Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Shrimp Moves a Classic Dish To the Grill

In this Creole grilled shrimp recipe, Al Roker gives a dish traditionally done in a skillet on the stovetop a summertime spin by marinating shell-on shrimp in the rich, buttery sauce before placing it directly on the grill.

Related: More Recipes From Al Roker, Plus His Tips for a Perfect Steak

Al Roker's Best Grilled Shrimp Recipe


  • 5 Tbsp chili powder, divided

  • 5 tsp salt, divided

  • 4 lb fresh or frozen shell-on jumbo shrimp (21–25 count per lb, thawed if frozen)

  • 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 5 Tbsp light brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • Several dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  1. Combine 3 Tbsp chili powder and 1 Tbsp salt in a small bowl. Rub shrimp with chili mixture, making sure to rub some into open cut where shrimp have been deveined (if applicable). Place shrimp in a shallow, nonreactive pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing sauce.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high, melt butter. Add onions and garlic; cook 3–5 minutes, until soft, but not browned. Stir in ketchup, oil, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, juice, oregano, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, lemon, remaining 2 Tbsp chili powder and remaining 2 tsp salt. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, 15–20 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce. Cool to room temperature. Discard lemon slices and bay leaves. Pour 1½ cups sauce over shrimp; toss well to coat. Cover; refrigerate shrimp 1–2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

  3. Preheat grill for direct grilling over high.

  4. While grill preheats, reheat reserved sauce in a small, covered saucepan over very low heat (watch carefully so it doesn't burn). Keep warm.

  5. Remove shrimp from pan; discard marinade. Grill shrimp 3–4 minutes per side or until shells are orange-pink. To test for doneness, take a shrimp off grill, remove shell and cut shrimp in half; flesh should be opaque and firm throughout. Serve with warm sauce for dipping and a large bowl for shells.