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Butter Grilled Shrimp Roll

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min


  • 4 Hot Dog Buns, Preferably Top-Split.
  • 1 ¼ lb Raw Shrimp, Fresh or Frozen, Deveined
  • ⅓ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 Scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper (Optional)
  • Cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Melted Butter



Note: For gluten-free use a gluten-free bun or serve on a bed of coleslaw.

How to Perfectly Cook Shrimp Every Time:

  1. Put the shrimp in a sauce pot and add cold water until the shrimp are covered. Add any seasonings you like such as lemon juice, peppercorns, coriander, fennel, etc, or leave the water unflavored. Do not add salt.
  2. Turn the burner on to high heat and leave the pot uncovered. Right before the water comes to a boil, the shrimp should be a brilliant pink and will be perfectly cooked. Drain and plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  3. Peel the shrimp and remove the tails. For the tenderest shrimp, split them in half lengthwise and then cut them into a small dice.

To Make the Shrimp Rolls:

  1. Thinly slice the three scallions, reserve some of the green parts for garnish and add the rest to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Finely mince the jalapeno, remove the ribs and seeds if you like it less spicy and if you really don’t like spice, only use a little jalapeno.
  3. Combine the shrimp, scallions, and jalapeno. Add half your mayonnaise and mix in, adding more until your desired consistency is reached. Add cayenne, taste and adjust as needed. Keep chilled till ready to serve.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  5. With a serrated knife, shave off a little of the bun sides so you have more surface for browning.
  6. When the skillet is hot, but not smoking, brush one side of your buns with melted butter and place it butter-side down on the hot skillet. Brush the other side and flip when they are golden brown, about 1 minute.
  7. Fill the rolls with the shrimp mixture and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Savannah Says...

  1. Are shrimp/lobster rolls always made with mayonnaise?

    1. Only if you want to be OG...
      Nope! Maine style rolls are made with mayonnaise and sometimes topped with chives or scallions. Connecticut style rolls are hot lobster or shrimp meat that gets melted butter poured over it right before serving.
  2. What else is good with a lobster/shrimp roll?

    1. The possibilities are endless...
      The locals often add coleslaw to their rolls and sometimes a sprinkle of celery salt. You can also flavor your mayo by blending in wasabi, chipotle in adobo, or even a curry powder!
  3. I still don’t know how to tell if the shrimp are done.

    1. Break out the stop watch...
      Use a timer and bring a cold pot of water to a boil. If it takes 10 minutes, you can assume that at 9 minutes, if your shrimp are bright pink, that they are done.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

Lawd, this shrimp roll is one of my new favorite things. In this recipe, I bring you the secret to perfectly cooking your shrimp every time, whether it be fresh or frozen, and a delicious, cheaper, and much lower maintenance alternative to the coveted lobster roll.

Here’s the deal… A lot of you asked about how to cook lobster. But so many of you only have access to lobster tails, which are overpriced and the worst part of the lobster, or you could buy a tiny, 1lb, live lobster from the store which won’t even yield enough meat for 1 roll and most of that would be tail meat. No, my friends… Let me bring to you instead the magic of the shrimp roll. This is so simple, if you can make a tuna salad sandwich, you can make a shrimp roll.

I was first introduced to the shrimp roll in New Orleans at Peche Seafood Grill. A James Beard award-winning restaurant and one of my favorite places to eat in the Big Easy.

The shrimp roll I had in New Orleans was AMAZING. The shrimp was tender, the roll was buttery and soft, and there was a mild heat to the mixture that made it absolutely amazing. It was worlds away from a rubbery, overcooked piece of boring shrimp stuffed in a bun.

Overcooking the shrimp is the thing to avoid here. People worry that it will be underdone and so, much like chicken, they cook the poor thing to death and the ending result is much the same as chewing on a seafood-flavored piece of rubber.

A chef I know, that used to run a seafood restaurant on Nantucket Island, showed me this trick. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp, you just pop them into a pot and cover them in cold water. Bring that pot up to a boil, and right before it begins boiling, your shrimp will be a brilliant pink and cooked to perfection. It’s the perfect thing, everyone knows roughly how long it takes to boil water on their stove. If the shrimp are pink and the water is close to boiling, they are done. Now, if you’re trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry you can absolutely buy pre-cooked shrimp and it will still be amazing. Especially with my method below for how to cut the shrimp to make it extra tender. But the real secret here is toasting the outside of your roll with butter, adding a little jalapeno and cayenne to the mayonnaise mixture, and eating the whole thing in about two seconds because it’s so, darn good.

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