Shrimp and tomato stew is so easy to make that you might want to make this every single day of the week and I'm okay with that. This dish is the perfect anytime protein. Add it to your eggs for a yummy breakfast. Toss it with mixed greens for the perfect salad. Or serve it over some compliant mashed potatoes for the perfect whole30 dinner. Not on a whole30 round, no worries you can still make and enjoy this simple stew using clean ingredients. Don't know what whole30 is and why I'm suddenly posting about it. Check out my post on The Whole30 and Me to learn more about my journey, then hop over to instagram and follow my March Caribbean Whole30.
Pantry Staple Seafood Seasoning Blend
I love making my own seasoning blends. This way I know exactly what goes into it and there is no sneaky sugar or gluten. This one is a staple when I am cooking seafood. I always have these dried herbs and spices in my pantry. It makes cooking so easy. Just grab a little bit of garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, ground ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, all spice and parsley flakes. Mix them together and you have a great seasoning blend, perfect for seafood. A zip top bag is the perfect vessel for mixing spices. Shake, shake, shake and you are done.
Frozen shrimp is my shrimp of choice, I live in a land lock state and the fresh shrimp you see at the supermarket were previously frozen and then defrosted. This way I can defrost it when I am ready to cook and don't have to worry about it staying fresh. There is also a wide variety of frozen shrimp available in the supermarket, from farm raised to wild caught. I defrost my shrimp ahead of time. Then let it sit for about 5 minutes in some lemon juice, then rinse with cold water, dry the shrimp with some paper towels and it is ready for my homemade seafood seasoning blend.
Searing the shrimp before making the stew
I love to sear my shrimp in hot oil before adding it to the stewed tomatoes. This seals in the flavor of the dry seasoning. To achieve this, I let about 2 tablespoons of oil get really hot, almost to smoking in a large cast iron skillet and then I add the shrimp. I cook the shrimp for less than a minute on each side and remove it immediately from the heat. I don't want the shrimp to be fully cooked otherwise it will overcook when added to the stewed tomatoes.
Making the tomato stew for the dish
In the same pan that I seared the shrimp, I add a ton of fresh, chopped tomatoes. I love to use plum tomatoes but really any tomato or combination of fresh tomatoes will work. I use a bit of coconut aminos to add a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. The coconut aminos also adds a rich color to the stew. I let the tomatoes cook down to form a really thick sauce before adding back in the shrimp.
Once the tomato stew is just right, I add the shrimp. Then I toss the shrimp in the stewed tomatoes until they are fully coated in the delicious sauce. Then I remove the finished shrimp and tomato stew from the heat. This takes about a minute or two. I don't want the shrimp to over cook so I'm quick about this step. The heat of the cast iron skillet will continue to cook the shrimp to form a perfectly delicious Shrimp and Tomato stew.
What makes this dish Whole30?
I know this sounds like I'm making a pretty basic stew. So what makes it whole30? In Caribbean, cooking to make most stews I would first caramelize some brown sugar to a dark almost black caramel, then add my seasoned shrimp, followed by my tomatoes. I am substituting the caramelized sugar (also known as burnt sugar or browning) with coconut aminos. It adds a nice contrast of flavor to the tart and acidic tomatoes and balances out this dish. It also helps to give the dish its rich brown color.
The Printable Shrimp and Tomato Stew Recipe
Printable Recipe Card
Shrimp and Tomato Stew (Whole30)
- 1 lb medium to large sized peel and deveined shrimp tail on/off optional
- About 10 ounces of plum tomatoes sliced in halves
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger or ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Add lemon juice to shrimp and let rest for 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly and dry with a few paper towels
- Next combine the salt and all of the dried herbs and spices into a large zip top bag and mix together well to form a seasoning blend
- Then add the shrimp to the zip top bag and shake well until all the shrimp are coated with the seasoning blend
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat, then add shrimp in a single layer. Sear for one minute on each side, repeat as necessary until all the shrimp are cooked
- Then remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside
- Next add remaining oil to the skillet and when hot add the tomatoes, followed by the coconut aminos
- Sauté the tomatoes on medium heat, then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Cook down the tomatoes until they are tender and a thick sauce forms
- Then add the seared shrimp to the stewed tomatoes and toss until the shrimp is fully coated with the tomato stew, then remove from the heat
- Serve warm with your favorite side dish