BBQ Shrimp: Enjoy a New Orleans Staple Without the Guilt

One evening, while I was pregnant with Elia and living a thousand miles away from New Orleans, my husband and I were watching the Food Network. The cooking show was about Pascal’s Manale’s BBQ Shrimp! I had no idea how simple the dish was to create at the time. After attempting it just one time, we were hooked. It is especially simple to prepare for a family because there is almost no prep work, you may purchase shrimp with their heads off to save time and you can serve it over grits or polenta. The modifications by the nutritionist, essentially no margarine and less butter, were not missed and it is definitely now a more salubrious option for our family.

BBQ Shrimp (Original Recipe)

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 lbs. fresh Gulf shrimp with heads on, 20-25 count to the pound
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 stick margarine (Yea, I know, but margarine is actually used in Louisiana)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 newly-purchased 4-oz. can black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the shrimp and shake the excess water from them. Make one layer, overlapping, in a glass or metal baking dish. Sprinkle the garlic over all. Break the bay leaf in half and place it among the shrimp. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire. Cut the butter and margarine into pats and distribute them atop the shrimp. Sprinkle on the paprika. Then shake enough black pepper over the shrimp to cover them completely. Don’t miss any spots! Err on the side of too much pepper. (And you don’t have to use the whole can either.) Bake the shrimp in a preheated 375-degree oven for fifteen minutes. Open the oven and, with a spoon, redistribute the shrimp and check them for doneness. When the meat pulls away from the shells, they’re ready. But they will probably need five to 15 minutes more baking. This depends on the size and quality of the shrimp. To be avoided: soft, wrinkled shells. Serve the shrimp in soup plates with lots of the sauce and toasted French bread. Also plenty of napkins and perhaps bibs. Serves four to six.

If You’re Shopping at Langenstein’s…

Want to stay local? Langenstein’s carries shrimp from Louisiana that would be perfect for this BBQ Shrimp recipe!

Guilt Free BBQ Shrimp | New Orleans Moms Blog

A Touro Dietitian’s Perspective…

A New Orleans staple. The poor shrimp has a bad reputation for no proven reason. Shrimp is a lean protein and does not raise your cholesterol levels. The key is keeping it healthy during cooking. Barbecue shrimp would not be Barbecue shrimp without the butter, so don’t beat yourself up over using it. Let’s just use less of it. I would suggest for a serving of shrimp this size, use 1 stick of a salt free, real butter, and then add a small amount of low sodium chicken broth. This will save you 1,600 calories and 176 grams of fat. Pass on the margarine. Let the butter and seasonings flavor the shrimp, but don’t sop up the extra juice with bread. Also, consider adding fresh rosemary to naturally enhance the flavor. And I agree with Ana, serve with plenty napkins and bibs!

Healthy Makeover


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