This spicy Mexican style diablo shrimp recipe, "camarones a la diabla", is fiery shrimp simmered in a homemade chili sauce, so quick and easy to make!
Camarones a la Diabla (Diablo Shrimp)
It's time for spicy shrimp in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Care to join me? Shrimp is always a palate pleaser, cooks up fast, and pairs perfectly with all manner of spicy foods.
Today we're giving our shrimp a Mexican spin with a recipe called Camarones a la Diabla, or "Diablo Shrimp". You know we love our Mexican recipes in this house.
What is Diablo Shrimp?
Camarones a la Diabla, or "Diablo Shrimp", is a Mexican dish of succulent shrimp simmered in a spicy sauce made from dried Mexican peppers. I use a combination of peppers in this which is a great flavor builder and makes it extra spice, though you can easily adjust it to your own heat and flavor preferences.
The diablo shrimp can be served as either an appetizer or a main course, depending on your serving needs. It's done in 30 minutes or less, too! Even faster if you make the diablo sauce ahead of time.
I love this recipe and think it could become one of your go-to dishes for quick and easy serving. You can find it in Mexican restaurants, but why not make it at home?
Let's talk about how to make Camarones a la Diabla, shall we?
Camarones a la Diabla Ingredients
- Dried Peppers. I'm using ancho peppers, guajillo peppers and chile de arbol peppers for this recipe. Essential for great Mexican food.
- Produce. Use tomatoes, onion, garlic and an optional serrano pepper for extra heat. You can use other peppers.
- Extras. Apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil or olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Shrimp. I enjoy large shrimp or prawns, though this will work with any size shrimp.
How to Make Camarones a la Diabla - the Recipe Method
Rehydrate the Dried Chili Peppers. Rinse the dried chile peppers (ancho, guajillo and chiles de arbol), then remove the stems and seeds. Set them into a large bowl and cover them with very hot or boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes to soften.
Make the Diablo Sauce. Drain then transfer the softened peppers to a food processor. Add the tomatoes, onion, serrano pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt. Strain, if desired, for a smoother sauce. You can add a bit of water if you'd like a thinner sauce.
Sear the Shrimp. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then sear the shrimp for 30 seconds per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
Simmer the Diabla Sauce. Add the diablo sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes let the flavors develop.
Simmer the Camarones a la Diabla. Add the shrimp to the pan to warm and cook the shrimp through, 1-2 minutes. Serve!
Boom! Done! Diablo shrimp is ready to serve. This is the easiest camarones a la diabla recipe you'll find. Nice and spicy, quick and easy to make. And very satisfying! I love this recipe.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- The Dried Peppers. I love the combination of ancho, guajillo and chile de arbol for this recipe. Skip the chile de arbol peppers for a milder version. You can use other dried pods as well for new flavors, like pasilla peppers, multato peppers, dried chipotle peppers or others. Try a combo!
- The Fresh Peppers. I usually toss in a serrano pepper for some heat, though this is optional. You already get a very nice level of heat from the chiles de arbol, but serranos offer a nice fresh flavor. Use a jalapeno pepper for milder heat, or a habanero pepper for a big heat boost. Skip the fresh pods altogether to focus more on the dried pods.
- Seasonings. I let the dried peppers take the flavor focus in this recipe, but you can include other seasonings to your preference. Cumin is a popular addition, as are Mexican chili powders. Feel free to use your favorites.
- Make the Sauce Ahead. The red chile sauce can easily be made several days before. Just process it and store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for at least a week. It also freezes nicely.
Serving Diablo Shrimp
You can serve camarones a la diabla on their own as an appetizer for parties or gatherings, or you can make them the star of a complete meal.
Serve them over rice (try this Mexican rice recipe or Arroz Verde (Green Rice), with noodles, on tortillas with cilantro and lime and other fixings, or with grilled peppers and tomatoes for a shrimp fajita meal.
Storage and Leftovers
Store any leftover diablo shrimp in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can enjoy it again my warming it up on the stovetop over gentle heat.
You can also freeze leftover shrimp for 3 months or longer in vacuum sealed containers.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy these camarones a la diabla. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Camarones a la Diabla Recipe (Diablo Shrimp)
- 3 ancho peppers
- 3 guajillo peppers
- 4 chile de arbol peppers
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 serrano pepper chopped (optional, for additional heat - or use hotter, like a habanero pepper)
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined, patted dry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the dried peppers (ancho, guajillo and chiles de arbol), then remove the stems and seeds. Set them into a large bowl and cover them with very hot water. Steep for 20 minutes to soften.
- Drain then transfer the softened peppers to a food processor. Add the tomatoes, onion, serrano pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt. Strain, if desired, for a smoother sauce. Thin with a bit of water, if desired.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan to medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then sear the shrimp for 30 seconds per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
- Add the diablo sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Return the shrimp to the pan and toss. Simmer for 1-2 minutes to warm the shrimp and cook it through. Serve.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 7/2/21 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 2/3/21.