This Shrimp Creole recipe is tender shrimp cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, vegetables and seasonings, then served over white rice. A comfort food classic that is easy to prepare, yet elegant enough to serve to company.

When I’m in the mood for New Orleans inspired cuisine, I turn to recipes such as hearty red beans and rice, flavor packed jambalaya, or this delicious Shrimp Creole. For a real seafood feast, serve your shrimp with a side of crab mac and cheese!

A pan of Shrimp Creole garnished with parsley.

I happen to love Shrimp Creole. It’s a great way to enjoy seafood, and the sauce is so bold and flavorful! I’ve since learned how to make this dish in the comfort of my own home, and the results are terrific each and every time.

Shrimp Creole Ingredients

Bowls of ingredients including shrimp, vegetables, broth, herbs and seasonings.

This dish features shrimp in a tomato based sauce. The sauce is flavored with vegetables, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, broth and garlic. Other ingredients include flour, bay, butter and fresh herbs.

How do you make Shrimp Creole?

Start by cooking the holy trinity of onions, celery and bell peppers in butter. Once the vegetables are soft, add garlic, then stir in a little flour to help thicken the sauce. Next, stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce an assortment of seasonings and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has started to thicken. Add the shrimp, then cook them in the sauce until they’re pink and opaque. Stir in some green onions and parsley, then spoon the shrimp over white rice. Garnish with additional herbs if desired, then serve and enjoy.

Step by step shots showing how to make Creole sauce.

How to peel and devein shrimp

This dish works best with peeled shrimp. You can leave the tails on the shrimp for a nicer presentation, or remove the tails too. Remove the shrimp shells by peeling them off with your fingers starting on the side with the legs. The shell may come off in sections which is fine.  If you don’t see a cut down the back of your shrimp, you will also need to devein them. Use a paring knife to cut a shallow slit along the back of the shrimp on the opposite side from the legs. Use a knife or a wooden skewer to remove the vein which looks like a dark tube running down the shrimp.

Tips for the perfect dish

  • I prefer to use a larger sized shrimp for this recipe, such as 26-30 or 31-40 count. Small shrimp will also work, just be careful not to overcook them! Fresh or frozen shrimp will both work fine, just make sure the shrimp are thawed.
  • Leftover Shrimp Creole will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I recommend reheating this dish on the stove over low heat.
  • This recipe is written for a medium heat level. If you prefer spicier food, feel free to add more hot sauce to taste.
  • The sauce portion of this dish can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Simply reheat the sauce and add the shrimp when you’re ready to eat.
  • I love to serve my shrimp with a side of dirty rice for a memorable meal.
Raw shrimp in a pan of tomato sauce.

Recipe FAQs

What is Shrimp Creole?

Shrimp Creole features Gulf shrimp simmered in a sauce made with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, celery and plenty of spices. It differs from other similar shrimp dishes in that the sauce is not thickened with a roux. In addition, this dish is served over rice, rather than having rice incorporated into the actual cooking process as is the case with other recipes like jambalaya. Creole style dishes also contain some hot sauce to add a spicy flavor.

What is Creole sauce made of?

Creole sauce is flavored with the holy trinity of onions, peppers and celery, and also contains tomato products and plenty of seasonings including garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning. This sauce is thickened with flour.

Where did Shrimp Creole originate?

Shrimp Creole originated in the southern part of Louisiana.

A bowl of Shrimp Creole served over rice.

Shrimp Creole flavor variations

You can add other ingredients to this dish to customize the flavors to your tastes. Some of these suggestions are not traditional additions, but they sure taste delicious!

  • Protein: I sometimes like to add another protein component such as diced smoked sausage, chunks of white fish, or cooked crumbled bacon.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add more veggies to the mix such as okra, mushrooms, zucchini or spinach.
  • Rice: You can swap out the white rice for other options such as brown rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa.

This recipe is a unique and unexpected way to liven up your dinner table, and is perfect for all the seafood lovers in your life!

More New Orleans style recipes

Shrimp Creole Video

5 from 12 votes

Shrimp Creole

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of Shrimp Creole garnished with parsley.
This Shrimp Creole recipe is tender shrimp cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, vegetables and seasonings, then served over white rice. A comfort food classic that is easy to prepare, yet elegant enough to serve to company.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Cajun
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup seafood or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp
  • 1/4 cup green onions sliced, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, plus more for garnish if desired
  • steamed white rice for serving

Instructions 

  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, bay leaf, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce has started to thicken.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and opaque.
  • Stir in the green onions and parsley. Garnish with additional herbs if desired, then serve immediately with rice.

Notes

  1. I prefer to use a larger sized shrimp for this recipe, such as 26-30 or 31-40 count. Small shrimp will also work, just be careful not to overcook them! 
  2. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I recommend reheating this dish on the stove over low heat.
  3. This recipe is written for a medium heat level. If you prefer spicier food, feel free to add more hot sauce to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 756mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3931IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very interesting recipe, I was so impressed by the sauce and the Cajun seasoning which is new to my cooking.

  2. 5 stars
    A nice big bowl of comfort food. My daughter could eat shrimp for every meal- if I made it! πŸ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    One of the best shrimps I have had lately, and I am a picky eater! thanks for such a delicious recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    So delicious! Just the perfect blend of seasonings and fresh herbs with the shrimp and tomatoes. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Such a classic southern dinner recipe! I am definitely adding this to my weekly dinner rotation soon. πŸ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    We had this shrimp creole for dinner last night and it was amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!