Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Moqueca de Camaroes)

I know this isn’t really a popular stance right now, but I am SO ready for Summer to be over!  Some of you are saying “What do you mean?  It’s October and Summer has BEEN over!”

Unfortunately, here in South Carolina, where I currently live, it’s still hitting 90 degrees for a daytime temp.  In fact, it’s 86 now and the only  reason it’s not higher is because it’s an overcast day!

The hot weather starts here in April (or even earlier) and continues until October.  When I lived in New England, that sounded pretty awesome since the Summer is so short up there.  The reality is that I’d kill for a crisp fall day in the 60’s, with temps dropping into the 40’s at night!  It will happen, but it could be a few weeks for us still.

Meanwhile, I’m already making soups and stews, hot weather or not.  One thing I love about soup recipes (or stews, chili’s, chowders or pretty much anything eaten out of a bowl) is that they are relatively easy to make low carb and gluten free, without sacrificing flavor or texture.

This velvety shrimp Moqueqa meets both criteria, and is the perfect recipe to transition from Summer into Fall with.  It comforts you like you need when the weather cools down and you feel like nesting, but it also stimulates you with a fiery heat and tropical flavor that makes you wish you were eating it on some Bahian beach with a cold beer by your side and your toes jammed into the sand.

Skeptical that you can get all of that from a bowl of soup?  Taste it for yourself and you’ll find out what I’m talking about!

Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Moqueca de Camaroes)
A delicious, easy to make bowl of soup that is Low Carb, Paleo, and Whole 30 compliant!
Recipe type: Soups/stews
Cuisine: Seafood stew
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1½ lbs raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes w/ chili's
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (sambal oelek if you're whole 30)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onions for several minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and peppers and cook for several minutes more. Add the tomatoes, shrimp and cilantro to the pan and simmer gently until the shrimp turns opaque. Pour in the coconut milk and Sriracha sauce (or Sambal Oelek), and cook just until heated through - do not boil. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Cold beer optional.
If you can't eat shrimp, you can substitute any mild white fish, or even chicken, for the protein in this recipe and it will taste just as amazing!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 294 Fat: 19g Carbohydrates: 5g net Protein: 24g



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    • says

      You’re in for a treat Elaine! You’ll be hooked on coconut milk after this – my other favorite way to eat it is in thai curries – so delicious! Let me know what you think!

    • says

      I was just checking out coconut milk on Amazon and there are tons of different brands. Do you have a favorite? Or a brand you wouldn’t recommend? Getting company Monday and I am hopefully serving this the evening they arrive.

    • says

      Sorry I missed this comment Elaine – any brand will do as long as it isn’t sweetened. I’d avoid lite too because it is just watered down and sometimes has added thickeners. Hope you liked it!

    • Anonymous says

      I had the same question but I’m thinking the juice from limes, hot sauce and canned tons will add up :). Kerry

    • says

      Yes, I just use the one cup but you could probably put in the whole can even if it’s a bit more than a cup. Between the liquid the shrimp release, the tomatoes and other veggies and the coconut milk you get a rich, delicious broth. Hope you like it!

  1. says

    The weather is so strange…here we are south of you (on the NW side of Atlanta) and we haven’t had the air on for weeks. It’s actually been cool enough to pull out the blankets a few nights. I guess I’m just rubbing salt in the wounds, huh?

    But about the soup, it’s one of my favorites, but your version is much prettier! I also like to add some homemade chicken broth for extra nutrition, especially coming up on cold and flu season.

    • says

      I like the idea of adding chicken broth to the soup Patty – I think I’m going to try that next time and I’m also going to use fish AND shrimp to make it even heartier. Glad you guys are cooler than us – it is strange how there are certain micro-climates that can be so different than surrounding areas! At least we are on the lake and have a breeze, it’s cooler than the cities like Columbia which are even more miserable in the summer! Looking forward to busting out my scarves and sweaters in the next couple of months though! :)

  2. says

    I am *so* with you! We had the most miserably hot, dry, extended summer (in Colorado), and I have been waiting and waiting for some autumn-like weather. 81 here today, but tomorrow I might get my wish. Love the shrimp and coconut milk combo–a favorite.

    • says

      Thanks Angela, hope you guys got your cooler weather! I love Colorado – both times I’ve visited have been in September and it was gorgeous! The dryness and altitude took some getting used to for sure though!

  3. says

    This soup/stew was delicious. I made this last night for dinner for myself and my husband with some coconut cheddar drop biscuits and it was out of this world. We even had the leftovers for lunch today! Can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for the great recipe.

  4. Anonymous says

    It has finally cooled down here is Southern California. My husband is under the weather today, and this soup will be perfect!! I will let you know how it comes out :)

  5. quixilistic says

    I just made this tonight for dinner and it was great. I had no idea how much I was craving a good bowl of soup. The friends I made it for all loved it and I paired it with some corn which I didn’t have. You have an amazing website and I love all your recipes. And you make keto so much tastier. Here’s my hand at it: A bit too much coconut milk but now I know how much to put in next time.

  6. says

    As a farmer, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to fall! It was stinkin’ hot this Summer here in Ohio and I am ready for soup season. Will make this for dinner tonight, with the fireplace going.

    • says

      I’m jealous of your fireplace Andrea! We used to have a wood stove with a glass door in our living room in Northwest CT and I loved when it got cold enough to use it! Especially when there was a snowstorm raging outside! Now I live in the South and it’s just not cold enough, long enough, to justify having one. Enjoy!

  7. olive says

    This was soooo easy and sooooooooo delicious! We used the “hot” habanero rotel and chicken instead of shrimp. Planned to add chicken stock but it turned out perfect without it. YUM. This is going in the menu rotation here for sure!

  8. Anonymous says

    Made this the other night, it was really quite good (if a bit spicy, and I like spicy foods. it’s ok, taking a slug of the leftover coconut milk gets the feeling in your lips back. :-) )

    I thought it would be creamier, and it’s really more of a soup. (good though, don’t get me wrong)

    Got anything in bisque style?

    • says

      It’s traditionally referred to as stew but you’re right, the broth itself is more soup-like. Glad you liked it though! My chef uncle has an amazing lobster bisque recipe – I’ll try to get it from him and see if I can tweak it to make sure it’s low carb! :)

    • Anonymous says

      It was amazing :) I used the whole can. Up’d the cilantro and played with the hot sauce and lime a little. delicious I will make again.

      Thanks for the speedy reply

    • Anonymous says

      The family asked for this recipe again and I made it was chicken this time it was absolutely delicious that way as well thank you so much for sharing this recipe it will be definitely added into our family meal plan once to twice a month

  9. says

    I made this last night, I upped a few ingredients as I was cooking with 2lbs of scrimps. Also, I ran my lime through my juicer. I think if doing it that way it’s a little too potent. As the morning after it was very limey. But still great recipe as it was freaking delicious. Thanks.

  10. Anonymous says

    Hi I’m pretty new to cooking so bare with me. I’m a college student and now I’m trying to learn how to cook pretty simple dishes I was wondering if you were to add different fish to this recipe, what type of fish would you use along with the shrimp I just want this a tad heartier :) thank u

    • says

      If you’re a college student I’m going to assume you are also on a tight budget, so go with something inexpensive like swai or tilapia and you’ll be good to go! You can even omit the shrimp and just use the fish – or chicken will also work! Enjoy!

  11. says

    Made this the other night with my Mom. She really was happy to give it a go, as she hadn’t cooked with coconut milk as a base before. I have had a similar stew previously – a Vietnamese coconut stew with shrimp. A good friend had cooked for me a couple years ago. I must say, this was EVERY BIT as good as that if not better! We did leave out the cilantro and added a couple more Garlic cloves, but other than that, it was your recipe to the ‘T’. Going to share the heck out of this with my friends. Cheers!


  12. Aisha says

    I was looking for a seafood stew/chowder type recipe on r/ketorecipes and was referred here. Looks delish, but I was wondering if something like this would be do-able with clam juice instead of the coconut milk.

    I will make it this way this weekend and know that I will LOVE IT, but since you’re much more knowledgable about these things than I am, any thoughts would help!


  13. Priscilla says

    Love this! I’ve made this twice since finding your recipe. I add mushrooms (not sure if that’s very Brazilian, but eh!) and double the Sriracha because I like my mouth to burn :). This time I forgot to buy a can of diced tomatoes so I chopped a tomato I had, added chili powder, and added a little water and the whole can of coconut milk to make sure I had enough liquid. Still turned out great! Thanks for this great recipe!

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback Priscilla! So glad you liked it – the broth is so tasty that I swear you could put anything into it and it would be good! I’m with you on the Sriracha too – the more the better!

  14. says

    Tried this today with chicken and it turned out pretty well…. This is going to become a staple meal at my place. Next time I will try it with shrimp. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  15. Britany White says

    I’m trying this tonight! Absolutely excited! I’m on the ketogenic diet for weight loss purposes and I use your recipes frequently! My husband doesn’t “like low-carb” but I’ll be he won’t even notice with this tonight ;)

  16. says

    I am so happy that I found your site. I made this recipe tonight and have to say it was simply delicious. I bought your cookbook and can’t wait to try all of the recipes.

    I am a Type 2 Diabetic and I am grateful that you do what you do. I can now really enjoy cooking, and eating, again.

  17. Wendy Ciaccia says

    I liked it but it is VERY spicy so that others found it too spicy…if I make it again..perhaps just one tbsp of the the hot spice,

  18. Patricia says

    Is there any way to substitute the coconut milk and using heavy whipping cream instead? I have some to use up and was wondering if it would change the whole soup?

  19. Tina says

    Fabulous! So good and so easy. Made it with leftover rotisserie chicken and it was wonderful. I did add a bit of broth in order to get it to a more soupy consistency and so upped the aromatics and the hot sauce to compensate. The hubs said it was, “the bomb”, and it is definitely going into regular rotation.

  20. Odette says

    OMG this stew was awesome. So quick and low-carb and super tasty!!! I will definitely make this one again and again. Thank you so much for a great recipe.

  21. MarissaN says

    This stew is incredible! Don’t hesitate to try it. I’ve made it countless times this month alone and have served it to friends and family. I have experimented with various substitutions (regular milk instead of coconut, chicken instead of shrimp, butter instead of olive oil etc). I find it tastes best with Shrimp, butter, extra coconut (or regular) milk. Yet, when I served it with diced skin-less chicken thighs and olive oil, my friends raved about. Many have requested that I share the recipe, which I printed from Mellissa’s website. For those not concerned about moderate carbs try this stew with Pao de Queijo (gluten free cheese buns-google search). DELICIOUS!! Thank you Mellissa for sharing such wonderful recipes. You help make healthy eating so much easier! :)

  22. megan says

    I’ve been wanting to make this for weeks but never had shrimp…..well had some today and here in NW Indiana, there is a state of emergency for the roads…and tomorrow it’s supposed to be -50 degrees. Soooooo…what better time to make it? Haha. My husband said it was the best soup he’s ever had. Even had chili on standby because he isn’t a fan of spicy stuff. I will make this over and over. Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Thanks for letting me know it was a hit Megan! I haven’t made this one in a long time and I have missed it! It’s also great with chicken if you don’t have shrimp available. Hope you get a heat wave soon! :)

  23. alex says

    This recipe is AMAZING. We can’t get enough of it. We added mushrooms, too. What a great base, would be great with chicken or tofu also!

  24. Lisa says

    This was amazing. I substituted Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chilis, Lime, & Cilantro to make life easy. My son and I went crazy eating this and it was even better the second day. I highly recommend to anyone. The coconut milk was not overwhelming at all in the recipe.

    • says

      Thanks Lisa, I love this soup but it’s been awhile since I’ve made it! Your comment was a reminder that I need to get the stuff to make it again soon! Great idea to substitute the Rotel, I’m going to see if they have it at my local store – thanks for sharing!

  25. Nora says

    What did I do wrong? This was very spicy and not creamy at all. The coconut milk didnt seem to make a differance. Was very watery from everything..doubt I will make this again, since I had to make another meal
    For my kids to eat.

  26. Rachel B says

    This is the easiest most amazing shrimp and fish stew. I end up adding so e tilapia or swai to cut down on cost and boost protein. I’ve made it a couple of times now, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  27. Christine Castaneda says

    Melissa, I made this stew last night and it was the bomb. I loved it. Sweet (from the coconut milk) and spicy (from the tomatoes with chilies). Was sooooo good. I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. :-)

  28. Suzanne says

    I live in Europe, if I can’t find the Sriracha hot sauce, what kind of hot sauce would you recommend?

  29. Liz says

    Holy cow, this was incredible. I made a shrimp AND chicken version because my husband is not a shrimp fan (more for me!!!). Added about a Tbsp of fish sauce, so that might have given this more of a thai flavor? But SOOO GoOOOOD oh man. This is going into regular rotation. Thank you Mel! Longtime fan of your blog!

  30. Maria Sireci says

    Delicious! Thanks so much. I felt as though I finally ate a good meal after such a long time.

  31. Jamie says

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! My husband and I are not fans of cilantro so I used parsley instead. Thanks!!

  32. Nigelle says

    Yikes! When I scrolled to the very top, I see the serving. Thank you again. I will leave feedback after I cook it tomorrow.

  33. Nicole says

    It’s winter in Australia and I just made this for lunch. Wow! Loved it with the prawns and can’t wait to try chicken tomorrow with the leftover sauce. Will definitely make it again!

  34. sandy says

    Wow! I really didn’t know how much flavor a soup can have til I made this! Actually- my boyfriend made this for me! I have one of those annoying summer colds and I prepped the ingredients for him (roasting the peppers would have been a little beyond his skill level ;), than sat on the couch the rest of the night! Turned out great and was honestly the first thing that I was able to taste in 2 days! This will definitely be our new “go-to” for soup! Thank you for the low carb recipe!!!!

  35. Michele says

    Hi Melissa,

    Just made this fabulous soup! My whole family loved it and went back for seconds. I made it with shrimp and used only 1 tsp of the Siriacha hot sauce. It was the perfect amount of heat for my kids. I also added 1 tsp of chicken Better than Bouilion to enhance the broth. We though it tasted more like Thai than a Spanish soup but that was fine by all of us. Great recipe and a breeze to make!

  36. Missy says

    I made this soup last night. I didnt have coconut milk so I added a good sized scoop of coconut oil along with almond milk. It was a hit!

  37. Danielle says

    Just a head’s up, while this recipe looks delicious, it is NOT Whole 30 compliant. The second ingredient in Siracha is SUGAR. I’m sure you can substitute it with a similar chili sauce, though.

  38. camila says

    You cannot make a true Brasilian Moqueca de camarao without DENDE, a red palm oil, which gives moqueca it’s distinctive taste.
    Trust me, I lived in Brasil for 23 yrs, and in Bahia for 3, and learned with the Baianas.

  39. Russell Watkins says

    I made this and it was delicious! As a slight addition I put some chopped up string beans in- gave extra bulk at a fraction of the cost of seafood and some great texture.

    Picture here:


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