I love New Orleans.
I lived through hurricane Katrina in 2005 when I was in college getting my neuroscience degree at Tulane. I miss the city often.
And boy do I sure miss the FOOD!
If you have never eaten a muffaletta, fried oyster po boy, jambalaya, or crawfish monica, I'm sad for you. Unfortunately gluten is a big part of NOLA food. BUT - the last time I visited, I was pleasantly surprised that many restaurants now offered gluten-free versions of some of these classic dishes.
And, of course, when you cook at home you are in control and can make the adjustments needed to suit your dietary restrictions. Shrimp Creole is an easy dish to make Paleo. AIP though? I can't take on that challenge, since the combination of the tomatoes and the peppers from the "trinity" are so crucial for that authentic flavor. (The Trinity is comprised of onions, green peppers, and celery - it's the Cajun/Creole version of a mirepoix, which uses carrots instead of peppers).
Once again, cassava flour shines through as an incredible gluten-free and grain-free white flour substitute in this recipe. It cooks up the most perfect looking, smelling, and tasting roux I've ever made with a gluten-free flour. Period.
Also note that this Creole Sauce is versatile and can be used in other ways. I'll share my Instant Pot Chicken Creole recipe soon for y'all!
This recipe was developed using inspiration from The Gumbo Shop's and Coop's Place's recipes. Definitely check out both places if you visit New Orleans, although I can't vouch for their gluten-free-ness since I haven't been to either in the last 5 years.
Enjoy and laissez les bons temps rouler!
Paleo Shrimp Creole (Paleo, gluten-free roux)
This shrimp Creole recipe is authentically New Orleans and features the most perfect light roux made with gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo flour: cassava!
- 1.5 to 2.5 lbs fresh shrimp, preferably head-on, peeled, head removed, and de-veined
- filtered water for shrimp stock
- 1/2 cup (8 TB) butter (substitute lard for dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup cassava flour
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder (more if you like spicy food)
- 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Crystal hot sauce (Tabasco is good too)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes with juice (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup plain tomato sauce
- 1 cup homemade shrimp stock (reserve the rest for another use - freeze it for later if necessary)
- 1 TB lard (or fat of choice for sauteeing)
- 1/2 cup onion sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 cup celery, cut on the bias in thin strips
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- First you will make a shrimp stock. Peel and devein shrimp, placing heads and peels into a large pot, and storing prepared shrimp in the fridge until ready to cook. Add just enough filtered water to the pot to cover the shells and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Strain stock and set aside. To devein shrimp, slice the back with a sharp knife about halfway through and remove the dark "vein".
- If you need to chop all your veggies, do it while they stock is cooking. Make sure they are ready to go because things move fast once you make the roux.
- When the stock has about 15-20 minutes left to simmer, melt butter (or lard) in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the cassava flour and use a whisk to break up any clumps. Cook until you achieve a "peanut" roux (light colored), which should only take about 5-7 minutes. The mixture will bubble as the moisture cooks out. Once it stops bubbling, watch VERY closely so you don't burn the roux. It will start to smell a bit like cooked popcorn and become a light/medium brown color. Don't let it reach dark brown/chocolate color.
- Once you have your light roux, immediately add in the "Trinity" - the finely choped onion, celery, and pepper, stirring well to mix. Cook the veggies until they are soft and starting to brown. Stir them and scrape the bottom of the pot frequently.
- Add all of the remaining seasonings, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and stir to combine well. Let simmer about 15 minutes, making sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot. Add about 1 cup of shrimp stock , stir, and bring to a gentle simmer for about 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute the onion, celery, and pepper slices in a large frying pan over medium heat, cooking until they are soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the peeled shrimp and the sauteed veggies to the simmering pot and return to a simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir a few times to ensure even cooking of the shrimp. Do not overcook them!
- Serve with white rice or your favorite rice substitute. I recommend my starchy rice replacement. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives. Enjoy!
Cook time: 00 hrs. 45 mins.
Total time: 75 mins.
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