This Easy Pan-Fried Romesco Shrimp features smoky, buttery shrimp and a homemade romesco sauce. The two together make for a simple and boldly flavored dinner you can serve with polenta, pasta, and more!Jump to Recipe
An easy weeknight dinner with big and bold flavors
Have you been searching high and low for a simple dinner option with BIG flavors? You’ve come to the right place! This Easy Pan-Fried Romesco Shrimp features buttery shrimp tossed in a homemade Spanish sauce and is ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.
If you’ve ever made my Homemade Romesco Sauce, you know that this roasted red pepper concoction has a million uses. Tossing it with buttery fried shrimp is just one more way to use it up and enjoy the delicious smoky flavors! Just like my Chimichurri Sauce, you can always depend on romesco to take an everyday meal from good to great.
There’s never a bad time for this shrimp and romesco sauce recipe. Make it for a quick lunch or a weeknight dinner with Cheesy Polenta, Purple Cauliflower Mash, Creamy Cauliflower Gnocchi, pasta noodles, rice, or quinoa. No matter how and when you serve it, you’ll be craving the smoky and savory flavors for days on end.
What is romesco sauce?
Romesco is a bold Spanish sauce made from roasted red peppers, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and oil. There’s no real one way to make romesco sauce, which is why many versions are made with tomatoes or dried red ñoras peppers instead of roasted red peppers, spices, tomato paste, vinegar, or a variety of nuts. You can always expect vibrant, nutty, slightly sweet, and smoky flavors no matter the variation!
What do you need to make shrimp with romesco sauce?
- Shrimp – Fresh or frozen shrimp will work. Just make sure they’ve been thawed, cleaned, and shelled before seasoning. If you’re really hungry, use jumbo shrimp!
- Olive oil and butter – For frying the shrimp. Use both for the best results or just one or the other.
- Smoked paprika – To season the smoky shrimp.
- Romesco sauce – This boldly flavored orange-red sauce is so easy to make at home. All you need are a handful of simple ingredients and a blender!
How to make this easy pan-fried romesco shrimp
This pan-fried romesco shrimp recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes and never lacks flavor. It’s ready to eat after 4 simple steps:
- Make the romesco sauce.
If you haven’t already, blend up a quick batch of this easy homemade romesco sauce.
- Season the shrimp.
Clean and dry the shrimp really well. Add them to a bowl with the salt and paprika, and toss to combine.
- Pan-fry the shrimp.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until both sides have turned opaque.
- Combine the shrimp and romesco sauce.
Pour the romesco sauce into the pan with the shrimp. Toss to combine, serve over top of polenta or rice, and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: Do you have extra time? Marinate the shrimp in the romesco sauce for lots of extra flavors. Combine the seasoned shrimp and the sauce together in a bowl, keep it in the fridge for up to 1 hour, then pan-fry!
Tips for cooking with shrimp
- If you’re cooking with frozen shrimp, thaw them in a bowl of cold water. This should only take a few minutes. Don’t leave the shrimp to thaw overnight in the fridge or else bacteria could accumulate.
- Each shrimp will only need to pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- You’ll know the shrimp is done cooking when it turns from a grey color to pink and opaque and has a “C” shape.
- Is your shrimp slimy or smells sour? Throw it away as it’s gone bad.
How to grill shrimp
Not into pan-fried shrimp? Grill them instead! Here’s how it’s done:
- Add the seasoned shrimp to a high-heat grill. Use a silicone mat or skewers to help the shrimp cook evenly and to prevent them from falling through the grate.
- Cover with the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they start turning pink.
- Flip, cover, and cook until they’re no longer grey.
How to serve romesco shrimp
This easy shrimp and romesco sauce recipe is particularly delicious on top of polenta or grains, but you can serve it many different ways:
- On top of pasta noodles, zucchini noodles, or other vegetable noodles
- On the side of roasted vegetables
- With creamy polenta
- On top of these savory leftover mashed potato waffles
- With lemon orzo pasta
- Over salad
- On flatbread, focaccia, or naan
- With rice, quinoa, or your favorite grain
- With crusty bread as an appetizer
- In shrimp tacos
Shrimp flavor variations
Instead of paprika and salt, season the shrimp with all kinds of delightful flavors that will complement the romesco, such as:
- Cajun seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Dried herbs
- Red pepper flakes
- Taco seasoning
- Lime juice and chili powder
Looking for more savory shrimp recipes?
- Citrus Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- 10-Minute Spicy Shrimp Lo Mein
- Garlic Shrimp Soba Noodles
- Garlic Butter Ribeye Steak and Shrimp
Did you try this Easy Pan-Fried Romesco Shrimp? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
Easy Pan-Fried Romesco Shrimp
- Make the Romesco sauce first.
- Season the shrimp (make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel) with salt and paprika, toss to combine.
- Heat a pan to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter, let that melt. Add the shrimp and cook on both sides until they have turned opaque and they have curled. It will take a few minutes to cook the shrimp.
- Add romesco sauce into the pan with the hot shrimp. Toss to combine.
- Add to a bowl with your favorite base, I made my Creamy Polenta. Garnish with finely chopped parsley.