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Gulf Coast Seafood Stew

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Karin Olsen

Hands-on time 55 mins
Total time 1 hr, 35 mins

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent oil spill off the coast of Louisiana renewed appreciation for our region's seafood. This stew shows off its incomparable flavors, colors, and beauty. 


  • 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 qt. reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound small red potatoes, halved
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle beer
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh white fish fillets, (such as snapper, grouper, or catfish), cubed
  • 1 pound cooked crawfish tails (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Griddle Corn Cakes
  • Spiced Mayonnaise

How to Make It

  1. Peel shrimp; place shells in a saucepan. (Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use.) Add celery ends and onion peel to pan; chop remaining celery and onion, and reserve. (Using the leftover bits of onion and celery will layer the flavor and result in a flavorful broth.) Add broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage; pat dry. Wipe Dutch oven clean. Sauté celery, onion, and peppers in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic, and sauté 45 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in potatoes, next 4 ingredients, and sausage.

  3. Pour broth mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into Dutch oven, discarding solids. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  4. Add fish; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until just opaque. Add shrimp, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. If desired, stir in crawfish, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until hot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Spoon seafood into warmed soup bowls. Top with broth mixture. Serve immediately with Griddle Corn Cakes and Spiced Mayonnaise.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, February, 2014;