This Easy Shrimp Creole recipe brings the heart of New Orleans right to your kitchen in under an hour and all in one pot! This classic dish is flavor-packed and full of perfectly cooked plump shrimp smothered with creole seasoning in a spicy gravy.
Serve with a fresh garden salad and a piece of crusty French bread for one soul-satisfying southern inspired dinner.
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, it’s hard to miss that Shrimp Creole is almost on every restaurant menu. This widely popular and classic Creole dish with sweet tomato sauce, juicy shrimp, and the Holy Trinity of celery, bell pepper, and onion is a true southern dish that’s hearty and completely soul-satisfying.
And, for those who are unfamiliar with Cajun and Creole cooking, the Holy Trinity is the base of most jambalayas, stews, and soups from the Louisiana region. Celery, bell peppers, and onions are sautéed until tender. Once the base is soft, a protein source is added, and everything is coated in a spicy sauce and served over rice.
So, when you are looking for a flavorful one-pot meal to whip up on a busy weeknight or to serve at a low-key Mardi Gras celebration along with some individual king cake crescent rolls, this easy shrimp creole dish is for you!
It’s a quick, nutritious, comfort-food meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Ingredient Shopping List
Shrimp Creole packs a lot of flavor for such a simple dish made with basic ingredients; many you may already have in your pantry.
Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand or to grab from the store when you’re ready to start cooking:
- Green bell pepper
- Green onion
- Chicken broth
- Petite diced tomatoes
- Worcestershire sauce
- Frozen shrimp
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper
- Bay leaf
- White rice
How To Make Shrimp Creole
From satisfying a creole cuisine hankerin’ to a Mardi Gras celebration, there’s nothing more flavorful and comforting than a bowl of this authentic New Orleans style shrimp creole.
If your shrimp is not precooked, heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté’ shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side on medium high heat. Remove from stove and set aside. If you are using precooked shrimp, you will add it later.
Then to get the vegetables started, in a large skillet sauté the onion, green pepper, and celery in butter over medium heat until soft.
Next, add in garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper to your vegetable mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, stir in tomatoes and Worcestershire and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add in cooked shrimp and cook until hot.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper and serve over rice.
Garnish with chopped green onions or fresh parsley and enjoy!
How To Store Leftovers
Store any leftover shrimp creole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, place in a saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed through. Or, warm through in the microwave for approximately 1-2 minutes.
Can I Freeze Leftovers?
You sure can! Any leftover shrimp creole will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months if stored in a freezer-safe container or freezer-safe zipper bag
When ready to enjoy, allow frozen shrimp creole to thaw overnight in the fridge. Once thawed, place in a saucepan over low heat and heat until warmed through making sure to not overcook as the shrimp will become tough.
You can also reheat in the microwave by placing the thawed dish in a microwavable bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes.
What Type of Shrimp Should I Buy?
Traditional Shrimp Creole uses Gulf shrimp. If you live in an area where you can buy fresh ocean-caught fresh Louisiana shrimp, by all means, use it!
However, most of us do not have access to this delicacy, so I recommend using high quality non-farm-raised frozen shrimp of the east coast or Gulf varieties.
Most of the time, the raw shrimp you purchase in the seafood case at your local grocer is just frozen shrimp that have been thawed.
If you buy good quality frozen shrimp and defrost before cooking, you will have a fresher tasting shrimp than ones that were previously frozen, thawed, and sitting in a seafood case for a few days.
How Do I Safely Thaw Frozen Shrimp?
Frozen shrimp can be safely thawed 2 ways:
1) Allow frozen bag of shrimp to thaw overnight in the fridge, or
2) Place shrimp in a large bowl and cover it with ice-cold water for about an hour. Drain and towel-dry shrimp to absorb any excess water.
Can I Make Shrimp Creole Gluten-Free?
To make gluten-free, purchase a certified gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
Tips and Tricks
- Feel free to use extra-large, large, or small shrimp. If using large or small shrimp, you may have to adjust the cooking time to ensure you do not overcook the shrimp.
- Be sure to watch the shrimp as they cook. Remove as soon as they turn pink as overcooked shrimp and tough and not appetizing.
- Sprinkle on a few splashes of hot sauce if you’d prefer a spicier kick!
- Add in okra, fresh or frozen, with the other vegetables to make this an okra shrimp creole
- For a heartier take, serve over pasta.
- To make low carb, serve over a bed of cauliflower rice!
Print the Recipe
Whether you’re celebrating Mardi Gras or just craving a traditional Louisiana dish straight from your own kitchen, this Easy Shrimp Creole recipe is one southern soul satisfying meal!
Easy Shrimp Creole Recipe – New Orleans Style
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 lb frozen shrimp – thawed cooked, peeled, deveined, tail off (or fresh if you can get it)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped green onion for garnish
- 2 cups Cooked white rice for serving
- Start rice and cook according to package instructions
- If using fresh shrimp, cook in a skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and set aside. If using thawed frozen shrimp that is already cooked, we will add it later.
- In a large pot saute onion, bell pepper, and celery in butter until soft
- Add in garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne – cook for 2 minutes
- Stir in broth and add in bay leaves
- Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
- Stir in tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes
- Stir in cooked shrimp and cook until hot
- Remove from heat, and add in lemon juice
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve over rice
- Garnish with green onion or fresh parsley, and enjoy!