This Spicy Shrimp and Eggplant copycat recipe features a layer of crispy eggplant topped with a Cajun spicy sauce, buttery sautéed shrimp, and tangy fresh parmesan.
If you are a fan of Brio’s Tuscan Grill’s spicy shrimp & eggplant, this Brio’s copycat recipe is for you!
This yummy dish is an appetizer that will draw raves. I took this to a dinner party over the weekend, and everyone loved it. Even being covered in foil and transported for 30 minutes, it still tasted great (but would be optimal served immediately after cooking).
This recipe is basically combining three separate elements: 1) crispy eggplant cutlets, 2) spicy sauce, and 3) Cajun seasoned shrimp. The recipe looks more complex than it is; once you break it down, it is quite simple.
Is this spicy shrimp and eggplant recipe gluten-free?
In this recipe, I use panko crumbs to bread the eggplant making it not gluten-free. However, if you have gluten sensitives or allergies, it can be super easy to swap panko for something that is gluten-free. There are several boxed gluten-free alternatives to panko crumbs but you can also resort to making your own if easier. If you can make this swap, this recipe will be gluten-free!
How do I cook the shrimp?
It is SO easy to cook the shrimp in this recipe. First and foremost, you want to make sure that if you are using frozen shrimp in this recipe, you thaw it. Once your shrimp is ready to-go, lightly season it with cajun seasoning and fresh lemon juice. At this point, you will already have prepared the spicy sauce so you will want to add the shrimp to the simmering sauce. You will want to continue to cook the shrimp until they are no longer translucent, which is when they should be fully cooked.
What type of seasoning should I use for spicy shrimp and eggplant?
This spicy sauce is SO yummy and packed with flavor and several different seasonings. The sauce begins with adding oil and butter to the pan and then sauteeing onion, garlic, bay leaf, and cajun seasoning. The cajun seasoning is an imperative addition to this recipe and you don’t wanna skip it! Once the onion has slightly caramelized, increase the heat and add lemon juice, heavy cream, and Worcestershire sauce and wine. All of these seasonings come together to create a delicious sauce that perfectly complements the shrimp and eggplant.
How can I get sliced eggplant perfectly crispy?
One of the most important steps in getting eggplant crispy is sprinkling the sliced eggplant with salt and letting it sit for 30 minutes. Once you do this, pat the eggplant slices dry. Doing this will help to drain a lot of the excess water and get the eggplant slices more crispy and delicious. After this, cover the slices in the eggwash and breadcrumbs then you can add them to the baking dish. Make sure you take the time to pat the eggplant dry. Even though this step is a little bit tedious, it is integral to the recipe.
Make ahead: The spicy sauce can be made up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge until needed. When making the dish, just bring the sauce to room temperature before reheating. Just before serving, simply add the seasoned shrimp and simmer in the sauce until just done.
Eggplant Cutlets: For years, I used frozen cutlets from the grocer (made by Dominix if I remember correctly). I’ve not found similar breaded eggplant cutlets for years, so I make my own from fresh eggplant. It really is simple. In the short video below, I show how to make Italian seasoned crispy baked eggplant cutlets.
Shrimp: Since I keep frozen shrimp on hand, I just thaw what I need beforehand using the cold water thaw method. I use raw, peeled shrimp and just pull off the tails before sautÃ©ing them.
Spicy Sauce: This is what makes this a “Brio’s copycat recipe,” and it is literally yummy enough to drink. For the Cajun seasoning, use your favorite. Tony Chachere’s and Zatarains are both excellent brands.
I hope this recipe thrills all of my fellow Brio’s spicy shrimp & eggplant lovers! If you make this, please let me know how you like it by leaving comments at the end of this post. I love hearing from readers:-) As always, thank you SO very much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!
- 1 Eggplant, sliced into 1/2" cutlets
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup Panko
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 TB Italian seasoning
- SPICY SAUCE:
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 TB butter
- 1 TB chopped garlic
- 2 TB chopped onion (froze is fine)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 TB Cajun seasoning
- 1 1/2 TB lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TB white wine
- 1-2 TB fresh parmesan
- 20-24 large shrimp (thaw if frozen)
- 1 TB butter
- 1 TB oil (I use EVOO)
- Cajun seasoning (to taste)
- 1 TB fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Mix egg and water in one bowl; mix panko, crumbs and seasoning in another.
- Slice eggplant; sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Pat dry. Dip each slice into egg then into crumbs until all slices are coated
- Bake until crisp, turning after first side gets crisp.
- Allow eggplant pieces to cool enough to handle; cut pieces into halves.
- Arrange eggplant pieces in shallow quiche or baking dish.
- SPICY SAUCE:
- In skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat.
- Saute onion, garlic, bay leaf and Cajun seasoning until onion is slightly caramelized.
- Increase heat to medium-high; add lemon juice, heavy whipping cream, Worcestershire sauce and wine, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until mixture reduces in volume by half.
- Discard bay leaf; set sauce aside until ready to cook dish.
- Season shrimp lightly with Cajun seasoning and fresh lemon juice.
- Add shrimp to simmering spicy sauce. Stir and cook until shrimp are just done (no longer transluscent).
- Pour shrimp and spicy sauce atop eggplant cutlets.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Keep warm until serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 317Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 128mgSodium 1465mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 14g