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Spanish Shrimp and Rice Recipe

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 4 ounces sweet peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 10 ounces shrimp uncooked, peeled and de-veined if necessary.
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish spice blend see above
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup rice short or medium grain
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar


Prep the Ingredients

  • Be sure to wash and dry all the fresh produce. I am much more careful about this these days. Not sure if it's because I read more about the pesticides they are using or because I'm getting older and want to be more careful.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and finely mince or better yet zest them with zester. I like using my Microplane for zesting.
  • Cut the roots off the end on the scallions and then thinly slice them. Separate the white bottoms from the hollow green tops and reserve both.
  • Chop the capers and medium dice the zucchini.
  • Pull off the stems from the sweet peppers and toss, cut the peppers in half long ways, remove the cores and medium dice the peppers.
  • In a small bowl, add the white bottoms of the scallion, diced zucchini, chopped capers, diced peppers and ¾ of the zested garlic.
  • Wash the shrimp and pat try with paper towels. Remove the tails if not already done.
  • Add the shrimp to a small bowl, season with salt & pepper and half the spice blend (½ tablespoon). Stir to combine ingredients.

Saute the Vegetables

  • Heat your saute pan (frying pan), large enough to cook the vegetables and shrimp, over medium high heat.
    Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and when hot, add the vegetables from the bowl.
    Saute for 5 minutes until the vegetables slightly soften.
    Stir frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.

Cook the Rice

  • In the same pan as the sauteed vegetables, add the rice and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
  • Add the tomato paste and the remaining ½ tablespoon of Spanish spice blend. Again, stir constantly for about a minute to combine all the ingredients.
  • Add 2½ cups of water to the pan and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Cook the rice for about 20 minutes being sure to give it a stir every once in a while. When the rice has absorbed all the water and the rice is al dente, turn off the heat and add the sherry vinegar. Stir to combine.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Transfer the rice to a bowl large enough to all it all and cover with the same aluminum foil to keep warm.

Make the Aioli Topping

  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the aioli by combining the mayonnaise with the remaining zested garlic.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste and reserve to top the shrimp at the end.

Pan Fry the Shrimp

  • In the same pan as you cooked the rice, add a little more olive oil over medium or medium-heat and let it get hot.
    The reason I suggest medium OR medium-high heat is because everyone's stove top is different. I find my medium-high heat on my gas range is often too hot so I use medium heat instead.
  • When the oil is hot, add the seasoned shrimp in one single layer. Let this cook for about 3 minutes without stirring and believe me you will be tempted to stir them around.
    After 3 minutes, stir and cook for another minute or two until they are cooked through and opaque.
  • Turn off the heat and remove pan.

Plate & Serve

  • Add the rice and cooked vegetables to your plates, top with the cooked shrimp, add a dollop of the aioli topping and finish with some of the sliced green tops of the scallion.
  • Serve and enjoy this very easy to prepare meal. I know I will make this again and would be thrilled to serve it to guests.