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BBQ Shrimp {New Orleans Style}

New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp are buttery, tangy, and full of zesty Cajun flavor. Best of all, the easy appetizer or dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes!
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American, cajun, Southern
Keyword bbq shrimp, cajun bbq shrimp, new orleans bbq shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 527kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs. shrimp, unpeeled (I use “jumbo” shrimp with 16-20 ct./lb.)


  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, green onions, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cayenne, bay leaf and lemon slices. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture simmers, remove from the heat.
    ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 green onions, sliced, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste, 1 dried bay leaf, 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet with the sauce; toss to coat.
    2 lbs. shrimp, unpeeled (I use “jumbo” shrimp with 16-20 ct./lb.)
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink, stirring occasionally and basting with the sauce.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven. Remove the bay leaf. Spoon shrimp and sauce into bowls and serve.


  • Head-on shrimp are best when available. Keeping the head on the shrimp is important because it contains fat and protein, which contributes a lot of flavor to the dish. If you can't find head-on shrimp, then use shell-on shrimp.
  • I recommend either jumbo shrimp (21-25 count per pound) or "Extra-Large" (26-30 count per pound) shrimp. These larger shrimp are more impressive, have better flavor, and are "meatier" than their smaller counterparts. They're also more expensive, so take that into consideration and purchase the size that best fits your budget.
  • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your shrimp. You might need to bake larger shrimp for up to 20 minutes, while smaller shrimp will be done in about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the shrimp when basting with sauce and pull them out of the oven as soon as they turn pink. Be sure to place shrimp in a single layer on the pan so they cook evenly.
  • Swap out the paprika and cayenne and use Cajun or Creole seasoning instead. This seasoning can be salty, so you will likely want to reduce the amount of salt that you add to the sauce or use unsalted butter.
  • For a dish that's less messy and easier to eat, you can use peeled shrimp. You might want to amp up some of the other seasonings to make up for the lost flavor from the missing shells, though.
  • Use frozen, unpeeled shrimp for convenience or if you can't find fresh shrimp. To quickly thaw the shrimp, place them in a colander and run under cold water.
  • As written, the sauce is not too spicy. It has a hint of "kick" from a little bit of cayenne pepper but is still very kid-friendly. If you like a spicier dish, increase the cayenne, add red pepper flakes, chili powder for some smokiness, or add some hot sauce!
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare just 1 pound of shrimp.


    Serving: 1/6 of the shrimp and sauce | Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 442mg | Sodium: 1782mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 841IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 4mg