Meatless Monday Challenge

Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

on January 25, 2021
last updated June 12, 2024
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This recipe for crispy blackened shrimp is a perfect pairing over this recipe for mashed potatoes with Old Bay seasoning. A simple, comforting dinner!
Blackened Shrimp and Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

Sick of having the same dinners over and over? Spice it up tonight with this Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes dish.

Crispy blackened shrimp is the perfect pairing over this recipe for mashed potatoes with Old Bay seasoning. This recipe uses russet potatoes for a potato base with a fluffy, velvety texture. Simple and comforting, this delicious shrimp dinner is ready in just 35 minutes!

plated old bay mashed potatoes with blackened shrimp on top

Growing up in Maryland, Old Bay Seasoning was such a staple in my house. I have the best memories of big family crab feasts on the back porch.

Every summer we would lay down the newspaper, dig out our mallets and crackers, and spend hours fishing for crab meat to dunk in melted butter and Old Bay Seasoning.

I’m always looking for reasons to integrate this awesome seasoning into my meals, as just the smell of it is nostalgic for me. And the taste!! Well, Marylander or not, it’s undeniably delicious.

And if you’ve never tried this seasoning before? Well, this Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes recipe is a great intro to it! It easily makes this flavorful mash one of my favorite delicious potato recipes!

Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

Here is everything you need:

  • Old Bay Seasoning. You’ll use this both in the blackening seasoning and in the mashed potatoes. None on hand? Check out this article on Every Old Bay Seasoning Substitute.
  • Paprika. For earthiness and subtle sweetness.
  • Onion Powder. For umami.
  • Cayenne Pepper. For a little spice. I like a kick, so I add a full teaspoon, but if you’re sensitive to spice add less.
  • Thyme. For herbaceousness.
  • Black Pepper. To bolden the flavor.
  • Shrimp. Large is best, but any size works. Peeled and de-veined.
  • Potatoes. Russet or Idaho.
  • Oil. Coconut or olive are my two favorites, but truly any oil will work in this dish.
  • Milk. Cows or unsweetened nondairy. My favorite non-dairy milk to use for this is full-fat coconut milk.
  • Butter. Unsalted is best to help you control the salinity.
  • Scallions. For fresh garnish and added texture.
scallion, shrimp, olive oil, old bay seasoning, milk, potatoes, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, butter

Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes Tips and Tricks

Prep Your Shrimp

Always peel your shrimp before adding the seasoning. Some restaurants leave the tails on for aesthetic reasons, and it’s nice to have the tails for a shrimp cocktail, so you have something sturdy to hold on to.

However, in this case, it’s just one more barrier to diving into the amazing combo of the shrimp and the mash. I peel them completely, tail and all.

If you want to prepare your shrimp ahead of time. Peel them and throw them in a large freezer bag with the blackening seasoning to marinate. They can sit there for up to 2 days.

If you’re making this dish all at once, just make sure your shrimp is completely covered in seasoning before adding it to your pan.

As far as which shrimp to buy, try to avoid imported shrimp entirely. Imported farmed shrimp is often produced in ways that are detrimental to mangrove forests and emits a high amount of pollutants.

It also has to travel a long way to get to you. The most sustainable way to eat shrimp is by seeking domestic farmed shrimp.

Green tip: Shrimp is seafood we should enjoy in moderation, as it is not the most sustainable. The best way to source your shrimp is from domestic shrimp farms (avoid imported).

For the Spice Blend

We can’t very well have Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes without blackening seasoning! In order for your shrimp to be considered “blackened“, they have to be coated in seasoning and fried in hot oil to form a dark crust.

The seasoning used can be comprised of a variety of different spices, but usually includes onion powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Since we are already using the Old Bay for our mashed potatoes (and because let’s face it, I’m a huge fan of this stuff), we will use the Old Bay Seasoning as our base to concoct our spice blend.

Start with 2 tablespoons of Old Bay, and mix in 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. This should yield enough seasoning to cover 1/2 pound of shrimp.

If you don’t have Old Bay Seasoning, you can easily blacken shrimp by following the recipe for blackening seasoning in this Blackened Mahi Mahi recipe!

adding old bay to shallow bowl to make blackening seasoning

Get Your Oil Hot

In order to get that crispy blackened shrimp, it’s important to get your oil hot before adding them to your nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet. I usually leave it on medium heat for about 2 minutes before adding my shrimp.

adding olive oil to nonstick pan to get hot before adding shrimp to blacken

Time Yourself

Because the shrimp is completely covered in seasoning, it’s hard to tell when they are done. For large shrimp, you should be able to cook them fully with just 2 minutes on each side, if the oil in your skillet is preheated.

You’ll know they are ready to flip because the blackening seasoning will form a crust and release from the pan. If the shrimp is stuck to the pan, do not try to peel it off! Give it a little more time and it should lift on its own, making it easy for you to flip.

Green tip: If you have an electric range, use a pot that both sits flat on and matches the size of your burner to make sure you are not wasting energy.

Getting Perfect Potatoes

In order to get the smoothest potatoes, make sure you leave no skin on the potatoes, and cut out any bruises or bumps. I use a potato masher to break down the potatoes and then a hand mixer to whip them up. This always gives me that fluffy, velvety texture.

Steer clear of food processors or blenders. This makes your mashed potatoes a texture I can really only describe as gluey, which is not very appetizing.

Also, make sure you add milk just a little at a time. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you may not need the entire 1/2 cup of milk.

Start with 1/4 cup and whip. Assess whether or not you need more milk, and then just add slowly until you reach your desired consistency.

Doubling The Recipe

This Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes recipe, as written, is intended to feed two. You can easily double it to feed your family.

If you end up having extra blackening seasoning, save it! It’s great on firm fish, roasted veggies, and other meat. Just make sure you discard any seasoning that touched the raw shrimp.

Pro tip: As with handling any raw meat, make sure you wash your hand after peeling the shrimp and disinfect any surfaces that the shrimp or shells rested on before they were cooked.

Making This Dairy Free

Since we are blackening the shrimp in oil (I use coconut oil, but olive oil works, too), all we have to do here is make the mashed potatoes dairy-free.

When making dairy-free mashed potatoes, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk and Earth Balance buttery spread in place of the milk and butter in the recipe below.

Since this Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes dish has so much flavor from the seasoning, it’s a great recipe to make lighter by cutting back on the butter.

pouring milk into mashed potatoes

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftover Old Bay Shrimp and Mash

This meal will last up to 3 days after cooking it covered in the refrigerator. If you only have extra mashed potatoes, those may last up to 5 days.

Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You may want to add a little extra milk to the mashed potatoes to the mashed potatoes before reheating them, so they don’t get too dry.

The mashed potatoes can be reheated in the microwave. Leftover shrimp can be eaten cold or reheated in the oven at 300°F for 8-10 minutes.

And if you really want to make something special from your leftover mashed potatoes, check out these Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes (Great for Leftovers!).

garnishing blackened shrimp with old bay mashed potatoes with scallions

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Why You Should Make This Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

  • It’s got a kick. The spice from that cayenne in the blackening seasoning is just enough to give you a little kick!
  • It uses the best seasoning. Maybe that’s just my opinion. But I’m confident you’ll agree.
  • The textures. The crispy little shrimps over those light and airy mashed potatoes are a winner of a combo.
  • It’s filling. Meat and potatoes are always dinner-worthy!

Looking for other excuses to use this stellar seasoning? Check out this Grilled Street Corn with Old Bay. And for more pescatarian dinner inspiration, check out these Creamy Fish and Grits.

Blackened Shrimp and Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

Blackened Shrimp and Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

4.9 from 8 votes
Marley Goldin
Crispy blackened shrimp is perfect pairing over this recipe for mashed potatoes with Old Bay seasoning. This recipe uses russet potatoes for a potato base with fluffy, velvety texture. Simple and comforting, dinner is ready in just 35 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings



Old Bay Blackening Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Blackened Shrimp and Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes

  • ½ pound of medium-sized fresh shrimp, de-veined
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • ½ cup milk (skim, reduced fat, whole, or full-fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 scallions for garnish


  • In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning, 1 tablespoon paprika,1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and set aside.
  • Peel your shrimp, discard the shells, and blot dry with a paper towel. Add the peeled shrimp to a medium-sized bowl or freezer bag with 1 tablespoon of the Old Bay Blackening Seasoning you made in step 1 and toss to coat. Let it marinate while you peel your potatoes.
  • Peel your potatoes and discard the peel. Cut each potato into 4 pieces to reduce cooking time. Once your water has come to a rolling boil, add potatoes, cover, and cook until you can easily pierce them with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a cast-iron skillet (preferred) on a nonstick pan. Turn the heat up to medium and allow oil to heat for 2 minutes.
  • Make sure the shrimp is completely coated in the Old Bay Blackening Seasoning. Add the shrimp to your cast iron skillet and cook for two minutes on each side. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and place it on a clean plate.
  • Drain the potatoes and add them to a large bowl. Use a potato masher or fork to mash your potatoes down and remove all the lumps.
    With a whisk or a hand mixer on low, whip the potatoes while adding the milk, butter, and 1 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning. Start with 1/4 cup of milk, and add more until you have a light and airy texture.
    Note: you may not need all 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Dice the green part of your scallions. Serve the mashed potatoes in a shallow bowl with shrimp on top, and garnish with fresh scallions.

Pro Tips

  • Add a pinch of salt to your boiling water to help bring the temperature up quicker.
  • To get the smoothest potatoes, make sure you leave no skin on the potatoes, and cut out any bruises or bumps
  • For a more sustainable option, consider these bamboo paper towels.
  • I adore Old Bay Seasoning, especially with fries or corn!
  • If you have leftover mashed potatoes and want to breathe new life into them, check out this Twice Baked Mashed Potato Casserole from Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Blackened Shrimp, Fish Dinner, Mashed Potatoes, Old Bay, Potato
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3 thoughts on “Blackened Shrimp & Old Bay-Seasoned Mashed Potatoes”

  1. 5 stars
    I love old bay and I love this recipe. I’m not a fan of grits so I like that you have it over mashed potatoes!

  2. I can’t wait to make these potatoes. Many members of my family love Old Bay and will LOVE this Old Bay Mashed potato dish❣️❣️

4.88 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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