Greek shrimp saganaki - baked shrimp with feta and tomatoes is a must delicacy in Greece. Seafood is abundant in Greece, and tavernas all over serve this fantastic dish. It is the absolute meze of the summer months.
How to make it
Shrimp saganaki is very easy to make. You will need juicy tomatoes, some fairly large shrimp, chop an onion and bell pepper, and you are almost done! Ask your fishmonger to clean and devein the shrimp, and that saves you time also.
Luscious extra virgin olive oil and a tiny amount of Greek ouzo add warmth and flavor. Good Greek feta cheese and fresh herbs help for a strong finish.
I use a large cast-iron pan for this recipe. I also serve it in the same pan, I see no reason to transfer it to a serving dish. If you don't have a large cast-iron pan, no problem at all! Use a large deep skillet and transfer to an ovenproof pan right before you add the last batch of cheese and fresh basil.
Bake the shrimp saganaki in a 390°F oven for 20 minutes and serve immediately with crusty bread, pitas, and crackers; I guarantee you will need them.
- Green bell pepper
- Onion diced
- San Marzano tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Star anise
- Tomato paste
- Fresh basil
- Feta cheese
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
It is a decadent baked shrimp dish that will leave all your guests in awe at your next dinner party. Trust me on this. Just have lots of fresh, crusty bread around because the sauce is absolutely to die for!
Preheat oven to 390°F.
Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir.
Note: I use a 28 oz can of Gustarosso San Marzano D.O.P. whole tomatoes. I use my hands and smash them in the bowl.
Place the shrimp in a large bowl, drizzle with 1-2 tbs olive oil. Season with sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Mix well gently.
Place a large cast-iron pan (or large skillet) over high heat. Add the shrimp. Sauté for 1 minute total, until they are golden all over. Remove shrimp on a plate and set aside.
Using the same pan, in medium heat, add 1-2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, make them sweat a little. Add the garlic and star anise. Stir and add the bell pepper.
Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes and dry oregano. Sauté for 1-2 min on medium heat.
Carefully add the shot of ouzo and let it evaporate. (If you have a gas range, lower the heat to a minimum to not set the pan on fire accidentally.)
Add the tomatoes. Stir well. Bring to a boil for half a minute or so.
Sprinkle half of the chopped basil and add half of the crumbled feta cheese all over.
Start placing the shrimp in the sauce, pressing gently. No need to fully incorporated it into the sauce. Halfway is fine.
Add the rest of the feta cheese, sprinkle some chopped basil, and some oregano, and drizzle 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with a lot of crusty fresh bread for wild dipping!
Tips & substitutions
- Substitute ouzo for white wine. If alcohol is not desirable, omit it from the recipe.
- Use dry herbs instead of fresh in a pinch. Dried oregano is a greek staple and works so well with tomatoes and olive oil.
- If you make this recipe in the summer and have access to ripe, juicy tomatoes, please use them! Make sure the recipe has enough liquid. Grate the tomatoes and add them to the pan with ½ cup of water(or a little more if you feel it is needed).
- This roasted tomato appetizer is my go-to when I have impromptu guests because it is easy, and everyone loves it.
- A real winner is these tomato fritters recipe or tomatokeftedes in Greek. They are perfect for the rich tomato summer season.
Check all the pantry items a Greek kitchen wouldn’t go without.
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Greek Shrimp Bake - Garides Saganaki
- large cast iron skillet
- 1 lb large shrimp shell removed, deveined, tail intact
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 cups grated ripe tomatoes a 28 oz can of Gustarosso San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil total
- red chili flakes
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 shot Greek ouzo
- 2 handfulls fresh basil chopped
- 1.5 cups Greek feta cheese
- dry oregano
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 390* F.
- Place the grated tomatoes in a bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir.
- Place the shrimp in a large bowl, drizzle with 1-2 tbs olive oil. Mix well gently.
- Place a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute total, until they are golden all over. Remove shrimp on a plate and set aside.
- Using the same pan, in medium heat, add 1-2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, make them sweat a little. Add the garlic and star anise. Stir and add the bell pepper. Stir.
- Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Sprinkle some chili flakes and add the star anise. Sauté for 1-2 min on medium heat.Carefully add the shot of ouzo and let it evaporate. (If you have a gas range, lower the heat to a minimum not to set the pan on fire accidentally.)Add the tomatoes. Stir well. Bring to a boil for half a minute or so.
- Sprinkle half of the chopped basil and add half of the crumbled feta cheese all over.
- Start placing the shrimp in the sauce, pressing gently a little. No need to fully incorporated into the sauce, half way is fine.
- Add the rest of the feta cheese, sprinkle some chopped basil, and some oregano leaves and drizzle 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.Bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a lot of crusty fresh bread for wild dipping!
- I prefer using good quality canned tomatoes for this recipe, especially if I can find really ripe fragrant fresh tomatoes. If you decide to use canned, my recommendation is to use authentic San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes, they are truly the best. My favorite San Marzano D.O.P. are Gustarosso. If you cant find authentic San Marzano, San Merican tomatoes are also good.
- If you use fresh tomatoes, I am a big fan of Campari tomatoes, they are sweet and lovely. The only downside considering Campari is that they are small and you will need 3-4 in place of 1 regular tomato. Also, in the summertime, there is an abundance of heirloom tomatoes for you to choose from, get ripe, juicy tomatoes that smell like summer.