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Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp Etouffee 4.000
Dinner in Minutes Jan 7, 2020

This recipe is a classic from the canon of Cajun and Creole dishes. The term étouffée (AY-too-fay) means smothered. In food parlance, that means the protein, usually shrimp or crawfish tails for this dish, are “smothered,” or simmered, in a sauce of fats and sauteed vegetables.

It is traditionally served over rice, but if you’re going low-carb, étouffée is good over steamed riced cauliflower.

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 30 mins

Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, finely diced, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined medium (41-50 count) shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, or more as needed
  • Cooked white or brown rice, for serving


In a Dutch oven or deep-sided pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, scallion and parsley and cook, stirring, until softened and with onions just beginning to get translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux darkens to a light brown color, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and continue stirring. The roux will darken off of the heat.

Add the roux to the vegetables and stir until fully incorporated.

Return the Dutch oven to medium heat. Add the shrimp, cayenne and Creole seasoning and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp curl, turn pink and are cooked through, about 10 minutes. (The cooking time will vary with the shrimp size.)

Taste and season with more cayenne and Creole seasoning, if desired. Sprinkle with additional chopped scallions or parsley, if desired, and serve over cooked white or brown rice.

NOTES: This dish requires no stock. The moisture from simmering the raw shrimp will create the liquid needed for the rich sauce, which is thickened with a dark brown flour-based roux and seasoned with Cajun/Creole “trinity” of onions, celery and bell pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add water or stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

One caution: It’s easy to overcook shrimp as cooking time will vary with the size and freshness of the crustaceans, so simmer the shrimp until they are pink and curled. Then, pluck out one to do a taste test.

If you’ve never made a roux, don’t be intimidated. It’s simple. Combine equal parts fat and flour over medium heat and stir constantly until it reaches the desired color. The darker the roux, the deeper the color and the richer the flavor of the sauce. This recipe is a great way to practice making a roux because it only uses 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of butter. If you go too far and scorch the roux, pitch it, and start again.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, the term étouffée was translated incorrectly. This version has been corrected.

Recipe Source

From Recipes Editor Ann Maloney

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 4): 540

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 39g 60%

Saturated Fat: 11g 55%

Cholesterol: 280mg 93%

Sodium: 570mg 24%

Total Carbohydrates: 12g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 36g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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