Cast Iron

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp From Toni Tipton-Martin & B. Smith

March 13, 2021
42 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Louisiana barbecued shrimp is that sort of magical dish that's intensely flavored, super fast to cook, and perfect for entertaining. But don't let the name fool you. As author Toni Tipton-Martin writes, "You won’t find any barbecue sauce in the model/chef/restaurateur B. Smith’s dish of shrimp in spiced butter sauce: 'Barbecue shrimp' is just the name Louisiana Creole cooks assigned to shrimp braised in wine, beer or a garlic-butter sauce."

She continues, "I like to make this dish spicy, in a cast-iron skillet, and served in shallow bowls with hunks of crisp French bread to soak up the sauce. It’s classic NOLA. Shaking the pan back and forth during cooking time is a trick that helps give the sauce more body than stirring."

Slightly adapted from "Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking" (Clarkson Potter November, 2019). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp From Toni Tipton-Martin & B. Smith
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound shell-on shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Hot crusty French bread, for serving
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika, and bay leaves.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, spices, wine, fish stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes; shake the pan as it cooks to help bring the sauce together.
  3. Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley and serve immediately from the skillet with hot French bread to soak up the sauce. Eat with your hands.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jackie Nobles
    Jackie Nobles
  • Carla Louise
    Carla Louise
  • Jihyun Oh
    Jihyun Oh
  • Marnie Hyland
    Marnie Hyland
  • Vanessa Wallace
    Vanessa Wallace
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

63 Reviews

Jackie N. July 22, 2023
I loved how fast and flavorful this dish was. Next time I will cut back a bit on the cayenne, or use a different kind of heat, maybe gochujang, or Peruvian aji Amarillo. Shrimp are now almost cheaper than lean hamburger when you can find them on sale.
Funyins2022 July 4, 2023
This dish was amazing. So easy to prepare and so easy to devour. Thank you for sharing with the community. I have already ordered a copy of "Jubilee" and cannot wait to see what other amazing dishes are in there.
Lizzy W. May 23, 2023
I've made this recipe 3x now and everyone raves about it. My favorite bbq shrimp recipe ever. The only tweak I would make is to at least double the sauce.
Carla L. April 13, 2022
This looks like an amazing,easy, ßo flavourful recipe! I loved watching Kristen coòk! She does make everything look easy! Best of all,these ingredients are already in my pantry, so I just need to buy some fresh Australian Prawns in order to cook us this amazing dish for Easter! Thank you!
Sharamaras March 21, 2022
This shrimp is amazing! This has become my favorite BBQ shrimp recipe and my go-to appetizer when entertaining a crowd. It’s so easy to make. Definitely a crowd pleaser!
DresdenTwitch December 1, 2021
Best damn shrimp I've ever had.
CK April 16, 2021
Love this dish! I’ve made it well over 50 times. Simple and quick. Live 50 miles from a grocery store so freezer stocked with frozen shrimp, scallops, etc. have served over rice, pasta, potatoes with good crusty French bread. Always outstanding!
Jihyun O. March 16, 2021
Omgggg the dish was so good but so spicy!!! I'm Korean so I should be able to handle the spicy food but I thought entire of my face/had/inside of mouth was burning!!!.
I read the comments so I reduced the amount of spicing... Anyhow, my American :) husband loved it and ate with rice and french bread.
ReneeHebert March 15, 2021
OUTSTANDING!! Super flavorful. I went to school in NOLA and have strong Cajun roots as well. This is a keeper for those of us living up North
kate M. January 25, 2021
Delicious!! Made this for a Monday night meal and it was so easy and good. French bread (good French bread) is a must!!
Marnie H. January 6, 2021
So easy and tastes incredible! We had a loaf of fresh sourdough from a friend, but I think it would be great with rice in a pinch. I used a scant 1/4 tsp of cayenne because not everyone likes spicy in my family. And I didn’t have thyme so I used herbes d’ Provence. So delicious. I was surprised that my kids really liked peeling the shrimp. A new staple for us. Thanks for highlighting this recipe!
Beverly C. January 1, 2021
The late cookbook author Lee Bailey took his recipe for BBQ Shrimp up a notch and made it "saucier" and served it over pasta. I have made it that way many times myself. I live on the Gulf Coast, have eaten at most NOLA restaurants and have had more than my share of said shrimp and found my favorite to be versions that have rosemary instead of oregano . However you go, it's all good!!
cosmiccook July 24, 2023
As a New Orleanian, I agree Beverly. Many recipes use Abita beer which my husband prefers. While not a HUGE rosemary fan, I concur, rosemary over oregano. We always BROWN our butter first too. Some recipes call for 2, 3 x more butter but this works. No self-respecting N.O. cook would use chicken stock--y'all KNOW we ALWAYS (yes, even during peak hurricane season) have SHRIMP stock in the freezer--in many amounts!
angelitakarmalita December 5, 2020
This was amazing!! I made it last night with some extremely fresh shrimp, right off the boat here in South Carolina. Didn’t change a thing and it was sublime! I see that some of the reviews note that it was too spicy for some, but for me the spice level was perfect and I could have made it a little hotter. Remember, adjust the spice level to your specific liking, to each their own, right? Bread and a fresh salad is all you need to make this a perfect and very quick meal.
Vanessa W. July 14, 2020
Love this recipe if it’s to hot just add a teaspoon of honey to tone it down. I also included some shallots and used claim broth. Will definitely make again, sent a pic to my daughter and she was drooling 🤤
Debbie July 7, 2020
I really wanted to love this dish, but I know I am in the minority here but unfortunately both me and my husband thought the recipe as written was excessively hot and spicy. We like spicy food but we felt the spice level was just off the chart & way too much for us. However, the dish came out picture perfect cooked in my LeCresuet 11-3/4 inch enameled cast iron pan. I used some lovely wild Argentina red tailed shrimp that was so buttery and delicious that was peeled and deveined except for the tails. I will try making it again by cutting the cayenne pepper in half or more. Also, I used regular paprika. Should I have used smoked paprika? Would that cut down on the heat level? This dish makes a lovely presentation and is so fun with the dipping of the bread into the sauce.
Dan F. July 8, 2020
If your paprika is simply labeled "paprika", it probably is mild. Smoked paprika is not necessarily mild. Both Hungarian (commonly sweet) and Spanish (typically smoked) can come in a range from mild to spicy hot, depending on the peppers used. The label might say, or ask before you buy.
cosmiccook July 24, 2023
I wouldn't have wasted your red tailed shrimp on this recipe (Ina Garten's Baked shrimp scampi comes to mind. This dish was created for & with our gulf shrimp as they are much more robust. I've never had the Argentina shrimp, but Florida Royal Reds are probably similar in flavor & texture.
Pat E. July 7, 2020
Amazing flavor. ...... Simple to make. I would double the sauce next’s that good. Make sure you love the bread you are dipping....because you will eat A LOT of it dipped in the yummy sauce. So good. A big deal keeper! Big, BIG deal.
Barb V. July 6, 2020
Excellent!! What else can I say? I followed the recipe exactly, except I didn't have any fish stock on hand, so I peeled my shrimp and made a shrimp stock to use. Besides, my hubby would not have been happy if he had to peel his shrimp.
Vivienne July 5, 2020
A delicious recipe that is very similar to Doc Ford's Yucatan Shrimp. I like to increase the amount of sauce. Yum.
sflawyermom July 3, 2020
I haven't made this yet (looks delicious), but was wondering if you could substitute olive oil or butter substitute? We have a dairy allergy in our family. Thanks so much!
fastfoodie January 22, 2021
It is delicious!. Of course you can sub olive oil for the butter. Better make a double batch of the sauce because you'll want to drink it.
meme S. June 7, 2020
***** I have made this several times. A great recipe that the spice can be adjusted to your taste. Served it with crusty French bread as an appetizer, and as a main course with extra sauce over rice. The nice thing about this recipe it's versatile. Prepared it with swordfish fish au lieu of shrimps and it turned out just as great. Thank you for bringing back this delish Creole meal! SOOO Good!