Cajun Shrimp Etouffee
Cajun Shrimp Etouffee

When it comes to iconic Southern cuisine, few dishes hold the same level of admiration and delight as Cajun Shrimp Étouffée. Hailing from the heart of Louisiana, this rich and savory dish encapsulates the spirit of Cajun cooking, blending a medley of aromatic spices, succulent shrimp, and a roux-based sauce that’s as flavorful as it is comforting. With its roots deeply embedded in Cajun history and culture, Shrimp Étouffée is a testament to the region’s love affair with food and the art of culinary storytelling.

A Glimpse into Cajun Culinary Traditions:
The origins of Cajun Shrimp Étouffée are deeply intertwined with the cultural tapestry of Louisiana. Emerging from a blend of French, Spanish, and West African influences, Cajun cuisine is a celebration of bold flavors, hearty ingredients, and a profound connection to the land and waterways that surround the region. Étouffée, which translates to “smothered” in French, is a technique where ingredients are cooked low and slow in a rich, flavorful sauce until they become tender and perfectly infused with the surrounding flavors.

The Essence of Cajun Flavor:
At the core of Cajun Shrimp Étouffée lies an aromatic blend of seasonings that define its distinct profile. The “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking—onions, bell peppers, and celery—provides the foundational flavors that form the base of this dish. These ingredients are sautéed until they release their natural sweetness and create a harmonious backdrop for the other elements.

Crafting the Perfect Roux:
The heart of any Étouffée is its roux, a mixture of fat and flour that serves as the thickening agent for the sauce. In Cajun cuisine, the roux is often darker than its French counterpart, ranging from a peanut butter hue to a rich chocolate brown. This depth of color brings a robust nuttiness to the dish and adds to the complexity of flavors.

The Star of the Show: Shrimp:
As the name suggests, Cajun Shrimp Étouffée wouldn’t be complete without succulent shrimp. These plump, juicy morsels are added to the roux-based sauce, absorbing the array of flavors while maintaining their delicate texture. The shrimp’s natural sweetness complements the savory undertones, creating a harmonious balance that tantalizes the taste buds.

Serving up Tradition:
Cajun Shrimp Étouffée is more than just a meal; it’s a cherished tradition that brings people together. Often served over a bed of fluffy rice, this dish embodies the spirit of Southern hospitality, inviting family and friends to gather around the table and savor every bite. Its warmth and richness evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia, making it a staple at celebrations and gatherings throughout Louisiana.

Conclusion: A Culinary Journey to Remember:
Cajun Shrimp Étouffée is more than a recipe; it’s a portal to the heart of Louisiana’s vibrant culture. From its roots in Cajun history to the array of flavors that dance on the palate, this dish is a testament to the power of food to connect us with our heritage and create lasting memories. So, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious food enthusiast, embark on a culinary journey through the bayous of Louisiana and indulge in the soulful delight of authentic Cajun Shrimp Étouffée.

Cajun Shrimp Etouffee

Prepare time: 15 min
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
Ready in: 2 hr 30 min


  • 1 pound Jumbo shrimp – 16/20 count per pound peeled, deveined shrimp, (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (not margarine)
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Chicken Broth or Shrimp Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup fresh Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (I used Crystals)
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
  • filé powder (optional thickening powder)
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


1Season shrimp with 1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the seasoned shrimp. Cook until shrimp just start to turn pink, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

2Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously to make a roux. Stir the roux over medium heat until the color changes slightly golden or blonde roux, 5 to 7 minutes.

3Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to the roux, and saute until onions are translucent.
Whisk in a little stock. Stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly.

4Add the tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaves, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the Creole Seasoning. Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes and, then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more stock, but the end result should be the consistency of a gravy, not too thick, not too thin.

5Add Thyme, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and hot sauce and simmer the etouffee, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.


6Add shrimp, gently stir, and cook until shrimp are heated back up. Do not overcook the shrimp, as they will become rubbery in texture.


7Serve immediately with steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onion and Italian Parsley.