Skip to content

Barbecue Shrimp for Mardi Gras

February 17, 2010

Pascal’s Manale in New Orleans claims to be the “Home of the Original Barbecue Shrimp”. Barbecue Shrimp New Orleans-style doesn’t involve a grill. It’s basically shrimp, spices, and butter—lots of butter—quickly cooked in a pan. You’ll find Barbecue Shrimp on the menu in a lot of restaurants in New Orleans, but we always enjoy going to Pascal’s Manale when we’re in town.

I decided to make Barbecue Shrimp for our Mardi Gras dinner last night. I like the version in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, although I use less cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes than he recommends. His recipe serves 2. If you want to make more, he suggests making separate batches because the shrimp need room in the pan.

You really should use shrimp with their shells. Yes, it’s messy to eat, but the shells add a lot of flavor. Unfortunately, I found I came home with shrimp that had already been shelled. They were still very good.

I serve Barbecue Shrimp in shallow bowls. You can serve them with a small mound of white rice in the bowl, or with French bread to soak up the delicious buttery sauce. I chose to use the French Batard made by Metropolitan Market’s bakery. It’s a light French bread similar to the breads found in New Orleans. It was perfect!

Don’t skimp on the butter. It’s what makes this dish special. Mardi Gras only comes once a year. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Barbecue Shrimp

(printable recipe)

(Adapted from a recipe in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen)

Serves 2


Seasoning mix:

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, minced

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano leaves


2 dozen shrimp with their shells (about 1 pound) (If you have shelled shrimp make this anyway. It will still be delicious!)

¼ pound (1 stick) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup shrimp stock (or chicken broth)

¼ cup beer at room temperature


Rinse and clean the shrimp.

In a small bowl, combine the seasoning mix ingredients.

In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of butter with the seasoning mix, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

When the butter is melted, add the shrimp and cooking, shaking the pan or gently stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the 5 tablespoons butter and the stock and cook, shaking and/or stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the beer and shake and cook for 1 more minute.

Serve in shallow soup bowls with plenty of French bread.

(The first daffodil of spring bloomed today!)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    February 17, 2010 7:00 am

    Um, that looks GOOD!

  2. Bee permalink
    April 28, 2010 8:53 pm

    It’s Mardi Gras. No S after Mardi.

  3. Stacy permalink
    June 30, 2010 3:28 pm

    I’m eating this right now! It was a little spicy for the kids but the bread in the broth is by far the best part. so yummy and so easy

    • June 30, 2010 4:27 pm

      Stacy, I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying it! Paul Prudhomme likes it spicy; the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. That’s a bit much for me so I cut those two ingredients in half. You could cut them down even more if you want.

      Yes! Dunking good bread in the broth is wonderful! 8)

  4. Anna W. permalink
    March 16, 2016 3:34 pm

    I love love love this recipe. I accidentally deleted my Pinterest board that had it, took a bit of searching but I’m so happy I found it again!

    • March 16, 2016 3:38 pm

      Oh, Anna, I’m glad you found it again, too. It’s really a favorite around here. 🙂


  1. Garlic Recipes to Ward off Vampires | Yummly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: