Enjoy the big, bold New Orleans flavors of Shrimp Etouffee with this easy recipe! Mild, sweet shrimp are smothered in a savory, spicy “seafood stew” made with green bell pepper, onion, celery, tomatoes, Creole seasoning and a light, nutty roux!
The word etouffee literally means smothered. Imagine plump, tender shrimp bathed in a rich, savory gravy-like sauce with vegetables… That’s etouffee! Spoon it over rice and you’ve got a steaming bowl of one-pot comfort food that you will swear came straight from Heaven.
And while etouffee might sound like it’s something that’s hard to make, it not hard at all! Don’t let the idea of making a roux deter you. This is an easy-to-follow, reliable recipe that anyone can make!
Does it take a little time in the kitchen, yes. Like most good southern favorites, you’re going to have to cook this one. But what’s a little love when your people are hungry?
RELATED RECIPE: Easy Louisiana Gumbo with Green Chile Rice
What is Etouffee Sauce Made Of?
Etouffee is made of a light, nutty roux (a simple gravy made from oil or butter + flour), onion, green bell pepper, celery (the Holy Trinity of vegetables), tomatoes, herbs and spices and either crawfish or shrimp.
Is Etouffee Creole or Cajun?
Etouffee is a classic Lousiana dish that can be made either Cajun or Creole style. There is a difference! Cajun style has no tomatoes and uses a dose or two of tabasco sauce for that little acid bite.
You can always tell when something is prepared Creole style because it will include diced tomatoes, either canned or fresh. I always include tomatoes in my etouffee sauce.
I’ll walk through an overview of ingredients & steps in this section along with helpful tips!
Look for specifics at the end of the post in the recipe card.
- medium shrimp- shell on, tail on, deveined (I use “easy peel” shrimp that have already been deveined to make prep easier.)
- yellow onion
- green bell pepper
- canned diced tomatoes & green chiles
- Worcestershire sauce
- all-purpose Creole seasoning
- bay leaves
- dried thyme
- paprika (I prefer smoked paprika.)
- minced garlic
- fresh parsley
- green onions
- vegetable stock (I use this to make an easy seafood stock for more authentic flavor. It’s very simple, and I include the how-to below.)
Anyone Can Make A Quick & Easy Seafood Stock
You can use vegetable or chicken stock to make this etouffee recipe, but a seafood stock creates a deep authentic flavor that’s hard to beat. And trust me, it’s easy or I wouldn’t include it all!
How To Make Shrimp Stock:
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- the leftovers of your chopped onion (but not the papery onion skins), bell pepper and celery
- ½ sliced lemon
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- the tails and shells of your shrimp
Throw it all in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the stock and set aside until ready to use.
How To Make New Orleans Shrimp Etouffee
Make the roux. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Whisk in flour it becomes smooth and begins to brown. Continue to stir until the roux becomes the color of peanut butter.
Add the Trinity. Add the diced bell pepper, celery and onion, plus some garlic. Stir to coat with the roux and sautee until tender.
Spice it Up. Add diced tomatoes & green chiles, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, paprika and mix it all together.
Stir in the stock. Stir in the seafood stock you made (or vegetable stock) until the sauce is smooth and let simmer 10 mimutes. (Now is the perfect time to make your rice!)
Finish with Seafood. Add shrimp and cook just until pink. Stir in parsley and green onions and serve your etouffee sauce over steaming white rice.
What to Eat with Shrimp Etouffee
What is the Difference Between Etouffee and Gumbo
While etouffee and gumbo can taste similarly, they are different dishes. Etouffee is a smothering sauce made with a light roux and a gravy-like consistency. Traditionally made with a single shellfish protein, like crawfish, shrimp or crab, it is served over rice or sometimes over other fish, like a fried catfish fillet.
Gumbo, on the other hand, usually contains 2-3 proteins, like chicken, shrimp and sausage. Gumbo usually has a thinner consistency, due to its darker roux, always contains okra and is served over rice or potato salad.
Making Ahead, Storing & Freezing
Shrimp etouffee is ideal for making ahead of time. Making it a day in advance allows the flavors extra time to mingle, marry and become even more delicious! Simply allow your etouffee sauce to cool completely, cover and refrigerate. Heat the etouffee on the stove top. Make your rice and serve.
Leftovers are stored and reheated the same way.
To freeze etouffee, I usually make the sauce, but do not add the parsley or green onion. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop, add parsley and green onions and serve over rice.
More Popular Louisiana Recipes
- Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
- Easy Sausage Jambalaya
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Easy Blonde Gumbo with Green Chile Rice
- Mini Natchitoches Meat Pies
- Best Louisiana Crab Cakes
- New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich
If You Love Louisiana One Pot Meals & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & Leave A Fun Comment! I Love Hearing From You!
Classic Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee
- 2 pounds medium to large shrimp (I use easy peel shrimp. They have been deveined, but have shells and tails on.)
- ½ stick butter
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon all purpose Creole seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups seafood stock (see recipe notes), or vegetable stock
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. To make the roux, or base, whisk in flour and continue to whisk until flour becomes smooth and begins to brown. Slowly stir until the roux becomes the color of peanut butter, approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Add the diced bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Stir until all the vegetables are coated in the roux. Stir frequently until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes & green chiles, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, paprika. Stir to mix all of the ingredients together.
- Stir in the seafood stock (or vegetable stock) until the sauce is smooth. Let simmer 10 mimutes.
- Add shrimp and cook 3-5 minutes, just until pink. Taste. Add ½ teaspoon salt, if needed. Stir in parsley and green onions and serve your etouffee sauce over steaming white rice.