Shrimp Creole Recipe

By Crystal Baldwin

Do you love shrimp?  Want to make a simple recipe that is hardy, flavorful and tastes delicious?  Then this easy recipe is for you!

We love spicy dishes in my house and turning up the heat is easy to do with this delicious recipe.  Add some cayenne pepper, a little black pepper, your favorite creole spices and some paprika for a little smoky flavor and a bay leaf of course well...because it's shrimp creole! 

If you are not a spicy foods kind of person you can tone it down too, that's the fun of making your own shrimp creole - you get to make it to your liking. If you have your favorite blend of creole spices, throw a little of that in there also. 

I'm from Maryland and we use Old Bay seasoning in everything...this included.  Whatever you do make this your signature dish and people will be talking about it for a long time to come.  

Here is the secret...Shrimp Creole is SUPER EASY to make and fast!  So, if you serve it at your next party people think you have done something super extravagant and special (which of course you did).  It's easy to make ahead of time and you can even freeze it. 

Purchasing the Shrimp

When picking your shrimp, purchase the best quality shrimp you can find.  I'm landlocked here in Colorado so fresh shrimp is out of the question.  That being said, if your not able to buy fresh shrimp be sure to buy frozen for this dish. 

You might be tempted to buy that pretty, pink shrimp at the deli counter.  Remember, fresh (looking) shrimp at the deli was frozen and then thawed to look pretty at the counter.  You will have no idea how long it's been thawed and remember, it starts to dry out once thawed and put on display.  You want your shrimp as fresh as possible before you cook it so frozen is the next best thing to fresh.

Purchase uncooked shrimp with the tail on, you can remove the shell (and the tail if you want, once thawed( I leave mine on for more flavor) but this shrimp will have the most flavor.  Remember your shrimp should NOT be pink!  Pink shrimp has been cooked, you want uncooked shrimp for the most flavor and freshness.

To thaw, place the bag of frozen shrimp in the fridge overnight (place it in a bowl to catch the thawing water) or you can also open the bag, place the shrimp in a large bowl in the sink and cover it with ice water for an hour or more until the shrimp thaws.  Drain off the water just before cooking.

Serving and Storing 

You can serve shrimp creole in a traditional way , on a plate with steamed, white rice or serve it in a bowl like a stew with buttermilk cornbread or buttery biscuits as a side. This is all a matter of personal preference. 

Great news!  You can freeze your creole for up to 3 months.  To do this, cook your sauce and leave out the shrimp.  Freeze the sauce and when ready to make your creole, just thaw the sauce, heat it up and once hot add your shrimp.  It doesn't get much easier than that.  You'll have a hot, hardy meal ready to go at any time. 

Steam up some rice or make a pan of buttermilk biscuits or cornbread and dinner is ready to be served!  Enjoy this hardy, spicy, warming dish any time of year.

Shrimp Creole Recipe


  • 2 Tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 2 Ribs Celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (to cut the acid)
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or your favorite creole spices)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (2 if you like it spicy)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lb. Large uncooked shrimp with the tail on
  • 4-8 cups hot cooked rice or skip and make biscuits or cornbread to serve with it
  • 2 green onions, chopped (set aside 1 for a fresh garnish)


  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced

    Hot Sauce on top to taste

    These items are optional in your recipe.  If you prefer your creole thickened, use the flour and make a roux with the juices from the pot, then add it back in and stir until thickened.  Traditional creole uses green pepper, but I am not a fan.  I feel it takes over the flavor too much and I don’t like green pepper.  Feel free to use it if you want.


         1.Start your white rice while you prep your veggies.

    1. Add butter and olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.
    2. Add onion, celery, (bell pepper,) garlic, 1 of the chopped green peppers, white & green parts and all spices, sauté until veggies are soft and just lightly browned, stirring often.
    3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine (add the wine and scrap off brown bits) and then add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and tomatoes.
    4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the fluid is reduced by half stirring occasionally
    5. Add shrimp and cook until just turns pink
    6. Serve over cooked rice or with a side of buttermilk biscuits or cornbread
    7. Garnish with green onion (optional, add hot sauce)


    Substitutions for rice - Serve with buttermilk biscuits or cornbread.  You can also use pasta or quinoa (for a healthy option).

     Prepare Ahead  

    This sauce is super easy to make ahead of time leaving out the shrimp and then adding the shrimp when re-heating and serving.  The flavors actually get better as it sits for a day or so.

    To make ahead, prepare the sauce as instructed but don't add the shrimp.  You can Refrigerate the sauce for 1-2 days and heat the sauce, getting it hot and then adding the fresh shrimp cooking until just pink.  For longer storage go ahead and freeze the sauce without the shrimp.

      To Freezing

    Great news!  This sauce is easy to freeze and use it when you want.  Just make the sauce as instructed but leave out the shrimp. Stick the sauce in the freezer and you have a really quick dinner whenever you want it.  Just removed the sauce and the shrimp to thaw and heat and serve when ready!

    You can freeze the sauce (without the shrimp) for up to 4 months. Don’t heat it from its frozen state.  Allow both the sauce and the shrimp to thaw.  Then heat your sauce until hot and add in your shrimp.  Cook up some rice and serve!

    Click Here to Print the recipe

    Need help with your holiday party?  Check out this new blog post - 5 ways to throw a holiday party ...and get to enjoy it


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