Shrimp Étouffée is a southern dish packed with all the flavor of our favorite New Orleans cuisine! 

In this dish, tender seasoned shrimp are smothered in a creamy sauce and jam-packed with flavor. The best Shrimp Etoufee is easy to make but it does take a bit of time and I can assure you that the time is definitely worth it!

Shrimp Etouffee on a white plate with rice

What is Shrimp Étouffée?

This is a dish I learned to make in cooking classes in New Orleans. It’s so incredibly delicious, I knew I HAD to share it with you!

Roughly translated, Shrimp Étouffée means “smothered shrimp.” It’s picked up many variations along the way.

For this recipe, a creamy sauce made with a roux will mix with cajun-seasoned shrimp. We love the layers of flavor in this creamy sauce and of course the plump juicy shrimp.

ingredients to make Shrimp Etouffee on a baking sheet

Ingredients & Variations

SHELLFISH
Étouffée can be made with any kind of shellfish. Sub out the shrimp for crab, mussels, or even crayfish (or crawdads) if you can find them! Fresh shrimp is the best to use, but if frozen is all that’s available, no worries! Just make sure it’s well-drained, and don’t overcook.

SAUCE
The base of this dish is the sauce made from a roux. It’s possible to make different types of roux, from “blonde” to medium, to brown. The longer the roux cooks, the darker and nuttier it becomes, but it can definitely take some time. So our recipe strikes a happy medium, without sacrificing any of the flavors!

BROTH
If time is short, just go ahead and use chicken broth, or better yet, canned shrimp broth. But if time is no issue and you want to “get your chef on,” then go ahead and make homemade shrimp stock.

How to Make Shrimp Étouffée

This dish takes time but I can assure you it’s worth every second.

    1. Cook Shrimp
      Season and cook shrimp just until pink (per recipe below). It will cook more later, do not overcook.
    2. Make Roux
      Combine flour and fat and cook until it becomes the color of peanut butter. Add onions/celery/peppers (this helps stop the cooking process).

flour and butter mixture cooked to the right color to make Shrimp Etouffee

  1. Simmer
    Add diced fresh tomatoes, bay leaf, and Worcestershire and simmer.
  2. Add flavors
    Add shrimp, green onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice and heat through. Serve over rice.

adding final ingredients to the pan to make Shrimp Etouffee

Tips

  • Once the roux has reached the color of peanut butter, add the celery/onion/green pepper (aka the holy trinity). This cools the roux to keep it from browning further.
  • The best shrimp is cooked safely—but just until pink! For the first cooking, remove shrimp from heat just as soon as it turns pink on both sides, which takes just a couple of minutes! Once added back into the sauce, make sure it’s heated thoroughly but doesn’t boil. A very short simmer is fine, but that’s it. This will ensure the shrimp stays juicy and tender.
  • Add green onion and parsley last, just before removing the dish from heat. This way the herbs retain their flavor and stay bright green.
  • Make sure to time the cooking so that the rice is ready when the Étouffée is done. Hot, steaming, and slightly sticky rice tastes the best. Try making Instant Pot Rice or baked rice.

Shrimp Etouffee in a pan with a wooden spoon

Classic Southern-Style Dishes!

Did you love this Shrimp Etouffee as much as we do? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Shrimp Etouffee on a white plate with rice
4.97 from 174 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp slow-simmered with fresh veggies in a cajun-spice sauce, and served over rice!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • cup butter
  • cup flour
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ½ bell pepper chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups shrimp stock or chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomatoes fresh (not canned), diced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ½ lemon juiced

Instructions 

  • Toss shrimp with cajun seasoning. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp just begins to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Stir in flour and cook until the flour becomes the color of peanut butter, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add onions, bell pepper, celery, thyme and garlic and cook until slightly softened. Stir in the broth/stock a bit at a time until smooth.
  • Add tomatoes, Worcestershire and bay leaves and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered about 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the green onions, parsley, lemon juice and shrimp with any juices. Cook just until shrimp is heated through, do not overcook.
  • Serve over rice.

Notes

For more flavor, shell your own shrimp. Add shells (and heads), add to chicken broth and simmer on low 20 minutes. Strain and discard shells. Use this broth in place of chicken broth.
Do not overcook shrimp, cook just until pink on each side in step 1. The shrimp will finish cooking through when reheating.
4.97 from 174 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 458 | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 469mg | Sodium: 2190mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2889IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
plated Shrimp Etouffee with a title with a photos of the ingredientws in a pan cooking
Shrimp Etouffee in the pan with writing
Shrimp Etouffee in the pan with a title
Shrimp Etouffee on a plate with a title

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. This is delicious! I made it tonight for dinner and it did not disappoint. I omitted the Wistishire sauce because it was salty from the casian seasoning and we are sodium restricted, so figured it didn’t need the extra salt component. Followed the rest to a tee. It was really good. My husband loved it! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes. Keep them coming.5 stars

  2. Lived in Louisiana for 10 years ( deep in the heart of Cajun Country ) and this recipe is authentic. From the roux to the trinity of veggies, just perfect.5 stars

  3. I made this initially with Chicken stock and it was yummy. This time around I have one can of Seafood stock or Shrimp Bullion cubes. What would you recommend?5 stars

  4. Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! I didn’t have the Worcestershire, so I used balsamic vinegar, a little fish sauce, and some brown sugar. I didn’t use the lemon because I was sure my husband wouldn’t have like the tang, but it still turned out so incredibly yummy! That was my first time making a roux and now I feel a little accomplished, lol. Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  5. This is simply delicious. I followed the recipe except for I used juice of a whole lemon plus zest. halved cherry tomatoes worked nicely too instead of chopped whole ones. Loved it!5 stars

  6. Here in Texas fresh shrimps always at HEB grocery , will poach my shrimps in a shrimp shell clam juice broth , then who knows, not sure yet. weather is nasty today. just want a hot broth with some shrimps. will have to make this recipe next time. thank you for your recipes and that wonderful Smile !!!!5 stars

  7. This is a great recipe! I normally use a Spice Mix from La. that is very tastee. This time I went Googling. This was the first recipe and it sounded easy enough(and was!)
    I had never sauteed the shrimp first and added later, which produced a nice a’dente bite. The flavors are simple and spot-on.
    I’ll use this again!! Thanks, Jan5 stars

  8. This was fantastic and brought back New Orleans memories! Fabulous! Very little variations on my end. Spicy and fabulous! Thanks Chef!

  9. Hi and thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ll be making it tomorrow. I just have one question, should I use red or green bell peppers, or a combination of both?

    1. Hi Lauren, we use red peppers in this recipe but you can use whatever you have on hand or whatever you prefer! Let us know how it turns out for you!

  10. I made this dish last night, and all I can say is “Wow”!

    The flavors were a perfect marriage. The sauce had an ideal consistency, and the vegetables still had a slight firmness (I hate mushy vegetables.)
    I served this over seasoned jasmine rice.
    This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

  11. Holy Holly! This recipe is awesome – as good or better than etouffee we have had in restaurants! I followed the recipe exactly, used Two Step Cajun Seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper at the end and served over unsalted converted rice. Excellent! Thank you for sharing!