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Baked Shrimp with Creole Sauce

A platter of baked shrimp with Creole sauce with bread slices on the side.
Baked shrimp can be prepared with the shell off, but I prefer to leave both the head and shell on to seal in the shrimp’s delicate flavor. It’s messy, yes, but worth it! I serve these shrimp with crusty bread or biscuits so I can sop up every drop of the sauce.
Deborah VanTrece

Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr 10 mins
Entree
Southern
6 servings
888 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium (2 oz) shallot minced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade Creole seasoning
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 3 pounds (18 to 20 count) jumbo shrimp, shell and heads-on*
  • Rice crusty bread, or biscuits, for serving (optional)

Directions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the olive oil, and add the shallot and minced garlic. Simmer until the shallot is translucent and the garlic turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, cayenne, paprika, and Creole seasoning. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Add the bay leaves and continue to simmer until dark and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes more.
  • Pile the shrimp in a 9 by 13-inch(23-by 33-cm) baking dish or roasting pan, pour the sauce over the shrimp, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the shrimp, stir, and bake until cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
  • Remove from the oven, discard the bay leaves, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving with rice, bread, or biscuits, if desired.

Notes

*Can I eat shrimp heads?

Good question—we've urged you to buy and cook head-on shrimp for the flavor. But then what? Removing the head from cooked shrimp is a messy job, so let's make it worth it. We should tell you that eating the entire head is only really advised if you've deep-fried the shrimp, making the shell softer. But in a recipe like this one, you can definitely go the extra step and suck out the innards of the head. If you've ever been to a crawfish boil, you know what we're talking about. Anthony Bourdain extolled the deliciousness of it and who are we to argue? Or save them and make the best seafood stock you've ever had.