Growing up in a Cuban family, I feel like there weren’t enough shrimp recipes.
This is why today I’m bringing you a quick shrimp recipe.
What is Camarones al Ajillo?
Camarones al Ajillo [pronounced kah-mah-rohn-es ahl ah-hee-yoh] is a Spanish garlic shrimp dinner recipe made with copious amounts of mashed garlic in olive oil.
There are several variations of this dish in Latin America. For example, in Spain, the shrimp are called gambas and the prawns are cooked in hot garlic-paprika oil. In Mexico, the dish calls for garlic and guajillo chili peppers. In Peru, dried forms of aji amarillo are used.
This recipe for camarones al ajillo is made with oil instead of butter, no lemon, and no coriander. It’s also not spicy.
When I went to Barcelona a few years ago, I tried camarones al ajillo for the first time and I fell in love. I just had to recreate it for you guys!
So, without further ado, here’s how I brought this recipe to life.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Large shrimp. I like to buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. That way all I have to do is wash them. I typically leave the tails on for extra flavor and pick them up easier but you can remove them before cooking if you’d like. It’s up to you!
- Olive oil. You can use butter instead but I love me some good quality olive oil.
- Cooking wine. I use a Spanish cooking wine however you use what you have on hand. You can also use a dry white wine.
- Finely chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
- Raw garlic. I typically mash 6-8 large cloves of garlic into a paste. If you’re a garlic lover, feel free to add more if you’d like. It’s a garlic shrimp recipe after all and it should live up to its name!
PRO TIP: Making garlic paste is easy! You can use this mortar and pestle to make the paste or you can make it with a knife.
- Prep the shrimp. Wash the shrimp. If they are not peeled or deveined, be sure to take care of that before starting the dish. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Start the ajillo sauce. In a deep skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. Add dry white wine and cook for another minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
- Cook the shrimp. Reduce to low heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Add parsley and remaining olive oil. Toss everything together and cook for 1 more minute. The shrimp should be pink and curled. That’s how you know it is cooked! Serve immediately. Enjoy!
When you’re done making this recipe, make one of my 30-minute dinner recipes!
- Don’t burn the garlic. Be careful not to overheat the oil, you will end up burning the garlic and it will give the dish a very bitter taste. No bueno.
- Use frozen shrimp in a pinch. You can use frozen shrimp in this recipe! Just defrost them under running water while peeling and deveining them, and pat them dry before cooking.
- Like it spicy? Feel free to add a teaspoon (more or less) of red pepper flakes for some added heat!
This will definitely be one of those shrimp recipes you won’t get enough of.
Can’t wait for you to add it to your weekly dinner rotations!
15 Minute Camarones al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp Recipe)
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8-10 cloves garlic mashed into a paste
- 1/4 cup dry cooking wine (vino seco)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley plus more for garnish, if desired
- Wash the shrimp. If they are not peeled or deveined, be sure to take care of that before starting the dish. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a deep skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. Add dry white wine and cook for another minute. Careful not to burn the garlic!
- Reduce to low heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Add parsley and remaining olive oil. Toss everything together and cook for 1 more minute.
- The shrimp should be pink and curled. That's how you know it is cooked! Serve immediately. Enjoy!