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Gambas Al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 5 reviews
  • Prep Time: 4 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This authentic gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp) recipe is quick and easy to make in just 10 minute and tastes irresistibly delicious.


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp (tails on or off)
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried red chili pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (or any dry white wine)
  • optional: thick lemon wedge and chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Season the shrimp on both sides with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  (I use about 1 teaspoon salt and about 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.)  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering.
  3. Add garlic and chili pepper and sauté for 30-60 seconds, or until the garlic starts to turn lightly golden.
  4. Add in the shrimp and sauté, stirring and flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.  (Try to avoid overcooking the shrimp, since they will continue to sit in the hot oil for awhile longer.)
  5. Remove pan from the heat.  Add in the sherry, a squeeze of lemon juice (if using) and your desired amount of parsley (if using), and toss to combine.  Taste and season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Serve immediately with crusty bread, for dipping.