Shrimp Étouffée

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Shrimp Étouffée, a saucy shrimp dish often served over warm rice, is a quintessential comfort food dish enjoyed in New Orleans. Now, you can make it in your own kitchen thanks to this hearty homemade Shrimp Étouffée recipe.

Shrimp etouffee in a white bowl.


 

When translated from French, Étouffée means “smother” or “suffocate.” And nothing tastes more comforting to me than a big bowl of warm rice smothered with vegetables and seafood swimming in a zesty tomato sauce, just like in this classic Louisiana stew.

Cajun cooks eschew tomatoes, but Creoles welcome them to the party, so this Shrimp Etouffee recipe is a Creole version. It’s similar to my Shrimp Creole recipe, but with a bit more New Orleans flair thanks to smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Shrimp Étouffée.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bell pepper, celery, and onions: Together, these make up the “holy trinity,” an aromatic flavor base that starts many classic Cajun and Creole recipes like jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, and pasta entrees.
  • Shrimp stock: Find this in the soup aisle. You can make your own shrimp stock or substitute seafood stock, too.
  • Shrimp: Start with fresh shrimp or thawed frozen shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. If your fishmonger doesn’t offer them already this way, here’s how to clean shrimp.
  • Cooked rice: Follow the instructions on your box of rice. Or to bake rice (my preferred method), preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a 2-quart or larger baking dish, add 2 cups of long-grain white rice, ½ cup butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 3 cups boiling water until butter is melted. Cover and bake until rice the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, toast all-purpose flour, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter until melted, then continue to cook until the roux becomes a deep brown similar to the color of peanut butter, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Light brown liquid being cooked in a silver pot.
  1. Add bell pepper, celery, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender and softened, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, paprika, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Shrimp etouffee being cooked in a silver pot.
  1. Stir in undrained tomatoes and cook until dry, about 1 minute. Carefully whisk in shrimp stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until slightly thick, about 10 minutes.
Shrimp etouffee being cooked in a silver pot.
  1. Season shrimp with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to pot and simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in scallions and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and garnish with more scallions or fresh thyme. Serve over cooked rice, passing hot sauce and lemon wedges.
Shrimp etouffee in a silver pot.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes eight 1-cup servings of Shrimp Étouffée and rice, each of which makes for a satisfying dinner portion (especially once you add a side of Collard Greens and share Beignets for dessert!). 
  • Storage: Store extra Shrimp Étouffée and the rice in separate airtight containers. The shrimp mixture can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Cooked rice will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. 
  • Make ahead: Prepare the Shrimp Étouffée recipe through step 3. Cool, transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, transfer the shrimp mixture to a Dutch oven and reheat on the stovetop. Continue with preparing the rice in step 4 and finish the Shrimp Étouffée as explained in step 5.
  • To reheat the Shrimp Étouffée: Reheat shrimp and rice separately for best results. Reheat shrimp on the stovetop in Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat until it reaches 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin it out.
Shrimp etouffee in a white bowl.
Shrimp Étouffée served over cooked rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze extra cooked rice to extend its life?

Absolutely. Simply spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow it to cool completely. Pack into a measuring cup and measure out portions that fit your desired future use (such as 1 cup or 2 cups). Pack into freezer-safe zip-top bags, press flat, label with name and date, and freeze for up to 2 months.

What garnishes work well with Shrimp Étouffée?

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and hot sauce are my preferred additions. If you have them handy, try showering each bowl with chopped parsley or chopped green onions.

More ways with shrimp

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Shrimp Étouffée in a white bowl over rice.

Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée, a saucy shrimp dish often served over warm rice, is a quintessential comfort food dish enjoyed in New Orleans. Now, you can make it in your own kitchen thanks to this hearty homemade Shrimp Étouffée recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 515
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients 

For the Shrimp Etouffee:

Instructions 

  • In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, toast flour, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter until melted, then continue to cook until roux becomes a deep brown, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper, celery, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender and softened, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, paprika, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in undrained tomatoes and cook until dry, about 1 minute. Carefully whisk in shrimp stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until slightly thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Season shrimp with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to pot and simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in scallions and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over cooked rice, passing hot sauce and lemon wedges.

Notes

  1. Bell pepper, celery, and onions: Together, these make up the “holy trinity,” an aromatic flavor base that starts many classic Cajun and Creole recipes like jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, and pasta entrees.
  2. Shrimp stock: Find this in the soup aisle. You can make your own shrimp stock or substitute seafood stock, chicken broth, or chicken stock.
  3. Shrimp: Start with fresh shrimp or thawed frozen shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. If your fishmonger doesn’t offer them already this way, here’s how to clean shrimp.
  4. Cooked rice: Follow the instructions on your box of rice. Or to bake rice (my preferred method), preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a 2-quart or larger baking dish, add 2 cups long-grain white rice, ½ cup butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 3 cups boiling water until butter is melted. Cover and bake until rice the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes eight 1-cup servings of Shrimp Étouffée and rice, each of which makes for a satisfying dinner portion (especially once you add a side of Collard Greens and share Beignets for dessert!). 
  6. Storage: Store extra Shrimp Étouffée and the rice in separate airtight containers. The shrimp mixture can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Cooked rice will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 515kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 23gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 1546mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1181IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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