Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp is cooked in olive oil with tons of garlic, dried chilies or Spanish smoked paprika, and brandy or sherry wine. It’s absolutely outstanding!
Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp, a.k.a. ‘Gambas al Ajillo,’ is a famous Spanish tapas dish, often served as a appetizer.
Tapas are small dishes that are usually served as a precursor to the main meal and which the table often shares. Other famous Spanish tapas include: Pan con Tomate (garlic bread with shredded tomatoes), Croquets, Spanish tortilla, and Patatas Bravas. Most of them are still on my to do list and will appear on this website some time in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, I highly recommend trying this Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp recipe if you want to impress your guests with these ‘Gambas al Ajillo.’
I previously made a similar dish of Grilled Shrimp based on Bobby Flay’s Spanish shrimp, which are first marinated, then grilled, and finally topped with garlic oil. This recipe is an amazing alternative, and works perfectly for summer BBQs.
The Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp that I present here is made on the stove and is ready in just a few minutes. The key here is to not overcook the shrimp; so they cook for about 2 minutes on each side. If you have your garlic and parsley chopped, all the cooking time will take no more than 7 minutes. It’s a perfect dish for when you’re entertaining people, because you don’t have to slave in a kitchen for very long. You can serve these Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp straight from the pan with some crusty bread or a baguette and everyone will be very pleased….I guarantee it.
In order to make this Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp you’ll need:
- Shrimp (I used 12 large ones);
- Lots of garlic cloves – which you will divide, then slice and chop some;
- A good quality olive oil;
- Dried chili, or Spanish smoked paprika (I used the latter, because I did not have any dried chilis and I really love the taste of Spanish smoked paprika);
- Either brandy or sherry cooking wine;
- Lots of chopped parsley; &
- Salt and pepper.
The steps to make this Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp are very easy:
- You will need to slice some garlic, and cook garlic chips in the olive oil;
- Chop the rest of the garlic;
- Chop the parsley;
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper;
- Cook the chopped garlic in the garlic infused olive oil with some Spanish smoked paprika;
- Add shrimp – cook them on both sides; &
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
That’s how easy this is. For a full printable recipe scroll down.
I recently made this dish for my husband for Father’s Day….it was amazing! As an encore, I made a perfect filet mignon with some blue cheese sauce. Add some vino, and my husband’s celebration was complete 🙂
Oh and by the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Tapas, check what Wikipedia says.
Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp - Gambas al Ajillo
- 12 shrimp large, peeled and cleaned
- 7 cloves garlic sliced and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika Spanish, hot
- 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
- 2 tbsp parsley Italian, chopped
- Salt & Pepper
In a cast iron skillet (or other heavy frying pan) heat up the olive oil;
Slice 3 cloves of garlic and add to oil. Cook for about 2 minutes until garlic is golden brown and crispy but not burned. Remove garlic with slotted spoon.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides;
Chop remaining garlic cloves and add them to the oil that garlic chips were cooked in;
Add smoked paprika to the pan and stir everything together;
Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side;
Add sherry cooking wine and cook for one minute;
Add parsley, garlic chips and serve immediately with crusty bread or baguette.
If you like this recipe you may also like these Spanish dishes: