New Orleans-Inspired BBQ Shrimp

This sautéed barbecue shrimp in a Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce is one of those dishes you can throw together at a moment’s notice
BY Jennifer Segal TIMESeptember 19, 2022 PRINT

New Orleans BBQ shrimp has actually very little to do with barbecue. The Louisiana dish refers to sautéed shrimp in a garlicky, Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce. Typically made with copious amounts of butter, the shrimp are cooked and served with the shell on and then peeled at the table. It’s a rich and delicious dish but not very practical for a weeknight family dinner.

This is my super-simple, easy-to-eat version.

Butter is still the main ingredient in the sauce but I’ve scaled the amount way back, and the shrimp are peeled before cooking. If you keep shrimp in your freezer, it’s one of those dishes you can throw together at a moment’s notice. Bonus: Kids love it!

What You’ll Need

ingredients for bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Before we get started, a few words on buying shrimp. While fresh seafood is obviously superior to frozen, I always buy frozen shrimp. The fact is, unless you live on the coast, it’s near impossible to find truly fresh shrimp. The “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket is typically thawed frozen shrimp, and you never know how long it’s been sitting out.

Almost all shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so for the freshest shrimp, you’re better off buying frozen and defrosting it yourself.  For this recipe, I buy extra-large frozen shrimp labeled “shell split and deveined.” Come dinnertime, all I have to do is run the shrimp under warm water to quickly defrost and then peel.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, add the paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar to a bowl. Note that ancho chili powder is not the same as regular chili powder. Chili powder is a blend of spices, while ancho chili powder is a pure chili powder made from ground ancho peppers with deep rich flavor and mild to medium heat.

seasoning for bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Mix to blend.

seasoning for bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Toss the shrimp with the spices until evenly coated.

seasoned bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.

butter melting in a pan
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Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about a minute. Do not brown.

garlic and butter in a pan
(Jennifer Segal)

Add the shrimp.

bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Continue cooking until almost done but still opaque in spots. Keep the heat at medium so the shrimp cook gently; if shrimp are cooked over high heat, they can seize up and become tough. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and a few tablespoons of water.

bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

Continue cooking for a few minutes more until the shrimp are cooked, then scatter the thinly sliced scallions over top.

bbq shrimp
(Jennifer Segal)

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New Orleans-Inspired BBQ Shrimp

By Jennifer Segal

Servings: 4 – 6

Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds extra large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 scallions, dark green parts, thinly sliced


  1. Mix the paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp to the spices and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for one minute. Do not brown. Add the shrimp and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are almost cooked but still opaque in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and water and cook until shrimp are done, 1 to 2 minutes more. Scatter the scallions over top and serve.

Pair With: Simple Steamed Broccoli

Recipe by Jennifer Segal

This article was first published on

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Jennifer is a classically trained chef, Cookbook author, and busy mom. She became interested in cooking in college while studying abroad in France and living with a French family. She is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine. Visit
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