Eating healthier is hard. I don’t care what anybody says to the contrary. I’m sure there are people who have always eaten healthy foods and they don’t have have the same struggles as someone who has grown accustomed to making comfort foods on a daily basis. I guess I should say that cooking healthy is hard – not eating healthy. Most of my go-to meals that carried me through a busy week aren’t on our menu anymore. Creamy Ranch Chicken and Noodles, Crock Pot Potato Soup, and pretty much everything from my Week of Casseroles post are off-limits for awhile as our family tries to make healthier choices. Those dishes are saved for splurge days when we allow a few indulgences. There can’t be any fast food drive-through meals just because I had a bad day and don’t feel like cooking. I have struggled to create recipes that are quick and easy and healthy for my family while trying desperately not to get stuck in a rut.
This week has been a rough one. The kids have been crazy and the teachers have been tired. Spring break is in three weeks and state testing looms after that. We are all tired of each other and ready for some time off.
Thursday, I decided to come home and cook shrimp. I love shrimp. I love it pretty much any way you can cook it. But I really love fried shrimp. Needless to say, we aren’t frying anything lately, so I came up with something just as good!
Crispy Spicy Baked Shrimp
- 2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of sriracha
- 2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- baking spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large zippered bag, combine flour, cayenne, and salt. Add shrimp. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and add sriracha. In a pie plate, combine the breadcrumbs, basil, onion powder, garlic salt, and salt.
Remove each shrimp from the bag of seasoned flour, holding by the tail, dip it into the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumb mixture, coating thoroughly. Lay each shrimp onto a large baking pan sprayed with baking spray. Continue until all shrimp are coated. Spray the tops of all the shrimp with additional baking spray.
Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove the pan and flip each shrimp over. Return to the oven for 7 more minutes.
Switch the oven to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes until shrimp begin to brown slightly. Remove from the oven.
Well Duh #1: If you like your food really spicy, you can double the amount of cayenne and sriracha. The amounts listed were perfect for us. Just a little kick. We did use a spicy dipping sauce.
Well Duh 2: It is essential that you spray the tops of the shrimp with baking spray. It helps them to brown and crisp up.
Well Duh #3: The broiling part is up to you. If you don’t mind your shrimp being a little pale, you don’t have to broil them. These were pretty big shrimp though, so the broiling part didn’t overcook them.
Well Duh #4: Yes, you have to use Panko. I’m sure the recipe will work with regular dried breadcrumbs, but the shrimp won’t be as crispy.
These shrimp were awesome! Perfectly crispy and crunchy. A little spicy. So good! The extra effort of setting up a dredging station and dipping and coating each one was totally worth it! I did start to wonder, at one point, if I was ever going to get to the last shrimp in the bag! I just kept finding them! But I did finish. These shrimp are so low in calories – especially when compared to fried shrimp – but they are so flavorful! You have to try them!
Even on a weeknight!