New Orleans-Style Southern BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Shrimp makes a great option for a quick and easy dinner, especially since you really don't even need to thaw it in order to cook it. Take a package out of the freezer, give it a quick rinse, and you're good to go. While recipe developer Erin Johnson says that New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp is traditionally made with shrimp that still has the heads as well as the tails, she admits that "Using the peeled shrimp makes for a much less messy dinner." You can go either way, though, shells-off or shells-on, whichever kind you have in the freezer. If your shrimp are the unpeeled kind, Johnson notes that "the shells do amp up the flavor."

Johnson describes this recipe as "a simple way to cook shrimp that yields incredible flavor." While Cajun cooking has the reputation for being spicy, this recipe isn't super-hot. Johnson does say, though, that you can add more Tabasco sauce or use a hotter spice blend if you wish — cayenne pepper, too, would amp up the heat. Should you prefer to go in the opposite direction and dial down the spice, though, you can always use less Tabasco sauce or maybe swap it out for something milder like Frank's RedHot (which, despite its name, has a flavor that's more vinegary than peppery).

Gather the ingredients for New Orleans-style southern BBQ shrimp

This recipe starts off with shrimp, of course, and uses a few different seasonings to flavor them: a Cajun spice blend, salt, smoked paprika, rosemary, and garlic. You'll also be using butter, stock, and beer for cooking, plus Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces for some extra zing. Johnson also includes some crusty bread, for serving.

Season the shrimp

Begin by blending the Cajun seasoning, with the salt, paprika, and rosemary. While Johnson uses ½ teaspoon of salt, she says "The amount of salt you need varies greatly based on the Cajun seasoning blend you use." Her advice is to start off with ¼ teaspoon, then to add more salt to the dish if needed once the shrimp are cooked.

Once you've mixed your spices, sprinkle them over the shrimp. Be sure to mix everything up so all of the shrimp get some seasoning.

Sauté the shrimp

Melt the butter, then use it to fry the garlic for about 30 seconds or until it starts smelling garlicky. Before the garlic has a chance to turn brown, quickly add the shrimp to the pan. Scrape any leftover seasoning out of the bowl and add that, too. Let the shrimp cook for 3 minutes, then turn them over onto their opposite sides.

Add the liquids to the pan to finish the cooking

Pour the stock and beer into the pan with the shrimp, then stir in the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Cook the shrimp for 3 more minutes, then take the pan off the heat.

Johnson likes to eat these shrimp with crusty bread and/or a bowl of grits, although she says "That's personal preference." She also suggests spooning the shrimp and sauce over rice or noodles, while a low-carb option would be to use the shrimp to top a salad. You might even wish to turn the pan sauce into a delicious salad dressing with the addition of some lemon juice and a splash of oil.

New Orleans-Style Southern BBQ Shrimp Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This New Orleans-style recipe features BBQ shrimp with the perfect hit of spice.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cooked shrimp with green garnish
Total time: 13 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 pounds tails-on shrimp, deveined
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chicken or seafood stock
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Optional Ingredients
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  1. Combine the Cajun seasoning, salt, paprika, and rosemary.
  2. Pour the seasoning blend over the shrimp and stir to coat.
  3. Melt the butter and fry the garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
  4. Add the shrimp to the pan along with any seasoning left in the bowl.
  5. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, then turn them over.
  6. Stir the stock, beer, Worcestershire, and Tabasco sauce into the pan.
  7. Cook the shrimp for 3 more minutes, then remove from heat.
  8. Eat the shrimp with crusty bread, if desired.
Calories per Serving 446
Total Fat 25.7 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 432.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 576.3 mg
Protein 48.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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