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Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

This rich Shrimp Etouffee made with a dark, flavorful roux with a little spice and served over rice will bring a tasty piece of The Big Easy into your kitchen. The roux takes some time and patience to perfect but besides that Shrimp Etouffee is an easy meal and is perfect for serving a family.

Shrimp Etouffee topped with rice in a bowl.



Etouffee, which means “smothered” in french, is a sort of stew that typically consists of a roux, the Holy Trinity (onion, celery, and bell pepper), some garlic, hot sauce, and either shrimp, crawfish, or chicken. I like to add some diced tomatoes to mine, but many etouffee recipes do not have tomato.

The key to a good etouffee is the roux. Some people like it with a light roux, but I like the full flavor and richness of a dark roux. Unfortunately a dark roux takes much longer to make. You want to cook it long and slow over medium heat until it turns the color of milk chocolate.

Cook it over too high a heat or neglect to stir enough, and the roux will burn, and not only will you have to start over, but you will have a truly awful smell in your kitchen. Done that.

But to learn to cook a roux, unless you have a grandmother standing over your shoulder giving you guidance, you’re bound to burn a roux or two. It’s just part of the learning process. You really have to learn to sense with your eyes and your nose whether the roux is coming along at the right rate.

Etouffe in a bowl with French bread in background.


And whatever you do, DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Not even for a few seconds. You must stir continuously for at least 20 minutes. Not exactly my idea of fun. But worth it.

Not a leisurely stir either, really keep that mixture moving and make sure you’re using a whisk or wooden spoon that can really get to the edge of the pan. But careful not to splash the hot oil up on yourself!

When you are judging color, keep in mind that the roux will darken up when you add the veggies. Immediately turn the heat to low when you add them and stir well. Yes, your arm is getting a workout. There will be lots of hissing and spitting. From the vegetables coming in contact with the roux. Hopefully not from you. Don’t let this alarm you. They will quiet down shortly.

Overhead close-up of Shrimp Etouffee in a bowl.


And one more thing. The pan or pot you use for cooking a roux is very important. It doesn’t really matter so much the shape or size or even the material so long as the bottom is very heavy. Use a pot with a thin bottom and it will be very difficult to not burn the roux. A cast iron pot or pan is perfect. I personally like using a Dutch Oven like the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven  or the Lodge Color Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Both are very versatile, reasonably priced pots that you will get a lot of use out of. I even do my deep frying in a Dutch Oven. Plus they will out live you in the kitchen.

It takes some patience, but learn to cook a roux and you will have a taste of New Orleans right in your kitchen.

Shrimp Etouffe topped with rice in a bowl.

Shrimp Etouffee

A rich and flavorful Shrimp Etouffee made with a dark roux will bring a little taste of New Orleans to your kitchen.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 55 minutes


  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar clam juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • green onions, sliced
  • white rice for serving


  • To make a roux, whisk together oil and flour in a large heavy saucepan (cast iron is perfect, but any heavy-bottomed pot or pan will do) over medium to medium-low heat. Once combined, it is easier to use a wooden spoon to stir. Stir continuously for at least 20 minutes, until mixture turns a dark caramel color. It should darken very slowly. If it darkens too fast, turn down the heat. The roux will burn if the heat is too high or you don't stir continuously. Be sure to really stir all the way up to the edges of the pot. You don't want any of the mixture to stay in one spot for too long.
  • Turn heat to low and add onion, green pepper, and celery to roux. It will start to sizzle loudly and darken some in color. Cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  • Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  • Add clam juice, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, black, white, and cayenne pepper, salt, thyme, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat off and add butter. Stir to mix it in.
  • Serve with green onions and white rice and additional hot sauce.


I keep things simple and use a bottle of clam juice, but you could boil your shrimp peels and make a shrimp stock instead.
Be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan or pot for making the roux. Cast iron works perfectly.


Calories: 547kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cajun, shrimp

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Originally published September 7, 2104.

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83 thoughts on “Shrimp Etouffee Recipe”

  1. This is one of the tastiest things you can eat. I make it often. All my guests give rave reviews.

  2. I made this recipe and it’s delicious. I’m just wondering, in your photo the sauce seems to be VERY smooth, did you strain it?
    Thank you!!

  3. This is not a traditional etouffee. Oil is used for gumbo ( a dark roux ) butter is used for etouffee. (blonde roux), an etouffee roux will have a light brown This looks like a shrimp gumbo to be honest. Omit clam juice for shrimp stock. I have no doubt that this recipe taste great, its just not etouffee.
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    C’est Tout

  4. This turned out AMAZING 🤩. I will make this again and again! Next time trying with crawfish.

  5. this was my first etouffee recipe (have done gumbo numerous times) and it was AMAZING. plus it was very easy to make.
    -i read a book while stirring the roux for 20 minutes.
    -i did use butter instead of oil, and yes it was a bit thicker and lighter than the photo.
    -i used fire-roasted diced tomatoes, which added a nice smoky flavor.
    -i added okra just because i like okra
    -i can highly recommend whole foods brand cajun seasoning. .

    i saw the review that said it was bland and i can only think that they must have omitted ingredients. with the combo of spices and the worcestershire, there’s no way this could turn out bland. the spice mix was perfect—def enough heat to be noticed but not overwhelming.
    the arguments over authenticity are so silly. i’ve eaten in dozens of nola restaurants and every chef puts their own twist on dishes. this recipe is commanders palace-worthy. thanks so much for the contribution!!

  6. Better then my maw maw recipe. Made a huge 5x pot for the walker family reunion and it was the favorite. Not a single left over in sight.

  7. Made it with my shrimp shells first. My husband said just as good as New Orleans.
    Will make it again.

  8. Raw shrimp. You can also add some washed sliced , or chopped okra just after the “Trinity.” I’d use a bit more stock and let it reduce some before adding shrimp. I’ve never seen a recipe for etouffe with butter-and I LOVE buttrr- but you don’t really need it in etouffe. It would reduce calories per serving, too. I’m a bit skeptical if it only having 547 calories for each of four servings, as this recipe has 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in it as well.. All the Best!

  9. I hate to be that person, but, I am that person. There are definitely no tomatoes in Etoufee. Shrimp creole, jambalaya, yes. Etoufee, no. I highly suggest consulting some of the master practioners of Louisiana cooking such as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril. These dishes when prepared according to the conventions and traditions of the cuisine are so far superior to any of our attempts to simplify, deconstruct or demystify that it hardly becomes worth the effort.

    1. Well, Kiki, as an expert in regional Louisiana cooking you should have recognized that Christin was making the Creole version of this wonderful dish. In fact, it is HER recipe and made this note to that effect, “I like to add some diced tomatoes to mine, but many etouffee recipes do not have tomato.” The two Cajuns you mentioned wouldn’t make this with tomatoes but I can very quickly show you a bazillion recipes that do.
      So yes, you are “that” person, the one who rearranges the dishwasher loaded by someone else, but you do recognize that about yourself so there is hope. Well, not really; you will always be “that” person.

    2. Corey Blanchard

      Lol, wrong, y’all all wrong! First off its not etouffee. Now etouffee definitely can have tomato. Jambalaya never tomatoes, that red jambalaya is garbage. My etouffee never uses a roux. Roux is for gumbo and stew. Stew and smothered not the same thing.
      Born and raised on the bayou and swamps. “South of i-10
      I could care less what emeril or that other guy says. My cooking comes down thru the generations. Not from someone trying to make a name for themselves exploiting and destroying the heritage of tru Cajun cooking. Good Day.

  10. Claudia McCall

    OMG, delicious! I had some leftover peppers and celery from making pasta salad, and decided earlier that I would make Shrimp Etouffeé. I had a different recipe, but when I went to make the Etouffeé, do you think I could find it? I had my heart set on Etouffeé, so I did a search and found your recipe. The picture looked like I thought good Etouffeé should look, so I tried it. Simply the best! I’m real glad that other recipe “got lost”! Have a blessed day!

  11. Thomas Boyle

    My wife and I tag teamed making this last night. It was great! Thank you for the recipe! Tom

  12. I’m just trying to teach myself how to cook, so I apologize for this basic question, but other than peeling, deveining, and removing the shrimp’s tails, how should the shrimp be prepared prior to adding to the recipe? Raw shrimp or pre cooked?

  13. I am giving it 3 stars only because it is of average taste but this is definitely not shrimp etouffee. I lived in Lafayette, LA for 4 years. This tastes nothing like anything I ate while living there. It lacks richness. I followed the recipe to a T. The only thing I can come up with is that it probably should have been made with butter instead of vegetable oil.

  14. When do you add water to stretch it? I don’t see how to get it from the roux to actual etoufee. Otherwise it seems simple. Thanks!

  15. I use this recipe constantly!!! I add crawfish tails to the shrimp because we love them, otherwise I follow the recipe as is and it’s perfect, thanks so much!

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