Gambas Pil Pil Recipe (Prawns Pil Pil style)

February 1, 2023  |  By Peg Kern
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Gambas Pil Pil, or Prawns Pil Pil style, is a fashionable Spanish tapas recipe that comes straight from the heart of Andalusia. You are sure to have it on any of our amazing Spain food tours or cooking vacations in Spain, but you can make it yourself quite easily.

In tapas bars, this is usually prepared in Cazuelitas, individual earthenware ramekins, that when served, are sizzling! Watch out not to burn your tongue. Ramekins can be used directly on a gas or electric stove. If you prepare the prawns in a frying pan, as in the following recipe, the prawns lose their sizzle when transferred to serving dishes, but they taste just as delicious as the tapas bar version you’ll find on our food and wine tours in Spain.

Gambas pil pil during a Spain cooking class

Gambas Pil Pil


  • 500g fresh shrimps (prawns) unshelled
  • 125ml high quality olive oil
  • 1/2 a chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. mild pimenton (paprika)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • course salt
  • bread for serving

Serves 3 as appetizer or tapas plate.
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cook method: saute
Prep time: 10 minutes

Learn to cook Spanish tapas in Andalusian olive country during authentic, hands-on cooking classes.


Tapas in Spain1. Make sure the prawns are dry.

2. In a shallow pan, heat the oil until very hot. Add the chili and garlic, fry for 30 seconds until the garlic is almost golden.

3. Stir in the pimenton (paprika).

4. Add the prawns and stir well, allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Before serving, mix in the lemon juice and sherry and sprinkle with some course salt.

6. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

We recommend pairing your gambas with a wonderful Spanish wine, perhaps a white from the Priorat!

Check out some more of our Spanish recipes for:

Try a wonderful French recipe featuring prawns. 

By Peg Kern

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