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Shrimp Creole – A Classic Southern Dish

SHRIMP CREOLE RECIPE

Let me introduce you to this 30 minutes one-pan dish that rivals restaurant quality. Shrimp Creole! – Complex flavors, easy to make, loaded with flavor, and cooked with tons of spices and vegetables for maximum flavor.

Shrimp creole in a pan garnished with green onions

Shrimp Creole Recipe – A Classic Southern Dish!

If you love shrimp, get ready to fall in love with shrimp creole. The simple dish is loaded with flavor from the complex creole seasoning. The seasoning is complex because of all of the spices included but easy and quick to make. This simple dish is a great meal any night of the week. 

If you are not a fan of seafood, you can replace the shrimp with chicken, sausage, or tofu for a vegetarian twist. 

Shrimp creole sauce served over white rice

What is Shrimp Creole?

Shrimp creole is made with shrimps simmered in a mixture of diced tomatoes, the “holy trinity” of onion, celery, and bell pepper, and spiced with hot pepper or hot sauce and seasoning and usually served over steamed or boiled white rice

Where does shrimp creole originate from?

Shrimp creole is a dish that originated in Louisiana. It’s considered to be one of the most famous dishes of Louisiana cuisine and can be found in both rural and urban parts of the state.

Creole cuisine got its name from les créoles, which was a term used to describe French and Spanish settlers in New Orleans and their descendants. 

What is Shrimp Creole sauce made of?

Shrimp creole is a spicy and flavorful Creole-style cuisine that uses shrimp as the main ingredient. It also typically includes tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and other ingredients. 

The shrimps are cooked in a flavorful broth full of spices like paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne. Plus, loads of vegetables like onions and peppers add even more flavor to the dish. It is usually served over rice.

Delicious creole sauce served in a bowl.

How to make shrimp creole 

  • Cook down the base: In a large skillet, add the onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook them down until they are soft. Add in the garlic and cook for about one minute. Once the garlic starts to smell fragrant, add the tomato paste and cook everything together for 30 seconds. 
  • Add in the spice: Toss in the jalapeño, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Stir it all up and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Create a broth: Add the chicken broth to the pan and let it deglaze. Add in the crushed tomatoes, Worcester sauce, and bay leaves. Let the broth simmer for about 20 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Add in the shrimp: Add the shrimp into the broth and let them cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Rice time: Serve the shrimp over white rice and garnish with green onion. If desired, add in additional hot sauce or top with a squeeze of fresh lemon. 
Ingredients for making Shrimp creole

How spicy is shrimp creole?

The traditional dish packs a punch heat from the jalapeños and cayenne pepper; however, the heat can easily be adjusted to your liking. If you are a fan of spicy foods, top the dish with hot sauce or use spicier peppers like serrano or habaneros. If spice isn’t your thing, leave the jalapeño out of the dish completely and reduce the amount of cayenne. 

Shrimp creole vs Jambalaya

Shrimp creole is cooked on its own, and the mixture is simmered to its desired degree of thickness and served over rice which is prepared separately and used as a bed for the creole mixture. On the other hand, Jambalaya is cooked in the same pot as the rice.

How long can you keep shrimp creole in the refrigerator?

It will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container when properly stored.

Can you freeze cooked shrimp Creole?

Yes, it freezes so well.

What type of shrimp to buy

I will suggest using fresh shrimps; however, since it is almost impossible to get fresh shrimps from the local grocery store, I will strongly suggest that you get the frozen shrimps in the frozen seafood aisle of your grocery store thaw and use as desired. 

I suggest using frozen shrimps because when shrimps are freshly caught, they are processed and frozen almost immediately. Unfortunately, the ones that sit on the ice in the store are not the best option because they are not the freshest. Often, they have been thawed and left to sit on the ice all day or even for a couple of days.

More southern seafood recipes 

Seafood is a favorite in my house and is always a good choice. Here are some of my favorite shrimp dishes to give a try after making shrimp creole. 

Notes:

  1. I’m not a fan of using thickening slurry for my creole sauce so I simmer it down till I get my desired consistency. Also, I add 6oz of tomato paste to the recipe which also helps in thickening the sauce.
  2. If using slurry to thicken the sauce (1/2 tbsp flour plus 1/4 cup water) be sure to stir it in a little at a time so that the sauce will not end up too thick.
  3. I love to use use my homemade shrimp stock or chicken stock for my shrimp creole depending on what I have on hand. Although I prefer shrimp stock because it has more flavor. If you like to make your own shrimp stock like I do, feel free to check out the recipe here.
Shrimp creole in a pan garnished with green onions

Shrimp Creole

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 oz tomato paste optional
  • 1 15-oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tsp minced Jalapeno de-seeded
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cup shrimp stock low-sodium
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Rice for serving

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook down until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Throw in the minced Jalapeno and add the paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Cook until fragrant. About a minute.
  • Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Add the crushed can of tomato, Worcester sauce, and bay leaves. Stir and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
  • Add the Shrimps, stir, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Serve over hot white rice and garnish with green onions, add more hot sauce, or squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the rice if desired.

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