This easy shrimp stew is packed with shrimp, trinity, and lots of flavor! Instructions for a homemade roux or an instant roux are provided. Either way, you'll love how delicious this stew is!
Serve over cooked rice, or add some hard-boiled eggs after the stew has cooked. You'll love this old-fashioned, Cajun comfort food!
Why You'll Love This
This recipe is very similar to shrimp etouffee. However, this shrimp stew is much thicker than an etouffee. While etouffee also has a roux, it "generally" is made with a lighter roux.
This recipe has a medium-dark roux which takes about 30 minutes to make (a dark, rich roux takes time!). After making the roux, it should be about the color of peanut butter.
If you don't have the time to make a roux, you can use a store-bought roux (no shame in that!). I'll talk about using a store-bought roux later in the post.
This basic shrimp stew recipe contains no vegetables other than onion, bell pepper, and celery. But don't fret - you can always add some peas and carrots at the very end.
Some people add peeled, whole hard-boiled eggs after the stew has cooked, and some even add a scoop of potato salad in the same serving bowl right on top of the stew!
Shrimp stew ingredients should be fairly easy to find at any grocery store.
Shrimp - use raw, large shrimp. The shrimp should be peeled, deveined, and tails removed. If using frozen shrimp, let them thaw first.
Trinity - chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. This is commonly referred to as the trinity because it's always these same 3 ingredients.
Flour and Oil - use all-purpose flour and canola oil to make the roux. You won't need the flour and oil if you use a store-bought roux.
Instant Roux Mix - Use this instead of flour and oil if you do not want to make a homemade roux!
Minced Garlic - use fresh or use the minced garlic that comes in a jar - so handy!
Green Onions - the green onions had additional flavor and always seem to make their way into our Cajun recipes.
Worcestershire Sauce - for a little added flavor, add a little "wooster" sauce, however, this is an optional ingredient.
Seasonings - salt, Cajun or creole seasoning mix, and black pepper.
Chicken Broth - I highly recommend using chicken broth over water since it adds a flavor boost!
How to Make It
I have provided 2 sets of instructions: one for homemade roux and one with instant roux mix. Please follow the instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
(1) Make the roux by adding the oil and flour to your pot. Slow simmer, constantly stirring, until the color of the roux is medium to dark brown. This will take about 30 minutes.
(2) Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Simmer 10 minutes.
(3) Add the garlic and shrimp, chicken broth (or use water), and all the seasonings (use the recipe card!). Simmer 5 minutes. Test for flavor and add additional seasonings, if desired. Add green onions, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
(4) Serve over hot, cooked rice. Yummy!
Frequently Asked Questions
The stew is pretty filling as-is, but nobody would pass up some buttery French bread! You can also serve it with potato salad or a green salad.
As long as it's stored in an airtight container, it will stay fresh for up to 2 days. When ready to eat, just warm it in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat it (don't boil the stew in the microwave lol) or the shrimp may become rubbery.
Substitutes and Additions
Can substitute cayenne pepper for the Cajun-creole seasoning. You can also use red pepper flakes (add them when you're sauteing the onion, bell pepper, and celery.
If you have any fresh parsley, you can add it to the cooked stew.
Add a can of diced or stewed tomatoes -- add to the pot when you add the shrimp.
Add a can of drained peas and carrots for a more traditional stew.
Add a potato -- make sure it's diced small -- add to the pot when you add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Potatoes are thickeners, and this stew is plenty thick, so don't add any more than 1 large potato.
Add some peeled, whole hard-boiled eggs at the end of the recipe, right before serving time. This is a traditional Louisiana add-in. Adding hard-boiled eggs to a recipe was likely a means to stretch the recipe and or add more protein (especially during Lent).
For an extra flavor kick, add ½ pound of sliced sausage (Andouille or your favorite) -- add while you're sautéing the trinity.
How to Make with Instant Roux
If you choose to use an instant roux, such as Tony Chachere's Instant Creole Roux Mix, you'll save yourself at least 30 minutes standing over the stove! The directions are basically the same, but slightly differ. Please follow these instructions if using an instant roux mix.
(1) Mix the roux per the manufacturer's directions but don't cook it or boil it. Set it aside. I like the powdered, instant roux.
(2) Add a tablespoon of oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Simmer covered for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through the cook time.
(3) To the same pot, add the garlic and shrimp. Simmer covered for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are no longer pink. Stir halfway through cook time.
(4) Now add the roux, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Simmer 5 minutes. Test for flavor and add additional seasonings, if desired. Add green onions, and simmer for another minute.
(5) Serve over hot, cooked rice.
More Cajun recipes
If you tried this recipe, please rate it and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you!
Cajun Shrimp Stew
- 5-quart heavy pan
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- ½ cup all-purpose (plain) flour you won't need flour if you're using the instant roux mix
- ½ cup oil (I use canola oil) you'll only need 1 Tablespoon of oil if you're using the instant roux mix
- 1 cup diced onion (lima-bean-size pieces)
- ½ cup diced bell pepper (green-pea-size pieces)
- ½ cup diced celery (green-pea-size pieces)
- 2 pounds raw, large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed if using frozen shrimp, let them thaw first then drain them in a colander to remove excess liquid
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (jarred)
- 1-½ cups chicken broth use only 1 cup broth if using the instant roux mix
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce optional
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's) add more or less to suit your taste - it's up to you!
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 green onions, sliced
USE THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOMEMADE ROUX
- Make the roux. In a heavy, 5-quart pan (or Dutch oven), add the flour and oil. Blend with a whisk. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring every minute with a whisk until the color is medium brown. This will take about 30 minutes. You'll want the roux to slightly (barely) simmer - do not boil! Be careful not to burn the roux or you'll have to start over. Making a roux is easy -- but it takes time and is well worth every minute.
- Add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered until the celery is tender; about 10 minutes. (Simmer = light, delicate bubbling action; not boiling).
- Add the garlic and shrimp. Stir to combine. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
- Add water, Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Taste test for flavor and add more salt or creole seasoning, if desired. If mixture seems too thick, add a little more water (or broth).
- Add green onions, stir, and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.
- Serve over cooked rice. Serve with buttered and toasted French bread.
USE THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSTANT ROUX MIX
- Mix the roux per the manufacturer's directions but don't cook it or boil it. Set it aside. I like the powdered, instant roux.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Simmer covered for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through the cook time.
- To the same pot, add the garlic and shrimp. Simmer covered for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are no longer pink. Stir halfway through cook time.
- Now add the roux, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Simmer 5 minutes. Test for flavor and add additional seasonings, if desired. Add green onions, and simmer for another minute.
- Serve over hot, cooked rice.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.