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Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Paprika and Lemon
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5 from 2 votes

Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Paprika and Lemon (Gambas al Ajillo)

Inspired by the popular tapa, Spanish garlic shrimp, also called Gambas al Ajillo has sweet shrimp sauteed with fruity olive oil, smoky paprika and lots of garlic!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: easy shrimp recipe, gamas al ajillo, shrimp tapas, Spanish garlic shrimp
Servings: 4 tapa size
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro


  • 1 lemon cut in quarters
  • 4 medium-large garlic cloves sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pound shrimp tails on and shells and vein removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped parsley
  • Toasted bread for serving


  • Start by heating your pan or cast iron over medium-high heat and char the cut lemons, this will give it great smoky flavor.
  • Thinly slice a few garlic cloves and set aside. Pour a good amount of olive oil in your skillet and bring to a medium heat. Add garlic cloves to the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, not allowing the garlic to turn brown, just let it soften. Stir in the paprika.
  • Then add your shrimp and season with salt and pepper and toss everything together. Cook until shrimp just turns pink on both sides, about 5-6 minutes total, depending how large your shrimp are.
  • Once done, turn off heat, squeeze lemon over everything and garnish with chopped herbs. And get your bread ready for the most amazing dunking experience.


  • Look for medium sized shrimp for this recipe, about 31/35 count, which means that there are that many shrimp in a pound
  • You can substitute regular paprika instead of smoked, but the smokiness is quite nice.
  • Don't be afraid of using that much olive oil, the shrimp will poach and it's great for dunking bread into.


Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 3mg