If you have ever been to Greece it would be impossible to have missed out on this delicious Greek shrimp saganaki meze, served in every Psarotaverna (fish tavern)! This is a very easy Shrimp saganaki recipe for you to recreate this simple and beloved traditional Greek appetizer from scratch in less than 20 minutes and is inspired from a recipe that I first saw at the island of Santorini back in the 70’s..!
What I love about this Greek shrimp saganaki recipe are its delicious ingredients – the shrimps also known as “garides” in Greek are first sautéed in olive oil, deglazed with traditional Greek ouzo drink, then added in a spicy tomato sauce and finished off with fresh herbs and salty feta cheese.. Simply irresistible!
So go ahead, discover my delicious Greek Shrimp Saganaki recipe, my tips and tricks to help you make it to perfection, how to prepare it in advance and my delicious pairings!
What is Greek shrimp Saganaki with Feta Cheese?
Greek shrimp saganaki is a traditional dish that uses medium or even large shrimp or prawns that are deglazed in Ouzo to give them extra flavour. It is a version of the common cheese saganaki recipe which is a popular Greek appetizer and is usually served in a baking dish with two handles to make it easy to serve.
The name of the dish comes from ‘sagani’ which is a type of frying pan with two handles. The most common traditional Greek recipes cooked in a saganaki pan include the melt in the mouth cheese Saganaki, Feta Saganaki and mussels saganaki.
What you’ll need to make your Shrimp Saganaki
As with most Greek dishes, Shrimp Saganaki is a very simple dish to prepare. Besides the store cupboard basics, there are three ingredients that make all the difference in your Saganaki! Its the tangy feta cheese, the juicy, ripe tomatoes and of course the traditional Greek Ouzo!
- Feta: Feta is the most important ingredient in a traditional Greek Garides Saganaki and gives it its deliciously tangy flavour, one that characterises so many Greek dishes! So make sure you grab yourself some good quality traditional Greek feta cheese and some extra virgin olive oil from your local grocer!
- Tomatoes: You’ll need some juicy, ripe tomatoes. However, if you’re making your Shrimp saganaki in the winter you may struggle to find tomatoes that are fully ripe. In that case, don’t worry, just opt for some whole tinned San Marzano (plum) tomatoes. Just make sure you strain them before adding them to your prawn saganaki! Finally, if you feel your canned tomatoes are a little too sharp just add a pinch of sugar to offset their acidity.
- Ouzo: Finally, you’ll need some Ouzo! You can quite easily get it in supermarkets or your favorite online drinks retailer and it is a great drink to enjoy with any Greek recipe. But for this one, I use it to add that extra bit of flavour to the prawns. If you can’t find it anywhere, something like Pernod, which is a French anise-flavored liqueur will do a similar job. Finally, if you don’t like the anise flavour, you could use a splash of dry white wine instead!
Greek shrimp saganaki recipe (Garides saganaki) – Tips
Shrimp saganaki is a very straightforward dish to make but there are a couple of things to note when preparing it to make sure it turns out delicious!
Get the right “garides”: To make this traditional Greek shrimp saganaki recipe you’ll need some fresh medium or, even better, large sized shrimp, if you can get your hands on them! Alternatively you can use prawns – they taste a bit less meaty but are equally delicious!
Prepare the shrimps in advance: It is very important to prepare your shrimps properly, before making your Greek Shrimp Saganaki. If you have never prepared shrimp or prawn before, start by peeling the body of the shrimps off, leaving the heads and tails on for extra flavour.
It is also very important to clean the inside of the shrimps and remove the back vein. Start by gently slicing the back of the peeled shrimp with a knife crosswise and remove the dark vein with a toothpick or the tip of your knife. This vein is annoyingly crunchy and may contain sand inside that will ruin your shrimp saganaki.
Cook your shrimp or prawns over gentle heat: When cooking prawns or shrimp, it is very important to sauté them over gentle heat, as their flesh is very sensitive. In order for your Greek Saganaki shrimp to remain juicy and tender be careful not to overcook your shrimps. A minute or two is all it takes for them to cook to perfection!
Can I make it in advance?
As with all Saganaki recipes, they are always made and eaten straight away. However, if you want to save some time you can make the sauce ahead of time. Simply carry out the steps up until the point of sautéing the prawns and stop.
Once the sauce is cooked, allow it to cool and store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. When you want to prepare your shrimp Saganaki, reheat the sauce and continue with the rest of the recipe.
How to store your Shrimp Saganaki leftovers?
You always need to be a little careful with shrimp. So, if you have any leftovers that you want to store, you’ll need to let them cool down but for no more than 1 hour or you risk the shrimp spoiling.
Then move the leftovers to an airtight shallow container and store them in the fridge. They will keep for 2-3 days. Simply reheat in a frying pan till piping hot and serve.
What to serve with shrimp saganaki?
What I serve with Greek shrimp depends a lot on whether I plan to have it as a Meze or as a main course! If I’ve made it as an appetizer, then I love serving it with some delicious crusty Greek bread, some pita breads or even some Greek olive bread!
If I make it as a main course I love serving it with some plain basmati rice which beautifully soaks up the delicious prawn Saganaki juices! And of course together with a deliciously refreshing Greek Salad as a side!
So go ahead prepare this amazing Greek shrimp saganaki recipe and enjoy!Print
Greek Shrimp (Prawn) Saganaki recipe with Feta cheese (Garides Saganaki)
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 portions 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Fried
- Cuisine: Greek
A super easy, delicious shrimp (prawn) saganaki recipe for you to recreate this simple and beloved traditional Greek appetizer from scratch in less than 20 minutes!
- 25 medium prawns
- 4 ripe, juicy tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- some hot chilli pepper, according to preferance
- 2 spring onions, sliced (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 60ml Greek drink Ouzo (1/4 of a cup)
- 2 tbsps fresh dill or parsley, chopped
- 200–250g feta cheese, crumbled or cubed (8 oz.)
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- a pinch of sweet paprika (optional)
- To prepare this Greek shrimp saganaki recipe start by peeling and cleaning the shrimps.
- Continue preparing the sauce. To prepare the sauce for this shrimp saganaki recipe, dice the fresh tomatoes in small cubes and let them strain in a colander, so that no excess water is added to the sauce.
- Begin with the sauce for the shrimp saganaki. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the chopped onion and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped garlic, chilli peppers and season with salt and and pepper. Sauté all the ingredients together for 1 more minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover with the lid, bring to the boil and let simmer for approx. 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens a little bit.
- In the meantime sauté the shrimps for this shrimp saganaki recipe. Season the shrimps with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add 3-4 tbsps olive oil. Add the shrimps, sauté for 1 minute and deglaze with the ouzo.
- Pour the sauce in the saucepan along with the shrimps and stir. Top the shrimp saganaki with the crumbled or cubed feta cheese, place the lid on and cook for 2 more minutes, until the feta slightly melts.
- Garnish the shrimp saganaki with chopped parsley or dill and serve while still hot. Enjoy this traditional Greek shrimp saganaki recipe with a cold glass of ouzo!
- Serving Size: 1 portion
- Calories: 260kcal
- Sugar: 4.8g
- Sodium: 840.5mg
- Fat: 10.3g
- Saturated Fat: 5.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 7.7g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 29.7g
- Cholesterol: 219.7mg
Keywords: Shrimp Saganaki, Greek Prawns recipe, Garides Saganaki
Never tasted such shrimps, you’re champion!
Hey! Is there any non-alcoholic substitute for Ouzo? Thanks!
You can leave it out completely.
I recently married a Greek man, and wanted to remember our trip to Greece, so I was hoping to recreate a few recipes. For this recipe, I increased the shrimp to 25, and added one jalapeno, it was so tastey. I really even wowed our guests, and my mother in law! : )
You mention ” some hot chili pepper” in your list of ingredients. In the USA, this refers to a dry spice. In your photo, I notice some yellow banana or hot Hungarian peppers you otherwise don’t list in the ingredients. Is that what you are referring to when mentioning chili pepper?
Well in the rest of the world, it means any fresh chilli you want to use. IE Jalapeño Medium spiced, nothing to strong as it will take away from the dish.
Hi, you have spring onions listed in your ingredients as optional, are they used as a garnish?
I chop the whites and fry them with the shrimps and then garnish with the green bits 🙂
Can I use cooked prawns in this recipe
Not sure what I did wrong, but I had no sauce, more like a puree of tomatoes and feta. I used 1 cup of canned San Marzano tomatoes and drained them, which pretty much took all of the liquid out of the sauce. Still have to say, it was delicious, but really would have wanted a sauce.