This Easy Shrimp Creole recipe puts dinner on the table in no time flat. Tender seasoned shrimp, cooked in a rich Creole tomato sauce takes minutes to prepare. Serve it over steamed white rice for a complete meal.
Easy Shrimp Creole
While shrimp may not come to mind when it comes to busy day meals, it's a solid contender. Shrimp literally cooks in minutes whether we're having crispy shrimp rolls topped with slaw, shrimp and grits or a spectacular shrimp salad, I know I can have it ready to eat quickly. One major difference between shrimp creole and shrimp jambalaya, both Louisiana classics, is the rice is cooked separately from the shrimp Creole. The rice serves as a bed for the cooked shrimp and spicy sauce. Shrimp Creole is also typically spicier than jambalaya or gumbo but, it can of course, be adapted to your personal preference.
Tips for Making Shrimp Creole
- You may use shrimp with tails on or off for this dish, go with your personal preference.
- Crushed tomatoes provide a rich stock for the shrimp and may be thickened to taste. I typically begin with a small amount of tomato paste, then adjust the thickness of the sauce after it's simmered and reduced a bit. The sauce isn't meant to be gravy-like.
- The amount of heat in this dish may be adjusted by reducing, or increasing the amount of cayenne and hot sauce used.
- The purpose of browning the shrimp in a separate skillet before adding to the sauce, is to sear the seasoning onto the shrimp so, they don't just poach in the liquid. It's all about adding layers of flavor to this dish.
- There are many brands of Creole seasoning on the market in addition to regional favorites found in Louisiana. Go with your favorite.
What's the Difference Between Creole and Cajun?
Both cuisines have been heavily influenced by the immigrants who settled in and around New Orleans. Not to over simplify but, since we're talking shrimp creole today, I'll address what makes this dish Creole. Creole cooking is said to use tomatoes and tomato based sauces more so than Cajun cooking. While they're quite similar, there are notable differences but, both are incredibly delicious. You can read more about the differences between Creole and Cajun cooking on Louisiana Travel.
Dishes to Serve with Shrimp Creole
This dish is quite delicious served over white rice and a sprinkling of green onion or chives. Cornbread or garlic bread for dipping in the sauce would be a nice additions to the table. Stewed or fried okra would also complement this dish.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Easy Shrimp Creole
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 rib celery diced
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 lbs raw medium- large shrimp (tails on or off) peeled, and deveined
- 4 tsp Creole seasoning divided
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock or shrimp stock
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste plus additional as needed
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne adjust to taste
- 2 dried bay leaves
- few dashes hot sauce adjust to taste
- olive oil
- cooked white rice for serving
- 4 medium green onion thinly sliced
- In a large skillet cook onion, pepper and celery with butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer. .
- Meanwhile, in a medium-size mixing bowl toss shrimp with 2 tsp Creole seasoning. Set aside.
- To the skillet add remaining 2 tsp Creole seasoning, chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire, paprika, salt, cayenne, bay leaves and hot sauce. Simmer uncovered on medium-low for 10 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Heat a couple of drizzles of olive oil in a separate skillet. Add seasoned shrimp. Cook over medium-high for 1 minute or until lightly pink. Add shrimp to Creole sauce.
- Simmer in Creole sauce for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. You may thicken sauce further adding additional tomato paste 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Serve immediately with cooked white rice garnished with green onion.