Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

This recipe popped up from the Food 52 website, and once again, it was the photo that caught my attention. This is Louisiana barbecued shrimp, by Julia Gartland, slightly adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking“, by Toni Tipton-Martin, published in 2019.

I definitely like spicy, and I’ve always loved the spicy dishes of Cajun and Creole cuisines, so I just couldn’t resist making this dish.

Louisiana barbecued shrimp is that sort of magical dish that’s intensely flavored, easy to cook, and perfect for entertaining. But don’t let the name fool you.

As cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin writes, “You won’t find any barbecue sauce in this dish of shrimp in spiced butter sauce. Barbecued shrimp is just the name Louisiana Creole cooks assigned to shrimp braised in wine, beer, or a garlic-butter sauce.

Ironically, a very similar recipe was on Laura’s fabulous blog recently, called Hummingbird Thyme, although called New Orleans BBQ shrimp! I say ironically, because I’ve never before come across this shrimp recipe, and now I have twice. It’s an omen!

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves, crushed
4 tablespoons (1/2) stick butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fish or chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 pound shell-on shrimp
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Hot crusty French bread, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika and bay leaves. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, spices, wine, stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 – 7 minutes; shake the pan as it cooks to help bring the sauce together. Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, about 3 – 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley and serve immediately from the skillet with hot French bread to soak up the sauce.

This might be my new way to serve shrimp as an appetizer.

Although it could certainly be a meal as well.

I could also see doubling this delicious spicy sauce, and dribbling the shrimp over linguine.

The recipe is perfect just the way it is. I typically tweak everything, but besides adding some cayenne pepper flakes before serving plus some fresh thyme leaves, I left the recipe alone.

Just maybe pulverize the bay leaves more than just crush them, or you’ll be spitting out bay leaf pieces all day!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet July 28, 2020 at 10:18 AM - Reply

    Gorgeous recipe. I love prawns cooked in a spiicy way.

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 10:36 AM - Reply

      They’re the best!

  2. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats July 28, 2020 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    Wouldn’t mind having a big bowl of these right now! :)

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 11:25 AM - Reply

      I was really glad I had company the night I made these, or I would have eaten them all by myself! (Husband doesn’t eat shrimp 😳0

  3. cynthiawoodman July 28, 2020 at 11:33 AM - Reply

    My niece and nephew have a restaurant in NOLA and we love those flavors!

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 1:36 PM - Reply

      Oh how fabulous! Has it opened back up yet?

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen July 28, 2020 at 12:59 PM - Reply

    This looks really divine! And I must say, you photograph is pretty fabulous as well!

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 1:36 PM - Reply

      Aww, thanks! Been trying to work on that.

  5. Mary July 28, 2020 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    What a fabulous meal! And such an easy recipe! Dinner on the table nice and quick – then my husband and I can keep an eye out to make sure one doesn’t get more than the other!! :))
    Can’t wait to make this even though we can only buy frozen prawns.

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 4:10 PM - Reply

      Mine were as well. I live in Oklahoma! sometimes I order them but shipping is so costly. I’ve found some at my local grocery store that I can buy frozen, so they’ve never been thawed. I’ve never had a problem with them, fortunately. Great recipe!

  6. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 28, 2020 at 8:13 PM - Reply

    I posted a similar recipe years ago from Paul Prudhomme. Don’t know if it’s this one, but I can tell you it is so good. You remind me that I need to make this again…and pronto!

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 8:54 PM - Reply

      Oh yes, you definitely need to! It definitely could have been the same. I used his cookbooks ages ago, but probably didn’t make this because my husband doesn’t eat shrimp. I know. Crazy.

  7. Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 28, 2020 at 10:56 PM - Reply

    Oh yum. I only need to see this one to think I need to make it.

    • chef mimi July 29, 2020 at 5:54 AM - Reply

      Same here. I was so excited when I first saw the picture of these! And they taste as good as they look!

  8. Ron July 29, 2020 at 4:53 AM - Reply

    Pure yum! I’d like a platter of those butter shrimp, some french bread and a cold beer please.

    • chef mimi July 29, 2020 at 5:54 AM - Reply

      Exactly. a perfect meal!

  9. David @ Spiced July 29, 2020 at 6:28 AM - Reply

    Oh, I absolutely love all things Cajun and Creole! New Orleans BBQ shrimp is a classic, and we love making it here. But it is a bit of a misnomer – no BBQ sauce anywhere. Like Ron says, pop open a cold Abita beer and serve up a plate of these shrimp. That’s heaven for me right there!

  10. kitchenriffs July 29, 2020 at 9:31 AM - Reply

    What a terrific dish! This is a main for me, not an appetizer. If you are ever in New Orleans, you have to go to Pascal’s Manale restaurant (yup, that’s how it’s spelled) and order this dish — they originated it. Although in truth, the flavor of theirs is pretty similar to the way yours looks to be. Good stuff — thanks.

  11. Gerlinde July 29, 2020 at 3:20 PM - Reply

    I had this when I was in New Orleans. It was to die for. As soon as i have a kitchen again I will make this. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. cookingwithauntjuju.com July 29, 2020 at 4:32 PM - Reply

    A favorite shrimp dish. I posted a recipe (Pascal’s Manale) about 5 years ago – I’m sure your recipe is very similar and very delicious. Need good bread to dip into the sauce…

  13. David Scott Allen July 29, 2020 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    This looks amazing… but one thing… I cannot stand shelling shrimp at the table. I know, I am way too prissy, but no. No crab, either. Lobster? Well, I can make an exception but only because it is only steamed and it isn’t covered with sauce. But I will make these without the shells… It is cheating, but I am a cheater. :)

    • chef mimi July 29, 2020 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      Just the tails, Ron, they’re shelled. Personally all of the shells would be off, but i wanted to follow this more-or-less traditional recipe! I dont like having stinky seafood fingers either!

      • David Scott Allen July 30, 2020 at 4:25 PM

        Oh, good – I was looking at the recipe more than the photos, I guess! Glad to know, ‘cuz these are on teh menu this weekend.

      • chef mimi July 30, 2020 at 4:29 PM

        I think the only reason to leave the tails on is to be able to grab them with your fingers? But your fingers still get soiled, so next time I’d definitely shell them completely and use a fork!

  14. cookingontheweekends July 29, 2020 at 8:49 PM - Reply

    I should not be looking at your recipes when I’m hungry. I want this so badly right now! LOVE the spices. Food 52 always does have those food photos that lure me right in. And yours are just as pretty. :-) ~Valentina

  15. Our Growing Paynes July 30, 2020 at 11:10 AM - Reply

    Definitely a fab dish for a back yard gathering, when we’re allowed them again! This would be a hit for sure.

  16. Kim Bultman July 30, 2020 at 1:21 PM - Reply

    Mimi, talk about omens… third time’s a charm! The “shrimp guy” is coming to Eufaula this weekend with fresh-caught jumbo shrimp from Louisiana. (I asked him to give me a heads up and he did, God bless him.) Guess you know what I’ll be making! Thanks for your tip about the bay leaves, too. :)

  17. Angela@eatlivehappy July 30, 2020 at 8:36 PM - Reply

    That looks amazing! And i happen to have some shrimp! I know what i’ll be making. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • chef mimi July 31, 2020 at 12:28 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  18. The Gourmet Gourmand July 31, 2020 at 2:12 AM - Reply

    This looks 100% like something my husband would just love!! I’m going to have to surprise him next time I pick up some shrimp!

    • chef mimi July 31, 2020 at 12:27 PM - Reply

      Nice! You will both love it. Different than what you’d expect.

  19. Katherine | Love In My Oven July 31, 2020 at 12:23 PM - Reply

    Give me all the shrimp!! This looks awesome Mimi! We are such shrimp fans.

    • chef mimi July 31, 2020 at 12:27 PM - Reply

      Love shrimp. And this was really a surprise recipe for me.

  20. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward August 2, 2020 at 1:51 PM - Reply

    I agree, this could definitely be a meal. Mmmmm, shrimp. Spices look great!

    • Anonymous August 2, 2020 at 3:39 PM - Reply

      Definitely a meal! Thanks!

  21. neil@neilshealthymeals.com August 3, 2020 at 4:11 AM - Reply

    Lynne and I love spicy prawns. What a great recipe for me to use my bothers chillie flakes that he makes from the chillies in his greenhouse! I love that you’ve accompanied this with some hot crusty French bread too, Mimi. Ideal for mopping up every last drop!

    • chef mimi August 3, 2020 at 6:41 AM - Reply

      Oh, how lucky you are! There is bread in the photos, but I had to buy it. With my thumb surgeries it will be another month before i can knead bread again! You’ll love this recipe. And you can make it as spicy as you want.

  22. Frank Fariello August 3, 2020 at 6:54 AM - Reply

    This looks really yummy. Reminds me that a visit to New Orleans has been on my bucket list for many years. And now who knows when I’ll be able to cross it off that list… argh!

    • chef mimi August 3, 2020 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      Oh, I know. This is really terrible for those of us who love traveling. We finally made it to Montana last month, but most of the time we were in the wilderness. It’s a different kind of wilderness in New Orleans!

  23. Elena August 3, 2020 at 9:10 AM - Reply

    Wow! Literally made my mouth water just seeing the photos. Remembering life in Lafayette Louisiana and the amazing culinary experience that was. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2020 at 12:24 PM - Reply

      Aww, thanks Elena. I didn’t know you lived there. Glad it was a good foodie town! I don’t remember much else going for it, but I only visited once.

  24. Laura August 3, 2020 at 3:03 PM - Reply

    Aww, thanks for the shout- out, Mimi! One of my all- time favorite dishes!!!! 🥰😍😘

    • chef mimi August 3, 2020 at 3:09 PM - Reply

      I’m so glad I saw this on your blog! I remember how beautiful your photos were as well. You could tell how good the shrimp were!

  25. Rahul August 4, 2020 at 1:47 PM - Reply

    I have been obsessed with southern cooking recently and this Louisiana BBQ shrimp looks heavenly Mimi. The best part would be licking the sauce off your fingers while peeling the shrimp

    • chef mimi August 4, 2020 at 2:07 PM - Reply

      Hahahaha! This is good shrimp. Really good!

  26. Healthy World Cuisine August 4, 2020 at 9:57 PM - Reply

    Your photos just want us to take that crispy crostini and lap up all those delicious juices from your recipe. Great spices and quick and easy. That is a summer winner recipe for sure.

    • chef mimi August 5, 2020 at 6:30 AM - Reply

      Aww thanks! They were easy to photograph, being so pretty!

  27. Karen (Back Road Journal) August 8, 2020 at 8:23 AM - Reply

    That first photo is great and makes you want to go shopping for shrimp right away. Years ago we ate the shrimp at Pascal’s Manale Restaurant, the originator of this dish, and they were very good but messy. They gave you a bib to wear as you had to peel them at the table. Your version is much easier to eat.

    • chef mimi August 9, 2020 at 8:39 AM - Reply

      It’s bad enough people shrimp when you’re cleaning them! I don’t want to be doing that at the dinner table, for sure. But thanks for the compliment. I think shrimp are very photogenic!

  28. David Scott Allen June 24, 2023 at 12:31 PM - Reply

    We made these again last night — just super. Aside from omitting the G, two small changes: I slice the shrimp in half lengthwise (which puts them in the “one bite category), and took one of your suggestions, and that is to make more sauce. I added an extra tablespoon of butter and an extra 1/4 cup wine. Just enough sauce to keep us really happy with our grilled mini breads. We use a spoon to put a half shrimp on the bread, doused it in sauce and then chomped! Now having made it twice, I know it’s both an appetizer OR a full meal for the two of us! Thanks again.

    • Chef Mimi June 26, 2023 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Oh, that sounds great! I like your idea to slice the shrimp. Glad you enjoyed this!

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