Garides Saganaki is our favourite Greek seafood recipe featuring plump prawns or sizzling shrimp.
This quick & easy Shrimp Saganaki recipe is perfect for busy households looking to inject a bit of healthy Mediterranean nutrition into the midweek dinner rush.
Our yummy Garides Saganaki recipe features flavourful olive oil, garlic, shrimp, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, white wine, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, oregano, feta cheese and cream cheese stuffed peppadew peppers.
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What Is Saganaki?
Saganaki refers to a family of Greek appetizers, which are typically prepared in a small, two handled heavy bottomed frying pan, called a saganaki or sagani.
The most common authentic Greek recipes cooked in a saganaki pan include cheese saganaki, mussels saganaki and shrimp saganaki.
In many American and Canadian Greek restaurants, after the dish is cooked on the stove, the saganaki is flambéed at the table (often with a shout of celebratory “opa”) and the flames are then extinguished with the spritz of a fresh lemon slice.
The process is called “flaming saganaki” and apparently originated in 1968 at the Parthenon Restaurant in Chicago’s Greektown.
While at restaurants Garides Saganaki is typically served in a small cast iron pan, you can easily prepare the recipe at home in a nonstick skillet. Read on and we’ll show you how!
Travel to Greece by Cooking Shrimp Saganaki at Home
I love traveling to Europe.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Garides Saganaki recipe. In Greece, I enjoyed sizzling shrimp with feta as an appetizer at restaurants in Meteora, Tzitzikas Kai in Athens, Kokkalo The Bone in Santorini and Kiki’s Taverna in Mykonos.
After you’ve enjoyed your first few bites, you’ll realize why a Shrimp Saganaki feast is a must-try when visiting Greece!
Where To Eat Garides Saganaki
If you live in a large city in North America you’ll likely have access to a local Greek restaurant that serves authentic Garides Saganaki.
Haven’t traveled to the Greece before? It may be helpful to first sample sizzling Greek-style shrimp at a local restaurant to better understand how the popular seafood dish is served. You’ll get an idea for what size of shrimp to purchase, desired thickness of the tomato sauce and the perfect side dishes. We love sopping up saganaki sauce with crusty sourdough bread.
In Toronto, popular Greek restaurants that may serve a traditional Shrimp Saganaki include Mamakas Taverna, Mezes Greek Restaurant, Estiatorio Volos and Messini.
My Family Loves Homemade Shrimp Saganaki
My family are big fans of Mediterranean cuisine.
We love cooking flavourful dishes from Greece, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, France, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey.
Our favourite fresh seafood to buy at the grocery store is prawns or shrimp. Any dish topped with a mountain of cheese makes us very happy. So Shrimp Saganaki is obviously a popular dish to serve at dinner!
You can cook this sizzling shrimp year round but we particularly love to serve it al fresco at our cottage in Muskoka in the summer when tomatoes are in season across Ontario. We even pluck our own fresh oregano from the backyard herb garden.
While Garides Saganaki is traditionally served in Greek taverns as an appetizer, we love to serve it as a main course with a fresh salad, crusty sourdough bread and orzo rice pilaf.
This easy Shrimp Saganaki is a tasty way to incorporate fresh and flavourful ingredients into a healthy Mediterranean diet. The attractive dish is a real show stopper if you’ve got company coming for dinner.
Garides Saganaki Health Benefits
Our Shrimp Saganaki recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Oregano is rich in antioxidants, may help fight bacteria, could have anti-cancer properties and can decrease inflammation.
The potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in fennel, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Fennel contains significant amounts of fibre.
Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. High in vitamins and minerals, seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Garides Saganaki Cooking Tips
This healthy Shrimp Saganaki is quick and easy to make at home.
- Use a large nonstick skillet or saganaki pan to prepare the recipe over your stove.
- We suggest buying medium to large sized shrimp or prawns for this dish so the seafood on the plate is substantial.
- We’ve used cherry tomatoes in this recipe but you could substitue for grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes.
- We suggest using a dry white wine like riesling or chardonnay but you could substitute for ouzo or a mixture of both.
- We suggest using a firm Greek-style cow’s milk feta cheese.
- Sweet cream cheese stuffed Peppadew Peppers make the final presentation of the dish attractive and offer a burst of flavour. We purchase these at our local grocery store in the antipasto section.
What To Serve with Shrimp Saganaki
Our Shrimp Saganaki recipe is the perfect appetizer or entree to serve at a celebratory dinner party. The sound of sizzling shrimp, burst of flavour in each bite and stunning presentation make it a real crowd pleaser. People are always asking for the recipe!
We often serve this dish as a main course with a fresh salad, orzo pilaf and sourdough bread. Pair it with a light and bright glass of white wine, citrusy craft beer or your favourite craft cocktail.
If you’re looking to impress guests at a Mediterranean themed dinner party or potluck we suggest serving this delicious sizzling Greek shrimp recipe with:
- Fakes Soupa
- Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
- Vegan Spicy Turkish Salsa Ezme Salata Salad
- Kisir Turkish Bulgur Salad
- Mutabbal Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- Vegetarian Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters
- Chicken Shawarma Plate
- Palestinian Chicken Musakhan
- Lebanese Toum
- Za’atar Butter Bean Dip
- Beef Kafta Afghan Kebab
- Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette
- Lebanese Eggplant Fatteh
- Lebanese Lamb Dumplings Shish Barak
- Adas Bil Hamod
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka, Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream, Sweet Lebanese Sesame Tahini Rolls, Baileys Banoffee Cake, and Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies.
You May Also Enjoy Cooking These Seafood Recipes…
- Romaine Salad With Tahini Caesar Dressing
- Cilantro Ginger Lime Cajun Shrimp Salad
- Thai Red Curry Prawn Burger
- Chingri Malai Curry: Creamy Bengali Coconut Prawns
- Penang Prawn Noodle Soup Hokkien Mee
- Seafood Laksa: Singaporean Shrimp & Fish Soup
- Cajun Louisiana Cream of Shrimp Soup
- Goi Xoai Vietnamese Mango Salad
- Barbecued Thai Red Prawn Curry
- Homemade Shrimp & Pork Vietnamese Egg Rolls
- Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo
How To Make The Best Garides Saganaki Recipe
Garides Saganaki Greek Shrimp with Feta
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Nonstick Skillet
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- French knife
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 lb Shrimp peeled and deveined
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 4 tsp Fennel Seeds finely ground
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/3 cup Dry White Wine
- 1 1/2 lb Cherry Tomatoes chopped, plus 1/4 cup finely diced
- 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives
- 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano chopped, plus 2 teaspoons
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 4 oz Feta Cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers sliced
- In a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half the shrimp in an even layer and cook until deep golden brown on the bottoms, approximately 2 minutes. Stir and cook until pink and opaque on all sides, another 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of oil and shrimp. Set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon to the pan and heat. Add the garlic, fennel and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated, 45 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes, olives and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce, around 7 or 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of oregano then season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the shrimp to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Cover and let stand until the shrimp are heated through, no more than 1 minute.
- Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with feta, finely diced tomatoes, sliced Peppadews and remaining 2 teaspoons of oregano.
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