Traditional Shrimp Étouffée Recipe

Getting a flavorful dinner, or any dinner for that matter, on the table at the end of a busy day can feel like a feat, but it doesn't have to be as hard as you think. Recipe developer Erin Johnson brings us this recipe for traditional shrimp étouffée. Étouffée is a Cajun or Creole meal, usually made with crawfish.

This recipe comes together in just over an hour and is made from typical household ingredients. Johnson says "I love that étouffée is made with ingredients I usually always have on hand and is something that I can easily pull together." She also notes "if you want to add heat to this dish, choose a hot variety of Cajun seasoning or add Tabasco or cayenne pepper."

Johnson adds, "I like to serve this over rice, which is traditional — but it is also delicious over mashed potatoes or, my personal favorite, [served] in a bread bowl." We have to say we like the way she thinks!

Gather your ingredients for shrimp étouffée

To make this traditional shrimp étouffée, you can start by gathering your ingredients. All you need is butter, flour, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, chicken stock, and shrimp.

Make the roux

Begin by making a roux. In a large skillet on the stove top, add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and stir well. Using a wooden spoon, stir often to allow the mixture to heat through. As it heats, the roux will turn the color of peanut butter. Johnson notes that "the deeper the color, the more complex the flavor, so don't be afraid to let it go past this. Just be mindful that you need to stir constantly — don't let it burn!"

Add the holy trinity

The "holy trinity" is the Creole version of mirepoix, and is composed of onion, celery, and bell pepper. Once the roux is peanut butter-colored, go ahead and add these veggies to the skillet. Stir and continue to cook until the onions begin to soften.

Add garlic, tomatoes, stock, and seasoning

Next, add the garlic and tomatoes to the skillet. Johnson states that the fire-roasted tomatoes add "just a little extra depth of flavor and smokiness, without taking any extra effort. If you don't have these, regular diced tomatoes are fine." 

Then, add the Cajun seasoning and chicken stock to the pot. Give the whole mixture a good stir.

Boil and add the shrimp

Bring your pot of ingredients to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for 40 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and the vegetables to continue to cook down. Once the 40 minutes are up, add the shrimp to the pot and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Just like that, you're ready to serve. 

Johnson adds "If you want to make this ahead of time, cook everything, but don't add the shrimp. Heat the sauce and add the shrimp when you're ready to serve. The same is true for freezing."

And if you happen to have leftovers, they can be placed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Traditional Shrimp Étouffée Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
A traditional shrimp étouffée recipe may sound like a complicated dish, but it's surprisingly easy to whip up with ingredients you likely already have at home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shrimp étouffée over white rice
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the flour and stir well. Allow it to cook, stirring often, until the mixture (roux) is the color of peanut butter.
  2. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir to combine and allow the vegetables to cook until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Stir.
  4. Add the Cajun seasoning and chicken stock. Stir well.
  5. Allow the pot to come to a boil before turning the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and cook for an additional 6 minutes.
Calories per Serving 328
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 8.0 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 217.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Total Sugars 7.9 g
Sodium 488.3 mg
Protein 29.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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