Shrimp Pil Pil With Spinach


In a contest between shrimp and garlicky buttery shrimp, the latter wins every time.

Shrimp Pil Pil With Spinach
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

The shrimp we're talking about here is cooked in a riff on Spanish pil pil sauce, which begs the obvious question. Pil pil, which comes from the Basque region of northern Spain, was traditionally made from cooking skin-on cod fillets in garlic-infused oil. For this recipe, our pil pil-inspired sauce starts with toasting garlic cloves in butter until fragrant. Next we add olive oil and smoked paprika for spicy, rich flavor, and then sauté the shrimp in it.

This easy dish comes together in a hurry and, with the addition of wilted spinach, creates a balanced meal. And, since we cook the shrimp in the same pan as the spinach, there’s minimal cleanup. Win! Don’t skimp on the bread for this meal: It’s crucial for sopping up every last bit of the sauce. Serve with a dry, crisp cider or a lightly effervescent white wine like Albariño or Vinho Verde.


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided

  • 1⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided

  • 1 pound fresh spinach

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • pounds peeled, tail-on large raw shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Toasted bread, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add half the garlic and ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper and then cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

  2. Add spinach and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt, transfer to a bowl, and cover to keep warm. Wipe the skillet clean.

  3. Pat shrimp dry and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add butter and remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until butter is melted.

  4. Add paprika, remaining garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant and the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook until opaque and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, turning halfway through.

  5. Serve shrimp with warm spinach and bread, if using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

365 Calories
25g Fat
8g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 365
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 32%
Cholesterol 230mg 77%
Sodium 704mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 27g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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