Tapa of the Month

Gambas Al Ajillo

One of the most common “tapas” of Spain, “gambas al ajillo” (Garlic Shrimp) is quick, easy and FULL of garlic flavor. Your guests will be asking for the recipe after the first bite and only you will know how simple it was to prepare. This is excellent with our holiday Rose with Sage wine but is also nice with one of our crisp reds, such as the Abuelita and the Cabernet Franc.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 lb shrimp, 25 count to a pound
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 oz of cognac (you may substitute dry sherry instead)
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 Baguette


This garlic shrimp recipe, gambas al ajillo makes 4 servings as an appetizer. If preparing for a main course, double the recipe.

The shrimp can be peeled first, before cooking them if you prefer. In addition, if you like larger shrimp, you may purchase shrimp with fewer count to a pound. However, 25 to a pound are about the right size for this tapa.

In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh bread.