Shrimp in Garlic Sauce


Based on a popular Spanish tapa, this dish is delicious enough to serve as a main course. You just sauté the shrimp in garlicky, spicy olive oil and then toss them with sherry, lemon juice, and a handful of parsley. The shrimp are equally good hot or at room temperature.

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
Photo: © Melanie Acevedo
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings


  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slices

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shelled

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add the shrimp, salt, and black pepper to the pan and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just done, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sherry, lemon juice, and parsley.


Fish alternatives: Squid would be delicious with the garlic sauce. Cook it quickly (for about two minutes), or it will become tough and rubbery. Sea scallops are another option; cook them for about two minutes per side, without stirring, so they brown nicely.

Deveining shrimp: Dark shrimp veins are usually removed for aesthetic purposes. We find that it's not essential to take them out, especially if you're pressed for time.

Suggested Pairing

Bold Mediterranean flavors welcome an easygoing wine such as a dry rosé from Spain or the south of France. If you prefer a wine with a bit more sweetness, try a White Zinfandel from California.

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