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Seafood Nachos

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Seafood nachos made with blackened shrimp, catfish, and crab, and topped with spicy cheese sauce is the ultimate game day appetizer. Add your favorite toppings like sour cream, jalapeños, and pico de gallo, or enjoy as is!

seafood nachos

These seafood nachos are sort of a Tex-Mex and Cajun fusion with a whole lot of flavor and spice. We combined two of our favorite things (seafood and nachos) to make this incredible dish for a weekend of college football.

Bottom line: If you love seafood and Cajun-style seasonings and spices, you will LOVE these seafood nachos. It’s a dish that our friends still talk about, year after year. It’s also one of Marrekus’ favorite recipes on the site.

We first published this recipe around 2018, and then we made it again in 2020 during a live stream with our friends over at Dad’s That Cook. Let me just say, as soon as we stopped recording, I blinked and it was gone. Marrekus smashed the entire thing! #greedy It’s one of those, “get it before it’s gone” recipes. IYKYK.

Seafood nachos ingredients

These seafood nachos are made with blackened shrimp, catfish, and crab. However, you can substitute any of the ingredients for other fish varieties like mahi mahi, cod, salmon, or use lobster or scallops, etc.

Other ingredients you will need to make our seafood nachos include:

  • tortilla chips
  • butter
  • blackening seasoning
  • toppings: sour cream, pico de gallo, etc.

What is blackened seasoning?

Blackened seasoning is a mixture of salt, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, dried thyme, and dried oregano. You can make your own or use a store-bought brand.

Blackening is a type of Cajun cooking method for fish, shrimp, chicken, and other proteins. The food is seared in a very hot skillet until it develops a brownish-black crust. The actual blackening is from the butter and the seasonings used.

Marrekus makes his own blackening seasoning mixture for this recipe and it’s amazing. All you have to do is combine the ingredients and give it a good stir to ensure it’s well incorporated.

seafood nachos

Making blackened shrimp, catfish, crab

This is probably one of the most simple recipes we’ve ever done! Blackened shrimp, catfish, and crab for the seafood nachos take no time at all.

First, season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of blackening seasoning. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add shrimp over medium-high heat. Toss shrimp in the skillet until it turns light pink, about 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from the skillet and add to a bowl. Pour the remaining butter from skillet on top of shrimp. Set it aside and cover it with foil to keep warm.

Next, season the catfish with 1 tablespoon of blackening seasoning. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat and add catfish. Sear catfish on both sides, for about 4 minutes. Remove catfish from skillet, roughly chop and set aside. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Finally, season the crab meat with 1 tablespoon of blackening seasoning. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt. Add crab meat and cook until heated through about 5 minutes.

Watch us make seafood nachos

YouTube video

Spicy Cheese Sauce Recipe

It’s a written rule somewhere that all nachos require nacho cheese sauce!

Our seafood nachos are certainly no exception. Keeping with the Cajun theme, we made a spicy cheese sauce using blackened seasoning.

All you need is:

  • butter
  • flour
  • milk
  • shallot
  • beer
  • sharp cheddar
  • blackened seasoning
  • salt

This sauce is so easy! Just melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and whisk until combined, like you’re making a roux. Reduce heat to low and slowly pour in the milk.

Next, bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until it’s thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, then add shallots, beer, and cheese, and mix well. Season with blackened seasoning and salt to taste.

seafood nachos

Pulling it all together

So you’ve made the sauce and cooked the blackened shrimp, catfish, and crab. All that’s left to do is make your plate and dive in!

Add a bunch of tortilla chips to a shallow dish and top it with the blackened shrimp, catfish, and crab. Drizzle on as much or as little cheese sauce as you want and serve it immediately. You can pop it in the oven on broil for a couple of minutes, if necessary.

Our favorite toppings to serve with seafood nachos are sour cream, pico de gallo, and jalapeños.

If you happen to try this recipe at home, let us know! Comment on a post and tag us on Instagram or Facebook using #cookswithsoul. We’d love to hear from you. 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @cookswithsoul on Instagram so we can see what you came up with!

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Seafood Nachos with Blackened Shrimp, Catfish, and Crab

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: game day, appetizer
  • Cuisine: cajun

Ingredients

Scale

Blackened Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Seafood Nachos

  • 3 pounds large raw shrimp, tail off, peeled, and deveined 
  • 1 pound catfish filets, boneless
  • 12 ounces of crab meat, drained (jumbo lump, lump, or claw meat)
  • 3 tablespoons blackened seasoning
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • tortilla chips (good quality, lightly salted)

Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beer (lager recommended)
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon blackened seasoning (or Cajun seasoning)


Instructions

  1. Blackened Seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
  2. Blackened Shrimp, Catfish, and Crab: Season shrimp with 1 tablespoon of blackened seasoning.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a cast iron skillet and add shrimp over medium-high heat.
  4. Toss shrimp in skillet until meat turns light pink, about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and add to a bowl and pour the remaining butter from the skillet on top of the shrimp. Cover with foil to keep warm; you can place it in the oven on low heat, if desired.
  6. Season catfish with 1 tablespoon of blackened seasoning.
  7. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add catfish.
  8. Sear catfish on both sides, for about 4 minutes.
  9. Remove catfish from skillet, roughly chop and set aside. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  10. Season crab meat with 1 tablespoon of blackening seasoning.
  11. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt.
  12. Add crab meat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  13. When you are ready to plate, add tortilla chips to a shallow dish and top it with seafood. Drizzle cheese sauce on nachos and add your favorite toppings such as sour cream, pico de gallo, jalapeños, etc. Serve warm and enjoy.
  1. Spicy Cheese Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk until combined.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add milk.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir till thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add shallots, beer, and cheese, and mix well.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of Blackened Seasoning and stir to fully incorporate. Add salt to taste, if desired.
  7. Drizzle nachos and serve immediately.
YouTube video

Keywords: seafood nachos, blackened shrimp, blackened catfish, crab, nachos, blackening seasoning, cajun

9 Comments

  1. I’m planning to make this tonight, but I’m wondering if I can substitute the beer with something else?

    1. Awesome! Yes, you can substitute it with chicken stock or add an extra 1/2 cup of milk.

  2. These are the best nachos I’ve ever had. I’ve made them twice already! If you love seafood, these are a must try! Also, your seasonings are 🔥

  3. We switched up taco Tuesday to Nacho Tuesday and made your seafood nachos. The catfish, crab, and shrimp don’t sound like the typical nacho toppings, but this recipe was absolutely delicious.

    1. My family adores the ease of nachos and seafood is my favorite protein, so I definitely needed to try this recipe. I made it for game day and they were so scrumptious I’m making them again for friends and family during the holidays.

  4. Oh my goodness these nachos were so good! That spicy nacho cheese sauce is incredible, but all of it was amazing. We ate it up so quick!

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