New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Even though the name of this Shrimp dish is “Barbecue”, it isn’t cooked on a grill, or slathered with thick, tomato-based sauce from a jar. It is a classic New Orleans dish, made famous at Pascal’s Manale Restaurant, among others. The colors of the sauce evoke barbecue, but the flavor is nothing like you’ve ever tasted!

Succulent and spicy, you can serve this shrimp atop grits, or with crusty French bread to dip, which is traditional at Brennan’s and Pascal’s Manale. Since you peel the shrimp as you eat them, it’s a messy experience. But truly, that’s part of this meal, which you won’t soon forget! 

Quick and easy, this recipe serves 4-6 hungry people.

Equipment needed: a large (12”) skillet, cast-iron or stainless both work.

Adapted from

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 35 min
  • Yield: 4-6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun/Creole


  • 1 large lemon
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks, 1 c, 227g) Butter
  • 2 T (30 ml) Worcestershire Sauce
  • 45 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbsp total)
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 t Sweet Paprika
  • 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 T Diamond Crystal (coarse) Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Freshly Coarse ground Black Pepper
  • 24 UNPEELED, TAIL-ON Colossal Shrimp, or 2- 2.5 lb (between 815 shrimp/lb, or 16-30/kg) (You can use smaller shrimp, but you will need to reduce cooking time to about 1012 mins total See Note 1)
  • (optional) Tabasco, Frank’s, Crystal, or other hot sauce to add individually, as desired.


  1. Cut the lemon in half. Place the halves on a plate, and microwave for 20 seconds. Then squeeze all of the juice out into a bowl to reserve for later. Slice the rinds into 1/2” rounds or strips, and reserve those, too.
  2. Heat a 12-inch skillet over Medium-High heat. Melt the butter, then reduce the heat to Medium-low, and add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, paprika, cayenne, salt and ground pepper. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors, being careful not to let the garlic brown.
  3. Increase the heat to Medium and add the shrimp, stirring and turning the shrimp (tongs work well here for larger shrimp) until all have begun to turn pink.
  4. Add the lemon juice and strips of peel. Stir so these get incorporated. 
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and remove from the heat. Let sit 15 minutes so that the shrimp absorb the flavors and finish cooking. Stir every 4 or 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with crusty French bread for dipping, lots of napkins, and bibs if you have them!


1. I used about 2.5 lb of 8-12/lb sized shrimp in my recipe. If you use smaller shrimp, say 21-25/lb, you’ll need to reduce the initial cook time for the shrimp to about 2-3 minutes, and the covered, off-heat time to about 8 minutes. Just be sure to check for doneness at the end of the cooking time.


Keywords: New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, Cajun Spicy Shrimp, Pascal Manale Barbecue Shrimp, NOLA Spicy Shrimp, Louisiana Barbecue Shrimp

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