Shrimp Etouffee

This classic Cajun dish is a fantastic shrimp recipe full of rich flavor. And it’s fun to make! You get to toast shrimp shells and make a dark roux!

Southern shrimp dishes are some of my favorite things to cook. Shrimp Etouffee is a staple. Succulent shrimp with onions, celery and bell pepper cooked in a thick roux based sauce. It’s traditional to serve Etouffee over rice, and that’s exactly how I do it.

A lot of people get confused about the difference between Shrimp Etouffee and Shrimp Creole. The main difference with Shrimp Etouffee is that it uses a thick roux to start the dish, making the sauce more gravy like.

Speaking of the roux, it’s really important. I like my roux to be thick and just darker than peanut butter. I use a blend of olive oil and butter, and I find that it’s easiest to make this in a dutch oven so you have plenty of room to build the Etouffee.

After the roux is perfect, I add the holy trinity of Creole cooking, onion, bell pepper, and celery. That gets cooked until it’s soft, and then everything is simmered in a mixture of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire.

Once the sauce has come together, you add thawed shrimp and let them cook in the sauce. Shrimp cook quickly, so you’re not far away from having a steaming bowl of rich, seafood-based Etouffee.


Shrimp Etouffee

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4


This classic Cajun dish is a fantastic shrimp recipe full of rich flavor. And it’s fun to make! You get to toast shrimp shells and make a dark roux!


  • 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. deveined shrimp, with shells on
  • 1 and 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/41/2 tsp. cayenne pepper – depending on the desired spice level
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup drained, diced tomatoes
  • about 4 dashes pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
  • about 4 dashes Worchestchire sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice


  1. Heat one teaspoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Peel the shrimp placing the shells in one bowl and the shrimp in another. Set the shrimp aside.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the shells to the pan, and saute for 2 minutes. Add in chicken stock. This step reinforces the shrimp flavor in the dish.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and the butter over medium heat.
  5. Once hot, add the flour and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is just darker than peanut butter and smells nutty.
  6. Add the chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, salt, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper. Mix well and saute for about 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Add the diced tomatoes, pepper sauce, and Worchestchire. Mix well.
  8. Set a fine mesh strainer over the skillet and pour the shell infused stock into the mixture, straining out the shells.
  9. Cook for another 10 minutes so the mixture can reduce by about half.
  10. Add the shrimp and cook for 6 minutes, flipping the shrimp so both sides can cook halfway through.
  11. Serve over cooked rice.
Shrimp Etouffee

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