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Lunch / Dinner

Shrimp Étouffée

New Orleans is rich in history and steeped in so much tradition, especially with its food. And whether it’s Mardi Gras, or not, the Big Easy is perfect inspiration for this Shrimp Étouffée. You'll have no trouble feeding a crowd with this big pot of the New Orleans classic.

In French, étouffée means “to smother,” and this classic dish — a staple of N’awlins-Cajun cuisine — does just that. Flavors of rich red sauce and spicy shrimp permeate through a bed of fluffy rice and tomatoes. If you’re a traditionalist, swap crawfish for the shrimp and omit the tomatoes from the rice — purists say these ingredients turn this pairing into gumbo or Creole stew.


8 servings

Total Time

about 2 hours

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Test Kitchen Tip

Seafood stock can be harder to find than meat or veggie stocks and broths, so if you can’t find it, low-sodium chicken broth makes a great substitute.


For the enhanced stock, melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add shrimp shells, celery, onion, and bay leaves. Cook until shells are pink and sides of pan begin to darken, about 5 minutes.

Stir in stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Strain enhanced stock, discarding solids, then add additional seafood stock, if necessary, to yield 4 cups.

For the étouffée, combine paprika, granulated garlic, thyme, oregano, and black, white, and cayenne peppers.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook, stirring constantly, until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 10 minutes.

Stir in onions, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic; sweat, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 15 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and half of the spice mixture, increase heat to high, and cook mixture, stirring, until it begins to stick to Dutch oven, about 5 minutes. Stir in enhanced stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer étouffée 15 minutes.

Pat shrimp dry, toss with remaining spice mixture, then add to étouffée, and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and scallions, then season étouffée with salt.

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