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Camarones al Ajillo

Camarones al Ajillo

Camarones al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) is shrimp that’s cooked with a generous amount of garlic in olive oil. This is a super easy appetizer that comes together really quick; perfect for a tapas inspired cocktail party!

 

 

Oh, and don’t worry about all that garlic. It’s gently sautéed until softened so it loses a lot of its kick. The rest of the ingredients are simple: spices, parsley and lemon or lime juice, that’s it.

 

Serve camarones al ajillo with sliced bread for dipping in the amazing garlic sauce. Need more, easy appetizer recipes? Try this brie & roasted garlic or these steak tidbits on garlic toast. Enjoy!

 

To make this Camarones al Ajillo recipe you will need

1½ pound 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 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt, plus a pinch

Pinch Fresh Ground Black Pepper, or to taste

Pinch Crushed Red Pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

2 Lemon or Lime Wedges

1 Loaf Crusty Bread, sliced into rounds for serving

 

Prep work

Start with cleaning and peeling the shrimp, it’s the most time consuming part. I like to leave the tail on the shrimp. It’s nice for the presentation, plus it gives extra flavor to the dish. Season the shrimp with a ¼ teaspoon of salt and black pepper.

 

Next, peel the garlic cloves 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!

 

Finally, slice the bread into rounds. That’s it for the prep work!

 

Cook the shrimp

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet (a wok works well too) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the garlic.

 

Cook the garlic gently, stirring almost constantly for 2 minutes until it 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.

 

How to tell if the shrimp is 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.

 

Finish the Camarones al Ajillo

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 or 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 image of camarones al ajillo served in an orange, clay bowl.

 

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 served in an orange clay bowl with salami, cheese, olives, sliced bread and sangria served in the background.

Camarones al ajillo served in an orange clay bowl with salami, cheese and olives in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Camarones al Ajillo

Camarones al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) is shrimp that's cooked with a generous amount of garlic in olive oil. This is a super easy appetizer that comes together really quick; perfect for a tapas inspired cocktail party!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: garlic shrimp
Servings: 6
Calories: 480kcal

Ingredients

  • pound 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 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt plus a pinch
  • Pinch Fresh Ground Black Pepper or to taste
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 2 Lemon or Lime Wedges
  • 1 Loaf Crusty Bread for serving

Instructions

  • Clean and peel the shrimp, leave the tail on, if desired. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • When the shrimp is cooked through, remove the skillet from the heat, 
  • Add another pinch of salt and black pepper, crushed red pepper and parsley. Toss gently.
  • Squeeze 2 lemon or lime wedges over the shrimp and toss.
  • 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

Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1322mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 5mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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