Easy, comforting shrimp stew, cooked in a Mediterranean-style rustic chunky tomato sauce! Loads of flavor from fresh garlic, onions, bell peppers and warm spices. You'll want to make this for close friends and family, adding your favorite bread to sop up all the goodness (and maybe a bottle of your favorite wine.) 

Be sure to grab my tips for how to make this shrimp stew recipe and ways to serve it! 

Shrimp stew served in bowl on a table setting

Cozy stews have the ability to warm you up from head to toe. They are really the reason I look forward to cooler whether, when I can pull out my trusted crockpot or Dutch oven to make a hearty Italian beef stew, Moroccan vegetable tagine, or unstuffed cabbage rolls  (all three are so worth trying, by the way!)

When I'm in the mood for something extra special, I always look to seafood. Can't help it, must be the Mediterranean blood 🙂 Saucy Moroccan fish or Sicilian-style fish stew often make an appearance on the table next to some crusty whole wheat bread.

This time, I wanted to do something with shrimp, since I had a bag sitting in my freezer. I love baked shrimp, but I wanted to go for something hearty and "saucy." A shrimp stew so to speak.  And lucky for me, I happened upon an inspiration from the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, and particularly Gaza...

A flavor-packed shrimp stew in chunky tomato sauce with bell peppers and warm Eastern Mediterranean spices. My family went nuts for it! 

This shrimp stew recipe is easy to make. So simple and rustic, the kind you'll want to make for close friends and family, adding just your favorite bread to sop up all the goodness (and maybe a bottle of your favorite wine)

If you're looking to serve up something homey and comforting, but still unique, this shrimp stew will absolutely deliver. Let me tell you a bit more about it...Shrimp stew served in bowl on a table settingAbout this Mediterranean-Style Shrimp Stew 

This baked shrimp stew takes us to the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, and particularly Gaza, where the inspiration for this recipe came from.

Zibdiyit Gambari, which literally translates shrimp in a clay pot, is a popular signature dish of Gaza's seaport restaurants. It also resembles a seafood dish from Egypt's Alexandria, which is fun for this Alexandria lover (Much of my childhood summers were spent in Alexandria eating all sorts of seafood, and the flavors in this shrimp stew did bring back some wonderful memories).

And let me tell you, there is no shortage of flavor in this baked shrimp stew! 

This rustic shrimp stew is cooked in a chunky tomato sauce with lots of fresh garlic, onions and bell peppers. Then come a foursome of warm, earthy spices that bring about a decidedly eastern Mediterranean twist--coriander, sumac (a deep red, tangy spice from sumac berries), cumin, and cardamom. For just a bit of a kick, I add some chili pepper flakes (and if you want to go for the real deal spicy version, feel free to add some chopped hot peppers or jalapenos).

And, I just love the unexpected addition of toasted sesame seeds and pine nuts. Both are optional, but I think they really add great nuance and texture to this comforting dish.

In my version of this saucy baked shrimp stew, I used large shrimp or prawns, although smaller shrimp is more typically used.

Traditionally, this Mediterranean-style shrimp stew is cooked in what is known as zibdiyas, which are handmade porous clay bowls. But you can use any oven-safe pot or cast iron skillet with a lid, ramekins or a stoneware baking dish will work great as well!

How to Make this Baked Shrimp Stew Recipe: 

There are really two components to this easy baked shrimp stew recipe: 1) make the sauce 2) add shrimp and bake. Here is how it goes:

- First step is to prepare the chunky tomato sauce. Start by sauteing onions, bell pepper, an garlic. Then, add spices and cook for a few seconds to a minute till nice and fragrant. From there, we add the tomatoes and water and let things simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or so.

Sauteed red onions and diced red bell peppers

- Then, if you're not already using an oven-safe skillet, transfer the sauce to an oven-safe baking dish. Add shrimp and be sure to nestle it well in the sauce. Stir in fresh parsley, toasted sesame seeds and pine nuts. Cover and bake briefly (about 7 to 9 minutes or so in 375 degree F heated-oven. Ovens vary). Uncover and place under broiler briefly until shrimp is ready (shrimp is cooked when it turns from grey to an opaque pink).

Shrimp with sesame seeds, pine nuts and parsley

Important Tips

1. If shrimp is frozen, thaw properly before you start making this stew. If you think of it in advance, put your shrimp in the fridge to thaw overnight. Or, to quickly thaw shrimp, place it in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for about 5 minutes. Toss the shrimp a bit to make sure they are all exposed to the cold water.

2. How to Know if Shrimp is Ready? Shrimp cooks pretty quickly, so you'll want to be watchful of that, particularly because ovens do vary. It should take somewhere between 7 and 9 minutes, covered. Then, if you like, uncover and place it under the broiler until it's ready. Shrimp is ready when it turns from grey to an opaque pink (look at the thickest part of the shrimp, and if it's no longer grey, shrimp is ready.) It should have a nice bite to it and should not feel dry or rubbery.

What to Serve Along this Shrimp Stew Recipe? 

This warm-your-belly shrimp stew is great with some crusty bread to pick up the tasty sauce. But I also like to serve it on top of this Greek lemon rice, Lebanese rice, quinoa or grain of choice.

And you can easily turn it into an Eastern Mediterranean feast by adding a side of Baba Ganoush or Hummus; and a salad such as Balela, Fattoush or Tabouli 

More shrimp recipes:

Shrimp Orzo Soup

Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cilantro Sauce

Spicy Shrimp and Chorizo Couscous

See More Stew Recipes here

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Shrimp stew served in bowl on a table setting

Baked Shrimp Stew in a Mediterranean Chunky Tomato Sauce


  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x

Description

Easy, comforting shrimp stew, cooked in a Mediterranean-style rustic chunky tomato sauce! Loads of flavor from fresh garlic, onions, bell peppers and warm spices. You'll want to make this for close friends and family, adding your favorite bread to sop up all the goodness (and maybe a bottle of your favorite wine.) 


Ingredients

Scale
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek olive oil)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp ground green cardamom
  • 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  •  2 ½ lb large shrimp
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts, optional
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • Lemon or lime wedges to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and position an oven rack in the middle
  2. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add chopped onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing regularly. Stir in spices and cook another minute or so till fragrant.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and water. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer sauce to an oven-save dish (unless you are using a large, deep, oven-safe skillet). Stir shrimp well into the sauce. Add parsley, pine nuts, and toasted sesame seeds. Cover with lid (or tightly with foil.)
  5. Transfer to heated oven and bake for about 7 to 9 minutes or so (depending on your oven), then uncover and broil very briefly till shrimp is ready (shrimp is ready when it turns from gray to a translucent pink in the thickest parts.)

Notes

  • Cook's Tip: If shrimp is frozen, thaw in fridge overnight or place it in a colander and run cold water for 5 minutes or so (toss shrimp occasionally to make sure they're all well-exposed to the water)
  • Visit our Online Shop to browse our olive oil bundles and all-natural and organic spices
  • This recipe is inspired by The Gaza Kitchen's Zibdiyit Gambari recipe.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Shrimp stew, baked shrimp

*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I made this last night and it was delicious. However, I brought it for launch today over some brown rice and it was to die for. I love how your recipes just get better as they absorb the spices. Thanks and I look forward to your Farro Risotto recipe tonight!

    1. Yes... so many things are even better the next day.... once the flavors have a chance to meld :). Thank you so much for taking the time to review!

  2. Suzy another truly amazing recipe! I made your Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta last night that was Wow and tonight this incredible recipe. My goodness everything is so delicious. Once again the taste buds were definitely doing the happy dance . Cooking and eating recipes like this make eating a tremendous joy . Now what to make next ? I’m sure whatever recipe of yours I choose to make will be WOW ! The Mediterranean Dish is my go to place for wonderful recipes.

  3. This is a new 5 star for me! With a few variations,,,,,,,,pine nuts are ridiculously expensive so I blanched some almonds, sliced and toasted them along with the sesame seeds. From one of your other shrimp recipes, I enjoyed the combination of Italian sausage with shrimp, so I thin sliced a medium hot Italian sausage, browned it and set aside until adding the shrimp later. Wow! Suzy strikes again. If she didn't enjoy the results so much, my wife would be jealous of my time with Suzy.

  4. I'm making this dish again tomorrow night for an outdoor dinner with two other couples. I would like to add additional veggies, but I also want to keep it as authentic as possible. Can you make any suggestions as to what veggies might be added?

    1. Hi, Kate! I'm so sorry I'm just answering now. I'm not always able to get to questions right away. For future reference... there are so many options! Really you can add whatever you enjoy!

  5. HI Suzy:
    I use your website ALL the time. I have tried SO MANY of them.
    That said, I would like VERY MUCH for you to go back to the old website where I could search with links to recipes by type. It was so easy to see Fish and Seafood, Chicken, Vegetarian, Salads. I find the new website incredibly hard to navigate and it wastes a lot of time when I am looking quickly for dinner. Please consider returning to the old form of the website.
    Thank you.
    Mary

    1. Hi, Mary! Thank you for the feedback. The website is always a work in progress :). We will take another look. In the meantime, you can still search by recipe type by hitting the "Recipe" button on the top of the main page. You will be taken to the page with the categories as in the past (they are just arranged differently than they used to be). Scroll down a bit to see the categories you described here. https://www.themediterraneandish.com/recipes/

  6. Very nice recipe! I'm curious about the sesame seeds, which were hardly detectable. What was their intended role? Also, though I love the idea of the pine nuts, I was surprised that they weren't all that noticeable.

      1. Well, it was really delicious. Visually, the seeds and pine nuts made a stunning presentation, though we really didn't detect their flavors. If making this dish for others, I would use them for the visual appeal, otherwise, I think I would skip the seeds.

  7. Awesome recipe from Mediterranean Dish as usual! Followed the recipe pretty much to a T, but added chickpeas and okra. 🙂 Thank you so much!

  8. Very nice recipe. Warm and delicious. I made 1/2 the recipe as there is only 2 of us. I did end up adding a full 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes as it seemed a bit dry and I had to substitute allspice for the cardamom as I had none in the house And used green papper rather than red pepper. I had no pine nuts. I love finding new recipes and this is one we both enjoyed very much.

  9. Dear Suzy, as we here in England approach the coldest and shortest of days we can take some some cheering up but this dish did the job magnificently! My partner had had a particularly miserable day and her mood wasn't improved when I told her we were having Shrimp Stew. Just seeing her face at the first taste and watching the happiness spread was just the best feeling. Thank you for your continued inspiration, Very Best Wishes, John

  10. I had shrimp in that needed to be cooked, so have changed the quantities to suit but absolutely gorgeous for a Monday night tea 🙂

  11. Everyone enjoy this dish. Going to make it many more times. It's a keeper and giving the recipe to family and friends.

  12. This stew sounds so delicious! It's the perfect weeknight meal since it only takes 35 minutes to make! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. I made this last time you featured it, and this is the dish that really got me hooked on this style of eating. It is a wonderful dish, so comforting and such good flavor. And I have been hooked and made many of your recipes since. As a matter of fact, I am off to make a new one (to me) here in a fewa

  13. I have never tried shrimp stew, but this one sounds so delicious! So flavorful and yummy. I cannot wait to try! Thanks for sharing.