Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole

Are you looking for a scrumptious seafood dish that’s perfect for any occasion? Look no further than this Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole recipe. It’s easy to prepare, delicious, and sure to impress your guests with its delightful flavors and elegant presentation. This dish combines succulent shrimp with a rich, savory stuffing, all baked to perfection in a creamy casserole. It’s perfect for a cozy family dinner, a festive party, or even a romantic evening at home.

Ingredients Needed for Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole

To make this delicious casserole, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Large shrimp: 1 pound, peeled and deveined
  • Butter: 4 tablespoons, divided
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Celery: 2 stalks, finely chopped
  • Bell pepper: 1, diced
  • Crackers: 1 cup, crushed (Ritz or a similar buttery variety)
  • Parmesan cheese: ½ cup, grated
  • Fresh parsley: ¼ cup, chopped
  • Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
  • Old Bay seasoning: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Heavy cream: ½ cup

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preheat Your Oven

Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures your oven is ready to bake the casserole evenly.

2. Prepare the Shrimp

If your shrimp aren’t already prepared, peel and devein them. You can leave the tails on for a more elegant presentation.

3. Make the Stuffing

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the minced garlic, chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the sautéed vegetables with crushed crackers, grated Parmesan, chopped parsley, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

4. Assemble the Casserole

Grease a baking dish with some of the remaining butter. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer at the bottom of the dish. Spoon the stuffing mixture over the shrimp, pressing lightly to form an even layer.

5. Add Cream and Bake

Drizzle the heavy cream evenly over the top of the stuffing. Dot the remaining butter across the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the shrimp are cooked through.

6. Serving

Let the casserole sit for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Serve warm, garnished with additional parsley and lemon wedges for extra zest.

Why This Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole Recipe Works

This Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole is not just delicious; it’s also a versatile dish that can be adapted to your taste. It’s a fantastic way to incorporate seafood into your diet, and the combination of creamy, savory, and buttery flavors makes it a crowd-pleaser. The recipe is straightforward and can be prepared ahead of time, making your dinner party or family meal stress-free.

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Additionally, shrimp is an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients, making this dish a healthy option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

Conclusion

This Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole is a must-try recipe for seafood lovers. It’s perfect for those special occasions or when you just want to treat yourself to something delicious and comforting. The rich flavors and creamy texture make this casserole a standout dish that’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

Serving and Storage Tips for Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole

This delightful Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole is not only delicious at the time of serving but can also be enjoyed later if stored and reheated properly. Here are some essential tips for serving and storing this seafood dish to maintain its best quality and flavor.

Serving Tips:

  • Garnish Wisely: To enhance the presentation and add a fresh flavor burst, garnish the casserole with freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving. Lemon wedges served on the side also allow guests to adjust the acidity to their taste.
  • Accompaniments: Serve this rich and savory casserole with a side of light, fresh salad or steamed vegetables to balance the meal. A side of crusty bread or garlic bread is perfect for soaking up the delicious creamy sauce.
  • Wine Pairing: Complement this seafood dish with a glass of white wine. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or even a dry Riesling are excellent choices that match well with the creamy and buttery flavors of the casserole.

Storage Tips:

  • Cool Before Storing: Allow the casserole to cool completely at room temperature after cooking but ensure it doesn’t sit out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Refrigeration: Transfer the cooled casserole into an airtight container and refrigerate. Properly stored, the casserole can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Avoid leaving the casserole in the baking dish as the acid from the lemon juice and the salt can react with metal dishes and alter the flavor.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, you can freeze the casserole. Wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container. The casserole can be frozen for up to 1 month. Note that the texture of the shrimp might change slightly upon thawing and reheating.
  • Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator if frozen. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until it is heated through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). If the casserole seems a bit dry, add a splash of cream or chicken broth before reheating to bring back its moist texture.
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By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole remains as delightful and savory as when it was first baked, providing a wonderful meal whether served immediately or enjoyed later.

FAQ 1: Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Answer: Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for this recipe. It’s essential to thaw the shrimp completely before using them. The best way to thaw shrimp is by placing them in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can immerse the shrimp in cold water for a few hours, changing the water every 30 minutes until they are fully thawed. Ensure the shrimp are well-drained and patted dry with paper towels before using them in the recipe to prevent excess moisture from affecting the texture of the casserole.

FAQ 2: What are some alternatives to crackers for the stuffing?

Answer: If you prefer not to use crackers, or simply want to try something different, there are several alternatives you can consider. Panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs are great options that will give a nice crunchy texture. For a gluten-free version, you might use crushed gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs. Another tasty alternative is to use crushed cornflakes or even a mixture of crushed nuts and herbs for a unique texture and flavor.

FAQ 3: How can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Answer: Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole can be prepared ahead of time to make mealtime easier. You can assemble the casserole, excluding the final step of pouring the cream over it. Cover the assembled casserole tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, add the cream, and possibly a little extra to ensure it doesn’t dry out, and then bake as directed. This makes it a convenient dish for holidays or dinner parties.

FAQ 4: Is there a dairy-free alternative for this casserole?

Answer: Yes, this casserole can be adapted for a dairy-free diet. Replace the butter with a dairy-free margarine or olive oil. Instead of heavy cream, you can use a dairy-free cream alternative, such as coconut cream or any unsweetened plant-based cream designed for cooking. For the Parmesan cheese, look for a vegan Parmesan alternative, which is often made from nuts and nutritional yeast to mimic the flavor and texture of cheese.

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