Easy Shrimp Creole | Nik Snack

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This post is sponsored by Karibe Cookware. I received compensation, but all words and opinions are mine.

Shrimp Creole is a classic Louisiana Gulf dish made with a tomato-based Creole sauce accented and flavored with the "Holy Trinity": onions, bell peppers and celery. This is the ultimate one-pot meal. Served over rice, add extra hot pepper sauce or cayenne to your shrimp if you like a little extra spicy kick in your food.

Some don't like to start with a roux, but I do. I like the depth of flavor and the complex flavors developed from a dark roux. I use chili sauce on place of tomato paste (which has 10 times the flavor and I never seem to have paste on hand when I need it).

Traditionally made with fresh, wild-caught Gulf shrimp, Shrimp Creole is a simple, every day weeknight meal at its core. It can be thrown together in 30 minutes or enjoyed after a considerable amount of time stirring in the pan. While you can enjoy it with any kind of shrimp, it is best to avoid farm-raised shrimp and seek out wild-caught. If that option is not available, you'll get a better result if you buy good-quality frozen shrimp and defrost them immediately before cooking.

Cooking with cast iron is a tried-and-true way to help bring out the flavors of the food you're preparing as well as maintain uniform and consistent heat during the cooking process.

I love sharing examples of the diversity of recipes you can follow using the Karibe Cookware cast iron skillets for meals in your own kitchen. Jamaican Coco Bread and Hoppin' John Fritters are both made better by cooking them in Karibe cast-iron. I continue to be inspired by African and Caribbean food cultures because both parts of the diaspora are within me. And that's the number one reason why I continue to partner with Karibe Cookware, a black-owned company based in New Jersey. The Karibe 12" cast iron skillet is now my number one, go-to pan for cooking in the kitchen. But did you know that Karibe has a line of utensils too? 

Yes! The 10-piece utensil set features silicone tips, which helps to prevent scratches on your cookware. And the handles are light weight and most are made of polished wood, all with a hole for hanging on a hook (if need be). Easy to clean, easy to use, dishwasher safe, the Karibe branded spoon and the silicone brush are my new favorite kitchen tools.

This skillet is the largest cast iron piece Karibe offers. With proper seasoning, over time this high-quality skillet becomes nonstick, durable and will solidify the fact that this skillet is a must have in your kitchen or to give as a gift. It's large size is perfect for large batch cooking, intimate dinner parties and classic regional southern cooking.

My grandfather on my mother's side of the family, was from New Orleans. Through him by way of my mother and grandmother (his wife) I learned recipes for red beans and rice, jambalaya, shrimp and crawfish etoufee, gumbo, king cake, beignets all using the highly lauded cast iron skillet. These recipes are pulled from the depths of my highly flavored soul. I'm proud to share this recipe so that the spirit and joy that is New Orleans lives on in all of us through our tastebuds.


Creole sauce is a thickened mixture of tomato sauce, chopped vegetables (onions, bell pepper and celery), garlic, and spices.


Both cusines are inextricably linked. Cajun cuisine is seen as country food or from the swamps and bayou of Louisiana. Cajuns are descendents of Acadians who settled in the area from Canada. They were the trappers, farmers and more agrarian people of the area. Creole cusine is seen as more refined, provencial food with foundations in French cooking and the classical hierarchy of the kitchen brigade. 

While spicy dishes are found in both cuisines, it depends on how much cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce is used in the recipe. 


Shrimp Creole is a shrimp dish that rests on a bed of rice. Jambalaya is a rice dish. Spanish colonists to the Louisiana area were unable to make paella and jambalaya was the result of attempts to make a variation of paella using ingredients available locally.


Cajun seasoning relies on the use of many peppers, such as white and black pepper, bell peppers and cayenne peppers, paprika and garlic. Creole seasoning primarily relies on herbs like oregano, bay leaf, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and paprika. Old Bay Seasoning has many of the same herbs and spices as Creole and Cajun seasoning, so substituting it and adding oregano and cayenne pepper means, YES YOU CAN.

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Easy Shrimp Creole

Yield: 8Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
the “holy trinity” of Creole cooking — onion, celery and bell pepper — is simmered in a tomato roux while bay leaves, garlic and hot sauce sing backup while the shrimp steal the show


2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail-on, optional)
2 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp oregano
¼ cup oil
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
6 oz chili sauce
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 to 2 Tablespoons hot sauce, to taste (optional)
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
Fine sea salt and black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions, for garnish
Steamed rice, for serving


Season shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, cayenne and oregano. Set aside.
Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet to medium heat. Heat oil until it is shimmering. Sprinkle the flour on top of the oil and stir constantly to combine into a smooth paste. Stir until a roux the color of peanut butter forms, about 10 minutes. If desired, continue to stir the roux until it changes to a deep brown color and furthermore to a deep, brick red color. Be careful not to leave the roux unattended or it will burn and you will have to start over.
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper, increase the heat to medium-high and stir to coat the vegetables with the roux. Add in the garlic and bay leaves. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the chili sauce, tomato sauce, hot sauce (if using), and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally to make sure that the bottom doesn’t burn. If needed, add water.
Once the sauce has thickened, add the seasoned shrimp, nestling them into the sauce. Simmer until opaque and cooked through, about 10 minutes, turning each piece halfway through the cooking time. Taste and adjust seasoning with the fine sea salt and black pepper.
Remove from the heat and let stand for a few minutes, uncovered. Sprinkle with scallions and serve over steamed rice.

Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.

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