Shrimp Creole Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

To be quite honest, there are certain dishes that I never intended to include on this site because they have been so completely bastardized by restaurants across the country. Shrimp Creole is near the top of the list. Why would I want to include this dish? Everyone has a recipe for it. A lot of restaurants, even outside of Louisiana serve it. Why in the hell do I even want to bother? Everyone knows what Shrimp Creole is!

But then it dawned on me. You know what? Maybe because of all the hack versions out there, a lot of people, especially outside of Louisiana, don’t know how great Shrimp Creole can be! Every bad rendition of Shrimp Creole, just like Shrimp Etouffee, served in some dive restaurants across the country, have created a perception to the diner that this dish is just OK, or in the worst case scenario, absolutely horrible. For God’s sake, some restaurants even serve shrimp covered in canned Marinara sauce and pass it off as Shrimp Creole. Yikes.

There are a lot of good and bad recipes for Shrimp Creole out there, hopefully you will enjoy this one as much as I do. The defining factor that I think makes this dish great, instead of just good, in addition to the use of the highest quality Louisiana or Gulf Shrimp, is using homemade Shrimp Stock in place of water during the preparation of your Creole Sauce.

All that aside, on to the dish…

As I see it, Shrimp Creole and Shrimp Sauce Piquant are pretty much the same dish, with a few differences.

First, Shrimp Creole, or as it was once known, Shrimp a la Creole, is a New Orleans dish. Shrimp Sauce Piquant is Acadian, much spicier (hence the name) and usually, but not always containing a roux. But as I said, they’re pretty darned similar, and like most dishes in New Orleans these days the two cuisines have kind of merged in a lot of different areas. Like any dish that there are a trillion recipes for, it’s all a matter of your personal taste.

Like I always say, let’s not fight, it’s only dinner after all, just make sure it tastes good.

The Recipe:

Shrimp Creole Recipe

2 lbs. Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
1 small Green Pepper, finely Chopped
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Cups Shrimp Stock (recipe here)
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
Cayenne to taste
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp White Pepper
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp Tabasco
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4″ thickness
1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat. When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper, reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the fresh tomatoes and another healthy pinch of Kosher salt, this will help the tomatoes break down. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, and turn the heat to high until most of the alcohol burns off. Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

(If necessary at this point thicken the sauce with 1 Tbsp Cornstarch/ 2Tbsp water. Bring to a boil to maximize the thickening power of the cornstarch.)

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and season to taste with Kosher salt. Last chance to re-season your sauce, remember that good cooking is all about proper seasoning. Make your Boiled Rice, and season your shrimp with 1 Tbsp Kosher salt and a pinch of Cayenne.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. The key is to not overcook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe

48 thoughts on “Shrimp Creole Recipe”

  1. Talk about scratching an itch, I made this tonight and just about died on my couch from the savory flavors and the satisfaction of a well cooked creole. Thanks a bunch!

  2. I picked fresh tomatoes, an onion and oregano from my garden for this dish.
    I made the Creole Seasoning from scratch too.
    This recipe is superb.

  3. Wonderful recipe! I just made it tonight for a small get together with some friends. Not only is it delicious, but it has such a beautiful presentation as well. This is definately a far cry from my quick and easy shrimp creole with pre-diced onion and pepper with a little bit of tomato sauce.

    -A Creole food lover from GA

  4. MMMMM…. I don’t have the time tonight, but look forward to trying this soon. My Aunt, Billie Bourgeois, makes a great shrimp creole. Unfortunately, at 88 years young, she is off touring Russia and won’t be home for a few weeks!
    I sent the link to my mom in Okla. too.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  5. This is an incredible recipe. I am from Cuban and French heritage, and I thought that I could me shrimp creole. This recipe exceeded my very high expectations. And, it is easy to make. Enjoy!

  6. This recipe was naturally appealing to us because we like hot and spicy fooods, we couldn’t get over the delicous aroma of the creole seasoning.

    thanks for the awesome recipe
    Mike & Don

  7. Dee-licious! My parents are coming to town for Thankgiving, so I made this creole last night, to ensure my forthcoming meal isn’t be a total disaster. While it is time consuming, it’s relatively easy to make. The taste is so much more than a tomato-based ‘blah’. The flavor is actual creole, and not simply southern.

  8. Nola, this looks wonderful to prepare for my Christmas Eve Dinner!
    This serves 4, but I will be serving 12. Do I triple every ingredient?
    Thank you for your help!
    Bobbie

  9. Would like to see response for Bobbie – December 4, 2008. I also will be making for a larger crowd and would like to know how to adjust recipe for 8 or more servings.

  10. Today is Sunday, January 4. 2009 and, I just made the Shrimp Creole recipe. I thought for the time, effort & money put into it, it was not worth it. It is tooooooooo salty, much too hot and spicy for most people and the recipe makes too small of a quanity for the time & effort put into it. I had a recipe for Shrimp Creole years ago that I misplaced and it was less time consuming, less salty and, had the same creole taste without all the work. Sorry, I just did not think it was worth it.

  11. I have a question. I have tomatoes from my garden which I canned over the summer. Can I use these instead of fresh
    tomatoes in the shrimp creole recipe?

  12. Delicious recipe…however you must must must make the shrimp broth! Otherwise it isn’t memorable. Bon Appetit!

  13. I THINK THE RECIPE IS OK…BUT REAL CAJUN CUISINE USES THE FORMATION OF A ROUX…..IT IS THE FIRST THING A CAJUN COOK LEARNS…AND THIS DOESN’T HAVE IT….THE TASTE OF THE BROWNED ROUX IS WHAT GIVES THE DISH ITS REAL AUTHENTIC SMOKEY FLAVOR….ADMITTEDLY…NOT AS HEALTHY: BUT TRY TAKING THE FLOUR AND OIL AND OVER MEDIUM HEAT STIR TIL A ROUX THE COLOR OF RICH PEANUT BUTTER FORMS (DIFFERENT DISHES NEED DIFFERENT DEGREES OF COOKED ROUX)…THEN ADD VEGGIES..ETC.

  14. Thanks for all of your comments, I love to read all of them!

    Debbie – Thanks for your comment as well, you made lovely additions to the dish that I’m sure would be absolutely delicious, but Creole is Creole and Cajun is Cajun, this is a Creole dish. I love Roux in all of it’s different colors and flavors, but Creole cuisine does not always contain a roux. Not to say that it wouldn’t be delicious in the way you described, I would love it.

    Linda – Is it possible that you used a store bought Creole Seasoning which contain a lot more salt than the homemade recipe which is supposed to be used in this recipe? Sorry to put you out on your time and effort, but I have to say, many people love this recipe.

    Bobby – Sorry for the late response, I hope you dinner turned out great. My answer if had been on time would be to make a hair above what you were expecting. I would have done 4 times just to be safe. Once again sorry for the very late response.

    K.Hicks – For God’s Sake, ALWAYS, let me repeat…ALWAYS!! use what comes from your garden first, canned or not, you really can’t go wrong that way as long as it is ripe and ready to use. P.S. Love that you’re growing your own stuff!

  15. Nola,

    You are the best! When my girlfriend said she wanted me to make her shrimp creole I knew that I had never tried it before. So after google I found your site and had seen it before. OMGosh!!!! I went to the store to get real shrimp (with peel for stock) It is sooo good. I also had all the ingredients to make the creole seasonings. Thank you Thank you thank you sooo much!!! I have bookmarked your Creole and Cajun recipes!!!! And I tell people about your site as I travel as a field service engineer.

  16. Thanks for posting this! I was looking for a shrimp stock recipe for my Enchilado, and came across this. I worked for a family from LA years ago, and was lucky enough to be served this delicious dish. I lost touch with them, and never got the recipe. It sounds exactly what they made, and I can’t wait to try it!

  17. Nola,

    Wow- this recipe absolutely ROCKS! Made it tonight and served it with a crunchy baquette and a salad.

    This recipe is a KEEPER!

    Thank you so much ~~ :o)

  18. One of my favorites as well. I appreciate the specification of fresh tomatoes here – I think it makes all the difference in the world; all the acids they add to canned tomatoes make the dish too tangy. I’ve even seen people put ketchup in this! Yuck!

  19. Love this one folks, and everything else we’ve tried here. My wife has never had real creole or cajun and she is asking for repeats. Tonight it’s the shrimp creole. My own fresh herbs and the worcestershire I made is aged enough to use. Man does this house smell great right now.

  20. G’day Danno,

    I’m wanting to try this recipe down under as I sampled a lot of cajun food in my time in the states, especially New Orleans. I can get all the ingredients here in OZ except for Kosher salt. Is there something I can use as a substitute without ruining this awesome dish?
    Cheers

  21. I love your recipes I am making this for my family soon ! The beignet recipe is awesome ! You are my go to guide for Creole cuisine , and I am Creole !

  22. I was just shaking my head over some “creole” recipes on some websites. Thank you for, “keepin it real!” I’ve bookmarked the site and am looking forwards to trying out your version, although Dad’s shrimp creole will probably win out, (gotta stick with good ole Dad).

  23. This recipe looks very complicated and elaborate – which means it must be the real deal! My father is a Creole from NOLA and was also a gourmet chef. Whenever he made Shrimp Creole, it took him a while and he never made anything unless he started out with a rue first. I’ve always been disappointed with the taste of the “quick fix” versions of Shrimp Creole. Thanks for posting a recipe that is truly authentic.

  24. • In your recipe for Shrimp Stock I would recommend adding the shrimp heads to the stock which will add another degree of richness-in-flavor.
    • A tip to help skim the scum from the simmering stock: Invert a folding metal steamer basket and immerse it into the stock. The holes in the basket allow the scum to rise to the surface and keep the shrimp shells and aromatics from floating to the surface which interferes with the skimming process.
    • As a variation of this classic recipe I grill dry-rubbed extra-large shrimp over high heat until charred (about 1 minute per side) then transfer to the pan for the last minute of cooking. The smoky flavor of the grilled shrimp adds another accent to the sauce (especially if you use a pinch of smoked paprika to your rub). If you like the idea of grilled shrimp but wish to keep the sauce classic in taste just add the shrimp atop the rice and sauce when you plate.

  25. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME..THANKS SOOO MUCH!!!! When making this for a larger group, is it safe just to double/triple.quad the receipe.

    Thanks in advance.

    Alex

  26. What an incredible recipe! I made it so spicy half of my family could not eat it. More for me :D Spicy or not the taste is great! I also threw some of the creole seasoning and a few bay leaves in with the rice while it was cooking. Excellent! Thank you for this recipe!

  27. Made this over the weekend to try it out for a family vacation coming up soon. Very, very good!! Definitely a keeper!! Thanks!!

  28. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe- my family loved it. It was surprisingly easy to make and didn’t take that long. I even used some of the leftover shrimp stock to boil the rice- gave it a little something extra. I will be making this over and over again!

  29. My Lord this was great. I have tried your Etufay which was just as great. Your Angels on horseback were the hit of the party last week. Today it was the Andoulle sausage. will stuff and smoke Sat or Sunday. Thanks for all the great recipes. The Shrimp Creole dish got me a weeding proposal, only requirement was to be on call to cook 24/7

  30. Looks good but I found it way too hot and sour. Peppers seemed way out of proportion and they were. Left a sour, flat taste. Blech. The tomatoes acidity wasn’t balanced out.

  31. Made this once a few months ago and it was outstanding. Had a craving for it and will be making it again tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. Outcome was sensational! Did the shrimp and crawfish combo and it was delicious…shrimp stock gave the dish so much more grip! This will become a staple for our cajun dinner parties.

    Thanks!

  33. I was so exicted about making this recipe & so disappointed when completed. I should have saved myself some work & just downed some tabasco sauce. I didn’t use half of the stated red pepper or tabasco & it was still mouth fire. No great taste just mouth fire. I followed this recipe to a tee except for not adding red pepper or tabasco. I was very disappointed.

  34. Just flew in from a wkwnd in nola and set out to recreate the awesome food we ate. This recipe was really good.
    In my mind one key is to ensure you carmelize your veggies thereby bringing out the natural sweetness in order to balance the heat. I’ve seen recipes that added some sugar which works as long as it’s imperceptible.thoughts?

  35. I tested this tonight…what a great receipe! Thank you so much!For those who said this dish was too hot, the secret is to taste it at every stage and only add as much hotness as you like. This is a keeper!

  36. This is the best dish I’ve ever made! I accidentally used three tbs. of creole seasoning instead of two which gave it a nice kick. Everyone loved it. Nola Cuisine is now on my favorites list.

  37. This is by far the best shrimp creole recipe ever and I’ve used it now for years. It bursts with flavor and always impresses! Thanks for sharing!
    Jessica

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