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Gambas Al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

Gambas Al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

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Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce) was one of our favorite dishes while traveling in Spain. It was served as one of many selections of tapas, or small plates, served in restaurants and designed to be shared with friends.

The smell of garlic filled the air when waiters rushed by with sizzling plates of shrimp. The aroma almost always coaxed us to add them to our order.

The first bite is always a revelation, an explosion of flavors that dances on our palates, mingling the sweetness of the shrimp with the robust essence of garlic and a subtle hint of fiery red pepper. We always finish the tapa by dipping crusty bread into the luscious sauce, unwilling to let a drop go to waste.

The recipe for Gambal al Ajillo varies depending on the region. For example, in Seville, they are prepared with a favorite local sherry, Manzanilla. Other areas favor brandy or sweep paprika, different types of hot peppers (or none), and fresh lemon juice.

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Gambas al Ajillo

Our version is a simple, basic recipe that can be adapted as you please. Try it along with a few of our other tapas recipes (below) along with a nice pitcher of sangria and a plate of meat and aged cheese and some crusty bread. It’s perfect for date night at home or a dinner party with friends and family.

Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Gambas al Ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo - Spanish Garlic Shrimp. Perfect as part of a Spanish appetizer (Tapas) menu.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 3 tbsp (43 g) butter
  • ¾ lb. (340 g) medium shrimp , shelled and cleaned
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • minced parsley, as a garnish
  • lemon wedges, as a garnish
  • crusty white bread slices or rolls, for serving


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat
  2. Add the shrimp and garlic.
  3. Cook the shrimp for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side, until they are cooked through, making sure that the garlic does not burn.
  4. Add the white wine and continue to simmer for 1 minute
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. 
  6. Serve immediately with crusty white bread to soak up the sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 258Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 202mgSodium 255mgCarbohydrates 1.2gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 21g
Serve them as part of our Tapas Party Menu!

Ultimate Red Wine Sangria with Rum and Brandy

Mini Spanish Tortilla

Fideua de Mariscos – Spanish Seafood Pasta Paella

Braised Pork Cheeks – Carrilladas

tapas menu


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