Classic Shrimp Creole

Similar to Shrimp Étouffée, but with a tomato-based sauce, this saucy Shrimp Creole will transport you to the balcony-lined streets of New Orleans. Aromatic onion, green bell pepper, and celery form the holy trinity of flavor on top of which you'll build this saucy little number.

Note that this dish has quite a kick! A whole teaspoon of ground cayenne will deliver an addictive punch with each bite. If you're not a fan of spice, reduce the cayenne to 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon. As for the shrimp, we prefer tail-on for more flavor but completely shelled shrimp will make for an easier eating experience—the choice is yours! The bigger the shrimp, the plump and juicier the bite.

To keep it pescatarian, swap out the chicken broth for some seafood or vegetable broth.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below! If you love these flavors, make yourself a batch of Creole Seasoning so you can sprinkle a little on top of everything you make!

Editor's note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on February 9, 2022 to include more information about the dish..

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 50 mins
3 tbsp.



small onion, chopped


green bell pepper, chopped 


ribs celery, chopped

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper


cloves garlic, minced 

1 tbsp.


2 tsp.

dried thyme

2 tsp.

dried oregano 

1 tsp.

ground cayenne

1 1/2 c.

low-sodium chicken broth 


bay leaves


(15-oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed 


green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish 

2 tsp.

Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp.

vegetable oil 

1 1/2 lb.

shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Cooked white rice, for serving 

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, pepper, and celery and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until reduced by about 1/4, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add green onions and Worcestershire sauce and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season again with salt and pepper if needed, then turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.
  3. In a separate large skillet, heat oil. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper, then add prepared sauce to shrimp. Garnish with green onions and serve with rice.

Parker Feierbach
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