Shrimp Étouffée

We've played with the traditional étouffée method a bit to make our recipe quick. But this version of the Acadian classic—shrimp smothered in a roux-thickened sauce of vegetables and spices—is every bit as luscious as the original. For extra heat, add more cayenne or a touch of Tabasco sauce. More Amazing Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp Étouffée
Photo: © Melanie Acevedo


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled

  • 2 scallions including green tops, chopped

  • Boiled or steamed rice, for serving


  1. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderate heat until almost smoking. Add the flour and whisk until it's the color of peanut butter, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the broth and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in the bell pepper, celery, onions, bay leaf, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

  3. Add the shrimp and scallions and simmer until the shrimp are just done, about 3 minutes. Serve the étouffée over the rice.


Fish Alternatives The most authentic substitution, if you can get them, would be cooked crawfish tails. Toss them in at the end and just heat through.

Suggested Pairing

The down-home taste of this American original is perfect with a refreshing American white wine. Try a Pinot Gris from Oregon or a dry Riesling, either from Oregon or Washington State. All of these have more acidity than their California counterparts.

Related Articles