Spicy Skillet Shrimp | Cookstr.com

Updated February 18, 2020

This image courtesy of Waterbury Publications. Inc.

When I was looking for a good shrimp recipe I turned to my friend Ann, who always talks about this shrimp dish she learned to make from a cook of hers named Vaida. Ann likes to entertain and this is one of her go-to dishes because it can be made ahead and left alone until it’s time to eat. Now it is one of my simple go-tos, too. Thank you Ann, for sharing!



OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and TextureHot & Spicy, Savory


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • One 6-ounce can tomato sauce, homemade or store?bought (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 1/2 pounds large shrimp (18 to 20 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup tender fresh garden peas or thawed frozen peas (optional)
  • Steamed long-grain white rice (optional), for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeños and garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute longer. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest to the skillet and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Place the shrimp on top of the tomato mixture and cook until opaque and pink in color, about 8 minutes longer. If you like, stir in the peas and serve over a bed of rice.


It’s easy to take Ann’s spicy shrimp skillet and turn it into a quick version of a classic New Orleans-style shrimp Creole. Simply stir in a roux of butter and flour along with some sautéed tricolor peppers, then add a bay leaf, a dash of cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.


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