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posted August 18, 2021

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

My recipe for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp is a classic, fast, and easy process for cooking shrimp in the shell with an awesome Cajun flare. It’s a messy, yet delicious meal, so make sure to have some napkins handy!

BBQ shrimp garnished with green onions with text overlay - New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.

New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

If you’ve never had New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, you are in for a treat with this recipe. New Orleans shrimp is cooked with the shell on in a buttery, flavorful sauce. Shell-on shrimp give the broth the most amazing, rich, flavor, and the seasonings make this shrimp simply to-die-for. Make sure you serve with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping and sopping up all of that tasty liquid in the bottom of the skillet.

BBQ shrimp is a bit misleading because true New Orleans BBQ shrimp isn’t actually barbecued at all. The original is a brothy, lemony, garlicky, Worcestershire seasoned shrimp that is either baked or cooked on a stovetop. It is absolutely delicious, but I couldn’t help but bring the BBQ back to BBQ shrimp and cook mine on the smoker. It has all of the classic Louisiana BBQ shrimp flavors with an extra kiss of love and flavor from the grill.

Ingredients for New Orleans BBQ shrimp in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

This BBQ shrimp is a pretty straightforward recipe with a small ingredient list. It’s a great recipe for busy weekdays or when you have some fresh shrimp you need to use.

  • Jumbo shrimp. Make sure to purchase these with the shells still on!
  • Butter. Go with salted butter for added flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce.
  • Minced garlic. Ready for an awesome garlic hack? Costco sells a large container of minced California garlic that is awesome if you cook with a lot of garlic and don’t want to waste time mincing garlic for all your meals.
  • Bay leaves. 
  • Blackened seasoning. You can get my homemade recipe here at Hey Grill Hey. Check it out here: Best Blackened Seasoning.
  • Green onions. Separate these into the whites and greens and slice.
  • Lemon. Grab two decent-sized lemons to juice and zest.
  • Hot sauce. I used Tobasco for this recipe.

For full ingredient amounts and a complete recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable recipe card.

Cast iron skillet filled with seasoning-coated shrimp.

How to Make BBQ Shrimp New Orleans Style

Ready to make this shrimp? I think you’ll be surprised how quick and easy this comes together!

  1. Fire up the smoker! While not completely traditional, I found this BBQ shrimp tasted amazing when cooked in my smoker. So go ahead and turn on your preferred smoker (Camp Chef SmokePro for me!) to 275 degrees F. Allow the smoker to fully preheat while you combine all ingredients for the buttery sauce.
  2. Make the sauce. Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, bay leaves, blackened seasoning, the whites of green onions, and lemon juice and zest in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place in the skillet into the smoker and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the skillet (Careful! It’s going to be HOT!). Stir to coat the shrimp and cook for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the shrimp reads 145 degrees F.
  4. Enjoy. Remove the skillet from the smoker. Garnish with the green portion of the sliced green onions. Serve on a bed of rice or with a loaf of crusty bread. 

New Orleans BBQ shrimp over a bed of rice garnished with sliced onions and lemon wedges.

How to Eat New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Consider New Orleans BBQ shrimp a finger food, albeit a really messy finger food. Since the shrimp is cooked in the shell, you’ll have to get in there with your fingers to remove the shell as you enjoy the shrimp.

If you prepare your shrimp with the head on (you can cook this shrimp with the head on or off) as well, gently twist to break off the head and then peel the shell with your thumb from there. This whole dish becomes more of an experience, so don’t sweat it too much if you’re not an expert de-sheller from the get-go. 

More Grilled Shrimp Recipes

Ready to make more BBQ shrimp? If so, I highly recommend you try out these other popular shrimp recipes from Hey Grill Hey. Oh, and make sure you check out my recipe for BBQ Shrimp and Grits. They’re awesome.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Here’s hoping you have a bib ready to go! You’re going to need it to enjoy this BBQ shrimp! If you loved this recipe, make sure to come back and leave us a 5-star rating and review. We appreciate hearing from you so we can continue to improve our recipes and posts.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 45 mins
Total Time : 1 hr
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 444kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp (shell on)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • ¼ cup Worchestershire sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Best Blackened Seasoning
  • 3 green onions (separated into whites and greens and sliced)
  • 2 lemons (zested and juiced)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Tabasco for this recipe)

Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat smoker to 275 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in seasonings. Place the butter, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, bay leaves, blackened seasoning, the sliced whites of the green onions, and the lemon juice and zest into a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Set the skillet into the preheated smoker, close the lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the butter is melted, about 15 minutes.
  • Cook the shrimp. Once the butter is all melted, carefully add the shrimp to the pan and give a gentle stir to coat the shrimp in the liquid. Close the lid and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and read 145 degrees F internal temperature. You will need to open the lid and stir approximately every 5 minutes during the cooking process.
  • Serve hot. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the smoker, top with the greens of the sliced green onions and serve right out of the pan. I recommend serving with additional lemon wedges and a loaf of crusty bread or on a bed of rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1534IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
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