Garlic Shrimp in Tomato Sauce


This quick, easy meal combines shrimp with a tomato sauce made with capers and olives.


This quick, easy recipe yields a meal that comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner, but is also a great option for a dinner party with family and friends. Frozen shrimp are fine to use here; thaw them in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Be sure to use shrimp that are peeled and deveined, and whose tails are removed, to make eating the shrimp easier. Pat the shrimp dry before cooking them with the fresh garlic and dried red pepper flakes. They cook in just a few minutes; don't try to cook them in advance, as they will get too firm and rubbery when reheated.

The shrimp are paired with a tomato sauce that includes capers and olives, giving it a lot of flavor very quickly, and making the flavor reminiscent of puttanesca sauce. The combination of fresh and canned tomatoes make the flavors here sing, but use canned chopped tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes if fresh are not available. The rosemary adds rich herbal notes to the sauce that temper the briny capers and olives; you can use oregano, thyme, basil, or a combination of herbs instead if you want to change things up. The sauce can be made up to two days in advance and stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Make this a heartier meal by pairing the shrimp and sauce with sourdough or another crusty bread, or serving the shrimp and sauce over cooked linguini or another pasta that has been tossed with olive oil. You can also turn this into an appetizer by serving the shrimp with toasted slices of bread that are drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a piece of garlic.

Garlic Shrimp in Tomato Sauce
© Sneh Roy


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds large peeled and deveined raw shrimp

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large pinch dried red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), peeled and chopped

  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

  • 1/3 cup halved and pitted black olives


  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add shrimp, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan with a slotted spoon.

  2. Add fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, rosemary, capers, and olives to pan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in shrimp and simmer until just heated through, about 1 minute.

Suggested Pairing

A smooth, medium-bodied red wine from southern Italy, such as a Cirò or Regaleali Rosso, will stand up to the gutsy sauce without overpowering the shrimp.

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