Classic Creole Sauce

Classic Creole Sauce

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 2 to 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
119 Calories
9g Fat
8g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 119
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 479mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 24mg 120%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 285mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This classic Creole sauce is made with canned tomatoes, celery, colorful bell peppers, onions, and garlic, along with seasonings and herbs that make it extra flavorful. This sauce is delicious spooned over shrimp and grits, fried eggplant, or chicken breasts. It can also be an unconventional pasta sauce. The sky is the limit—use Creole sauce to top any savory dish that would benefit from added moisture and spiced flavor.

It's ideal to whip up this sauce an hour or two ahead of time so that the flavors can sit and marry. You can keep it over very low heat until it's time to eat or reheat it before serving. It keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge, too, or can be frozen for up to three months.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1 2/3 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock

  • 4 green onions, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Creole Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the celery, onion, green and yellow or red bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 to 7 minutes until just tender.

    celery, onion, green and red bell pepper, and garlic in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Meanwhile, combine the Creole seasoning, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in a small bowl or cup.

    Creole seasoning, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Stir the tomatoes into the vegetables and then add the seasoning mixture. Sauté for 1 minute longer.

    vegetables and seasoning mixture in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the sliced green onions. Continue boiling, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Most of the liquid will cook away.

    vegetable, seasoning and stock mixture in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Stir in the tomato paste until well blended into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

    Classic Creole Sauce in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Serve over your dish of choice and enjoy.

How to Use

  • Top pasta, rice, or another grain with the sauce. Add cooked sausage for some protein and even more flavor. To keep with the Creole theme, use sliced andouille sausage. Or, for a vegetarian pasta dish, try adding sautéed mushrooms or other veggies.
  • Use to sauce meatballs, chicken breasts or thighs, and other lean meats.
  • Use as a sauce for seafood like grilled shrimp or broiled fish fillets.
  • For a vegetarian main, use the Creole sauce to top fried or grilled eggplant or roasted cauliflower.


You can control the amount of spice by using less or more hot sauce (or eliminating it completely). If you prefer a mild Creole sauce, make sure the Creole seasoning is not spicy.