These delicious blackened shrimp po boys were inspired by the classic Southern favorite. Split-top buns are packed full of crispy, blackened shrimp then topped with spicy mayo, tomato, and lettuce.
In my pursuit of the endless ways in which to eat shrimp, I channeled my inner southerner and created my own version of a po boy! Because, if I can’t go on vacation to Louisiana right now, then I will just have to bring a bit of Louisiana to me, right? Even the kids love these sandwiches. Not a fan of spicy? Leave the may off or just use plain mayo! Both delish!
Why this Recipe Works
Quick and easy and so much more!
Shrimp — Easy to find, quick to cook, and easy to flavor, if you have shellfish lovers in your house, then these will be an easy hit!
Simple — What’s more simple and easy to make than a sandwich? Swap out the turkey for shrimp and the cheese for spicy mayo and you have yourself a not-so-run-of-the-mill, filling, tasty sandwich on your hands.
Hoagie rolls — No fancy bread to find or make here! I do prefer to purchase split-top buns if I can find them. Otherwise, a regular hoagie roll works just great! Another bonus? I prefer to use plain old white bread. No need to get whole wheat or anything crunchy or nutty here!
Quick — You can have these shrimp po boys cooked and ready to eat in just 30 minutes, spicy mayo and blackened seasoning and all!
Here’s How you Make it
Making the mayo
- Mix together ⅓ cup of mayo with 3 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
- Put on top of po boys right before eating.
Making the shrimp
- In a small bowl, mix together the blackening seasoning ingredients (paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper).
- Toss peeled and deveined shrimp with the olive oil. Add blackening seasoning and toss again to coat.
- Saute the shrimp in a skillet over medium-high heat for just 4-6 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque.
Making the Po Boys
- Put the blackened, cooked shrimp in the bun or hoagie roll.
- Top with lettuce and tomato slices.
- Drizzle the spicy mayo and enjoy!
Why are Po Boys Called Po Boys?
I find it fascinating how some foods got their names, don’t you? There are so many things we eat without considering how they even came to get their names.
Take, for instance, the po boy. It originated in New Orleans in 1929, born out of the need to feed union streetcar drivers who were on strike at the time. The sandwich was the brainchild of Benny and Clovis Martin, who were streetcar drivers but also owned a restaurant called Martin’s Coffee Stand and Restaurant. They decided to give out free sandwiches to other union strikers, served on thin, crispy bread and filled with meat or fried seafood. The sandwich was referred to as a “poor boy” (then later, “po boy”) because the strikers who were getting them didn’t have any money.
Ideas for Side Dishes
Looking to make your po boy sandwiches part of a well-rounded meal? I have some great side dish ideas that would pair wonderfully with these shrimp po boys.
- Mexican Rice: Sure, it’s not technically Cajun, but it sure is tasty! Chock full of flavorful spices like chili powder, cumin, and onion powder, this side dish pairs great with blackened shrimp po boys.
- Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges: What goes better with a hot sandwich than thick, tasty potato wedges? Dip them in Garlic Aioli for an extra special treat!
- Looking for a more traditional french fry recipe? These Crispy Oven French Fries can be done cooking just about the same time you have your po boy put together! Yum!
- Roasted veggies are always a favorite side dish of mine as well. They’re so easy to roast in the oven while you blacken your shrimp on the stove top.
- Pasta salads also go super well with sandwiches of all sorts. Plus, you can make up a big bunch of it, store it in the fridge, and eat it for days!
- Purchase already peeled and deveined shrimp to make putting together these blackened po boys that much faster!
- Make up an extra batch of mayo for use on other foods — spicy mayo goes great on french fries, ham sandwiches, or even on top of pasta salad.
- Not into mayo? You can substitute Greek yogurt for all or half of the mayo in the recipe below.
More Recipes Like This
- Mesquite BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi and Broccoli
- Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet
- Baked Coconut Shrimp
Did you make this dish? Please rate the recipe below!
Blackened Shrimp Po Boys
- 1 pound medium or large uncooked shrimp - peeled and de-veined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 split-top buns - or hoagie rolls
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 large tomato - thinly sliced
- lemon wedges - for serving
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika - or regular paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 3 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Stir together spicy mayo ingredients. Set aside til ready to serve.
- In a small bowl stir together blackening seasoning ingredients.
- Toss shrimp and olive oil. Add blackening seasoning and toss again to coat.
- Saute shrimp in a skillet over medium-high heat 4-6 minutes until cooked through and opaque.
- Serve shrimp in buns along with lettuce and tomato slices, drizzle spicy mayo over the top and serve. Enjoy!