BBQ Shrimp is a classic New Orleans recipe where shrimp is sautéed in a savory sauce made from butter, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, black pepper, & lemon juice. You don’t need a grill, but you’ll want some crunchy French bread.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp is probably not what you would think of when you think of barbecue shrimp. You don’t need a grill, and there is no charcoal involved, but you might need a bib and a lot of napkins. This barbecue shrimp recipe is made with Creole seasoning, plenty of butter, and jumbo shrimp – there is no bottle of bbq sauce involved. Much like Shrimp Creole or Creole Seafood Gumbo, it is a unique and delicious dish that highlights both the flavors of the South and delicious seafood.
Barbecue Shrimp is a Lousiana dish that you want to eat with your bare hands – tearing apart the saucy, sautéed shrimp – and getting that delicious sauce everywhere. (In most restaurants in New Orleans, they actually offer you a bib.) It is definitely not a meal that you eat with a white shirt on.
New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp is a sharing dish – we like to put all of the shrimp in a big bowl with all of the flavorful sauce, then everyone tears off a piece of bread and serves themselves. It is such a delicious dish, and it makes such a mess – but it is totally worth it.
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The original recipe comes from Pascal’s Manale Restaurant in New Orleans, and it has been adapted by several different restaurants all over the city. This bbq shrimp recipe is a variation of the recipe from one of our favorite restaurants in New Orleans, Mr. B’s Bistro.
It’s a simple recipe with no frills that comes together in about 20 minutes. It’s not spicy – traditionally, this is not a spicy dish – but you can add chili powder or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce if you want. This dish is so delicious without it. The first time my husband took me to Mr. B’s, I put on my bib and dug in!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- Large Shrimp or Jumbo Head-on Shrimp – Be sure to use fresh shrimp for this recipe, and use the biggest shrimp that you can buy. Keeping the heads on the shrimp adds lots of flavor to the sauce and makes the meal a lot of fun to eat.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Butter – Cut into cubes.
- Lemon Juice
- Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- Black Pepper
- Crusty French Bread or other Crunchy Bread for Dipping
- Extra Lemon Slices for Serving
🍽 Equipment Needed
- A Large Skillet – You want to make sure that all of the shrimp and the buttery sauce cook evenly, so I would recommend using a heavy-bottomed skillet, if possible, like a cast-iron skillet.
How to Clean the Shrimp
Before cooking the shrimp, place them in a bowl of cold water and swish them around to remove any sand and sediment. Place shrimp on a paper towel and pat them dry. Remove any shrimp that are really soft or just don’t look right – better safe than sorry when it comes to fresh seafood.
If desired, you can remove the “poop chute” by cutting along the back of the shrimp, then scooping out the dark strip of dirt. You can usually use the tip of your knife to scoop it out. Leave the shell and head on the shrimp otherwise, but the back will be open. (The shrimp pictured here were surprisingly clean – we caught them ourselves off the dock – so I did not cut them open.)
If you want to get really fancy and really have an impressive presentation when you serve these shrimp, you can use kitchen shears to cut the shell of the shrimp in between the legs, from under the head of the shrimp to the tail. This will keep the shrimp from curling up as it cooks.
🥣 How to Make It
In a large skillet, combine shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and freshly chopped garlic over medium heat. Let the sauce warm up, and cook until the shrimp turn pink – about 1 minute on each side. (Pictures 1 – 5)
For best results, I urge you to use shell-on shrimp, as the shell keeps the shrimp from overcooking and adds so much flavor to this dish. It is such a mess to eat, but it is so worth it.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, then slowly add small cubes of butter, a few at a time. Allow the cubes of butter to melt and mix it in completely, whisking quickly, then repeat until all the butter has been added. (Pictures 6 – 9)
(If the shrimp appear to be fully cooked before you have finished adding the butter, you can remove the shrimp and place them in a bowl off to the side while you finish the sauce.) (Picture 10)
You want to be sure to add the cubes of butter slowly so that the sauce has time to emulsify – you don’t want the sauce to break. (If you drop an entire stick of butter into the warm sauce, it will split, and you will have a greasy mess on your hands.)
Once all the butter is added to the sauce, add the shrimp back to the pan and spoon the sauce over the shrimp to make sure it is all fully coated.
It looks perfect – so delicious. The sauce is thick, rich, buttery, and perfect for dunking a piece of bread.
Remove from heat and serve immediately, pouring the shrimp into a big bowl with all of the sauce poured over the top. Serve with a hunk of crunchy bread to dunk in the sauce and lemon slices and hot sauce if desired.
🍱 Recipe Yield
This recipe will serve two people as a main course and four people if it is served as an appetizer. It can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd, but make sure to use a large enough skillet to have enough space to allow the shrimp to cook evenly and allow the butter to melt quickly into the sauce.
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🙋♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp are cooked in a sauce made from lemon, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, black pepper, and butter. Sometimes people add white wine to the sauce, but we prefer to just drink the wine with our dinner.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp is called “BBQ” even though it is not made on a barbecue grill because the sauce turns a brown color resembling barbecue sauce.
BBQ Shrimp originated at the New Orleans Restaurant Pascal’s Manale. The late Pascal Radosta is said to be the originator of the delicious barbecue shrimp recipe.
How to Store Leftover Barbecue Shrimp
You can save your leftover shrimp, but leftover and reheated shrimp does not have the best texture. I would recommend eating all of your shrimp when they are fresh. If you have leftover sauce, you can save that.
The buttery sauce can be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer in an airtight container, and it makes a delicious appetizer when reheated with some crusty bread.
✏️ Helpful Tips
- Use really big shrimp for this recipe if you can get them, and try to use fresh gulf shrimp. We like to get a few pounds of shrimp on the last day of our trip whenever we go to Louisiana, and we make this dish (along with seafood gumbo) as soon as we get home.
- Try to keep the shells on your shrimp. The shells add so much flavor to the bbq sauce and keep the shrimp juicy, trap the sauce, and they also keep them from overcooking.
- Add the butter to the sauce in cubes, and only when the previously added butter has melted and has been completely incorporated. This will keep the sauce from breaking and will help you make the most delicious sauce.
- Do not overcook the shrimp, or they will be hard to peel.
What to Serve with New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp
This shrimp dish is delicious on its own & it’s a pretty heavy dish, so you want to make sure to serve something light with it, like a fresh vegetable or a side salad. We like to enjoy barbecue shrimp with roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, or a salad.
You must ALWAYS serve your barbecue shrimp with bread to sop up every last drop of the perfect savory sauce.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
- 1 ½ pounds jumbo shrimp about 18 shrimp
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed if possible, about 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons black pepper coarsely ground
- 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups butter cold, cut into cubes. We like salted butter, but you can use unsalted to make the dish less rich.
- French bread
- lemon slices
- In a large skillet, combine shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and freshly chopped garlic over medium heat.1 ½ pounds jumbo shrimp, ½ cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons black pepper, 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic
- Let the sauce warm up, and cook until the shrimp turn pink – about 1 minute on each side.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, then slowly add small cubes of butter, a few at a time.1 ½ cups butter
- Allow the butter to melt and mix it in completely, whisking quickly, and repeat until all the butter has been added. (If the shrimp appear to be fully cooked before you have finished adding the butter, you can remove the shrimp and place them in a bowl off to the side while you finish the sauce.)*
- Once all the butter is added to the sauce, add the shrimp back to the pan and spoon the sauce over the shrimp to make sure it is all fully coated.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately, pouring the shrimp into a big bowl with all of the sauce poured over the top.
- Serve with French bread to dunk into the sauce and lemon slices if desired.French bread, lemon slices
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.