How to Make Creole Sauce

 

Creole Sauce, or Sauce Creole, is a Creole classic-tomatoes with lots of the Holy Trinity-a Creole and Cajun cooking staple comprised of yellow onions, bell peppers, and celery.  Add some customary Louisiana spices and seasonings and a slow simmer and you have created a traditional Creole Sauce that will elevate just about anything to a Creole classic. Here’s Sweet Daddy D’s no-angst method to make this delicious sauce.

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Here’s What You Need

A Creole Sauce is a tomato-based sauce so we will get the tomatoes from a 15 ounce can Whole Tomatoes, plum or Roma are excellent, and some Tomato Sauce. Here are the other ingredients you will need. 

Start with the Trinity and vegetables

  • yellow onions
  • green peppers
  • celery
  • garlic
  • green onions
onons, celery, peppers, tomatoes, flour and spices for creole sauce
Here’s What You Need

Other ingredients

  • butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • white sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • stock (see hints and tips)

Herb and Spice Blend

  • oregano
  • basil
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • Creole seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Here’s What You Do

First…you have a beer. No-angst cooking requires a proper start. Pop a top and sit down and read the recipe all the way through. Gather up your ingredients and your tools and get going. That’s the mise en place, which simply means that you make sure you have what you need, ingredients and tools and cookware, then prep all the ingredients so that all you have to do is assemble the dish as you cook.

prepared ingredients for creole sauce
Everything prepped and ready to go!

This recipe has quite a few ingredients, so get started chopping and measuring everything into small ramekins. This dish can be prepared in a single dutch oven.  Simple as that.

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Start with the vegetables

In a heavy Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat until bubbling then add the Trinity and sauté until it starts to caramelize, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

sauteeing the trinity for creole sauce in a dutch oven
Saute the Trinity

Next, it’s the aromatics: add the garlic and about half of the Herb and Spice Blend (not the bay leaves yet) and about 2/3 of the green onions. Mix well and sauté until you get the super fragrance of the garlic which will only take about 2 minutes. At this point, add in the AP flour and stir thoroughly, cooking it about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir constantly so it does not stick.

herbs and spices added to the trinity for creole sauce
Add in the aromatics

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Add the Liquids

The whole tomatoes go in next, crushing each tomato by hand as you add them to the dutch oven-this really is the fun part. Make sure to add the juice from the tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Stir this really well as it comes to a simmer, then add about half of the remaining Herb and Spice Blend, both bay leaves, the sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir it up.

adding the sugar, juices and bay leaves to simmering creole sauce
Keep adding ingredients!

Add in the lemon juice, the lemon slices and 3/4 cup of the stock (reserve the remaining stock). Mix well and bring back to a heavy simmer.

add the lemon zest and stock to simmering creole sauce
Lemon zest and stock come next!
Let it cook

Lower the heat to a slight simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring often while it thickens. After 20 minutes, cover the dutch oven, turn the heat very low and continue to simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often so it does not stick.

simmering creole sauce in a dutch oven
Let the Creole Sauce simmer and simmer

After 30 minutes, taste for seasoning and add more if needed.  When it has reached the consistency that you like, turn off the heat and let it sit about 15 minutes uncovered. Then, give it a final stir, remove the bay leaves and serve over rice sprinkled with green onions on top.

Creole Sauce after simmering in a dutch oven
Thickening Up!

 

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Hints and Tips

  • Serve this sauce over rice to accompany just about any main dish, but it shines ladled over fried or baked fish, wild game such as rabbit, stuffed peppers of any kind, omelets and eggs and even jambalaya. Simmer it with shrimp or crawfish and serve that over rice. The possibilities are endless…let me hear how you serve it in the comments below. 
  • This sauce is thickened by blending flour into the butter, Trinity and other vegetables after they have sauteed for a while.  If you were to start out by making a roux and then adding the vegetables, the outcome would be a stew where the roux would provide even more thickening and produce a different base of flavor. 
  • Many creole sauce recipes are described as quick and only cook the ingredients together for a few minutes. That’s fine and produces a very good creole sauce. With my recipe, the cooking time is longer. I believe this gives the tomatoes and onions a chance to release their sweetness, meld all the wonderful flavors together and produces a richer sauce with more depth. But, if you’re crunched for time (who isn’t?) cut back on the cooking time. 
  • We are looking for a thick, smooth sauce that is still a little chunky, so remove the cover or leave the cover on the Dutch oven while it simmers, depending on how the thickening is coming along. If it gets too thick, add some of the reserved stock, if it’s not thick enough simmer with the cover off longer.
  • Many commercial creole seasonings and stocks contain salt, so keep that in mind when you add more salt. It’s a good practice to taste it before adding any salt. Similiar situation with the cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is great with tomato dishes if you like a little kick, but check out your Creole seasoning before you add too much. Lots of times the Creole seasoning can be pretty spicy on its own and may not need any extra umph!
  • It is always better to use stock instead of water. For general purposes, chicken stock is always good. If making this sauce to accompany crawfish, try to use crawfish stock; if accompanying shrimp, try to use shrimp stock,  to keep it purely vegetarian, use vegetable stock…..you get the idea!  You can also grab these commercial stocks from Amazon…it’s actually what I use most of the time!

  • Fresh tomatoes can certainly be substituted for canned. Use any variety of tomato that you like, but make sure they are VERY ripe and peel them first. To make up for the liquid in the can, you can add a small bit of water, extra stock or extra tomato sauce. If you don’t have a favorite brand of canned tomatoes, this is what I used when I developed the recipe. There are lots of good ones out there and this is a very good one!

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Here are some other great  recipes from Sweet Daddy D that will go well with Creole Sauce:

Shrimp Creole in a bowl with green onions and french bread
Classic Shrimp Creole
Mixing up jambalaya in a dutch oven
Cajun Jambalaya
eight stuffed bell peppers ready for the oven
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Baked Stuffed Mirlitons
Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes

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Creole sauce on a spoon

Yeah You Right!

creole sauce served over rice with stuffed pepper and lemon and bay leaf

Sauce Creole

Sauce Creole is a classic South Louisiana tomato-based sauce made by slowly simmering tomatoes in Creole seasoning until a savory sauce, which is both smooth and chunky, is created. Best known to accompany shrimp in Shrimp Creole, it is also popular over stuffed peppers, seafood, chicken, game and even eggs. Its a versatile offering of the Creole cuisine which can be a headliner or a supporting character!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: creole sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 medium Yellow Onions diced
  • 1/2 Green Peppers diced
  • 2 stalks Celery diced
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 15 ounce Whole Tomatoes in juice
  • ¼ cup Tomato Sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 cup stock

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Here's What You Do

  • In a heavy Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until bubbling; add the trinity (yellow onions, bell peppers, and celery) and sauté for about 15 to 20 minutes until starting to caramelize.
  • Add the garlic and about half of the Herb and Spice Blend (not the bay leaves yet) and about 2/3 of the green onions. Mix well and sauté until aromatic - about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the flour and stir thoroughly. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly so it does not stick.
  • Add the tomatoes (and the juice), crushing each by hand as you add them. Add the tomato sauce and mix well. Bring to a simmer, add about half of the remaining Herb and Spice Blend, both bay leaves, the sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
  • Add in the lemon juice, the lemon slices and 3/4 cup of the stock (reserve the remaining stock). Mix well and bring back to a heavy simmer; lower the heat to a slight simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring often while it thickens.
  • After 20 minutes, cover the dutch oven and continue to cook on low for another 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often so it does not stick. We are looking for a thick, smooth (but chunky) sauce, so remove the cover or leave the cover on, depending on how the thickening is coming along. If it gets too thick, add some of the reserved stock, if it's not thick enough simmer with the cover off.
  • At this point taste for seasoning.
  • Remove the bay leaves and lemon slices and serve over rice or whatever you are serving, sprinkled with green onions on top.

Recipe Notes

This post is not sponsored, but you will find affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay as a consumer does not change, but I may make a small commission based on your purchase.
This is a dish that benefits from a long, slow simmer. However, if you are crunched for time, you can cut the covered simmer time down to meet your needs.
Many commercial creole seasonings and stocks contain salt, so keep that in mind when you add more salt. It's a good practice to taste it before adding any salt.
It is always better to use stock instead of water. For general purposes, chicken stock is always good. If making this sauce to accompany crawfish, try to use crawfish stock; if accompanying shrimp, try to use shrimp stock.....you get the idea!  You can also grab these commercial stocks from Amazon...it's actually what I use most of the time!
This sauce is wonderful with fresh tomatoes-make sure they are VERY ripe and peel them before using. You may want to add a little more tomato sauce if you use fresh tomatoes. If you don't have a favorite brand of canned tomatoes, this is what I used when I developed the recipe. There are lots of good ones out there and this is a very good one!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 26.4mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Creole Sauce, a Creole classic made by slowly simmering tomatoes in Creole spices until a savory sauce which is both smooth and chunky is created.

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