Next week is Mardi Gras and even though I will not be in New Orleans to celebrate, I take it as an excuse to whip up some NOLA inspired dishes since I am a big fan on NOLA cuisine. Another one of my favourite dishes that I had when I visited New Orleans was the BBQ shrimp and I just had to try making it at home. Normally the BBQ shrimp is served whole with the shell and the head on but if you have any squeamish eaters feel free to serve the shrimp completely peeled. Other than the shrimp the the most important thing is the BBQ sauce which is a mixture of hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic and plenty of butter. The recipe itself is really easy, you just cook the garlic a bit in some butter, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the shrimp is cooked. Despite being so simple this New Orleans stye BBQ shrimp is so addictively good that you’ll want to serve it with some crusty bread to mop up absolutely all of the BBQ sauce. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Mardi Gras from home next week this BBQ shrimp is a great way to do it. (To be completely honest with you, I didn’t wait for Mardi Gras to enjoy this BBQ shrimp since it’s great any day of the year, including say, today!)
Serve with extra lemon wedges and crusty bread to soak/mop up all of the BBQ sauce!
It can be a bit messy but it’s finger licking good! Don’t let any of that sauce die a horrible death in the dish washer, please lick your plate clean!
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
BBQ shrimp done New Orleans style in a spicy, buttery, lemony sauce that is so good that you will be licking your fingers and the plate clean!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup beer, wine or broth
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
- 2 teaspoons creole seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined *
- 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- salt to taste
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beer, lemon juice, creole seasoning and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the chilled butter until it melts, season with salt to taste and enjoy with french bread to soak up all of that tasty sauce!
Note: Different hot sauces have different levels of heat and everyone has a different tolerance to heat so add the hot sauce a little at a time until you get it to the level of heat that you desire. (I tend use Franks Red Ho hot sauce.)
Note: Different creole seasonings have different amounts of salt and some have quite a bit so go easy on it, adding a bit at a time to get the sauce to a nice level. (I tend use homemade creole seasoning to have more control over the salt content.)
Option: Instead of simmering to reduce the sauce by half to thicken it, you could add corn starch mixed into cold water to thicken it and save some time.
Option: Garnish with sliced green onions or chopped parsley to taste.
Rocky Mountain Woman says
Love that last shot! That's the way to eat this kind of food, with passion!
OMG this shrimp is perfect! You are the KING of Nola cooking Kevin!
This looks great Kevin. Always wondered how to make it and never realized how simple it was!
Shaina Wizov says
This totally takes me back to my New Orleans trip last January. I had BBQ shrimp at Emeril's restaurant and it was delicious. Yours looks just as good!
When I lived in NOLA, I was a waitress and the most popular dish at the restaurant was a BBQ shrimp linguini, which was NOLA style BBQ shrimp tossed in pasta and served on a cheese pizza to absorb all the goodness. I will say that yours look exponentially better!
HipFoodie Mom says
Yum… BBQ shrimp New Orleans style looks soooo good!!! and I would be licking my fingers too! Wow, looks so amazing! love it!
Jodee Weiland says
Kevin, this looks fabulous! I love New Orleans, and the barbeque shrimp is one of my favorites. Your recipe sounds awesome…thanks for sharing it!
Hey Kevin. Your print recipe link is broken.
Nancy Long says
this is similar to my recipe – one of hubby's fave meals
Anonymous: Can you tell be a bit more? What happens when you click the button? What kind of device and browser are you using? Thanks!
Rochelle Hutchinson says
Oh my. This is my idea of heaven!!
Wow! That was a waste of good shrimp.
Don't worry if there is any sauce left at the end I'll chug it :)))
BTW -Truly awesome recipe !!!
You (we!) need a 30 minute meal cookbook, Kevin. Great recipes, great pictures (do you take your own??).
Adrian: That would be a great cookbook! Yes, I take all of the photos on my site.
Does it matter if you use red or white wine?
I made the NO bar be que shrimp exactly as your recipe read. They were lip smacking delicious. I put them over white rice for us. Wow. Thank you, thank you.
Seriously?!?!?! Having worked IN the New Orleans restaurant biz for 20+ YEARS we have NEVER put hot sauce in BBQ Shrimp!
There is no BEER either!
Where is the thyme? Rosemary? Basil?
If you're going to slaughter a traditional recipe, RENAME it. I have forwarded this horrible recipe to several friends in New Orleans and they are ALL APPALLED!
I am APPALLED at your rudeness! Who died and made you BBQ shrimp god?? There are all kinds of different recipes for BBQ shrimp and this is one of them. If it doesn’t appeal to you, then move on to another one. There is no need to leave such a nasty hateful comment!
LOL. Give me a break. You go around checking and admonishing everything all over the internet that isn’t up to your elite standards, extra loud so everyone can hear you? God forbid a bunch of people you don’t know enjoy something simple that you don’t approve of. You and your friends can put your superior heads together and all be smugly appalled at whatever you like, no one outside of that actually cares about your opinion like you think they might. This recipe and the author aren’t hurting anyone, but you keep on self appointing yourself the police of varied traditions that really don’t need your help or your rudeness and I’m sure the world will be a better place.
Judy Ward says
I have made it several times. Great receipe
I am making this tonight for the second time in 2 weeks! It is delicious and tastes just like the bbq shrimp I order when in New Orleans. I have tried other recipes for bbq shrimp and your sauce is by far the best! I do add basil and Rosemary from my herb garden.
Anonymous: I'm glad that you enjoyed it!
Happened upon your page when I was looking for a new pureed soup to make and will be making your cauliflower and white cheddar. Haven't tried your recipe and it may have good taste, but it's not a traditional version of bbq shrimp. Not nearly enough butter and I've never seen one with broth, with the exception of Emeril's version which is an appetizer reduction made with shrimp stock. It's more of a very concentrated bbq shrimp base unlike the peel and eat traditional version. It also has heavy cream. I've made it a number of times, but it's a different take. Having lived in Louisiana all my life and in NOLA for some of it, I've had and made bbq shrimp too many times to count. It's about a lot of butter and a generous amount of black pepper. Personally, I've never used hot sauce in it. Doesn't need it. The shrimp heads make a huge difference in the flavor and making it without the shells involves quite a difference in cooking time to avoid overcooking the shrimp. The sauce doesn't need a thickener. It doesn't have to be thick and usually isn't very thick. Next time you have a hankering for bbq shrimp, try Mr. B's Bistro recipe. They serve the best version in NOLA. Give it a try and you'll taste the difference. (I've never had it with basil as the other local poster suggested, but I've had some versions with rosemary which are quite good, as well.) Here's Mr. B's recipe. http://www.mrbsbistro.com/recipes_shrimp.php
I'm enjoying your site and bookmarking it.
Oh my, these were absolutely delicious! My husband (not normally a shrimp fan) said he wanted mroe, and that it was the best fish he's ever had! yummm, thanks so much!!!
this looks so good- I make a similar
version from the recipe from Mr. B's in NO(the recipe is online(go to nola.com).
I have eaten these at several places in NO
a few of which never reopened after Katrina. I add a little BBQ sauce at the end. I have always
said restaurants leave the head on because it
makes look like your getting more food than you actually are. I will try your recipe the next time.
Excellent! Just wow!
Romy Mackay says
I made this and the sauce was just terrible. I followed the recipe and it was horrible and salty it was just not good at all. I think it was all the Worcestershire sauce I've looked at other recipes and they only had one table spoon. I defiantly think you need to check this recipe it can not be right everyone said it was inedible.
Romy Mackay: I'm sorry it did not work out for you! If it was too salty it was likely the creole/cajun seasoning; a store bought brand can contain about 4 times as much sodium than the worcestershire sauce based on the amounts in this recipe. The hot sauce would be the next highest contributor… I normally use a homemade creole/cajun seasoning to help have better control of the amount of salt in the final recipe as I cannot know how much a particular brand of seasoning, hot sauce or worcestershire sauce would have in it. I will add a note to the recipe to indicate this.
Just came across your site googling for BBQ shrimp, and this recipe looks and sounds delicious. Beautiful photography! I can't wait to try it. Thank you.
Deb Leonard says
Question: Which gives this the best taste – beer or wine and what name? Thanks!
Thomas Reeber says
I too have found commercial creole seasoning too salty. For a change I used a vanilla java porter for the beer and liked it. Next time I think I will let the shrimp be rubbed and rest in the creole seasoning for a bit before cooking. Am also considering removing shells first..keep the heads and shells to cook in the sauce for flavor but just serve the shrimp for the weak of heart…tons of bread and I add more butter a little at a time..encourage all to play with this good basic recipe.
Kristy K says
Just made this for my boyfriend (who is from Louisiana) and he loved it! I don't eat shrimp but I ate some of the sauce on rice. Super tasty. Thank you!!
You almost nailed Mr B's BBQ sauce perfectly just abit too much hot sauce. Or maybe it was because I used extra-spicy creole seasoning. Either way, great starting point for one my favorite shrimp dishes.
Great dish! I had to tone it down for my partner, next time full heat and then some! Thank you.
Mike Crawford says
That is in no way New Orleans BBQ shrimp. That’s a joke at best. Has the chef even been to New Orleans? Where are the shells and heads? If you’re going to post a recipe…be authentic or don’t bother.
This had great flavor, I loved it. And yes, I have been to New Orleans. I will be making this again in the near future, despite recipe nazis who clearly are terrified from deviating from their mommies recipes. Thanks for posting!!
I made this recipe tonight and I absolutely loved it. The only thing I added was a half cup or so of shrimp stock that I made with the shells. I think it added a nice layer of flavor to this dish as a whole. I can’t wait to make it again!! Thanks !!
Now I just need a good cheesy grits recipe to got with the shrimp. Mm mm.
has any one made this with rice? i was thinking i could double the sauce recipe and have enough to pour over rice??
This works great with rice!
Could I add heavy whipping cream to make sauce into a pasta sauce?
Yes you can!!!
ChesCo Holly says
This turned out really great. I used Iron Chef chili hot sauce instead of Tabasco because that’s what I had. You know what – the consistency was great (I just heard a gasp from Nola natives or Nola wannabes). For beer the Stella Artois worked great. The next time I make this I will serve the shrimp and sauce over rice to sop up the flavors in lieu of bread and maybe include a side of ratatouille. Thanks for the recipe.
Stephanie Riddle says
Love it! Although I didn’t venture into adding the hot sauce just because I knew the creole seasoning I had was spicy enough for me and I am glad I made that choice (to be honest I never follow a recipe to the t 😂) i got my husband thumbs up on the taste too. Thanks!
I absolutely LOVE this recipe….however I’ve been looking for a way to tone down the hotness without losing all the flavor. The first time I used beer but the second time I used chicken broth and halved the creole seasoning and it Was NOT the same. Can you please suggest a way to tone down the heat without losing flavor? Thanks so much!
You could use less hot sauce or creole seasoning to reduce the heat.
I can not cook mine with the heads on but you would lose so much flavor by removing the shells!!! leave those shells one Loves! Prepare to get messy!!! Cut up some fresh lemons, make some crusty garlic bread, maybe even some “dirty rice” for all of that AMAZING SAUCE!!! get a an entire ROLL OF paper towels!! Trust me, you will not just want to double this recipe, but TRIPLE IT!!!! AMAZING!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️