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Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Rated as 4.66 out of 5 Stars

"Every Spanish restaurant serves this dish of shrimp cloaked in garlic-infused olive oil with smoky hints of paprika and a touch of sweetness from sherry. Make sure you have all your ingredients together before you head to the stove since, start to finish, this cooks in mere minutes. It's great for a tapas party, since you can prep everything ahead of time. Just spoon the shrimp and sauce over toasted bread and sprinkle more cayenne and parsley on top to enjoy."
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20 m servings 227
Original recipe yields 4 servings (1 pound of shrimp)


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  1. Slice garlic thinly. Season shrimp with kosher salt and paprika. Mix to coat.
  2. Heat garlic and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until garlic starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and increase heat to high. Toss and turn shrimp with tongs until starting to curl but still undercooked, about 2 minutes. Pour in sherry. Cook, stirring continuously, until sauce comes up to a boil and shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley with a spoon.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • Unless you live in a few choice locations, it's rare to find true fresh shrimp at the market. All they do is thaw some frozen, and put it in the case, where it sits until you buy it, which is why it really makes a lot more sense to purchase frozen. To thaw, run cold water into the bowl of frozen shrimp and let it sit for about 10 minutes before draining. Repeat once more.
  • Feel free to substitute sherry with white wine plus a pinch of sugar.
  • This video shows how to properly devein shrimp.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 227 calories; 15.1 2.5 18.8 173 344 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 18
  1. 29 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Awesome and simple.

Most helpful critical review

I didn’t care for it. I followed the directions exactly but it turned out pretty flavorless.

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

Awesome and simple.

This was excellent. Take the time to thinly slice the garlic instead of dice it as it makes a difference (especially if you soak up the sauce with a nice crusty bread, which you definitely shou...

I did make this and it was easy and yummy.

Good shrimp dish. Like most shrimp recipes, this one was quick to make. Kind of reminded me of shrimp scampi.. I can't have any alcohol in my food so for sherry I substituted 1 tablespoon apple ...

Added some pine apple to give it a little sweetness...served over quinoa.

I didn’t care for it. I followed the directions exactly but it turned out pretty flavorless.


Very easy and very tasty. As noted in other reviews, make sure you thinly slice the garlic (not chopped or minced). I skipped the paprika (my wife is allergic), but I'm sure it would have really...

This was super bland. I even added chili powder and extra paprika and sherry. Boring!