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Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole brings the flavors of Louisiana straight to your home with a recipe you and your family are bound to love! Juicy shrimp and savory vegetables are cooked to perfection in a spicy Creole sauce. Serve with Cajun Red Beans and Rice or Dirty Rice.

Shrimp creole served over white rice

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Louisiana and experience the culture, food, and liveliness of this state. New Orleans, in particular, is one of my favorite places in the world! As someone that lives and breathes everything to do with food, I feel so inspired whenever I get the chance to visit.

This shrimp Creole recipe is close to my heart since it reminds me of the incredible New Orleans vibe. With that said, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

What is Shrimp Creole?

If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Louisiana or New Orleans, I’m sure you’ve noticed shrimp Creole on almost every menu in sight. If not, shrimp Creole is a Louisiana staple made with a spiced tomato broth, tail-on shrimp, and hearty vegetables.

Typically, it’s served with a side of steamed white rice to soak up the flavorful sauce. Of course, there are almost limitless customizations you can make, but this is a very traditional way of preparing it. I suggest starting here, then branching out based on your taste preferences!

Ingredients to make shrimp creole

Ingredients

  • Butter: To sauté the vegetables and add a rich flavor and texture throughout. I recommend unsalted butter for better control over the overall salt level in your shrimp Creole. You can also use olive oil or another vegetable oil if you prefer.
  • Holy trinity: The base of many Cajun and Creole recipes is made up of onion, green bell pepper, and celery. I prefer to leave the celery out for this recipe, but Creole cooking is all about improvising! Feel free to throw some in if you’d like.
  • Salt & pepper: To enhance the rest of the ingredients and add a slight heat that Creole food is known for.
  • Parsley: Use freshly chopped parsley for a clean, peppery, and herbaceous element. I like to throw it directly into the sauce and add some as a garnish at the end.
  • Garlic powder: For an ultra-savory Creole sauce, don’t skip the garlic powder! You can also use freshly minced garlic if you have some kicking around.
  • Canned chopped tomatoes: Another common Creole addition, chopped tomatoes provide a vibrant, zesty, and bright element. You don’t need to drain the tomatoes as their liquid will form part of the sauce.
  • Chicken stock: For a savory, hearty, and full-bodied taste, add homemade chicken stock or broth. If you’re short on time, just use store-bought!
  • Hot sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce for a spicy kick! 
  • Worcestershire sauce: Add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce for an umami-rich element. No Worchestershire sauce? Replace it with soy sauce or tamari instead.
  • Cornstarch: I prefer to use a cornstarch slurry to thicken my shrimp Creole sauce, but you can absolutely make a roux with all-purpose flour. The choice is yours!
  • Shrimp: You will need about two pounds of shrimp for this recipe. Look for medium-large, tail-on, uncooked shrimp. Just don’t forget to peel and devein them before adding them to the Creole sauce!
  • White rice: There is nothing better than a scoop of fluffy white rice to serve on the side of your shrimp Creole. For a whole-grain option, use brown rice or quinoa instead.

How To Make

Butter, green peppers and onion sauteing

Step 1: Sauté the vegetables

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion and green bell pepper along with some salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft and tender.

Aromatics along with tomatoes and spices in pot

Step 2: Add the seasonings

Next, add a few tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, garlic powder, tomatoes, chicken stock, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a boil.

Tomato sauce thickening in pot

Step 3: Thicken the sauce

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and a tablespoon of water together. Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering liquid, allowing it to thicken the sauce.

Tomato sauce cooking with raw shrimp added

Step 4: Cook the shrimp

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add them to the sauce. As soon as the shrimp turn pink, remove the sauce from the heat.

Cooked shrimp in a tomato sauce being spooned

Step 5: Serve the shrimp Creole

Once it’s cooked, serve your shrimp Creole immediately with steamed white rice and a garnish of fresh parsley.

Variations

  • Protein: Experiment with adding or substituting additional proteins like bacon, sausage, crawfish, chicken, scallops, catfish, and more.
  • Vegetables: Add celery, okra, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and corn for a twist.
  • Grains: Instead of white rice, serve your shrimp Creole with brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, grits, mashed potatoes, or on its own for a low-carb option
  • Vegetarian: If you’re making this for someone who doesn’t eat seafood or meat, try a vegetarian version with oyster mushrooms instead!
  • Spicy: In true shrimp Creole fashion, this recipe is on the mild side. If you prefer more heat, add some cayenne pepper, more hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, Creole seasoning, or blackened seasoning.

Tips and Tricks

  • Source quality shrimp: The best shrimp is wild-caught, fresh shrimp from the Gulf Coast. However, since most of us don’t have access to this variety, I recommend purchasing uncooked, frozen, tail-on shrimp for the best taste and quality.
  • Go homemade: For the most flavorful sauce, use homemade chicken stock. It makes a world of difference!
  • Timing is everything: Remember to time your rice to finish cooking when the shrimp have just turned pink. This way, it will be perfectly warm and fluffy for serving.
A close up of shrimp creole on a wooden spoon

Leftovers

If you have too much shrimp Creole, follow these storage tips for long-lasting, flavorful leftovers: 

  • Fridge: Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freezer: If you’re using fresh shrimp, store the dish in a freezer-safe bag or container and it will last up to 3 months. It’s not recommended to re-freeze frozen shrimp, but you can freeze everything else.

Reheating

If frozen, thaw your shrimp Creole in the fridge overnight. If not, heat everything for 5-10 minutes in a saucepan over low-medium, stirring occasionally, until warmed.

Shrimp creole served over white rice
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Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole brings the flavors of Louisiana straight to your home with a recipe you and your family are bound to love! Juicy shrimp and savory vegetables are cooked to perfection in a spicy Creole sauce.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Jocelyn Delk Adams

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley divided
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 16 oz canned chopped tomatoes undrained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 lbs medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • white rice for serving

Instructions

  • Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper along with salt and pepper and cook until soft and tender, about 5-6 minutes. 
  • Next add 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, garlic powder, tomatoes, chicken stock, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce. 
  • Stir together and bring to a boil.
  • Next add cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water together in a separate small bowl and add to the liquid allowing it to thicken the sauce. Once it has thickened, turn the heat down between a low and medium heat.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the sauce. Bring the temperature back up to a medium heat. Stir together and place a lid on the pot to continue to help the shrimp cook. As soon as shrimp turns pink, remove sauce from heat and top with remaining parsley and serve with rice.

Notes

What to do with leftovers

If you have too much shrimp Creole, follow these storage tips for long-lasting, flavorful leftovers: 
  • Fridge: Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freezer: If you’re using fresh shrimp, store the dish in a freezer-safe bag or container and it will last up to 3 months. It’s not recommended to re-freeze frozen shrimp, but you can freeze everything else.

Reheating

If frozen, thaw your shrimp Creole in the fridge overnight. If not, heat everything for 5-10 minutes in a saucepan over low-medium, stirring occasionally, until warmed.
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