Gambas al Ajillo – Garlic Shrimp

Gambas al Ajillo – quick, easy, tasty

Gambas al Ajillo is one of the most popular Tapas dishes in Spain and here in California. It is so easy to make, in less than 15 minutes. Serve to your guests and they will be delighted. There are easy wine choices for this wonderful Tapas dish.


  • One pound of shrimp – we use raw frozen shrimp from TJ’s or Costco
  • 4 garlic cloves – thinly sliced
  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup or so
  • One teaspoon of Smoked Paprika – use Spanish smoked Paprika if possible
  • Sour dough toasted bread
  • Two TBS of dry Spanish Sherry*
  • One to two TBS of chopped fresh parsley from your herb garden
Gambas al ajillo or shrimp with garlic
Trader Joe’s raw shrimp is ideal for Gambas al Ajillo

The clay bowl in the photo is called a Cazuela. You can buy them at the Spanish Table stores in the Bay Area. Many places have them online. Cazuelas come in all sizes. The Cazuela in the photo is 5 3/4 inches. The clay dish keeps food hot. You can put them on the stove and use them for cooking. We have the small ones for serving Tapas and the larger ones for cooking Paella and other Spanish dishes.

How to make Gambas al Ajillo

My recipe for Gambas al Ajillo comes from Chef John and his Food Wishes Website. The instructions and video make it easy to follow. I love the taste of the smoked Paprika on the shrimp and bread. Again, the Spanish Table carries several levels of smoked paprika.

Serious Eats also has a good recipe for Gambas al Ajillo

We have traveled extensively in Spain. Gambas al Ajillo, along with Pimentos de Pradon and Patas Bravas, are some of our favorites. Do you have a favorite Tapas dish or Tapas restaurant to recommend?

Wines to serve with this Tapas dish

*You can buy Spanish Sherry at any good wine shop. The Spanish Table has them in convenient half-bottle sizes. Make sure it is dry Sherry.