One of the things that I really liked about the Greek restaurants was the many tasty appetizers or mezes (or mezedes) that they served. It was really nice when eating in a group as you could order a few mezes and try some of each. One of the mezes that I liked the most was a seafood saganaki. At first I was not sure what would come as I associated the name Saganaki with the fried cheese dish. Apparently saganaki is also the name of the two handled pan that the dish is made in. The seafood saganaki was shrimp, octopus and mussels cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and covered with feta cheese. With just one bite I knew that I would just have to try making this one at home.
The first decision that I made was to simplify the dish by just using shrimp, which was my favorite part. It was quite easy to find many recipes for shrimp saganaki online and I came up with this one using what I liked from several of them. The shrimp saganaki was really easy to make and it turned out great! The spicy tomato sauce, salty feta cheese and succulent shrimp combo was so good! A lot of the recipes that I found called for ouzo, which is a Greek anise flavored liqueur. Although you do not taste the ouzo in the final product, unless you use a lot of it, it adds that something to the dish that just makes it better. Many of the recipes that I read suggested serving the shrimp saganaki with bread and that was a great call. The sauce was so good that it would practically be a crime not to finish it and having the crusty bread on hand to sop it up was perfect. You could easily serve the shrimp saganaki as a light meal or as an appetizer. I enjoyed my shrimp saganaki with a glass of ouzo.
Update May 19 2009:
I recently came across a new idea for shrimp saganaki on Greek Food R & R to use masticha liqueur instead of ouzo for a mastic shrimp saganaki . I was able to pick up a bottle of masticha liqueur and some mastic resin and I made the shrimp saganaki again this time with the mastic flavours instead of the ouzo. I am torn as to which version I like best. I think that I will have to make them both again and have a head to head face off. 🙂
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 1/2 cup tomato (chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 splash ouzo (or mastic liqueur, optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 pound shrimp
- 1 handful parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato, oregano and ouzo and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and simmer for 30 seconds per side.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
- Transfer to a baking dish and top with the feta cheese.
- Bake in a preheated 425F/220C oven until the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and Feta Sauce
Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs
Garides Tourkolimano (Greek Shrimp)
Baked Shrimp and Feta Pasta
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce
Mediterranean Fish Stew
Baked Goat Cheese Marinara
Baked Goat Cheese Salsa
Cod Baked in a Tomato and Feta Sauce
Salmon in a Tomato and Feta Sauce (aka Salmon Saganaki)
Shrimp and Feta Soup (aka Shrimp Saganaki Soup)
I love ouzo! It reminds me of the Italian liquer anisette. I think it’s a great addition to the shrimp dish….I enjoy seeing all your new Greek recipes.
Somehow I’m drooling over your bread instead.
Did you make the bread yourself? If so, what kind of bread is it?
oh my goodness.
that’s all i can say. that looks really really good. it looks like curry but thickened with feta instead of coconut milk.
Oh Lordy, Kevin! This sounds amazing. I’ve never heard of Saganaki (I thought it was Japanese when I read the title. Duh.) but now I’ll have to hunt it down.
Love Greek cuisine :0)
Mrs Ergül says
I would think that the crusty bread would go so very well with the sauce!
That’s how we have curry too!limpe
Oh, wow. I want that. It looks delicious!
Delicious Kevin, and seems fairly easy to make too.
That looks like a really delicious meal!!
oh wow, this looks delicious!!! i am surprised there is so much liquid when all you added was the tomatoes?? i can’t wait to try this! i have not had much greek food so i am happy to see all these dishes you are featuring on your blog 🙂
This looks so wonderful and satisfying!
I love shrimp and this looks amazing.
Rosa's Yummy Yums says
I’m hungry, even at 7h00 in the morning ;-P! That dish looks fantastic!
Cheers and habve a nice weekend,
I am going to make this! It sounds amazing. I am loving your Greek recipes.
I was reading the title and was wondering what you were cooking. This is interesting all these new dish.
Clumbsy Cookie says
I love the sound of this dish, I’m all about see food! Good cloning job!
Oooh YUM! I LOVE this dish. You’ve done a good job there Kevin – love the photos.
I can totally picture myself munching on that crusty bread you have there and dipping it into that yummy looking shrimp dish. Very appetizing!
Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says
This looks delicious…I am not an aniseed fan but I’m sure you could convince me to cook with ouzo! Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Greece, it’s a fantastic, gorgeous place.
This could make me very happy. I like the idea that you minimized the seafood in the dish – it’s simple and I’ll bet it’s entirely flavourful.
Happy cook says
Delicious, i have bookmarked to make them when i have shrimps next time.
Wow Kevin that loooks good, too hard for me so save me some!
It looks so good! Your version turned out beautiful. So glad you simplified it with the shrimp. I like the other seafood you mentioned, but have never tried my hand at cooking them. Not sure how they would turn out.
Thanks for sharing all your Greek recipes I can’t get enough of them.
Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says
Off the charts good looking and I am sure equally as good tasting – Yet another hit!!!
Darius T. Williams says
Ahhh – makes me hungry look at this. another good one!
Can I just come eat at your house? 🙂
Robin Sue says
Oh My Word, you are killing me here! This is the best looking dish ever! I love shrimp and looks pretty easy too.
Easy, cheezy and boozy – my kind of food!!
Peter M says
Kevin, I never tire of this Greek classic and the bread is mandatory.
Must have been great to try all the foods in Greece. The shrimps look great.
That looks unbelievable.
I am loving all the Greek dishes you are posting for us. This one looks especially delectable with the shrimp!
I love shrimp saganaki!! Like you, I was confused at first because I thought saganaki was just the cheese.
Kevin, this made my mouth water. It looks wonderful. I love the melted feta on top as well. I will definitely try out this recipe. Thanks for teaching me about something new!
I never tire of feta cheese. I am amazed at how dishes feta is used in.
I am sooooo hungry right now and all I have is melted ice cream. This dish is killing me Kevin!!
I think it would only take one bite to get me hooked, too.
I didn’t know there were two dishes for saganaki. I love the fried cheese version but this looks fantastic too! And you are right, it would be a crime to waste that delicious sauce.
This looks and sounds so so so good!! I love saganaki, and will definitely try this recipe! sounds easy enough. I just have to find ouzo. 🙂
I love shrimp, and this dish look georgeous Kevin, like so! xxGloria
That looks fantastic!
Anonymous: The bread is a baguette from a local store. Homemade bread is just too good. I eat way too much of it when it has just come out of the oven. 🙂 So I tend to not make it too often.
Sigh. Another one to bookmark.
Proud Italian Cook says
Oh Kevin, That caught my eye! My tastebuds are doing flips!!!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
I love that even as the Italians eschew seafood with cheese, the Greek culture loves it. I love it, too.
Nina Timm says
That is one comforting bowl of food. I have never thought of using feta as a thickening agent…
That looks totally scrumptious, Kevin, and so easy to make.
Lori Lynn says
Looks great with that crusty bread. All of a sudden I am craving a glass of Ouzo too.
Sweet Bird says
This looks so good! I’m not sure about the ouzo, but I’d try it to see what it’s like. I used to avoid fennel because of the anise flavor and now I can’t imagine cooking without it.
Great dishes from your trip!
i love greek dishes but i tend to only stay within my comfort zone – and that would be moussaka. this saganaki really looks so good, comforting and warming. perfect autumn dish for me! x
I love saganaki so I think I’m going to love this too. You are making me regret not going to my Greek neighbors houses this year to help with pastries.
I am glad you went to Greece and look at all these recipes!! I am learning here. 🙂 This dish looks extremely delicious.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!! 🙂
Cheri Sicard says
This looks awesome. I just had a similar dish in a Greek restaurant last week. Will have to try to make it at home now.
This looks great! I remember having it years ago and loving! 🙂
Bellini Valli says
This was one of may favourites Kevin:D
This sounds and looks amazing Kevin!
You didn’t say how many servings the recipe yields. I would like to make it tomorrow night it looks like it only serves one or two, can you let me know how many? Thanks!
Megancake: This makes 1 large appetizer serving or 1 light meal serving.
[eatingclub] vancouver || js says
Delicious! Now you’re making me hungry and it’s midnight.
This is one dish that I have to try after I get some feta cheese.
Ste B says
this is a very authentic recipe. Had Shrimp Saganaki countless times on my visits to the Greek Islands and this is spot on.
Fantastic recipe! I made it last night with a few variations and really enjoyed it. The sauce was excellent!
Ooh La La! Excellent! Wish I had more. Served with homemade baguette. Can't wait to have this again . . . and it will be in the very near future.
just to let you know: ouzo's not a liquer. it's not a sweet drink. the typical meaning of liquer. it's an aperitif.
your recipe's 'to die' for!
am about to make your cod in tomato and feta sauce..a bit similar.
thanks for the cooking inspirations, Kevin!
I doubled the recipe and added some pureed tomatoes to the diced fresh ones. I also added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, because I love the taste of fresh citrus with seafood. I recommend using large or jumbo shrimp in this dish so they stand out.
This was absolutely DELICIOUS!! I didn't use the Ouzo…I just added a splash of white wine. It made much more than just an appetizer serving…which is fine with me! Yummy yummy lunch!! 🙂
This was incredibly good, and easy! The ouzo adds a unique flavor to the sauce. I added sea scallops and tripled the recipe for dinner. Had to adjust the cooking time and lower the tempeture slightly to have it cook evenly.
Anonymous: I love "that something" that the ouzo adds! Glad you enjoyed it and adding the extra seafood is always good!
mmmm just gr8!!
Can also be done with Mussels. Here in Crete we add some green pepper with the onion.
Anonymous: Mussels would be awesome in this!
SO good! Made a double batch tonight with fire roasted canned tomatoes. It was perfect!
Make with skordalia to dunk in it. BEST garlic bread ever!
Josephine Wake says
Have you got any Instant Pot recipes yet Kevin?
Not yet; I need to pick up an Instant Pot and start cooking with it! 🙂