Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe

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I don’t go out to eat all the time, but with more and more restaurants offering healthy menus, it’s more of an option. Years ago there was only one restaurant in my little town that I really enjoyed. I ordered their shrimp bisque almost every time!

Eventually, it came under new management and opened with a new menu. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for one thing: Their delicious seafood bisque. I knew I needed to take matters into my own hands. Before I forgot the taste of that delicious soup, I decided to try to recreate it.

Creating Shrimp Bisque

At the time the town where I lived had limited access to quality seafood. I decided to use shrimp as the base in place of pricier and harder to find seafood like crab or lobster. Now that I live along the coast I can take my pick, but I’m still partial to this shrimp bisque version. And if your area doesn’t have great seafood options, there are now places like this one that will ship wild caught seafood to you.

I can’t believe I didn’t try to recreate this recipe sooner, since it’s relatively expensive at restaurants and probably has some questionable ingredients anyway. Now, we can enjoy this favorite soup at home whenever we want!

What’s the Difference Between Bisque and Soup?

Bisque is defined as a little slice of heaven.

Ok, so technically it’s a creamy, broth-based, flavored French soup. It’s often made with seafood stock as a base and sauteed and pureed veggies for thickness and flavor. Though the term “bisque” can refer to any type of creamy soup, the original and authentic bisque has broth and pureed shellfish. Chowder on the other hand (like clam chowder) is thick and chunky.

This is the most budget-friendly authentic bisque I’ve been able to make. I’ve found that shrimp is often easy to find and inexpensive (even wild caught). Feel free to use lobster, crab, or shellfish instead if you prefer though.

I love this creamy shrimp bisque so much that I can eat it as a meal by itself. Traditionally it’s served more as an appetizer though.

Dairy-Free Shrimp Bisque

This recipe has dairy, so as written it wouldn’t be good for those with a dairy allergy or sensitivity. You can substitute thick coconut milk for the cream in this recipe though. It will change the taste and texture slightly but will still create a good finished product.

It’s naturally gluten-free so no worries there. Some recipes use all-purpose flour to thicken, but the carrots and celery add thickness here.

Garnish Ideas

Since the soup has a nice creamy base, garnishes add some visual and textural contrast. You could add a few sprigs of parsley to the top or a sprinkle of kosher salt. Chopped chives also make a nice touch. And if you have some healthy croutons, those are good too. If you like your soup spicy you can always add a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the top.

Chicken Stock vs. Seafood Stock

I originally wrote this recipe with chicken stock since it’s what I had access to. Traditionally it’s made with seafood or shrimp stock though. Either option tastes good, it just depends on your preference.

If you can’t find healthy shrimp stock, it’s really easy to make your own. Save the shrimp shells from your shrimp and saute them in a little oil. You’ll then add a few cups water and salt and simmer before straining. Some people add seasonings like rosemary or bay leaf to the cooking water. Here’s an easy shrimp stock recipe if you need one.


Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe

A delicious creamy bisque with shrimp and subtle flavors of shallots, carrots, and celery in a broth base. Nourishing and delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Calories 552kcal
Author Katie Wells


4 servings



  • Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the carrots and celery and saute 5 minutes.
  • Add the shallot and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes over low heat, taking care not to burn the garlic. 
  • Add the dry white wine to deglaze the pan and cook for 30 seconds to evaporate some of the alcohol.
  • Add the broth, hot sauce if using, and half of the spice mixture.
  • Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree bisque until completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, then use a regular blender, working in batches if necessary. You don’t want to fill the blender more than halfway with hot liquid.
  • Bring contents of pot to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer.
  • Roughly chop the shrimp and add them to the pan along with the rest of the spices. If the shrimp are precooked, just heat until warm. If shrimp are raw, simmer for 3-4 minutes or until cooked and pink.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 4 minutes until just thickened. Do not allow to boil.
  • Serve immediately, or for better flavor, refrigerate overnight and reheat slowly before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 552 Calories from Fat 495
% Daily Value*
Fat 55g85%
Saturated Fat 35g219%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 165mg55%
Sodium 755mg33%
Potassium 324mg9%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 3649IU73%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • You can also use crab, lobster, or any combination of your favorite seafood. Lobster bisque also makes a delicious meal!
  • If you like your bisque thicker, then reduce the broth and cream to 1 and 1/2 cups each. 

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Have a favorite soup recipe? Care to share? Leave a comment and let us know!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


38 responses to “Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe”

  1. Christine Avatar

    Made this today, and although it tastes fine, it is a thin soup and I think this will barely serve four people, and more likely three.

  2. Heather Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this over the weekend and it did not disappoint! I made one change to the recipe to accommodate my likes more than anything. Instead of paprika, i use a pinch of cayenne to give it a touch of heat. Excellent and easy recipe.

  3. Jamal Avatar

    4 stars
    Hello. I tried this recipe and it was awesome. But it was also watery. We tried to thicken it up to no avail. Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong?

    1. Clive Avatar

      This “bisque” is really a thin soup. I ended up reducing it quite a bit and added some flour to thicken it. Thought the recipe would be quicker than the one I’ve made before by Bernard Clayton, in his cookbook ” The Complete Guide to Soups And Stews”. This makes an original bisque. The flavor of Wellness Mama’s was very good, however.

    2. Karen okeefe Avatar
      Karen okeefe

      Make a rue to thicken. Heat butter. Once almost boiling whisk in flour until it looks like butterscotch. Do not burn.

  4. Rachel Rivera Avatar
    Rachel Rivera

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Loved it. Though personally I would say it feeds 4 ppl, not 6. Maybe we just eat a lot lol I will definitely be making this again!

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