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Shrimp Creole

This Louisiana Shrimp Creole recipe has a rich and savory tomato sauce, with just the right amount of spice, to make it truly irresistible! Serve it over white rice with a few green onions on top and you’ll have a delicious one-pot dinner in less than 30 minutes!

plated shrimp on a bed of rice

Shrimp Creole

This is one of the easiest and fastest Creole dishes to make and everyone will want seconds. Our Shrimp Creole recipe is in a rich, thick tomato sauce that is enhanced with the holy trinity — onions, bell pepper, celery — plus red pepper and creole seasoning for a good kick of spice.

Shrimp Creole doesn’t need a lot of ingredients to make it taste delicious. The main star, of course, is good shrimp. Being from Louisiana, we always use extra large fresh caught Gulf shrimp. Living on the Gulf Coast makes us a little bias about our shrimp!

This recipe is my Mom’s Shrimp Creole recipe. She was born and raised in south Louisiana and this is how her family made Shrimp Creole. She has been making it this way for 85 years, so it’s as authentic as you can get. If you want to feel like you are really down in Louisiana, serve this classic dish for dinner!

shrimp cooked in a tomato sauce

How to Serve Shrimp Creole

Of course our favorite way to enjoy this creole dinner is the traditional way: served over steamed white rice with a little chopped green onion on top. Don’t forget to add crusty French bread with a little butter and garlic to help clean up any sauce you may leave on your plate.

However, if you are watching your carbs or calories there are other options. If you want to keep it low carb, try this Shrimp Creole over cauliflower rice. Or if you don’t mind carbs, but want to make a healthier choice, it is also delicious over brown rice.

Want to skip rice all together? How about zucchini noodles or even spaghetti squash! Unlike gumbo, this sauce is thick and will make a great addition to just about any base you want.

Chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, green onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste and shrimp on a cutting board

Ingredients

You’ll notice that most of the ingredients that Shrimp Creole requires are staples you already have in your pantry and refrigerator. And if you use frozen shrimp, in your freezer too!

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion: yellow onion or white onion.
  • Bell Pepper: any color bell pepper will work, we prefer the red for shrimp creole.
  • Celery
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic: fresh, not jarred. You want that fresh garlic flavor to be authentic!
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Creole Seasoning: I don’t add salt or pepper to this because the creole seasoning covers both. We like to use Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Add more if you like it hot and spicy!
  • Shrimp

Fresh or Frozen Shrimp:

We prefer fresh Gulf shrimp whenever possible. If fresh is not an option, use raw fresh frozen shrimp. I have to admit, when I do buy frozen, it is nice to buy them already deveined.

So when you are planning out your week, remember if you don’t have a lot of time, to grab the already peeled and deveined shrimp to save those extra minutes!

Skillet with chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Shrimp and seasonings on the side of the skillet
Skillet with tomato sauce and cooked chopped onions, celery, bell pepper

How to Make Shrimp Creole

Sauté the vegetables. In a heavy bottom skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, green onion and garlic for 6-8 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce. Stir in the tomato sauce and paste stirring until well blended. Continue to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

Add the seasonings. Add the red pepper flakes and creole seasoning, stir to combine. If you prefer your Shrimp Creole to not be too hot use less red pepper or omit completely.

Raw shrimp in a skillet with red sauce and bell peppers.

Stir in the shrimp. Add the shrimp and continue to cook over low heat stirring often. Continue to cook over low heat stirring often, until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes. 

Serve immediately. Serve over rice with chopped green onions on top.

Large skillet filled with shrimp creole.

How to make the best Shrimp Creole

  • Holy Trinity. The flavor in your Shrimp Creole will mainly come from the vegetables added. In creole/cajun cooking, there is something called the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is made up of onion, celery and bell pepper. It is the base to almost all good creole food and this Shrimp Creole is no exception!
  • Clean Your Shrimp. Fresh shrimp will give you the best fresh flavor possible, but frozen are good too as long as you allow them good time to thaw. Make sure you fully devein and rinse your shrimp well so your final dish doesn’t turn out gritty.
  • Fresh Garlic. You want to use fresh garlic, not the jarred stuff. Jarred garlic is a lot less pungent and doesn’t pack the same punch as fresh garlic. Using jarred garlic can leave your shrimp feeling a little lack luster.
  • Seasonings. You want to taste and adjust your seasoning at the end to your personal tastes. Kick up the heat if you like some spice! Red pepper flakes, Creole/Cajun Seasoning, cayenne pepper or tabasco hot sauce are all wonderful ways to add some extra heat!
  • Do Not Over Cook Shrimp. Shrimp that have been cooked too long will become rubbery. Watch your shrimp closely so they do not cook too long. Shrimp are done cooking when they go from slightly translucent in appearance to a solid white/pink color and are curled when cooked.

Can I prep this ahead of time?

Yes! This has to be one of the easiest dinners to prepare ahead. There are a couple of options depending on your time.

You can chop the onion, bell pepper and celery and store in ziplock bags in the refrigerator until you are ready. Or if you already know you don’t have the time for that, buy the vegetables already chopped in the produce section of your grocery store.

The shrimp can be cleaned up to 3 days ahead or buy fresh frozen cleaned and devein. You’ll just need to defrost when you are ready to cook!

Shrimp creole in a skillet and on a white plate with rice.

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner with all your favorite Cajun flavors, this Shrimp Creole is for you! It’s made in one-pot and in just 30 minutes, but you would never know it based on the epic amounts of flavor packed in each bite.

Looking for more Cajun recipes? Try these favorites:

Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp Creole

plated shrimp on a bed of rice

This Louisiana Shrimp Creole recipe has a rich and savory tomato sauce, with just the right amount of spice, to make it truly irresistible! Serve it over white rice with a few green onions on top and you’ll have a delicious one-pot dinner in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks celery)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped. (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
  • 2 pounds fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Instructions

    1. In a heavy bottom skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, green onion and garlic. Sauté for 6-8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.

    Skillet with chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Shrimp and seasonings on the side of the skillet

    2. Stir in the tomato sauce and paste, stirring until well blended. Continue to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

    Skillet with tomato sauce and cooked chopped onions, celery, bell pepper

    3. Add the red pepper flakes and creole seasoning, stir to combine. Add the shrimp and continue to cook over low heat stirring often, until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes.

    Raw shrimp in a skillet with red sauce and bell peppers.

    4. Serve immediately over rice with extra chopped green onions on top for garnish.

Notes

*You can omit the red pepper flakes if you do not like any spice. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes will make your Shrimp Creole a mild level of spicy. Feel free to double or triple the amount of red pepper flakes depending on the amount of spice you enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 429mgSodium: 860mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 57g

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