Shrimp Creole is a tomato-based shrimp dish that is a taste of Southern Louisiana. It is the melting pot of classic Creole cooking the wholesome Italian flavors found in New Orleans. Shrimp Creole is loaded with shrimp, tomatoes, and a bunch of spices and herbs.

This traditional Louisiana Shrimp Creole is another one of my husband’s favorite recipes. We love to serve it over fluffy white rice with a few slices of buttered french bread and a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce.

A lot of Creole cuisine in New Orleans is Italian-inspired, and the two cuisines are known for their use of tomatoes and lots of seasoning. Shrimp Creole is no exception!

A red bowl of shrimp creole with rice and french bread.
Table of Contents

🥘 Ingredient Notes

The ingredients in shrimp creole laid out and labeled.

A lot of Shrimp Creole recipes begin with what is called the “holy trinity” – onion, celery, and bell pepper. This recipe can be made that way (feel free to just add some green bell pepper) but my family prefers it without it. We like to just start with onion, celery, and garlic.

  • Butter – I always used salted butter because I love salt on all things all the time, but unsalted is just fine. Just adjust the salt later!
  • Yellow Onion, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Garlic, finely chopped
  • Tomato Paste
  • Paprika
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Chicken Stock
  • Tomato Juice (See notes on tomatoes about how to adjust the amount of juice when using fresh vs. canned tomatoes)
  • Tomatoes – If you have fresh tomatoes from the garden, this is a great use of those. I love to use fresh Romas from my garden. If I don’t have any fresh tomatoes, I will use canned diced or whole peeled tomatoes and include their juices and I will use less tomato juice from the previous step. Basically, if the tomatoes have a lot of juice, you probably don’t need to add as much extra juice.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Cornstarch or Arrowroot – If you use arrowroot, you can make this recipe Paleo. If you use cauliflower rice, when you serve Shrimp Creole, you can also make this recipe low carb (even Whole30 if you use ghee instead of butter, but let’s not get too crazy!)
  • Water
  • Shrimp that has been peeled and de-veined

For Serving

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A Medium-Sized Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • A Sharp Knife and Cutting Board
  • A Rubber Spatula or Large Spoon

🥣 How to Make It

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper (if using), and garlic and cook until tender, 5 – 8 minutes. (Pictures 1 – 4)
  • Add the tomato paste, paprika, and Italian Seasoning and cook an additional 3 minutes. (Picture 5 – 6)
A collage of images showing how to make shrimp creole, steps 1 - 5.
  • Add chicken stock, tomato juice, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and white pepper and stir. I like to mash up the tomatoes a little. (Pictures 7 – 8) (If you use whole, canned tomatoes, you might also need to blend the tomatoes up a little with an immersion blender.)
  • Bring this mixture to a boil, then simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently. (Pictures 9 – 10)
A collage of images showing how to make shrimp creole, steps 6 - 10.
  • While the mixture is simmering, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
  • Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the tomato sauce and let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly. (Pictures 11 – 12)
  • Now add the shrimp and fresh parsley. (Pictures 13 – 14) Cook for 5 – 8 more minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent. Do not overcook the shrimp. (Picture 15)
A collage of images showing how to make shrimp creole, steps 11 - 1 q5.

Serve with more fresh parsley and white rice. Add more salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. (My husband also likes to add a little Tabasco Sauce.)

A blue bowl of shrimp creole with rice and french bread on the side.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with leftover Shrimp Creole sauce?

If you have leftover sauce, you can freeze it for another use. Defrost it, then bring it to a simmer and add a new half-batch of shrimp to feed two for a smaller dinner!

What makes this dish “Creole”?

Shrimp Creole is a Creole dish because the sauce is a tomato-based sauce. Tomatoes are common in most Creole (and many Southern Louisiana/Italian dishes.)

What kinds of tomatoes are used in Shrimp Creole?

This Shrimp Creole is kind of a fun recipe in that you can always use what you have and make adjustments. Fresh tomatoes in season, canned diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, whole peeled tomatoes – whatever you’ve got! If you use fresh tomatoes, you might need to add extra juice – canned tomatoes, you might need less juice.

Is Emeril Lagasse’s Shrimp Creole recipe the best recipe?

I don’t know – I’m pretty partial to this recipe, but you can give it a try and let me know 😉

Can something be used in place of shrimp?

If you don’t like shrimp, you can use something else, but obviously, it won’t be shrimp creole anymore, you can try lobster, crab, clams, or fish. Chicken thighs would be really good if you don’t like seafood or if you have a shellfish allergy – it would be similar to chicken cacciatore.

Is Shrimp Creole normally served with grits?

It can be – we like to serve it with rice. I like grits with cheese in them and I don’t really feel like cheese goes with this dish so I think the rice goes perfectly. If you try it with grits, let me know!

🍳 How to Serve Shrimp Creole

Serve shrimp creole with white rice, crunchy French bread, and a splash of Tabasco Sauce.

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.
Two bowls of shrimp creole, one red and one blue, with french bread and rice with three spoons.

🥫 How to Store Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole should be stored in the refrigerator and reheated slowly over low heat. If you have leftover sauce, but you eat all the shrimp, you can save it for another time in the freezer. When ready to use, defrost, bring to a simmer and cook another batch of shrimp in it. Yum! It is a really easy and quick dinner. (And it is delicious!)

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Do not overcook the shrimp – they can become tough and chewy. Shrimp will form a c and will no longer be translucent once fully cooked.
  • To reheat shrimp creole, reheat slowly over low heat.
  • If you have leftover red sauce but no shrimp, you can freeze the sauce and save it for another meal. It is really quick to defrost and make another batch with fresh shrimp.

More Cajun & Creole Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

📝 Recipe

A red bowl of shrimp creole with rice and french bread.

Shrimp Creole

5 from 9 votes
Shrimp Creole is a tomato-based shrimp dish that is a taste of Southern Louisiana. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is loaded with vegetables, flavors, and fresh shrimp.
Author: Kari
Servings: 6
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

Equipment

  • a 5 quart dutch oven or a large pot

Ingredients  

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 ½ cups onion chopped
  • 1 ½ cups celery chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 pounds raw shrimp

For Serving

  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • Tabasco Sauce

Instructions 

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper (if using), and garlic and cook until tender, 5 – 8 minutes.
    ½ cup butter, 1 ½ cups onion, 1 ½ cups celery, 1 tablespoon garlic
  • Add the tomato paste, paprika, and Italian Seasoning and cook an additional 3 minutes.
    ¼ cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Add chicken stock, tomato juice, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and white pepper and stir. I like to mash up the tomatoes a little.
    1 ½ cups chicken stock, 1 cup tomato juice, 1 cup diced tomatoes, 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, pinch cayenne pepper, pinch white pepper
  • Bring this mixture to a boil, then simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • While the mixture is simmering, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
    1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch, 4 tablespoons water
  • Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the tomato sauce and let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly.
  • Now add the shrimp and fresh parsley. Cook for 5 – 8 more minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent.
    3 pounds raw shrimp, ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • Do not overcook the shrimp. Serve with more fresh parsley and white rice. Add more salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. (My husband also likes to add a little Tabasco Sauce.)
    4 cups cooked white rice, Tabasco Sauce

Notes

🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
Serve with white rice, crunchy French bread, and a splash of Tabasco Sauce.📋 Tips
Do not overcook the shrimp – they can become tough and chewy. Shrimp will form a c and will no longer be translucent once fully cooked.
To reheat shrimp creole, reheat slowly over low heat.
If you have leftover red sauce but no shrimp, you can freeze the sauce and save it for another meal. It is really quick to defrost and make another batch with fresh shrimp.
🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
Shrimp Creole should be stored in the refrigerator and reheated slowly over low heat. If you have leftover sauce but you eat all the shrimp, you can save it for another time in the freezer. When ready to use, defrost, bring to a simmer and cook another batch of shrimp in it. Yum! It is a really easy and quick dinner. (And it is delicious!)
🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with leftover Shrimp Creole sauce?
If you have leftover sauce, you can freeze it for another use. Defrost it, then bring it to a simmer and add a new half-batch of shrimp to feed two for a smaller dinner!
What makes this dish “Creole”?
Shrimp Creole is a Creole dish because the sauce is a tomato-based sauce. Tomatoes are common in most Creole (and many Southern Louisiana/Italian dishes.)
What kinds of tomatoes are used in Shrimp Creole?
This Shrimp Creole is kind of a fun recipe in that you can always use what you have and make adjustments. Fresh tomatoes in season, canned diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, whole peeled tomatoes – whatever you’ve got! If you use fresh tomatoes, you might need to add extra juice – canned tomatoes, you might need less juice.
Is Emeril Lagasse’s Shrimp Creole recipe the best recipe?
I don’t know – I’m pretty partial to this recipe, but you can give it a try and let me know 😉
Can something be used in place of shrimp?
If you don’t like shrimp, you can use something else, but obviously, it won’t be shrimp creole anymore, you can try lobster, crab, clams, or fish. Chicken thighs would be really good if you don’t like seafood or if you have a shellfish allergy – it would be similar to chicken cacciatore.
Is Shrimp Creole normally served with grits?
It can be – we like to serve it with rice. I like grits with cheese in them and I don’t really feel like cheese goes with this dish so I think the rice goes perfectly. If you try it with grits, let me know!
📋 Tips
  • Do not overcook the shrimp – they can become tough and chewy. Shrimp will form a c and will no longer be translucent once fully cooked.
  • To reheat shrimp creole, reheat slowly over low heat.
  • If you have leftover red sauce but no shrimp, you can freeze the sauce and save it for another meal.
  • It is really quick to defrost and make another batch with fresh shrimp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 583kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 53gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 614mgSodium: 2119mgPotassium: 779mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2354IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 407mgIron: 7mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun, Creole, Southern
Keyword: shrimp creole, shrimp creole recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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