A deliciously saucy and fragrant Cuban-style shrimp creole recipe (Camarones Enchilados) served over white rice. A simple 30-minute meal!
In 1975, my mom bought a Cuban paperback cookbook. She had only been living in Miami for less than 5 years and didn’t even have a car! She had walked to a nearby pharmacy and picked up this little gem.
This cookbook had a BUNCH of recipes from her childhood and our Cuban heritage. We’re talking vintage here. This book is now in SHREDS. I now have the cookbook taped up in my kitchen! Here’s a photo of what it looks like today.
Every year for Easter Sunday, while other families are making ham and deviled eggs, my mom makes camarones enchilados. She makes this shrimp recipe every year with white rice. It has become an annual tradition!
Camarones enchilados is loosely translated to spicy shrimp however this recipe is not spicy in spite of its “spicy appearance”. There are several variations of camarones enchilados and different names for it too – deviled shrimp, shrimp creole, camarones a la diabla.
Bottom line: This is my Cuban mom’s shrimp creole recipe and I know it will become your favorite shrimp recipe!
How To Make Camarones Enchilados
The best way I can describe this recipe is “a saucy shrimp creole recipe made Cuban-style”. I slightly adapted it from my mom’s 1975 Cuban cookbook.
Here’s how to recreate it!
- Make the sofrito. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, green peppers and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Simmer the fragrant sauce. Stir in tomato sauce, wine (or stock), vinegar, pimientos, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Finish off with the shrimp. Always add the shrimp at the very end so you don’t overcook them (no one wants chewy shrimp). Add shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are fully cooked. Serve over rice or with veggies. Enjoy!
Personally, I think it’s best served over white rice. The rice soaks up the sauce and it’s just OH SO GOOD.
While my mom has made this an annual Easter tradition, you can still make this a weeknight meal! It doesn’t take long to make (less than 30 minutes!) and it’s also perfect for large crowds.
Can’t get any better than that!
Cuban Shrimp Creole Recipe (Camarones Enchilados)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions (or 1 small onion, finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 12 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup dry cooking wine or vino seco (sub for vegetable stock)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup sliced jarred red pimientos
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pounds large shrimp peeled and deveined (tails off, optional)
- In a dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, green peppers and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce, wine (or stock), vinegar, pimientos, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are fully cooked. Serve over rice or with veggies. Enjoy!