Best Dang Shrimp Creole

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Shrimp Creole is a traditional southern recipe that is full of flavor! This quick and easy Creole shrimp recipe is made with pantry staples in less than 30 minutes and perfect for weeknight suppers, Sunday brunches, or anytime you’re craving the classic flavors of the bayou.

Suitable for gluten-free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers Points.

shrimp creole served in a bowl with a spoon

This classic Shrimp Creole is the perfect eat and my favorite weeknight & weekend savior. It’s my “quick and easy” go-to recipe that works equally for easy dinners, long lazy Sunday brunches as well as fancy dinners to wow my friends and families.

I loooooove being able to effortlessly add the flavors of the Deep South to my dishes with minimal effort and minimal prep and basic cooking techniques. And this recipe is delicious whether you serve on top of rice or turn it into a traditional creole shrimp and grits meal.

What Is Shrimp Creole?

Spicy Creole sauce, along with its various other names (aka red gravy, creole tomato sauce, and sauce piquant) is a staple found in southern cuisine as well as Caribbean cuisine, with tomatoes cooked with the holy trinity of flavor in cajun and creole cooking of onions, bell peppers, celery and spices.

And shrimp creole is simply shrimp cooked in this delicious sauce. Folks, trust me when I say that this tasty aromatic Creole shrimp recipe truly brings the best of both those worlds.

Ps if you love this then try this Jamaican Steamed Cabbage and this Smothered Potatoes or this easy Smothered Cabbage.

an easy Southern Squash Casserole or my favorite Jamaican Oxtail Stew.

top down view of shrimp creole in a ceramic bowl

Why Make This Recipe

  • Easy – this one pot flavorful meal comes together in under 30 minutes.
  • One dish – makes a great time saving one pot meal .
  • Affordable – it requires just a few everyday affordable ingredients and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Plus, it’s an ideal way to use up your leftover tomatoes or leftover shrimp.
  • Prep Ahead – a great make-ahead and freeze dish for when you need to grab something quick for dinner.

P.S. if you are interested – Creole Cuisine, which originated in Louisiana (thank you peeps) is my kind of cooking, as it is a mish-mash of African, Amerindian, French, Haitian, Spanish and southern cooking. This means aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the best finger-licking flavors and then some.

Ingredient Notes

  • Oil – use rapeseed oil / canola oil.
  • Vegetables – this recipe calls for onion finely, celery stalk and red bell pepper  (or green bell pepper) finely chopped.
  • Broth – use vegetable broth or chicken broth if you prefer.
  • Seasoning – this recipe gets it flavor from various herbs and spices like garlic cloves crushed, cayenne pepper, creole seasoning (or cajun seasoning), salt and black pepper.
  • Tomatoes – this calls for diced tomatoes without any extra flavorings.
  • Flavorings – this recipe gets it flavoring from fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, melted butter
  • Shrimp – large shrimp peeled and deveined. Authentic recipes would use Gulf Shrimp, but use the best quality ones you can get.
the completed shrimp creole recipe in a white bowl set next to a dish of creole seasoning

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Make Shrimp Creole

Get complete ingredients list and instructions in recipe card below.

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan or large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add garlic, chili, creole seasoning, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 30 seconds and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, and butter. Allow to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, with the lid ajar, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has slightly thickened (feel free to simmer for a further 5 or so minutes if you want your sauce to reduce more).
  4. Add shrimp and cook for up to 5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.
  5. Switch off the heat and serve with some steamed rice.

Yeap, easy shrimp creole to the rescue just like you would have in the streets of New Orleans.

image collage showing the steps for making creole shrimp

Recipe Tips

  • You can prep the stewed tomatoes sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut your veggies up nice and small so that they cook quickly.
  • The flavor really develops over time, so best to prep ahead a few hours before serving.
  • For best results use fresh shrimp but alternatively use frozen shrimp that you defrost just before cooking.
  • Make your life easier by buying peeled and deveined shrimp for cooking.
  • Top with some sliced green onions.

Delicious Variations

This recipe is sooooo as good as is, but you can easily mix and match herbs, spices, and other ingredients to suit your taste. And they don’t even have to be creole, just things that will pack this dish full of flavor such as:

  • You can use fire-roasted tomatoes if you prefer some extra flavor.
  • For more heat add in some hot sauce (or use instead of cayenne pepper).
  • Vary herbs and spice – dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, bay leaves, fresh cilantro etc.
  • Feel free to melt butter along with heating to oil.
  • Feel free to add chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of broth.
  • Fried bacon (you all seriously need to try this!) and sausage too.
  • Feel free to add in other seafood like scallops or fish.
top down view of the finished creole shrimp recipe served in a white bowl with tomatoes and spice surrounding it.

Meal Prep and Prep Ahead

This recipe was practically made for meal prep and prepping ahead. 

  • Prep Ahead – The best thing you can do is whip up the sauce and store it in the fridge for a day or two beforehand. Warm it up before adding in the shrimp and cooking till pink.
  • Store – Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. 
  • Freeze – You can freeze the sauce without the seafood (or even double or triple the amount) and follow these steps to store in the freezer until needed.
    • Let the sauce cool down, blend or mash, then transfer into glass jars or these very handy meal prep container.
    • If using bags, squeeze out all the extra air, seal, label, and then lay flat in the freezer.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw – Remove from the freezer the night before needed and let it thaw in the fridge. Then reheat and add in the shellfish and cook until pink just before you want to eat it.
two glass storage jars filled with creole sauce
top down view of the finished creole shrimp stew recipe in a skillet


What Is Creole Sauce Made Of?

This is a fragrant and spiced tomato sauce made with the holy trinity of Louisiana style creole cooking => celery, bell peppers, and onions, along with a variety of seasoning and spices.

You can start with juicy fresh tomatoes if you have them, or grab some canned tomatoes, aka convenient staple foods, and use those.

And Creole shrimp is a variation of this classic sauce that includes good old juicy and tender shrimp. Pretty much a thick flavourful Louisiana spiced shrimp stew that is traditionally served over fluffy white rice. #somuchyum

Can I Make Shrimp Creole Less Spicy?

This classic sauce recipe gets its heat from the homemade Creole Seasoning. So if you have a hot seasoning mix, add about half the required amount and adjust the next time.

If you want to make it less spicy, or not spicy at all, I suggest making your own homemade seasoning and adjusting the amount of chili – or even omit it altogether.

When I make this sauce for guests or for the kids, I only use about a half to two-thirds of the seasoning required.

What Type Of Shrimp Is Best

Authentic recipes would use Gulf Shrimp, but since these are not easy accessible for everyone you would need to use the best quality large juicy fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp.

Frozen shrimp is actually great since they tend to be frozen quickly and so are as fresh as could be. Just make sure to thaw them first. Also depending on preference you can have tail on or completely peeled shrimp.

What To Serve With Shrimp Creole

Feel free to serve this with some hot rice, brown rice, mashed potatoes

the finished creole shrimp  in a pan ready to be served

More Southern Recipes

For more southern or other shrimp recipes try these below.

Weight Watchers Points

There are 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Creole Shrimp Recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

Get The Creole Shrimp Recipe

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shrimp creole served in a bowl with a spoon
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Shrimp Creole

A traditional southern recipe that is full of flavor!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Brunch, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Creole, southern
Servings: 6
Calories: 316kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 2 red peppers seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons creole seasoning
  • 56 ounces 4 x 14 oz cans (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (236ml) vegetable broth
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) butter
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (453g) large shrimp peeled and deveined


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, celery and peppers, and soften with a small pinch of salt, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, red peppers, creole seasoning, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring regularly, until the aroma is released.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, and butter.
  • Bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer, with the lid slightly off, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced and thickened. Season to taste.
  • Add in the shrimp, then cook for about 5-7 mins until the shrimp is cooked through and opaque.
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Recipe Tips

  • You can prep the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut your veggies up nice and small so that they cook quickly.
  • The flavor really develops over time, so best to prep ahead a few hours before serving.
  • For best results use fresh shrimp but alternatively use frozen shrimp that you defrost just before cooking.
  • Make your life easier by buying peeled and deveined shrimp for cooking.
  • You can use fire-roasted tomatoes if you prefer some extra flavor.

Weight Watchers Points

One serving  contains 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints.

Serving Suggestions



Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 1250mg | Potassium: 776mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3082IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 5mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Using a few of your spice ingredients. My mother in law always added a little allspice. It just tastes different. I put in a little brown sugar. Never really thought about freezing the sauce sans shrimp. My crew usually killed it in a meal. Down to 2, so learning to do smaller meals. Thank you. Oh yeah, I always you’d beef stock to thin and cook with. I just don’t add salt. (Have to hide the hot sauce while I’m cooking!) He kills me with it!

  2. This recipe looks wonderful and I’m looking forward to trying it. You mentioned vinegar in your ingredients however you don’t mention what type of vinegar and how much.

  3. 5 stars
    I love flavors of the bayou! I can’t wait to make this for Sunday Funday brunch! My girlfriends will surely love it and I will too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I loved all the flavors, making it again for our next seafood night!!

  5. 5 stars
    I am always looking for new ways to eat shrimp, and this looks epic. I can’t wait to try it.

  6. 5 stars
    These flavours are so divine – what a lovely dish. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

  7. 5 stars
    This is mouth-watering delicious. Such a flavorful dish and I appreciate the hints to make it less spicy for those who can’t handle the heat.