This is one of those get messy, dip the bread, and enjoy every spicy bite of perfectly cooked gulf shrimp in an easy but ridiculously good New Orleans BBQ Shrimp recipe that everyone can master – better yet – over the coals in cast iron.
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A few years back, someone served me a spicy savory dish loaded with huge shrimp and crusty bread. It was my first experience with New Orleans BBQ shrimp, and ever since, I have been absolutely obsessed with the dish.
The steaming hot skillet is loaded with jumbo gulf shrimp simmered sauteed with garlic, onions, and spices before being tossed in a rich sauce with a hint of heat and a pop of freshness from some lemon juice. It’s a balanced dish that has you peeling and dunking shrimp and bites of crusty bread into the sauce over and over.
Pretty much almost as fun as shrimp skewers. Ok, more fun. But also, more clean up.
Now, technically, this dish doesn’t have to be cooked on a grill (or over a fire) but since it’s BBQ shrimp, I figured why not give it a try. Turns out, one of my favorite camping dinners! And much like my favorite Cajun shrimp tacos, packs a ton of flavor!
What you Need
This is one of those recipes where you don’t want to skimp. It’s incredibly easy, and top-quality ingredients will shine through. Go for jumbo gulf shrimp – the large pink shrimp – with shells on.
From there, pick good unsalted butter and your favorite hot sauce and Cajun-style seasoning, we used Louisiana Lightning.
A good white wine will also shine through and low sodium chicken broth. Garlic, onion, lemon, parsley, and Worchestershire are the only other ingredients this recipe needs.
Oh! And the sauce is amazing, so you are going to want to dip a nice crusty bread into it as well.
GirlCarnivore Pro Tip: Cooking over coals can be tricky, especially when regulating heat in a cast iron pan. For success, have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start, and don’t be afraid to pull the cast iron off heat to cool things off. Remember, cast iron holds heat, so moving it around to make sure things don’t get too hot is totally ok.
How to Make BBQ Shrimp
While you prep the ingredients, build a 2 zone fire in your charcoal grill or fire pit, by stacking the coals to one side. This allows you to move the cast iron as needed if things get too hot.
Simply saute the onions until soft, add the garlic and spices then shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and hot sauce. A quick cook gets them good and pink.
Now the fun part; set the shrimp aside and deglaze the pan with white wine by adding the wine and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the cast iron.
Stir in the chicken broth and allow it all to simmer down.
Finally add the butter, stirring off heat, one tablespoon at a time. This is what makes the sauce velvety and luscious.
Pop the shrimp back in and toss to coat. Add more heat if desired and serve with warm toasted bread for soaking up the sauce.
If you can’t find Gulf shrimp at your local market, go for shell-on jumbo shrimp.
Did you know that the country of origin will be labeled on the package? Check the package or ask at the fresh seafood counter at your local market to determine which shrimp is right for you.
This dish is best served immediately, right out of the pan, hot. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days.
If reheating, only reheat what you need in small intervals in the microwave. The shrimp can become tough harder to peel tho. Personally, I just eat the leftovers cold with more hot toasted bread.
Can you make BBQ Shrimp on the stovetop?
If you don’t want to cook over the coals, you can absolutely make this recipe on a classic stovetop. Simply follow the recipe as written, with the temp set to medium heat.
More tasty shrimp recipes
Cajun Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail
Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp
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New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
For the Shrimp
- 6 tbsp butter butter
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 6 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp Cajun spice
- 1 lb Jumbo Shrimp shell on
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire
- 1 tbsp Hot sauce
- 1 Lemon juiced
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup White wine
- 2 cups Chicken broth
- 1 tsp GirlCarnivore Over Easy spice blend
- 2 tbsp fresh Parsley chopped
- salt and coarsely ground pepper if desired
- 1 loaf crusty bread toasted
Cook the Shrimp
- Preheat your cast iron over a 2-zone cooking fire or grill.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and coat.
- Add the onion and sautee for 5 minutes, until translucent and slightly browned.
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the Cajun seasoning and stir to coat.
- Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce and stir to combine.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Add the shrimp, tossing in the onion mixture, and cooking, flipping as needed until shells become pink and shrimp is cooked through on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove shrimp, wrap in foil, and set aside.
- Working with the same cast iron skillet, deglaze with white wine, scraping up any browned bits.
- Stire in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Allow the liquid to reduce until thickened and coats the back of spoon, aboit 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Return the shrimp to coat
- Toss shrimp back in skillet, add the Over Easy blend, and toss to coat the shrimp in the sauce.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
- Using caution, serve directly from the skillet hot, or transfer to a warm bowl, with grilled bread and lemon wedges, if desired.
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You are the crustacean queen!!! 🦞 🦐 🦀
Delicious! As an almost 60 yr old native New Orleanian, please, please, please take my advice and try this with head-on shrimp. The fat and “goodness” that cooks in the sauce from the heads is an absolute game changer and a must! It will take the creaminess and flavor to a whole new level. And down here in NOLA, we are almost always in a bib and imbibing while consuming.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Oh absolutely! I don’t get em much out this way with the head on, but if you’ve got them and the people to enjoy them – absolutely! Cheers,
I’m confused. Where does the Louisiana Lightning come in? Is that a type of hot sauce?
Hi Robyn, Sorry for the confusion. Louisiana lightning was the name of the cajun spice blend I tested in this recipe, but whichever your favorite cajun spice blend is will work.
I didn’t serve this over grits or with cheese because we keep it keto however, I wish I could have! That would have been amazing. Another commenter said that they serve this with grits when they make it. Hope this helps!
I grew up in New Orleans. We serve this dish over the top of southern grits cooked smooth and creamy with milk. Shrimp and grits with lots of buttery sauce and French bread slices. One of my absolutely favorite dishes of all.
Do you use white grits or yellow? Did you add cheese of any kind? TIA
Easter Sunday will be the 3rd or 4th time we have made this wonderful dish. The only minor thing that is a change is that we don’t rest the shrimp prior to serving. Anything that small does not need to rest. It should come off the grill and eat asap. All you get from resting the shrimp it colder shrimp.
Try it with fresh rosemary. You will thank me later.
Next time, will do!