Shrimp Etouffee

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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

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.

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!

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


  • 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
4.96 from 63 votes
Review Recipe

Shrimp Etouffee

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


  • 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

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  • 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.

Recipe 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.

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
About the author


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Best etoufee recipe I’ve ever tried. My friend from New Orleans said it tasted just like “down home”. Easy to find ingredients, easy to make – a win-win.5 stars

  2. This was the best etoufee I’ve ever had!!! I added sausage, chicken, and more cayenne pepper to mines for a little more spice !

  3. This recipe was SO good. I tripled the requirements because we have a big family but it turned out extremely well. I also added chicken tenderloin and Turkey sausage, both Cajun style for flavor.

    This was simple for a first timer. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  4. I would like to thank you for publishing this recipe. Made this for supper tonight and everyone really enjoyed it. Easy to make but it just took a little longer time simmering to get the sauce thicker. Other than that, very good. Definitely, will make it again.5 stars

  5. Once again I look for a recipe and find yours is the easiest to understand and follow and has the best flavor and aroma!!! Thank you HOlly!!!!5 stars

    1. Oh, thank YOU Mary! I’m so happy to hear that! So glad you love this shrimp etouffee. You’re welcome!

  6. Very tasty! I cooked the sauce down two extra minutes to thicken just a bit more and threw in the whole bell pepper (it was on the small side) plus added an extra clove of garlic. I followed the directions for the homemade Cajun spice – was way better than the store bought and gave great flavor. Served over rice. The family said it was delicious. Will be making this again for sure. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  7. We made the Etouffee tonight for a Late Mardi Gras Zoom gather tomorrow. We will add the shrimp tomorrow before we make it. The sauce is amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Excellent recipe, so happy I tried it! Tastes even better than what I had in NOLA last year. Thanks!5 stars

  9. Excellent on the side over rice or on fried speckled trout! Perfect consistency and kids loved it. Did a double recipe in an 8 qt pot. Very quick and easy! Thanks5 stars

  10. I went to grad school in Louisiana. This is not a etoufee. I was hesitant but decided to try. The flavor is good, but don’t present as an etoufee. It is a shrimp soup3 stars

    1. I actually learned this recipe in classes at a cooking school in New Orleans. If your etouffee was soupy or runny, it may have needed more time to reduce. If you use a pot that is deep (rather than a large skillet) this can affect the way the sauce reduces. Hope that helps!

  11. Thanks for this recipe Holly! This is something new to us. I was a bit hesitant at first because my husband doesn’t like spicy food. But this isn’t as spicy as we thought. Made my own cajun seasoning since I cannot find one in the market. Will definitely cook this again.5 stars

  12. This was beautiful! It came together so seamlessly and the resulting flavor is wonderful. I added some krab meat to it to round it out with some sweetness. I’ll make this again! Thanks!!! I shared a pic on Insta with the hashtag5 stars

  13. WOW!! This was a Complete hit last night with all 6 of my family members, kids age 9-16 yrs old. I used 2 Banana Peppers instead of the Green Pepper. It is similar to my husband’s jambalaya recipe but a lot quicker. Excellent Job Holly♥️5 stars