Make this prawn saganaki recipe and pretend you are on a Greek island… Delicious prawns in a rich tomato sauce flecked with salty, melty feta cheese. Serve as shared appetiser or over rice as a main course.
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Published in 2013, Updated February 2020
Prawn Saganaki (Garides Saganaki) is a classic Greek dish made with tomatoes, prawns and feta cheese. It is usually synonymous with holidays and summertime – no wonder I am craving it on a dreary winter’s day!
This dish is usually served as a shared appetiser with plenty of crusty bread to dip into the delicious sauce. In our family we always ate it as a main course over rice.
“Saganaki” refers to the cooking pan (sagani) which is why you can have cheese saganaki (fried cheese) and prawn saganaki in which prawns are cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese. Despite the common name they are totally different recipes. Confused yet?
My mother always makes this recipe with whole, large jumbo shrimp, heads and all – her saganaki is the stuff of LEGEND!
This adds a lot of flavour to the dish, but makes it very messy to eat. Use the best quality, large raw prawns (white shrimp) deveined with or without shells for ease.
Ouzo and plenty of olive oil are usually added to this recipe in Greece… I have left the ouzo out because not many of us will have it handy.
Feel free to drizzle plenty of extra virgin olive oil over the dish before baking if you like!
This baked prawn recipe is Slimming World friendly with minor modifications noted in the recipe card below. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with a Greek salad on the side!
How to make Prawn Saganaki
The secret to this dish is using fresh tomatoes – the best and ripest ones you can find. Unfortunately I haven’t ever been able to find similar tomatoes in the UK so I have adapted the recipe to use passata and tinned tomatoes.
Take a look at this step by step tutorial – please note you will find the full recipe, including ingredients in the recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1 Heat the oil in a large oven-safe casserole dish. Sauté the onion over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic, salt, sugar, thyme, chill flakes and bay leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.
STEP 2 Add the passata, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and wine and bring to a simmer.Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until the tomato sauce has thickened.
STEP 3 Stir in the prawns, mixing into the sauce until they start to turn pink.
STEP 4 Top with the crumbled feta and cook under a hot grill (broiler) until the feta starts to colour and melt.
STEP 5 Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley or fresh thyme. Serve as a shared appetiser (meze) with plenty of crusty bread or as a main dish over rice.
- 2 tbsp olive oil or olive oil cooking spray for slimming version
- 1 large onion , very finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 240 g (1 cup) passata
- 400 g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes in juice
- 120 ml (½ cup) dry white wine or water
- 450 g (1 pound) raw jumbo prawns (shrimp)
- 200 g (7 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- Chopped parsley or fresh thyme to garnish
- Salt and pepper to season to taste
- Crusty bread to serve as a starter
- Steamed rice to serve as a main
- Heat the oil in a large oven-safe casserole dish. Sauté the onion over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened.
- Stir in the garlic, salt, sugar, thyme, chill flakes and bay leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the passata, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and wine and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until the tomato sauce has thickened.
- Stir in the prawns, mixing into the sauce until they turn pink, 2-3 minutes.
- Top with the crumbled feta (and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if you like) and cook under a hot grill (broiler) until the feta starts to colour and melt.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- Serve as a shared starter with plenty of crusty bread or as a main dish over rice.