Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Camarones al Ajillo

Camarones al Ajillo

Camarones al Ajillo or garlic shrimp is just that, shrimp and a generous amount of garlic cooked in olive oil. Don’t worry, about all that garlic though, it’s gently sautéed in olive oil so it loses a lot of its kick. The rest of the ingredients are simple: spices, parsley and lime, that’s it. Serve camarones al ajillo with sliced, bread for dipping in the amazing garlic sauce. This is a super easy-to-make appetizer that comes together really quick; perfect for a tapas inspired cocktail party! Need more, easy appetizer recipes? Try this brie & roasted garlic or these steak tidbits on garlic toast. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1½ lbs. Large or Extra Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6-8 Large Garlic Cloves, sliced ⅛ to ¼ inch

¼ tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt, plus a pinch

Pinch Fresh Ground Black Pepper, or to taste

Pinch Crushed Red Pepper, or to taste

1 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

2 Lemon or Lime Wedges

1 Loaf Crusty Bread, sliced into rounds for serving

 

Prep work

Clean and peel the shrimp. I like to leave the tail on. It’s nice for the presentation, plus it gives the shrimp extra flavor. Season the shrimp with a ¼ tsp. of salt and black pepper.

 

Peel the garlic and slice it as thin as you can, no larger than about a ⅛ to ¼ inch. If you use large garlic cloves, slicing them will be much easier – plus you get more garlic!

 

Slice the bread into rounds.

 

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet (or a wok works too) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the garlic. Cook gently, stirring almost constantly for 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and begins to turn a soft golden color. Take care to not burn the garlic; it will become bitter, and pretty much inedible.

 

Add the shrimp to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. When the shrimp starts sizzling, lower the heat to medium. Cook the shrimp, stirring and turning them frequently for approximately 5-6 minutes or until cooked through.

 

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the shrimp. When cooked through, the shrimp will no longer be translucent, will curl and will turn a nice, pink color. Look for these signs, as they will be a more accurate indication that the shrimp are done than the cooking time.

 

When the shrimp is cooked through, remove the skillet from the heat. Add another pinch of salt and black pepper, the crushed red pepper and parsley. Toss gently, then squeeze 2 lemon/lime wedges over the shrimp and toss again.

 

Arrange the shrimp on a plate or platter. Then pour the remaining oil and garlic over the shrimp. Serve with bread for dipping in that delicious garlic oil.

A close up of camarones al ajillo served in a red clay dish

 

Cook’s Notes

I know that shrimp can be pricey, a splurge for most of us. So, keep your eyes peeled for sales on frozen shrimp. To defrost: place the shrimp in a large colander and defrost them under running cold water while peeling them. I place the peeled shrimp on a large plate or pan that’s lined with a paper towel, and then pat them dry with another.

 

Putting together a spread like this is super easy. Here we serve the garlic shrimp and bread, then we add Manchego cheese, herb crusted salami, green olives and sangria. The only cooking involved was the shrimp. Everything else was ready to go from the supermarket. Just arrange everything on pretty serving plates and you’ll have a company-ready appetizer in no time.

Camarones al Ajillo with Other Tapas

 

Camarones al Ajillo
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Camarones al Ajillo or garlic shrimp is just that, shrimp and a generous amount of garlic that's gently sauteed in olive oil.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: garlic shrimp
Servings: 6
Calories: 480 kcal
Ingredients
  • lbs. Extra Large or Large Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6-8 Large Garlic Cloves sliced ⅛ to ¼ inch
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt plus a pinch
  • Pinch Fresh Ground Black Pepper or to taste
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 2 Lemon or Lime Wedges
  • 1 Loaf Crusty Bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Clean and peel the shrimp, leave the tail on, if desired. Season with ¼ tsp. of salt and black pepper.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic. Cook gently, stirring almost constantly for 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and begins to turn a soft golden color.

  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. When the shrimp starts sizzling, lower the heat to medium.

  4. Cook the shrimp, stirring and turning them frequently for approximately 5-6 minutes or until cooked through.

  5. The cooking time will vary some depending on the size of the shrimp. When cooked through, the shrimp will no longer be translucent, will curl and will turn a nice, pink color. Look for these signs, as they will be a more accurate indication that the shrimp are done than the cooking time.
  6. When the shrimp is cooked through, remove the skillet from the heat, 

  7. Add another pinch of salt and black pepper, crushed red pepper and parsley. Toss gently.

  8. Squeeze 2 lemon/lime wedges over the shrimp and toss.

  9. Arrange the shrimp on a plate or platter. Then pour the remaining oil and garlic over the shrimp. Serve with bread for dipping in that delicious garlic oil.

Nutrition Facts
Camarones al Ajillo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 480 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 285mg 95%
Sodium 1305mg 54%
Potassium 251mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 31g 62%
Vitamin A 4.1%
Vitamin C 33.9%
Calcium 21.2%
Iron 29.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Camarones al Ajillo or Garlic Shrimp is just that, shrimp and a generous amount of garlic. Don’t worry, about all that garlic though, it’s gently sautéed in olive oil so it loses a lot of its kick. The rest of the ingredients are simple, spices, parsley and lemon, that’s it. #camaronesalajillo #garlicshrimp

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