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Cajun Shrimp Etouffee

A dish that is so creamy with seasonings that just wake up your taste buds. This Shrimp Etouffee recipe is not too spicy, it just blends all of it’s parts together in perfect harmony. It is so delicious and so satisfying.

Oh my heavens! This Cajun Shrimp Etouffee is one of those dishes that is so good you are kind of taken away to another place in your mind when your eating it. Really, like time slows down.

A white bowl filled with shrimp etouffee. The shrimp are in an orange colored, vegetable gravy. There is a scoop of white rice in the bowl, and the dish is garnished with parsley and green onions.

Of course, you do need to be a lover of shrimp to really appreciate this dish. Etouffee actually means means “smothered”. With an easy to make rue that becomes almost silky smooth. The peppers, onions, and celery (also known as the trinity) marry in the pot with the rue.

It’s almost a holy experience while eating it. I’m sure that’s why it got the holy “trinity” name; with the beautiful colors it really becomes an eating experience to remember.

Shrimp in a tomato based gravy in a white bowl. In the center of the bowl is a mound of white rice. The dish is garnished with green onions and parsley.

This dish proves how serious and passionate about food the people of New Orleans are. All Cajun and Creole food is a labor of love, the more love you add to the dish the better it tastes.

Actually some of the best and most well known chefs came right out of the heart of New Orleans. This recipe is based off of one of the most loved and famous chef Paul Prudhomme.  It’s so sexy it makes you appreciate being alive again.

Just in case you’ve fallen into a funk this dish will definitely make you sit up straight and get the attention of your loved ones they should be like; “oh honey you have out done yourself tonight.. A little more wine please!”

Two shallow white bowls filled with shrimp etouffee. Many shrimp are sitting atop a tomato based gravy. In the center of each bowl is a mound of white rice. Each bowl has parsley and green onion for garnish.

You probably think I’m exaggerating, I don’t think I am. This is exactly how I remember feeling the first time we made this dish at home. But then again, I am personally moved by some dishes.

I feel it to my bones when I love something, and this is one of those things I do love. It just makes me happy and I hope it takes you on a mini vacation in your mind; to a little old timey place with laughter and music in the background just for an evening.

A white bowl filled with shrimp etouffee and white rice. The bowl is sitting on a multi-colored piece of wood, with a blue towel in the bottom-left corner.

What can you serve with this Cajun Shrimp Etouffee?
Although it is almost a complete meal by itself, here is a selection of things that can bring your dinner to the next level.

  • Wine – A dry white will certainly pair the best, something along the lines of a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon blanc. Something else that is a favorite in our home is “fruity” wines; like cherry moscato, blackberry wine, or even a peach sangria. These are all great recommendations, but the most important thing is to pick one that you like!
  • Warm buttered rolls or a rustic baguette cut into pieces.
  • Salad – Think the side or house salad at most restaurants, and add all of your favorites to it!

Two white bowl filled with large servings of shrimp etouffee. White rice, green onion, and parsley are also visible. The bowls are sitting on a multi-colored wood board.

Some tips:

    • Does shrimp size matter? That link is a nice visual of the different sizes and count per pound. I think it’s a matter of personal preference as long as your aware what to look for when the shrimp is done. It will turn pinkish and curl to tighten up.  Feel free to use fresh shrimp or frozen and safely thawed. Thawing instructions below)
    • How many shrimp to serve person: Allow about 4 ounces for each adult and about 2 ounces for small children.  Shrimp Servings By the Numbers
        • Medium and below, about 9 to 11 shrimp per person
        • Large to jumbo, about 5 to 7 shrimp per person
        • Extra jumbo and above, about 3 to 5 per person
    • Best method for thawing shrimp according to the Food and Drug Administration FDA: Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Use a bowl never trust just a baggie or butcher paper to not leak over other items in the refrigerator.  If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, or — if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter — microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable.
    • Plan ahead when we are shopping for seafood:  We keep an ice pack in the freezer to grab and and insulated bag so if your shopping at multiple stores your food is staying at a safe temperature.

Shrimp stock:

  • If you want to make your own Shrimp Stock: Add a couple teaspoons of butter a saucepan. Then throw in the shrimp shells that you peeled, a couple tablespoons of onion, a clove of garlic, a celery stalk that has been diced, a bay leaf, and pinch dried thyme. 
  • Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, keep stirring. Add about 2 cups of water to it. 
  • Remove from heat and strain using a sieve.

If you LOVE this Cajun Shrimp Etouffee recipe, try this Authentic New Orleans Cajun Gumbo OR this New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp!

Close up view of shrimp etouffee in a white bowl. The texture of the shrimp and white rice is very visible.


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Cajun Shrimp Etouffee

Cajun Shrimp Etouffee

Yield: About 4 entree sized bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This Shrimp Etouffee recipe is not too spicy, it just blends all of it's parts together in perfect harmony. It is so delicious and so satisfying.


  • 1 pound Jumbo shrimp - 16/20 count per pound peeled, deveined shrimp, (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (not margarine)
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Chicken Broth or Shrimp Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup fresh Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (I used Crystals)
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
  • filé powder (optional thickening powder)
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


  1. Season shrimp with 1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the seasoned shrimp. Cook until shrimp just start to turn pink, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously to make a roux. Stir the roux over medium heat until the color changes slightly golden or blonde roux, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to the roux, and saute until onions are translucent.
  4. Whisk in a little stock. Stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly.
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaves, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the Creole Seasoning. Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes and, then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more stock, but the end result should be the consistency of a gravy, not too thick, not too thin.
  6. Add Thyme, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and hot sauce and simmer the etouffee, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
  7. Add shrimp, gently stir, and cook until shrimp are heated back up. Do not overcook the shrimp, as they will become rubbery in texture.
  8. Serve immediately with steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onion and Italian Parsley.


Canned diced tomatoes can be used, just measure it out to be 1 cup (about 7 oz.)

We recommend about 1/2 cup prepared rice per serving. This is about 1/4 cup of uncooked rice per serving.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 large bowl
Amount Per Serving Calories 554Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 517mgSodium 4348mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 59g

Nutrition data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

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A four picture collage. The first image is chopped bell peppers, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven. The second adds flour. The third is after adding butter, and starting to form the roux. The fourth image adds tomatoes into the mixture.

A very close up view of shrimp in a tomato based gravy. A small bit of white rice is on the left edge of the image.

Cajun Shrimp Etouffee
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