Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas make for a quick appetizer, great for accompanying wines and cerveza.
Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

This is a very simple appetizer which is very tasty and perfect for when you want something quick. Serve the shrimp on the toasts, open-face, or alternatively, you can serve them with a fork and dip the toasts into the delicious pan juices.

Tapas originally were made to keep fruit flies out of the drinks served in various drinking establishments in Spain and Andalusia. At first just a simple piece of bread to keep the unwanted guests out, they later expanded to become open faced sandwiches often topped with shrimp, squid or sardines.

In modern times we can enjoy this old tradition without worrying if our bread covers our drink. And with no worries, we are free to munch on them as bar snacks. So next time you serve wine or beer to your guests, consider making gambas al ajillo, which takes only a few minutes to make, and makes a great first course for any meal.


Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime


Gambas al Ajillo

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

  • 8 ounces large shrimp,. peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 8 slices fresh baguette or French bread, lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled or toasted


  1. Prep/clean shrimp and toasts; keep toasts warm.
  2. Heat olive oil in an 8-inch skillet and add garlic; cook until garlic browns lightly.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the butter, wine, lemon juice and pepper flakes.
  4. Cook liquid over low heat until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in paprika then add shrimp, toss shrimp in butter mixture.
  6. Cook shrimp over moderate heat for 3-5 minutes or until curled and cooked through.
  7. Garnish with parsley.

Gambas al Ajillo ~ Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

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4 responses

  1. Perfect combination of flavours and beautiful photos! I’m sold 🙂
    Happy Easter to you. Visiting from Foodie Friday. Very glad to have found your beautiful blog.

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