New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

This New Orleans BBQ shrimp is succulent and a little spicy. But it is not actually barbecued! You sauté the shrimp in a buttery sauce instead of putting them on the grill.

feast of BBQ shrimp over cheesy grits next to powdered beignets with cast-iron skillet of shrimp in background

So if you don’t grill shrimp, why is it called barbecue? The name refers to the New Orleans style red color you get from the creole seasoning. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious!

I am a huge fan of southern-style shrimp and grits, a dish that traces back to South Carolina. Whatever shrimp recipe you use, these two foods are the perfect combination of colors and textures. I also have a recipe on here for shrimp and grits cakes that was my favorite food obsession last summer.

For the next episode of The Sporting Chef, we’re looking to a different part of the South — Louisiana. I’ll be making this New Orleans BBQ shrimp with my tried-and-true cheesy grits recipe and banana beignets for dessert. Who could ask for more?

Keep this recipe in mind for entertaining during the holidays!

How to Make New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

As mentioned above, this isn’t your normal barbecue shrimp. The shrimp cooks right on the stovetop in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. It cooks in a generous amount of melted butter with just the right spices, including plenty of garlic, paprika, onion, and freshly ground pepper.

Louisiana gulf shrimp have an extra rich, buttery flavor that is perfect with this New Orleans sauce. You can use jumbo shrimp or just large shrimp. Note that the shrimp will cook quickly, so it’s important to take the skillet off the heat before they’re overdone.

Stir the sauce and allow it to boil to the right thickness. Add raw shrimp, turn after two minutes, and cook for one minute until reducing heat to a low simmer. See detailed instructions below.

Add the black pepper, salt, paprika, and thyme over the top of the shrimp from a height. NOTE: Don’t worry if it seems like this recipe is calling for a lot of pepper. Trust me, the pepper is the secret ingredient that makes New Orleans BBQ shrimp scrumptious.

Keep spooning the butter over the shrimp as it simmers. the butter will emulsify with the liquids better this way. The result is a silky smooth sauce that is to die for!

What Goes with This Shrimp Recipe?

I love to serve this shrimp over Southern-style cheesy grits. However, you can also serve it over rice or just by itself.

To sop up every bit of that New Orleans BBQ sauce, I recommend a side of crusty French bread. Get a loaf of good bread, or better yet, make your own no-knead artisan bread or southern spoon rolls. Both of those recipes are staples at our house and super easy to make.

Salads are always a welcome and healthy addition, too.

Follow the easy recipe below for the best Lousiana style shrimp.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

This spicy New Orleans shrimp recipe will serve 4-6 people. Try serving it over cheesy grits! See recipe link in notes.
5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Louisiana, Southern
Servings 4


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken or seafood stock
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 3 lbs gulf shrimp 16 to 20 with the shells
  • 4 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 sticks butter softened
  • 1 loaf French Bread grilled or toasted


  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add garlic and sautè for about 30 seconds. Add dry wine, Worcestershire sauce, broth, lemon juice and hot sauce to the pan and bring to a boil for about 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to become thick and saucy.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan. Turn them over after 2 minutes and then cook for about 1 more minute, or until the gray shrimp begin to turn pink. Lower heat to a very low simmer.
  • From a height add the pepper, salt, paprika, and thyme over the top of the shrimp. It may seem like a lot of pepper, but this is the secret ingredient that makes this dish scrumptious.
  • Add the butter over the shrimp by tablespoons. Then turn the shrimp over and continue to add butter over it. The butter will emulsify, adding a sheen to the sauce. Once the butter is incorporated, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Serve the shrimp and sauce over cheesy grits, rice, or on its own in a bowl with plenty of bread to sop up the shrimpy sauce.
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  1. tammy formby says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Authentic taste.

    1. Makes my day!!! Thank you Tammy. I am so glad you liked the recipe!

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