A deliciously rich, creamy shrimp bisque, but with a Cajun kick! Packed with flavor, this soup is company-worthy but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. It starts with holy trinity and Cajun seasoning, fortified with a little sherry to add a restaurant-level taste, and finished with fresh shrimp simmered until just tender. Delicious!
🔥 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- If you ask me, few things are more satisfying than a really delicious, creamy seafood bisque. I’m a huge fan of heat and flavor, so a cajun shrimp bisque is 100% up my alley. Seafood stock, holy trinity, a little tomato paste and sherry, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, tender shrimp. There are so many layers of flavors and textures here that compliment each other so well. Each bite is somehow more delicious than the last.
- Like any good bisque, this cajun shrimp bisque is decadently thick and smooth, with the veggie aromatics sautéed and simmered until they’re completely soft. For a smoother consistency, we’ve included a step for puréeing the bisque with an immersion blender or a standard blender. Feel free to purée as much as you like to reach your favorite consistency!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- If you don’t have or can’t find cajun seasoning, you can use creole seasoning instead. The two are similar enough that they’re often used interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same. Cajun seasoning usually contains more spices. Creole seasoning usually contains more herbs. Note that creole seasoning is typically milder than cajun seasoning, so adjust your amounts accordingly!
- I highly, highly recommend making your own shrimp stock if you’ve got the time! Store-bought shrimp or seafood stock works perfectly here, so don’t feel pressured. It’s a really great way to use up any shrimp shells, though, and it gives your bisque that much more flavor.
- If Cajun flavors aren’t really your thing, give our classic shrimp bisque recipe a try. It’s inspired by the lobster bisque from Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and it’s a great option for anyone who isn’t big on heat.
- When it comes to choosing a sherry for your bisque, or any other soup, leave the top-shelf bottles on the top-shelf. Sherry adds an extra splash of flavor, for sure, but it’s not so prominent that you need to spend a lot. Pick your sherry based on the type of flavor you want the bisque to have. Amontillado has a richer, nuttier flavor than a light sherry like Manzanilla, so it may stand out a little more. Paleo Cortado is intense and a little salty. Oloroso is dark and very aromatic. I personally would choose a Fino or Manzanilla, which would allow the other flavors of the cajun shrimp bisque to really shine.
🍲 More Soups & Bisque Recipes You’ll Love
- Tomato Bisque
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Soup
- The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth’s Chris Copycat Recipe)
- McAlister’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Copycat
- Chicken and Stars Soup
- Shrimp and Corn Soup
For the Cajun Shrimp Bisque
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups seafood stock or shrimp stock, see Notes
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onions both white and green parts
- 1 ½ cups holy trinity see Notes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning Louisiana Fish Fry, Slap Ya Mama, etc.; see Notes
- ¼ cup dry sherry or other dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- salt to taste
- cayenne pepper or Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
- finely chopped chives
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Louisiana hot sauce
- crusty bread
- Louisiana beer optional; Abita Beer and NOLA Brewing recommended
- large soup pot or dutch oven
- Large wooden spoon
- immersion blender or standard blender, see Notes
- Heat large pot over medium heat. When pot is warm, add butter and allow to melt completely. Swirl butter around bottom of pot occasionally while melting to fully coat pot.
- Once butter is melted, add green onions and holy trinity. Sauté vegetables, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent.
- Reduce heat under pot to low. Sprinkle flour into pot, then stir until flour is completely incorporated into melted butter and mixture is golden brown, approximately 2 minutes.
- Once flour mixture is golden brown, pour in sherry and whisk mixture until thick paste-like consistency forms.
- Continue whisking while adding tomato paste and cajun seasoning. Once ingredients are incorporated, slowly add seafood stock in small increments, whisking constantly, until all liquid is fully incorporated.
- Increase heat under pot to medium and allow mixture to come to low, gentle boil. Once liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until onions, bell peppers, and celery are very tender and liquid has reduced slightly.
- Remove pot from heat. See next step for very smooth bisque texture, or skip next step to use bisque as-is.
- Optional: For smoother bisque, insert immersion blender into pot and carefully blend liquid and vegetables until desired consistency is achieved. See Notes if using standard blender.
- With pot off heat, pour in heavy cream and stir until cream is well incorporated. Return pot to low heat. Taste bisque and add salt and cayenne pepper or hot sauce as needed.
- Add shrimp to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are warmed through and tender, approximately 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook shrimp.
- Once shrimp are ready, ladle bisque into serving bowls. Top with chopped chives, hot sauce, and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread and Louisiana beer if desired.
- Stock: I recommend using seafood stock or shrimp stock (store-bought or homemade) to give the bisque even more seafood flavor. If you have trouble finding either of those, though, you can use chicken stock or vegetable stock instead.
- Holy Trinity: This veggie blend consists of onion, celery, and green bell pepper. You can chop your own trinity, or you can typically find the blend pre-chopped or frozen in most grocery stores.
- Cajun Seasoning: If you don’t have or can’t find cajun seasoning, you can use creole seasoning instead. Note that creole seasoning is typically more mild than cajun seasoning, so adjust your amounts accordingly!
- Sherry: You can replace the dry sherry with any other dry white wine, or use additional seafood stock to make the dish alcohol-free.
To Blend Hot Bisque in Standard Blender
- Remove pot from heat and let bisque cool slightly before transferring to blender.
- Fill blender no more than halfway. Work in batches as needed.
- Let bisque cool in blender 2-3 minutes before blending.
- Remove center cap from blender lid and cover opening with dish towel. Hold blender lid down while blending.
- Blend in short bursts until desired consistency is achieved.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.