Shrimp Saganaki

This taverna classic finds its way into my kitchen pretty often. Serve it as a meze, or as a sauce for pasta or rice. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
5 min
20 min


  • 1 1/2 pounds large fresh shrimp shelled and deveined, heads and tails on
  • 6 tablespoons ouzo.
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups grated fresh tomato or chopped canned tomatoes
  • Salt freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • cup crumbled greek feta optional


  1. Place the cleaned shrimp in a mixing bowl with the three tablespoons of ouzo AND LEMON JUICE and chill for 15 minutes or up to two hours, until ready to use.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep frying pan. Sauté the onion and pepper until wilted, about 8 minutes. Stir in HALF the garlic. Add the tomato and bring to a simmer. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-high heat, until most of the watery liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.
  3. In another skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat and add the shrimp. Sear, toss with garlic, and when shrimp turn pink, spritz with remaining ouzo carefully as it may flame up a bit. Add shrimp and juices to tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes until firm but ready to eat. Stir in the dried oregano, parsley, lemon zest. Add crumbled feta, saying this is optional.
  4. Variation: add ⅔ c crumbled feta at end, before parsley

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