before using them in the dry rub. Look at, smell, or even taste them and if they taste or smell bland it may be time to get new ones.
- If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can try substituting ¼ tsp regular paprika and ¼ tsp either ground chipotle powder or ground chili powder. The flavor profile will be a little different but it will still taste good.
This is very easy delicious
the shrimp were awesome
Thank you for sharing your
Recipe on shrimp rub I didn’t
know you could put rub on
Them fives stars two thumbs up
Thanks again for sharing I’ll use
All the time I love sea food