Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp | Arroz al Ajillo Recipe
All Recipes, Main Dishes / June 14, 2021

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp | Arroz al Ajillo Recipe

This One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp, known in Spain as Arroz al Ajillo con Gambas, is truly one heck of a stunning dish. It´s packed with Spanish flavors, easy to make and comes together in about 30 minutes.

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp
This is the perfect dish for a busy weeknight dinner or a relaxed weekend lunch, next to a bottle of Spanish wine. Either way, it promises to be one of the best-tasting rice dishes ever.

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp
To make this dish I used Spanish round rice, which is very similar to medium grain rice or arborio rice. But you can use any rice you like, though the rice to liquid ratios might be different. So check the package instructions on the rice you are using.

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp
TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: You want to cook the garlic and shrimp on a medium heat. That way the garlic does not burn and get bitter. Once you add the rice and broth, you raise the heat so the broth can really incorporate into the rice. I used homemade broth, but you can also use water with salt.

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp

5 from 3 votes

One-Pan Spanish Garlic Rice with Shrimp | Arroz al Ajillo con Gambas

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 dried small cayenne peppers
  • 12 raw jumbo shrimp peeled & deveined
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 1.15 grams
  • 1 cup uncooked round rice 200 grams
  • 3 cups vegetable broth 710 ml
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas 45 grams
  • handful finely chopped parsley
  • sea salt & black pepper


  1. Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  2. Grab 1 head of garlic, remove the skins from the cloves and thinly slice each one

  3. Finely chop 3 small dried cayenne peppers

  4. After heating the olive oil for 3 minutes, add in the sliced garlic & chopped cayenne pepper, mix with the olive oil and let the garlic poach in the olive oil

  5. Meanwhile, pat dry 12 raw jumbo shrimp (peeled & deveined) with paper towels and then season with sea salt & black pepper on one side

  6. After cooking the garlic for 3 minutes and they are lightly sauteed, add in the shrimp, making sure they are all in a single layer, after 1 minute flip to cook the other side, after a total of 2 minutes (1 minute per side), remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside covered with foil paper

  7. Add 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika into the pan with the garlic and mix together, then add in 1 cup uncooked round rice and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, then add in 3 cups vegetable broth and give it a mix so everything is evenly mixed, turn up the heat to a medium-high heat

  8. After 10 minutes and much of the broth has been absorbed by the rice but there is still some broth left, add in 1/3 cup frozen peas, give it one final mix and lower the fire to a low-medium heat

  9. After 3 to 4 minutes and there is virtually no broth left, add the shrimp back into the pan, remove the pan from the heat, place a lid on top and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove the lid and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika I used to make this recipe

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  1. Cheryl Levesque

    5 stars
    My family absolutely loved this dish. My grandson said he would have eaten the whole pan if we had let him.. I didn’t have the peppers so I substituted with red pepper flakes and got it a little hot but we make again and reduce the amount of red pepper flakes. i used 11/2 teasponns and probably should have only used about half of that

    09 . Mar . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Much love 🙂

      11 . Mar . 2022
  2. Meg

    5 stars
    I love this recipe!!! One of my favorites! I make it all the time!

    23 . Feb . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that!! Much love 🙂

      23 . Feb . 2022
  3. JO

    I saved this mainly on how to cook raw shrimp with rice.

    Didn’t have all the ingredients so I didn’t worry about that (subbed what I liked– i.e. ginger instead of dried cayenne peppers, green beans, cabbage, mushrooms, and chickpeas, lemon juice, and water instead of veggie broth and green peas.) and am following the technique and every step.

    One thing though– I’m putting a glass pot lid over the pan of shrimp instead of wrapping in foil: it’s faster. Won’t be Spanish but I’m sure it will be delicious! Drooling already.

    12 . Jul . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great! Much love 🙂

      13 . Jul . 2021
  4. Marjanne

    5 stars
    It was easy to make and the garlic and the 3 small dried cayenne peppers made it taste so delicious.
    Thanks for sharing!

    18 . Jun . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      18 . Jun . 2021

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