Camarones al Ajillo is an incredibly yummy Mexican dish with a flavorful and robust sauce.
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For my fellow Spanish speakers, this is Camarones al Ajillo estilo Mexicano, the Mexican version. There are different recipes out there from Spain, Peru, and every other Latin American country.
My favorite part of this dish, though, is how fast this recipe comes together. In less than 30 minutes, you have a super yummy Mexican seafood plate that everyone will enjoy.
Camarones a la Diabla, Camarones en Crema Chipotle, Caldo de Camarón
See the picture above. Those are the ingredients you will need.
I am adding white wine, but you can swap that out for chicken broth, vegetable broth, or shrimp broth.
How to Make Shrimp Stock:
- Peel the shrimp and save the shells.
- Put the shells in a stock pot with water, salt, and garlic.
- If you have any herbs laying around, you can add those to the pot too.
- Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain, removing the shells.
The shrimp stock will last up to 3 days in the fridge and 4 months in the freezer.
Whatever type of stock you end up using, your Camarones al Ajillo will still be just as delicious.
My advice is to buy shrimp that is already deveined. Life is too short to be dealing with that crap. Literally! Lol.
These are large shrimp. Use whatever size shrimp you like that equal 1 pound.
Same size for Coctel de Camarón.
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How do you make shrimp tender?
The secret to tender shrimp is very simple. Do not overcook the shrimp. Once they change color, remove them from the heat. They continue cooking even after they are removed from the skillet or pot.
Another thing you can do is cook the shrimp first and remove from heat. At the very end, once everything is ready, mix them back in just before serving.
- Clean the guajillo chile with a wet paper towel.
- Gently slice the chile, or you can dice the chile too.
Guajillo chile is not very spicy, and it will add depth to the dish.
Camarones al Ajillo vs. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo – The two dishes are very similar. Both have butter, lime juice, and garlic.
The big difference is the chile guajillo which is included in the Camarones al Ajillo recipe and not in the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo.
Note: This is Camarones al Ajillo receta mexicana, a Mexican recipe. You might see it made without chiles, and that is not the Mexican version.
For some people, Camarones al Ajillo also includes a little spice. Guajillo chile is a dried chile, but it does not add a spicy kick.
How to Adjust the Heat:
• For some spice, just add one chile de arbol.
• For very spicy, add two to three chile de arbol.
• For not spicy but flavorful, omit using the chile de arbol.
This is the same chile used to make Chile de Arbol Salsa.
“Al Ajillo” is a term that references garlic.
- Rough chop the garlic clove.
- Set aside until ready to use.
For those of you who don’t like big chunks of garlic, finely mince the garlic.
Choose a skillet that is large enough to fit all the ingredients for Camarones al Ajillo.
• Then add butter to a large skillet.
For a completely lactose-free recipe, use olive oil instead of butter.
- Next add the chiles.
- This will only take one to two minutes. Do not go far.
Word to the Wise: Burned chiles will taste bitter, and you will need to start all over again. Have all your ingredients ready to go before you start cooking.
- Add the shrimp and all the remaining ingredients.
- It will only take a few minutes for everything to cook thoroughly.
Once the shrimp are pink, it’s ready. Turn off the heat.
Don’t let the shrimp cook too long. If they are overcooked, they get rubbery.
What do you serve with shrimp?
• For those of you looking for a keto-friendly, diabetic-friendly Mexican recipe, serve with veggies or next to a salad.
You might see Camarones al Ajillo on a menu as an appetizer. Or, make it at home for a quick dinner.
Regardless of how you serve it, it’s hard not to love a big plate of spicy shrimp. You’ll have everyone saying “Muy Bueno.”
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Camarones al Ajillo
- In a large skillet, melt the butter.
- Add the garlic.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.Be careful not to burn.
- Add the chile guajillo and chile de arbol (if using).Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the shrimp, lime juice, white wine, and salt.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and fully cooked.
- For some spice, just add one chile de arbol.
- For very spicy, add two to three chile de arbol.
- For not spicy but flavorful, omit using the chile de arbol.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.