Spanish Garlic Prawns Recipe – Gambas al Ajillo

Spanish Garlic Prawns – Gambas al Ajillo is a classic Spanish tapas dish, served in bars up and down the country. My take on this spicy garlic prawn recipe could hardly be simpler, quicker or more delicious.


spanish garlic prawns

Gambas Ajillo – Spanish Garlic Prawns with Chili

Spanish Garlic Prawns – Gambas al Ajillo

This is perfect for any time of the year, as a starter or a sharing plate served up with warm crunchy bread – absolutely essential for mopping up all the delicious garlicy oil that the prawns are swimming in. The garlic becomes caramelised and I love spooning the garlic onto my bread as much as I love the prawns!



Ingredients: Spanish Garlic Prawns – Gambas al Ajillo

  • 300g peeled, raw prawns
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 6 large cloves of garlic – sliced
  • 1 x dried red chilli (seeds & stalk removed)
  • Salt


spanish garlic prawns

Spanish Garlic Prawns with Crunchy Bread for Dipping

Cooking instructions for the Spanish Garlic Prawns – Gambas al Ajillo

How to make the dish:

1. Heat oil in small pan.  Add a slice of garlic and when it starts to sizzle, add the rest of the garlic and the dried chilli.

2. As soon as the garlic starts to colour, add prawns and a teaspoon of salt. The salt will prevent any water from the prawns spitting.

3. Stir until prawns turn pink.

4. Optional – add a splash of Fino or Manzanilla and bubble until the alcohol has boiled off.

5. Serve with lots of crusty bread and a glass of chilled Fino or Manzanilla*

spanish garlic prawns

Gambas Ajillo – the perfect starter or sharing plate

Other nice to knows…

Serves: 2-3
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Calories: 270 calories per helping

Sherry or Wine Pairing*

For me, this dish works perfectly with a chilled Manzanilla or Fino. Equally a crisp, chilled white wine would be a delicious accompaniment.

Read my guide to Sherry Or book  a Zoom Sherry Tasting and learn why Manzanilla and Fion are perfect with this dish.

Buen Provecho!!


Updated January 2021

Notes; I first posted this recipe in 2015


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