Introducing irresistible Shrimp Creole – a symphony of bold flavors, succulent seafood, and a touch of Southern charm. From the spicy kick of Cajun spices to the tantalizing blend of tomatoes and aromatic veggies, this dish is a celebration of vibrant tastes that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Louisiana.

Overhead image of shrimp creole in skillet and portioned out into bowls for serving.

Looking to add some spicy and flavorful Louisiana flair to your dinner menu? Look no further than this mouthwatering seafood recipe. From fried catfish po’boys to New Orleans BBQ shrimp, there’s something about the spice and savory nature of good southern cooking that makes every bite better than the last.

Originating from the vibrant Creole culture of New Orleans, this dish combines succulent shrimp with a rich tomato-based sauce infused with a tantalizing blend of aromatic herbs and spices. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply craving a taste of Southern comfort, this shrimp creole recipe is sure to transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Cajun country. Get ready for an explosion of flavors that will leave you wanting more!

Bowl of shrimp creole with cauliflower rice.

What is Shrimp Creole?

As New Orleans flourished as a diverse port city in the 18th century, a fusion of cultures like African, Caribbean, Spanish, French, and Native American influenced its cuisine. Abundant Gulf Coast shrimp combined with the “holy trinity” of bell peppers, onions, and celery, along with spices and tomatoes, led to the birth of Shrimp Creole.

While tomatoes gave the dish its signature hue, over time, chefs added personal twists. Some included smoked sausage, and others used okra. While traditional recipes feature roux to thicken the sauce, some omit it. In our version, we punch up the flavors and heartiness of the dish with andouille and serve it over cauliflower rice. A modern twist on a Creole classic.

Ingredients for this shrimp recipe.

Ingredients

Although this dish looks complicated in its long list of ingredients, it’s a bunch of pantry staples, fresh veggies, shrimp, and sausage. Don’t let the list intimidate you from making this classic Louisiana dish.

  • Unsalted Butter 
  • Bell peppers, red and green
  • Celery
  • Onion 
  • Kosher Salt 
  • Garlic
  • Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere’s
  • Chicken stock 
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Hot sauce
  • Bay leaf
  • Andouille sausage
  • Raw shrimp, look for Gulf Shrimp for an authentic flavor. Nothing is quite like the pink shrimp from the gulf coast. Also, make sure the shrimp are sized Large or Extra large and that they are peeled and deveined. We buy ours frozen and thaw them over ice in the fridge, then peel them ourselves to keep the tail on just for presentation.  
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, scallions and lemon for garnish 

How to make easy shrimp creole

We skip the roux to make this a quicker weeknight version of shrimp creole but see our notes in the recipe card for adding the roux to thicken the sauce.

  • Preheat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and swirl to melt, and coat the pan. Add the bell peppers, onion, and celery with a pinch of salt and saute until they are softened.
  • Then add in the garlic and creole seasoning and stir to combine. After the garlic cooks for a minute, slowly add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Next, Add the Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes, and hot sauce and stir to combine. Toss in the bay leaf and adjust the heat to allow the sauce to gently simmer and thicken for around 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute the andouille sausage until browned on all sides and cooked through in another skillet over medium heat. Set the sausage aside, but keep the fat drippings in the pan.
  • Toss the fresh shrimp in more of the seasoning mix to coat them, and then pop them into the skillet with the rendered fat to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque.
  • When you’re ready to serve, transfer the sausage to the spicy Creole sauce and toss to combine. Pile the shrimp on top.
  • Garnish the dish with minced green onions and lemon wedges. Serve hot and squeeze a pinch of lemon juice over each bowl to enjoy.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • The key to any dish with a long list of ingredients is mise en place, translated that means to ‘set up.’ That means chopping, mincing, dicing, and having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking so everything comes together smoothly. We first discovered how essential this step was over ten years ago when we started cooking our first Cajun dishes, and we still put this practice into place every time we cook.
  • We’ve tested this recipe with both diced and crushed tomatoes and prefer the texture of the sauce with crushed; however, both work for this recipe. 
  • Another quick way to add depth to this dish without the roux is to use a little tomato paste while you cook the shrimp. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the pan and mix it in as the shrimp cook.
  • Taste as you go, and crank up the heat by adding more of the Creole spice blend or hot sauce to suit your tastes.
Close up of bright red cooked shrimp in chunky tomato red gravy.

How to serve Shrimp Creole

Pile this easy shrimp creole recipe overtop of hot cooked rice, brown rice, grits, or keep it low-carb with cauliflower rice. It’s also great over shredded roasted cabbage. Crusty bread is great for sopping up the sauce too. Pair this hearty meal with a light salad made of dark leafy greens.

Leftovers & Storage

Let any leftovers cool down and store them in an airtight container. If possible, store the shrimp in another container to not overcook them when you reheat. This will last in the fridge for three to four days. Reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring every time, until heated through.

How to freeze shrimp creole:

To freeze Shrimp Creole: Portion it into airtight containers or resealable bags, removing excess air. Label and date the packages, freeze them flat, and store for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently when ready to enjoy.

Overhead of skillet filled with cooked shrimp creole; garnished with lemon slices and green onions to serve.

More Global shrimp recipes

Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply enjoy exploring different cuisines, Shrimp Creole is definitely worth trying. Its spicy and savory flavors make it a hit at dinner parties or family gatherings. With rich histories deeply rooted in the tastes of Louisiana, it’s a perfect recipe to test your skills in the kitchen.

If you’ve tried this version, please rate the recipe card and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

Shrimp Creole

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Overhead image of shrimp creole in skillet and portioned out into bowls for serving.
With tender shrimp dancing in a harmonious blend of spices, tomatoes, and veggies, this dish brings the warmth of Louisiana right to your table. An easy recipe that promises bold taste, Shrimp Creole is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts and comfort food lovers alike.

Ingredients  

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Green Bell pepper stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1 Red Bell pepper red stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 2 Celery stalks diced
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-4 tbsp Cajun spice blend like Tony Chachere’s
  • 8 oz chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Hot sauce
  • 1 bay leaf

For the spicy shrimp:

  • 1 lbs Andouille
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lbs large Shrimp thawed, peeled and deveined

Garnish

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley minced
  • Scallions minced
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions 

Saute the veggies:

  • Preheat a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl to coat the pan as it melts.
  • Add the peppers, celery, and onion, and a pinch of salt.
  • Saute the veggies until they are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring as needed.
  • Add the minced garlic and the spice mix and stir to coat the veggies, cooking 1 minute longer.

Make the sauce:

  • Carefully pour in the chicken broth a little at a time, and turn the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes, and hot sauce. Add the bay leaf and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the sauce to thicken for about 30 minutes.

Cook the sausage and shrimp:

  • Heat another skillet over medium heat and add the sausage and cook until browned on all sides and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with a instant-read thermometer.
  • Transfer the sausage to a plate but reserve the drippings.
  • Toss the shrimp in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning and add them to the hot pan with the drippings.
  • Cook the shrimp 3 to 5 minutes, stirring as needed to cook evenly until they are opaque and cooked through.

Combine:

  • Mix the cooked sausage into the creole sauce and toss to combine. Ladle the shrimp over top to serve.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish the dish with minced parsley, green onions, and lemon wedges.
  • Serve hot in individual bowls with your desired sides, and squeeze a pinch of lemon juice over each bowl to enjoy.

Notes

The key to any dish with a long list of ingredients is mise en place, translated that means to ‘set up.’ That means chopping, mincing, dicing, and having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking so everything comes together smoothly. We first discovered how essential this step was over ten years ago when we started cooking our first Cajun dishes, and we still put this practice into place every time we cook.
  • We’ve tested this recipe with both diced and crushed tomatoes and prefer the texture of the sauce with crushed; however, both work for this recipe.
  • A quick way to add depth to this dish without the roux is to use a little tomato paste while you cook the shrimp. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the pan and mix it in as the shrimp cook.
  • Taste as you go, and crank up the heat by adding more of the Creole spice blend or hot sauce to suit your tastes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1486mg | Potassium: 705mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1389IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cajun
Author: Kita Roberts

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FAQs

Shrimp creole vs shrimp gumbo vs shrimp etouffee?

Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Gumbo, and Shrimp Étouffée are all iconic dishes with distinct flavors in Cajun and Creole cuisine. Shrimp Creole features a tomato-based sauce with a spicy kick, often served over rice. Shrimp Gumbo is a hearty stew with a rich, roux-thickened broth loaded with various meats and vegetables. Shrimp Étouffée showcases a smoother, roux-based sauce, cooked with the “holy trinity” and served over rice. Although at a passing glance, they may look similar, each dish offers a unique taste of Louisiana’s culinary heritage.

How to thicken shrimp creole?

Use a roux to create depth and thicken the sauce for a shrimp creole recipe. Roux is made of a 1 to 1 butter-to-flour ratio in a clean pan after you’ve sauteed the veggies. Add in the liquid slowly to avoid clumps, and it will thicken as the sauce simmers, adding that silky smooth depth to the sauce.

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this with diced and tomato puree. And used my own Cajun seasoning mix. (Tony’s is too wimpy for me!)
    Great job, Kita!! This recipe is awesome – per usual!!