This is the BEST Shrimp Etouffee Recipe Online! Homemade and delicious, made with an authentic creole flavor and down home taste. Bring Mardi Gras to your home! Make sure to pair with Red Beans and Rice, A Shrimp Po Boy, my New Orleans beignets , Jambalaya Skillet, Seafood Gumbo, Grillades and Grits, How to Make a Roux, or even this Low Country Boil for a very authentic creole meal.
This is the year everyone! This is the year I finally go to New Orleans and end my constant dreaming about the creole culture, especially its food.
From the shrimp and grits, mardi gras king cake, and beignets (we all know a little something about Cafe Du Monde) to the shrimp or seafood etouffee, I will be getting down on all that the “Big Easy” is known for.
Is it too much to say my life mission might be to eat my way through New Orleans? I don’t think so.
Why This Recipe Works
- The flavors make it one of the best dishes you’ll ever eat! Its buttery richness paired with the succulence of the shrimp, just the right amount of cayenne, and served over a bed of fluffy white rice is divine!
- Making it at home means you can vary the flavors and heat according to your personal taste.
- Enjoy the flavors of authentic creole cooking at home! No need to go out to eat or travel to Louisiana!
What is Etouffee?
Etouffee is a French word that means smothered or suffocated. However, in relation to food, it refers to a method of cooking where the seafood is smothered in vegetables with a tomato-based sauce, resulting in a stew-like seafood dish.
Etouffee is basically a spicy stew made with vegetables and seafood in most cases; however, chicken and possibly other poultry (turkey) can also be used.
Cajun etouffee is such a fantastic dish, rich in history and bonkers in flavor. Food historians trace back Louisiana etouffee to the crawfish capital of the world, Breaux Bridges, Louisiana where it was first served in the Hebert Hotel in the early 1920s.
Since then, the presence of Etouffee in the South has taken on a life of its own. You can find this signature New Orleans meal at almost any restaurant.
Making homemade etouffee can take some time, but it is truly worth it. From the creole seasoning and dashes of hot sauce to the underlying holy trinity of onions, celery, and bell peppers simmering in a rich dark roux, this is one of the seafood dishes I enjoy the most.
Ingredients You Need
Don’t be scared off by the long list of etouffee ingredients! I’m going to walk you through all the steps to make the best etouffee so you’ll be an old pro by the end.
- Roux: Every good etouffee starts with a dark roux made with salted butter and all-purpose flour.
- Holy Trinity: Just about every single creole or cajun dish starts with the veggie combination of onion, celery, and green bell peppers, thus its nickname, the Holy Trinity.
- Broth: Chicken stock and white wine add flavor to the gravy base of this shrimp recipe.
- Tomatoes: We will be using a combination of tomato paste and diced tomatoes. The tomato paste adds intense tomato flavor while the diced tomatoes add nice chunky bits of tomato to the dish.
- Spices: A basic creole seasoning and garlic powder plus cayenne pepper and hot sauce for a bit of heat.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds more depth of flavor to the etouffee sauce.
- Fresh lemon juice: Make sure you use freshly squeezed!
- Shrimp: You will want to use peeled and deveined to make this etouffee recipe! Buy them already prepped to save you some time.
- Heavy whipping cream: For additional richness and flavor.
- Cooked rice, chopped parsley, and green onion: For serving and garnish.
How to Make Shrimp Etouffee
This isn’t a difficult dish to make. The roux may seem like the hardest part because you need to ensure that it browns and darkens without burning. But I’m going to show you exactly how to make the roux for your etouffee base.
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour making sure there are no lumps to begin the roux.
- Allow the roux to develop, stirring frequently for about 9-10 minutes. You want it to turn dark but make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Add the onions, celery, and green peppers and cook for a few minutes until tender stirring frequently as they cook.
- Pour in the chicken stock and white wine and then add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes to the skillet and whisk together everything.
- Season the sauce with the creole seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook the mixture for 10-12 minutes over medium heat to allow the flavors to blend and the sauce to begin to thicken.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for another 10 minutes on a lower heat with the lid on and add the whipping cream.
- Stir everything together and cook for 2-3 more minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve up your etouffee over rice and garnish with chopped parsley and green onion.
How to Store and Reheat
Shrimp etouffee is best enjoyed freshly cooked so I don’t recommend making it ahead of time. If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge for up to four days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
Reheat it by placing it in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until heated through. If it’s a bit thick you thin it out with more chicken stock.
- Serve it up with other Southern and New Orleans favorites such as a New Orleans Hurricane Drink to kick things off!
- Etouffee is usually served with rice. White rice, brown rice, and even dirty rice all work great.
- Be patient with the roux. It takes time for it to develop, about 9-10 minutes.
- Stir the roux frequently and don’t let the heat get too hot. You want it to cook and darken slowly over time and not burn.
- The flavor of etouffee is usually spicy but if you’re sensitive to heat then you can tone down the amount of or even eliminate the cayenne and hot sauce added.
Shrimp creole and shrimp etouffee are somewhat similar dishes, and some people get the two dishes confused with each other. The etouffee has more of a gravy consistency which means that it’s thicker than shrimp creole. Another difference is that shrimp etouffee is a lot spicier than shrimp creole. Lastly, shrimp creole normally has a tomato base while shrimp etouffee utilizes a roux for its base. Many true foodies and culinary experts will tell you that a true Cajun etouffee does not contain tomatoes. The addition of tomato is a Creole way of preparing the dish.
Yes, you can! Swap the shrimp for crawfish tails instead. Follow the same cooking instructions but the crawfish tails will not require as much time to cook.
More Delicious Shrimp Recipes
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Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
- ¼ cup salted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup sliced celery
- ½ cup chopped green peppers
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon tomato paste
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, drained 1 can
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- Cooked rice for serving
- Garnish with chopped parsley and green onion
- In a medium sized pan, melt butter over medium heat. Thoroughly stir in flour making sure there are no lumps to begin the roux. Allow the roux to develop, stirring frequently for about 9-10 minutes (until dark but make sure it doesn’t burn).
- Next stir in onions, celery and green peppers and cook for a few minutes until tender, frequently stirring.
- Pour in chicken stock and white wine then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and whisk together everything.
- Season with creole seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce.
- Allow the mixture to cook for 10-12 minutes over medium heat to come together and begin to thicken then add the shrimp and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes on a lower heat with the lid on.
- Stir in heavy whipping cream then cook for 2-3 more minutes until thickened. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped parsley and green onion.
This post was originally published Februrary 2015. It’s been updated with new images and content.
Nick S. says
I was introduced to Alligator Etouffee at Bj’s Bayou, Roberts, ID. The first time I had it there, it was amazing. The second time I had it, I got talked into ordering it “hot”. That was a huge mistake. Anyway, I later found a recipe and some frozen gator meat here in North Dakota (no, really) and made it myself and it was good. It may have been too tomato-ey. Your recipe sounds better and a lot more flavor than the one I used. SO, silly question, think gator meat would cook the same as the shrimp?
Nick S. says
Woot! Made this tonight WITH alligator. I just went on ahead and cooked the gator like I would have cooked shrimp. It’s really tasty. Your recipe was way better than the one I had been using. Thanks for sharing :).
Gina Abernathy says
New Orleans is on my list of places to visit one day. But, until then, this recipe will allow me to taste the flavors of New Orleans in my kitchen.
That was a great stew! Adding it to my go-to recipes! Thanks for sharing.