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For Meatless Friday, Karen Ullo shares a recipe for a Louisiana favorite you can make at home. Download our printable recipe card!

What’s a Po-Boy, you may ask? Like most delicious foods, it originated in Louisiana. It’s actually just a sandwich made on a French bread-style loaf, which other parts of the country might call a submarine or a grinder. The name Po-Boy originated in 1929 when Martin Brothers’ French Market and Coffee Stand in New Orleans started giving away free sandwiches to striking streetcar workers. When a striking man came in, they’d shout, “Here comes another poor boy,” which eventually got shortened to Po-Boy. They gave away so many, the Martin Brothers had to revamp their bread supply to keep up, which resulted in the traditional Po-Boy loaf. But you can just use ordinary French bread from the supermarket and come pretty close. 

Blackened shrimp is another Louisiana delicacy for which I first shared the recipe with Catholic Mom readers years ago, but I always love finding ways to repurpose and reincorporate existing recipes in new ways. 


Blackened Shrimp Po-Boys

Blackened Shrimp: 

2 lbs. fresh or completely thawed shrimp, peeled and deveined 
4 tbs. melted butter 

Spice mixture: 

2 tbs. paprika 
1 tsp. salt (depending on taste) 
1 tsp. (or more) freshly grated lemon zest 
¼ tsp. garlic powder 
½ tsp. ground black pepper 
1 ½ tsp. dried basil 
1 tsp. dried thyme 
¼ tsp. ground red (cayenne) pepper 

Stir together all ingredients for the spice mixture in a small bowl. 

Heat a heavy cast iron or aluminum skillet over high heat. 

Place the shrimp in a large Ziploc bag and pour the melted butter over them, then mix to coat. Add the spice mixture to the bag and use your hand to stir and coat them all.  

Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook over high heat about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are pink all the way through.


Sandwich components: 

Soft French bread cut to 8-12 inch pieces, one per person. Slice lengthwise but not all the way through to create a pocket for the fillings. 

Shredded lettuce 

Sliced tomato 

Pickles, if desired 

Traditional Po-Boys are usually dressed with mayonnaise, but I happen not to like mayonnaise, so I use Italian or balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead. You can also use ketchup, mustard, or whatever condiments you like best. 


Download printable recipe

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Copyright 2024 Karen Ullo
Images: copyright 2024 Karen Ullo, all rights reserved.