Warning!!! This baked gluten free Cajun shrimp dip is sooo good that you will likely receive multiple requests to remake this for every party you attend from here on out. Creamy, cheesy, and full of shrimp, artichokes, and other yummy assorted veggies, this dip is a go-to recipe for get-togethers of all kinds.
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Shrimp season opened up late last month here in south Louisiana, and my dad, my brother, and my sister-in-law went trawling on opening day. They had a blast!! My 84-year-old dad - who thinks he's in his thirties and can actually rival the charisma, work ethic, and determination of a thirty-something man - helped my brother and sister-in-law trawl the waters off Myrtle Grove for all the fish and shellfish that they could catch in the net.
Well, the shrimp were small, but they couldn't have been more delicious. I decided to transform the last cup of my personal allotment into a dip that would feature the delicate shrimp taste and have a rich, velvety texture that screams "Special food, here people. A seafood harvest straight from the south Louisiana waters to your now delectable dining palate."
Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But, my family traveled two hours each way, trawled all day, and cleaned and separated their bounty for all of us lucky enough to be related to them to eat. That means something to me. Yep. So I made this baked gluten free Cajun shrimp dip to celebrate my good fortune.
Baked Gluten Free Cajun Shrimp Dip Starts With the Trinity
Like most of my original recipes, this baked gluten free Cajun shrimp dip starts with the trinity of onions, bell peppers, and celery. I only used 1 tablespoon of butter to brown the trio in order to extract as much of their flavor as I could from them, and to get them to the exact texture I wanted every time I stuck a gluten free cracker into the dip. When the trinity was done, I added jarred pimentos (I just love their texture in dips), and the seasoned shrimp to the mix.
A few minutes later, it was time to add plain Greek yogurt and marinated artichoke hearts. I rinsed the artichokes, though, to rid them of any excess oil that might make my dip oily. I love oil, but hate oily. Are you with me?
Once the 'chokes and yogurt were well-incorporated into the mixture, I added cubed Havarti and cream cheeses until they melted into the shrimp/veggie mixture. Watching the cheeses melt in the shrimp/veggie mixture was a beautiful sight that I honestly can't wait to see again.
Once the cheese melted, I seasoned and spiced up the gluten free Cajun shrimp dip mixture a bit more before baking it.
And when it was browned and bubbly, Mark and I dipped our way through it in total, satisfied silence. It was our dinner, and it made us feel all warm and fancy inside. Yep. Like most of my south Louisiana recipes, this one's near and dear to my heart.
This Gluten Free Cajun Shrimp Dip Was Born A Loonnnggg Time Ago. Yep.
This dip reminds me of my childhood days of going to our camp in Buras on the weekends with my family, usually accompanied by carloads of beloved friends and extended family members. We would all pile up into the boats to take giggling, belly-laughing, and squealing-with-excitement rides to the small yet unbelievably spacious camp we shared with one ecstatic accord. Once our feet hit the pier, it was non-stop swimming, fishing, trawling, and boat and pirogue riding for the next two glorious days straight. Oh, and eating as good as anyone on Earth can eat - from trawls, fishing lines, and crab traps that yielded an abundant supply for us to feast upon until we were all way past full.
Those were good days of old filled with fun, laughter, love and freshly caught food. The days of carefree good times, when my beloved Aunt Betty and Uncle Adam were still alive, and before my brothers Chris and Brian unexpectedly left this life too soon. And the days before I knew that my brother Audie and his wife Elaine would keep the tradition alive and well in our family until this very present day.
Those were the days before I knew that the reason that the bus stop was in front of my house was that my mom was the best cook in the neighborhood. (Back then, I thought everyone's mom made Cajun food for dinner each and every night. Silly, silly little me.)
Those were the days before fibromyalgia would overtake my life, and force me to examine who I really was within the depths of my heart and soul. You know, the places that are ugly, dark, and painful at the time, but once you emotionally walk through them and spiritually overcome them, your memory is forever burned with the testimony of their beauty?
Was my weekend camp upbringing primitive? Yes, blissfully so. Was it exciting? Yes, every second of it. But, was it loving? Yeesss. In a way that my words may not quite be able to tell you, but in a way that I'm certain you'll be able to feel right after you take your first bite of this gluten free Cajun dip.
Yep, the culmination of all those days behind made me one day realize that my greatest passions in life are writing, and south Louisiana food and culture. So, now I cook, recipe test, and author this blog because it is a literal marriage of all of my passions, and it allows me to be exactly who I really am every day of my life. God is good every day, and every day God is good...
Gluten Free Cajun Shrimp Dip
- 1 cup small shrimp peeled, rinsed, and de-veined
- Shrimp Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 dashes black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 2 dashes Crystal hot sauce
- Shrimp Dip Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- ⅓ cup each Cajun trinity onions, green bell peppers, and celery
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons jarred pimentos finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon tapioca or arrowroot starch
- 1 7.5- ounce can marinated artichoke hearts drained and rinsed
- 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 4 ounces cream cheese cubed
- 8 ounces Havarti cheese cubed
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 3 dashes Crystal hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- gluten free crackers or chips
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season shrimp with lemon zest, pepper, parsley, and hot sauce. Set aside.
- Brown the trinity in butter or olive oil over medium heat. When browned, add the garlic and jarred pimentos. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tapioca/arrowroot starch, and stir until well-combined.
- Add the seasoned shrimp, and cook for an additional two minutes. Fold artichoke hearts and Greek yogurt into the mixture.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Add the cream cheese and Havarti cheese in batches to the mixture. Stir until all of the cheese melts into the mixture.
- Add the paprika, dried parsley, and the rest of the Crystal hot sauce to the mixture. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and bubbly.
- Serve with gluten free crackers or chips.