Risotto with New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Risotto with New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

This will impress people.


  • Yellow onion

  • Largest head-on shrimp you can find (Royal Reds are great here)

  • Flat-leaf parsley

  • Olive oil

  • Garlic, minced

  • Tomato paste

  • Dry white wine, separated

  • Water

  • Salt

  • Risotto rice

  • Tomato passata (or puree)

  • Lemon wedges

  • Butter

  • More garlic, minced

  • Bay leaves

  • Creole seasoning (mix any or all of paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, cayenne powder, etc)

  • Salt

  • Lemon juice

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • French bread


  • Prep
  • Rough chop half the onion, finely dice the other half
  • Deshell and devein the shrimp, retaining the heads and shells for the stock
  • Separate parsley leaves from the stems, finely chop the leaves
  • Shrimp Stock
  • Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot, then add shrimp heads and shells. Cook until shells are deeply colored and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add rough chopped onions and garlic, cook until translucent. Add parsley stems and tomato paste, cook until caramelized, about 1 minute.
  • Deglaze with wine, then add water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then strain out solids, reserving stock in a separate bowl.
  • Risotto
  • Clean out the dutch oven or stock pot, and cook the finely chopped onion in olive oil with salt until translucent but not brown. Increase heat, add rice, and stir to toast until fragrant and the edges are translucent.
  • Add wine, cook until reduced, then add tomato paste with 1/2 cup of shrimp stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until mostly absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat the small additions of stock until rice is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Then add stock until desired consistency. Rice flows when you stir it.
  • Remove from heat, stir in chopped parsley leaves, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
  • BBQ Shrimp
  • Melt a lot of butter in a skillet. Add garlic, bay leaves, a generous amount of creole seasoning mix, salt, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on medium low for about 5 minutes, do not let the garlic brown.
  • Add shrimp, cook on medium heat until halfway done. Cover, remove from heat, and allow to finish cooking while you work on the risotto.
  • Serve with french bread.


  • Work simultaneously on the shrimp and risotto, then let the shrimp cook mostly hands-off while finishing the risotto.
  • This dish has a huge flavor payoff for not that much time in the kitchen. It tastes like it took all day to make, but only takes about an hour and a half. The key to a good execution is quality shrimp, prep work, and proper planning to get everything out at the same time.

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