Creamy Barbecue Shrimp Recipe

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The Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe is life-changing! These shrimp are creamy, savory, and a little spicy. Perfect for any occasion!

This Big Easy favorite recipe is shrimp smothered in a creamy, buttery, and rich sauce. I kicked up the traditional NOLA barbecue shrimp by adding heavy cream to the rich buttery sauce.

Another quick meal if you like shrimp is this Shrimp Pad Thai.

On a side note… is it barbecue? barbeque? bar-b-q? or BBQ? 😲 And, WHY are there so many variations of the same word? (The English language drives me nuts!! …American English, well, and then there’s Southern English… 🤦🏼‍♀️

Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe

What is New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp?

Well, it’s not barbecue in the traditional way. And, it’s also not cooked on a grill. Perplexed? I was too.

New Orleans style barbecue shrimp aren’t cooked on the grill and they don’t have bbq sauce on them. Instead, they’re cooked on the stovetop in butter and seasonings. Originally, the spices turned the sauce a deep redish color and resembled barbecue sauce so that’s how it got the name Barbecue Shrimp.

You’ll find barbecue shrimp on a lot of restaurant menus in New Orleans. I’ve never had barbecue shrimp in a restaurant that was made with shelled shrimp. They all have been in-shell but they would be so much easier to eat shelled. As well, some restaurants serve them with the head on and some with the head off.

Furthermore, it can be an appetizer and an entree. Regardless of how you serve it, offer ample crusty French bread to soak up the wonderful buttery.

Barbecue Shrimp in a white bowl.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • First, shrimp cooks fast.
  • You can alter the recipe easily for a few or a crowd.
  • This recipe is great as an appetizer or entrée.
  • Finally, Barbecue Shrimp can be elegant or down-home simple.
Shrimp in sauce

Barbecue Shrimp Ingredietns

The full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions is at the bottom of this post in the recipe card.

  • Shrimp, large to jumbo size
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Heavy cream
Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe

Creamy Barbecue Shrimp

Traditional BBQ Shrimp doesn’t have heavy cream. It’s totally delish and basically the only difference for ‘creamy bbq shrimp’ is the addition of cream. Prepare it both ways and see which style you prefer.

Oftentimes, I serve this as an appetizer. However, it’s great over pasta or grits as an entrée. We love New Orlean’s food including New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Pasta, Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich, Shrimp Crawfish and Scallop Jambalaya, and Shrimp Pasta in Spicy New Orleans Tomato Sauce.

I updated this post from an earlier version dated April 24, 2013. I made new photos and simplified the recipe instructions.

Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe
Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe

Creamy Barbeque Shrimp

Creamy Barbecue Shrimp recipe is life-changing! These shrimp are creamy, savory, and a little spicy. Perfect for any occasion!
Author: Paula
5 from 33 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 3-4 pounds jumbo shrimp shells on, you can do head-on if you want
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 8 large lemons juiced, reserve 6 to 8 lemon halves
  • ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cracked back pepper
  • ½ cup butter cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • Place shrimp in a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Add olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and hot sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place butter over shrimp. Smash garlic cloves and add to the pan. Add 6 to 8 juiced lemon halves to the pan. Heat broiler to high.
  • Place rack 6 inches from heat. Broil shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally for even cooking. Remove the pan from the oven.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the dish and place it in a shallow bowl. Carefully strain drippings into a 2-quart saucepan. (discard lemon rinds and garlic) Heat sauce on medium heat. Add cream and whisk. When the sauce is hot, pour over the shrimp.
  • Serve with crusty French bread.


Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 500mg | Sodium: 3632mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 848IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 6mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Love, love shrimp, Paula! Pinned as I am always looking for new ways to prepare them 🙂 Thank you for sharing at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party !

  2. Pingback: Best Of The Weekend {Fabulous Features - Week 1} - A Little Claireification
    1. Thank you, I forgot to put the crusty French bread in the pic, but it’s a major component in the dish to eat that yummy sauce

  3. That looks so amazing…I am making it for dinner next week! Do you mind if I link to your post when I write my menu plan up for the week?

      1. Awesome! Looking forward to it. I must be on a shrimp thing this week because I just thought of another shrimp recipe I want to try. Must be the weather!

        You know I’m new at WordPress and I wasn’t sure my reply was sent to you in email. I’m assuming it was since you answered! Good to know! Take care ~ Paula

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