Camarones a la Diabla is the tastiest Mexican shrimp dish. Spicy sauce is made and then the shrimp is cooked in it. Served over rice, this is a delicious meal.
I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Camarones a la Diabla is a true gem. If you’ve never had it, let me explain its glory.
What is Camarones a la Diabla?
It is a Mexican dish that consists of two main components: a smokey red sauce with shrimp. Simple! A sauce is made. This sauce might remind you of an enchilada sauce. It’s red and flavorful and in this case, a little smoky. This sauce recipe makes quite a bit and part of me wanted to halve it but I actually ended up using it for three other dinners last week.
1st dinner: I made this dish you see pictured.
2nd dinner: I tossed it with roasted eggplant and vegetables and ate it with quinoa.
3rd dinner: I made this again.
4th dinner: Josh used it to braise some flank steak (using one of our favorite kitchen gadgets) AND then we put it in tacos for Friday taco night and it was boooomb.
How to Make Camarones la Diabla?
It starts with a hard sear.
- Heat up some neutral oil. Then add the tomatoes, yellow onion and dried guajillo chiles.
- This will add some really delicious flavor vs. just boiling them.
- Then, you add the broth and let them simmer until everything is really soft. Your goal here is to REHYDRATE the dried pepper.
- You transfer everything to the blender and pulse until very smooth.
- Season it and then portion out what you need. This recipe makes extra sauce so feel free to freeze it!
After the sauce is made, the rest of the dinner is so easy.
You cook up some shrimp and then add a few ladles of this sauce to the shrimp.
Whatever you do, DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SHRIMP. Overcooked shrimp is so sad and actually makes me angry.
I love exploring and cooking Latin dishes I’m not super familiar with.
While Mexican ingredients weren’t what my mom and grandma cooked with, it still reminds me of Peruvian food. Mexican food is layered and complex and there are peppers and spices that remind me a lot of home.
I love us. I love the food we make. And even though we’re not all the exact same, when I cook Mexican dishes (and other Latin dishes), I’m like dang, we’re not that different either.
If you can believe it (also: if you care), this dish is actually #WHOLE30 (minus the rice). The sauce is vegan so you really could use it to top all sorts of things it’s super versatile and very healthy. And I haven’t tried it but I have a feeling it’d be a good thing to freeze, too.
I’ve been making quick summer-type dishes and this is something I want to eat every single hot day for the rest of the summer.
If you make it, let me know on Instagram!
Shrimp a la Diabla Recipe
- 1 cup of medium-grain rice
- 1 3/4 cups water
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
A La Diabla Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (vegetable oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil)
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 1/2 yellow or white onion peeled and stem cut off
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 cups water
- 1 chipotle in adobo plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce from the can (If you’re adverse to spice just add the chile, no sauce)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 avocado sliced, for serving
- More cilantro for serving
- 2 teaspoons neutral flavored oil such as vegetable or canola or peanut oil
- 1 pound shrimp deveined and peeled (tails still on)
- Limes for serving
To Make the Lime Rice:
- I make rice in a rice cooker because that’s what I grew up doing. Cook the rice, per the instructions of your machine, until fluffy.
- Add juice from 1 lime to the rice, along with 2 tablespoons of minced cilantro. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
To Make the A La Diabla Sauce:
- In a big saucepan or Dutch oven, set over high heat, add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the roma tomatoes and sear on first side for about 3 to 5 minutes, flip, using tongs, and sear on the opposite side for an additional 2 minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the tomatoes and set them aside in a bowl or on a cutting board.
- Next, add the onion, garlic cloves and guajillo chiles, searing and toasting them for about 2 to 3 minutes. Take a peek at the onion and if it needs more time, leave it for an additional minute or two. Remove the onion and garlic cloves and set them aside. Add the tomatoes back to the pot with the chiles and add 2 cups of water. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. This will soften the tomatoes quite a bit and soften the chiles too.
- To a blender, add the garlic cloves, seared onion and the chipotle in adobo and sauce. You may need to blend this sauce in batches, depending on how big your blender is (I had to do in batches). Add the tomatoes and the broth and the chiles to the blender. Pulse until smooth, making sure to allow a bit of steam out of the blender.
- Pour it back to the pot and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, over medium-low heat and cover the pot. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Just until the flavors can merry all together. Give it a taste and add salt to taste. I added an additional teaspoon or two.
- This recipe makes a big batch of sauce. See below for other ideas to eat it with. It stays good in the fridge for up to a week and a half, if kept in an airtight container. It freezes well too so definitely think about doing that!
To Make Shrimp a La Diabla:
- Shrimp cook very quickly and overcooked shrimp are SAD! So make sure you get everything ready before hand. Set the table. Get your drinks ready. Slice up your avocado and cilantro.
- In a medium skillet, set over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of neutral flavored oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds per side. You’ll know they’re cooked because they’ll turn from translucent to opaque and pink. If you need to, using your tongs, turn the shrimp onto their deveined side. I sometimes do this to make sure they’re cooked.
- Turn off the heat and pour in a few ladles of a la diabla sauce into the skillet. Toss them around in the sauce and serve immediately.
Looking for more Latin Recipes? Here are some favorites: