Gambas Al Ajillo (à la Dan) – Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp)

Last night’s dinner was a follow-on from Madrid.  When telling Dan all about my trip, I realised that I hadn’t eaten Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) once on the whole trip, so to rectify it we decided to make it at home, and Dan offered to cook it .  Other than his burgers (and anything you can make with eggs) it’s the one dish that he makes really well and really likes to cook.Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb

So Dan got on with making the prawns while I made a salad to go with them.  To start with he chopped the chillis into small pieces, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves and crushed the other 3.  Warming the oil on a medium heat on the hob, he added the chopped chillis, the chopped and crushed garlic cloves and sautéed for a while until they started to colour.  Once the garlic and chillis have softened slightly add the paprika and let the whole thing cook on a slow heat for about 5 mins, to infuse the oil with all the flavours and allow the garlic to thicken the sauce slightly.

When we were ready to finish off the dish, he turned the heat up on the oil until it was sizzling and added the raw prawns.  Seasoning well with salt and pepper and stirring the prawns (shrimp) into the hot oil until they changed from grey to pink (about a min).  As soon as they were pink, we quickly took the prawns off so as not to overcook them – they will continue to cook in the hot oil as you serve them so maybe even under-cook them a tiny bit!  At this point we squeezed the lemon juice over the top and served them with  the chopped parsley sprinkled all over the top.Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb

They were perfectly cooked, still juicy and the sauce was very spicy (use less chilli if you’re not a big fan of the heat) and I almost felt like I was back in Spain (well, not really).  They’re definitely best served with some bread to mop up the juices with.  They also go fantastically with my Butternut Squash Bravas (Patatas Bravas minus the potatoes)!

This recipe served two of us as a main course or it would serve four as a starter or as part of a tapas meal!Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb

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Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) Yum
Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb
  1. Heat the oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
  2. Chop up the chillis and slice and crush the garlic.
  3. Add the chilli and garlic to the oil and cook for a minute or two until they soften.
  4. Add the paprika and cook on a slow heat for about 5 mins.
  5. Turn up the heat so that the oil is sizzling and add the raw prawns (shrimp).
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they have just changed from grey to pink.
  7. Season well with salt and pepper, squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle over the parsley.
  8. Serve immediately. Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a tapas or starter.
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Allergy & Dietary Information for Gambas Al Ajillo

This Gambas Al Ajillo recipe is Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Dairy-Free.  It’s also suitable for Paleo, SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), Primal, Whole30, Low Carb & Pescatarian Diets.

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Pin it for laterGambas Al Ajillo (Garlic & Chilli Prawns/Shrimp) by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Sugarfree, Pescatarian, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, SCD, Low Carb

69 Comments Add yours

  1. kimscravings says:

    This recipe looks absolutely delicious! The perfect light dinner or lunch!

  2. eazynazy says:

    OMG this looks mouth watering…Thanks for sharing the recipe

  3. These look so delicious and easy to make. Unfortunately I’m the only one that eats prawns in our house. So I’ll have to find an excuse to make them just for me.

  4. This looks like such a great recipe, my husband would love it.

  5. This looks absolutely amazing! I love prawns. Will definitely have to give this one a try. Yumm!!!

  6. beccajtalbot says:

    Mmmmmmmmmm! This is my kind of dish! Unfortunately the BF doesn’t like chilli, but I don’t care – more for me! 😛 x

  7. Madeeha says:

    This is the easiest recipe I came across in a long time. I guess i can substitute prawns with chicken as well, as i don’t like prawn much. I will serv e it with rice or quinoa or may be Cous Cous

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      It would work just as well with chicken or any fish!

  8. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat aboard (and at home) too! Those butternut squash bravas sound a nice change too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

  9. Nina Bosken says:

    I love adding sauteed shrimp to dishes! It’s perfect and so yummy!

  10. I’ve tried one this dish. It is amazing. Thank you for the recipe I’ll make it soon. Thank you for sharing the recipe 😀

  11. jessice says:

    Wow ! Your blog is awesome. It waters in my mouth now. haha.

  12. This looks amazing, I love shrimp! I can’t eat chilli so I would have to try the recipe without it 🙂

    Thivy Michelle

  13. Looks like a great recipe. Photos make it look delicious. Have to give it a try.

  14. This looks absolutely delicious, my daughters would love it. Kaz

  15. Ohhhhh this recipe looks so good!! I love shrimp, but my boyfriend doesn’t care for it, so we don’t eat it all. I hope to make it for myself sometime soon though, because I haven’t had it in such a long while!

  16. Jenny says:

    This looks amazing, I do love Spanish food.

  17. Hannah Stein says:

    Oh my gosh this looks so good and I love how easy it seems to be to make. I love shrimp but my husband isn’t really a fan so I’ll just need to make it a night when he isn’t home!

  18. Ana De-Jesus says:

    It looks delicious and I like the idea of adding butter nut squash batas bravas as an accompaniment. It sounds delicious x

  19. Andi says:

    My hubby and I are on a low carb diet, this dish is perfect, tasty food, no need for rice or pasta to go with it.

  20. fussfreejen says:

    Great to be able to make a dish like this at home. A delicious meal for two, perfection.

  21. alisonrost says:

    What a wonderful meal! I’ve been looking for ways to add more seafood into our diet and I also love that it can be spiced up or down. Perfect for weeknights .. it’s my kind of dinner!

  22. Leah says:

    Yum, this sounds delicious. Have pinned it so that I can use it at a later date! 🙂

  23. Wendy Polisi says:

    gambas al ajillo are fantastic, rivaled only by the ones at Madrid’s famous Casa del Abuelo (where you get to see them prepare the shrimp right in front of you and your plate always comes out sizzling).

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      OOOH I’ve never been there – will have to put it on my list for next time!

  24. Ana Ojha says:

    I’m allergic to sea food but my friend loves Shrimp. I’ll share your recipe with her and she is going to love it!

  25. Elizabeth O. says:

    I love gambas! Especially if it’s spicy. This sounds like a lovely recipe and it looks so fresh as well. I would love to serve this especially this season.

  26. Kimberly C. says:

    I’m not a big seafood buff, but these shrimp might just make me change my mind. They look delicious.

  27. Ana Jodn says:

    Though I am a vegetarian but this seafood stuff seems to be delicious for seafood lovers. I’ll ask my friends who love seafood to try out this recipe.

  28. Pinoy Bisniz says:

    Perfect timing. Just received prawns from a friend freshly harvested from their farm. I will try this recipe 🙂 Jojo Vito |

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Oooh wish I had a friend like that!

  29. These look fantastic and scrumptious! My family would love these! I will for sure have to try this recipe and soon! YUM

  30. The Lazy Mamma says:

    This looks so yummy! I’m not really one for king prawns, but I would so try them for this! Saving.

  31. Garlic and chilli prawns are one of my favourite dishes (although not much chilli, I am a bit of a wimp!) x

  32. Unfortunately I’m allergic to seafood, but normally I love garlicky/spicy dishes. That’s a nice photo, too! =)

  33. I love a great prawn dish but must admit as my husband doesn’t eat seafood rarely cook them. I may have to make this though as it looks amazing!

  34. annalisanuttall says:

    I’m not a fan of prawn – but my husband like them. So I should show him this dish. xx

  35. MaryAnne says:

    Wow this looks so yummy! I do this recipe with a type of fish called “Basa” in my country, it is so great for a Sunday Lunch with family!

  36. RUSS says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes – and I want mine spicy, with a lot of chili flakes. I’ll definitely try your recipe at home. It will be perfect for night caps with colleagues after a long day at work. ❥

  37. Alfonzowords says:

    My dad looooooves prawns! so this will be an awesome recipe just for him to try. will send to my mum

  38. TheBohoChica says:

    I am a big fan of shrimp and this looks like it’s super easy to make. Definitely something I can do on a work day!

  39. Fast prep and cook time is my kind of dish. I also really love prawns and chilli. Whenever I try this, I will let you know how it turned out.

  40. Ok, I definitely need to try to make this! Such a fan for shrimp 🙂

  41. Oh wow, this looks incredible! Prawns are my favorite, I need to try it ASAP :-).

  42. Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie says:

    Yum, I love shrimp dishes! This looks and sounds so delicious!!

  43. Krista Bel says:

    I took one look at at that shrimp and I was in love. They’re so big and juicy. Ah my heart. Sad they’re expensive where I am. Beautifully don by the way.

  44. The Pink Caboodle says:

    This looks absolutely amazing! I’m not much of a shrimp person, but I’m trying to expand my palette. This definitely helps!

  45. I love adding garlic to all my meals, but this is definitely something i’ll have to try. Love me some seafood in the mix.

  46. I’m not a huge fan of prawns but my daughter would absolutely love this. Otherwise, this looks super yummy. I might try to make a batch with tofu for my son and I and a batch with prawns for her lol. Great recipe, it’s so simple but looks fantastic.

  47. says:

    This dish looks so fresh, healthy and delicious! I’ve been craving shrimp lately, so I can’t wait to make this over the weekend.

  48. Clark Albert says:

    I am a seafood guy who love prawns and shrimps a lot. I will surely try it this weekend.

  49. ChelseaMamma says:

    It is such a shame that I am allergic to prawns as it looks delicious

  50. I am not a huge seafood fan, but this sounds tasty! I wonder if I could make it with chicken!

  51. gaborvantolna says:

    Looks very deliious! i love spicy… Do you know Ceviche? Its pretty similar…

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Ceviche is raw fish cured in lemon/lime juice isn’t it? These prawns are friend in oil!

      1. gaborvantolna says:

        It doesnt matter, anything from the sea is good. with lemon juice, garlic, salt, silantro, chilly…I know, it just looks the same..

  52. Kiyshia says:

    You won me at Garlic and Chilli! as soon as I saw the picture I was ready for a plate of my own! this looks sooo delicious, especially on a salad on a nice warm afternoon – might just try it! Thanks

  53. Elizabeth says:

    What a delicious sounding recipe! I love recreating recipes from my travels too. 🙂

  54. Via Bella says:

    This looks delish! I seriously want to make this now!

  55. diana says:

    wow this was a yummy recipe. and all the ingredients are easily available in my kitchen. i am definitely giving this one a try, love for seafood yummm. thanks for sharing great post great pics, i like garlic flavoured rice ,bread and now prawns . eager to dig my teeth into them

  56. this looks like a mediterranean-friendly recipe :-). Maybe I’d try to avid garlic… do you think with some variation this can be as tasty?

  57. kage2015 says:

    Including the chili peppers is always a great way if you like spicy shrimp. Pairing with a salad is always easy.

  58. Stunning shots! And it sounds absolutely amazing too.

  59. Denise Smith says:

    Oh wow this looks so yummy I will definitely give it a go, thanks for sharing.

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