Shrimp with Orange Beurre Blanc

LentLow CarbBeurre BlancShrimp

Gulf shrimp sauteed in olive oil and served with an orange beurre blanc sauce, a buttery sauce with orange zest, white wine and shallots.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

At a recent cooking class at Scott’s Seafood (Folsom, CA), Chef David Lamonica set us to work preparing shrimp with orange beurre blanc (a French butter and shallot sauce).

Chef David says the best shrimp to get are fresh, Gulf of Mexico White shrimp, still in the shell. Gulf white shrimp are firm and sweet.

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For this particular dish I used Gulf of Mexico Pink shrimp, which are pink even when they are not yet cooked. The are also sweet, but a little more delicate than the Gulf white. If you are processing a lot of shrimp, the shells can be saved and used to make bisque or stock.

When choosing shrimp, they should be firm and smell sweet. If you see any yellowing at all, pass on them.

Shrimp with Orange Beurre Blanc Recipe


Shrimp Ingredients

  • Fresh Gulf of Mexico shrimp - 6 per person, or about 1/4 pound per person
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Sauce ingredients (Sauce also posted here. Makes 1 cup, enough for 4-6 servings. Divide or multiply to needs.)

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks, 225 g) cold, unsalted butter
  • Salt and white pepper


Peel and de-vein the shrimp. Work with the shrimp one at a time, leaving the rest in a bowl of ice water. Holding on to the body of the shrimp, use your fingers to pull off head if it is still attached, and then the legs.

Starting with the head end, gently peel back the shell. Use your fingernails or a knife to cut into the base shell segment.

Remove the shrimp from its shell entirely. Place shrimp down flat on a cutting board and use a small sharp knife to make a shallow cut down the back of the shrimp.

You may see a dark, vein-like intestinal tract running through the meat. Use your fingers, or the sharp tip of a knife to remove. As you complete each shrimp, put into a bowl of ice water to keep cool. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

2 Make orange syrup: Zest half of one orange (about 2 teaspoons) and juice the two oranges (about 3/4 cup). Put the juice, zest, wine and shallots in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Cook until it is syrupy and almost gone.

3 Whisk in the butter: On low heat, whisk in the butter continuously and vigorously, 1 tablespoon at a time. Butter is the only emulsifier for this sauce, and if you slowly add it, continuously stirring, the sauce will achieve a silky smooth texture. Do not let the sauce boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while you continue with the shrimp.

4 Sauté the shrimp: Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Drain the shrimp and coat with olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

Cook the shrimp about 45 seconds on each side. Add some more olive oil if necessary to keep the shrimp from sticking to the pan. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be tough and rubbery.

5 Drizzle with sauce: Drizzle Beurre Blanc sauce over shrimp, or serve in a separate small container for dipping.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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8 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Cecile

    Hi, can I make the base of the sauce two days ahead, and add the butter the day I serve it?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. aini

    What to do if i want to omit the liquor? Thanks in advance

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Jim

    Made this last night. Wife and I loved it, nice subtle orange flavor. Had roasted asparagus on the side, and the sauce was great with that. Only changes I made to the was I used champagne for the wine, a splash of white wine vinegar, and strained it. Can’t wait to try it with scallops. Thanks Elise!!


  4. Odette G

    Made this last night…Awesome! The only thing I did different was add a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Fresh oranges right off my tree and fresh shrimp from the gulf…yummie! Low carb too…what’s not to love.


  5. Amber

    Made this tonight and my usually picky fiance devoured it and asked for more. The sauce has just a hint of sweetness and it’s just perfect with Key West pink shrimp. I served it with butter braised carrots (Mark Bittman’s recipe) and white rice.


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