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This is some real shrimp creole made the way my cajun grandma made it when shrimp were cheaper than ground beef.


  • 3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp;
  • 1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp;
  • 2 cups diced bell pepper;
  • 1 cup chopped celery;
  • 3 tbs of oil;
  • 3 cups chopped onion;
  • 3 tbs butter;
  • 4 tbs tomato paste;
  • 2 tbs chopped garlic;
  • 2 tsp paprika;
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves;
  • 1 tsp black pepper;
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper;
  • 2 tsp salt;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid;
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth;
  • 2 tbs dried parsley;
  • 2 tsp sugar;
  • 2 tbs butter;
  • 1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour;
  • 1/2 tbs salt;
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper;
  • 1 tbs thyme leaves;
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice


  • Saute 2 cups diced bell pepper and 1 cup chopped celery in 3 tbs of oil in a 6 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until they just get tender.
  • About 8-10 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups chopped onion and 3 tbs butter and saute for another 5 minutes until the onions get tender but not brown.
  • Scrape the vegetables from the center of the pan, add 1 more tbs butter to the pan in the empty spot and put in 4 tbs tomato paste.
  • Fry the tomato paste until it darkens.
  • After the tomato paste darkens, add 2 tbs chopped garlic and then mix the tomato paste, garlic and the vegetables together and saute for another minute until you can smell the garlic.
  • Stir in 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp thyme leaves, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp salt, 2 bay leaves and saute for another minute.
  • Add 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2 tbs dried parsley, 2 tsp sugar and 1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp.
  • Stir thoroughly and simmer for 1 hr.
  • Melt 2 tbs butter over medium heat in a nonstick pan.
  • After the butter melts and starts to bubble, add 1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour and stir continuously until flour browns to a beige french vanilla colored roux.
  • Immediately mix the roux into the simmering tomatoes, shrimp and vegetables along with 1/2 tbs salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tbs thyme leaves.
  • Simmer for another five minutes.
  • Add 3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp. I cook mine for another 45 minutes to an hour because I like my shrimp cooked until they are smothered tender, the way my grandma cooked shrimp creole.
  • It's the difference between seared meat and braised meat.
  • The meat stays tender but in different ways.
  • You can just simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the shrimp are just pink if you want. After the simmering period you select is over, add 3 cups of chopped green onions and turn off the burner.
  • Let sit for 5-10 minutes then add 2 tbs fresh lemon juice and stir well.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • These television chefs like to just barely cook the shrimp.
  • When you barely cook the shrimp it looks like there is more shrimp in the creole and they can get away with putting in fewer shrimp.
  • This is good for the bottom line if you're cooking in a restaurant.
  • It's not as good for the creole.
  • When I was a kid shrimp was a lot cheaper than ground beef so it wasn't a problem to put in a lot of shrimp and have them shrink up.
  • As a compromise, in this recipe the first pound of shrimp is put in early to flavor the gravy so it tastes like my grandma's.
  • Serve the creole over steamed rice with some garlic bread.
  • Freezes very well.

Categories: Main Dish  Shellfish 
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