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Spicy Calabrian Shrimp

If you’ve been following for a while you have probably picked up that there are a few flavor profiles I often play into. Salty, sour, texture, but by far my favorite is spicy. This spicy Calabrian shrimp recipe is buttery, and garlicky, and packed with tremendous flavor. Might I also mention it’s herby, with just the right amount of heat and flavor from the Calabrian chili paste. If you are having a hard time figuring out what this dish tastes like, it’s as if shrimp scampi got a serious bold makeover. Designed to be eaten with a crusty loaf of bread, you might just have a hard time deciding which is better. The juicy shrimp? Or the spicy herb butter?

spicy calabrian shrimp on plate
spicy calabrian shrimp

What You’ll Need for Spicy Calabrian Shrimp

  • Shrimp – Peeled and deveined. This dish is JUST shrimp nothing else. If there was ever a time to buy the big juicy shrimp from the seafood counter this is it. I splurge on this dish and buy “2 biter” fresh shrimp, not to say that I am above frozen shrimp. If you go the frozen route, make sure they are completely defrosted.
  • Calabrian Chili Pepper Paste– I’ve gone through this ingredient in several of my previous recipes, but incase you missed it Calabrian chilis are a medium-hot Italian chili that is often turned into a flavorful paste. Truly there is no substitute here since this paste adds so much more than heat, it brings a slightly smokey, salty, BEYOND flavorful punch to any dish. With that said this one might be difficult to find at your local supermarket. I love Trader Joes Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce. No Trader Joes? Amazon sells THIS.
  • Cilantro – If you are in the small percentage of people who taste soap when you taste cilantro, sub for parsley. If you aren’t, trust me it’s better with cilantro.
  • Garlic – Does this recipe call for 10 cloves? Yes. Fresh only, do not use the pre chopped refrigerated kind.
  • Butter – Salted, and a lot of it.
  • Olive Oil – This dish is cooked on low-medium heat to prevent the garlic from burning. Use good EVOO.
spicy calabrian shrimp

A Few Tips

  • This dish is for spicy lovers. However if you are sensitive to heat, don’t turn away. Reduce the amount of Calabrian chili paste from 3-4 Tbsp to 1-2.
  • Obsessed with Calabrian chili paste? Trying to figure out how to use the rest of the jar? Check out my recipes for Spicy Caper Pasta or Spicy Vodka Rigatoni.

Spicy Calabrian Shrimp

Print Recipe
This calabrian shrimp recipe is buttery and garlicky and packed with tremendous flavor, not to mention herby with just the right amount of spice.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Shrimp, Spicy
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3-4 tbsp Calabrian chili paste
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp butter salted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • salt

Instructions

  • In a large shallow pan over medium-low heat melt butter. Add olive oil.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant and soft (3-5 minutes). Do not burn the garlic. If it begins to brown, lower the heat.
  • Add Calabrian chili paste and cook for another minute. Add half the cilantro and stir to combine.
  • In one layer add the shrimp (if all the shrimp don't fit, cook in multiple batches). Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on each side. Do not overcook! Shrimp should be juicy not rubbery.
  • Top with rest of the cilantro, and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Want additional heat? Add a pinch of chili flakes to the butter as it heats up.
  • If you notice halfway that there isn’t enough butter sauce, add an additional tbsp of butter or olive oil.

2 Comments

  1. Matt V
    March 30, 2022 / 3:32 pm

    4 stars
    Solid recipe. The 10 cloves of garlic seems excessive but it gives some substance to the sauce and a nice flavor. The flavor is a bit one-note, which is why I finished it with a splash of lemon juice and a little parmesan to cut some of the spicy. Definitely going to play around with this chili paste more now!

  2. Leila
    May 14, 2022 / 6:54 pm

    5 stars
    Best recipe ever. It’s so easy with just a few ingredients and some frozen shrimp in the freezer. I did reduce the butter and oil quite a bit because of my dietary restrictions and replaced real butter with ghee, but the bomba chili paste from Trader Joe’s is so tasty, all I had to do was add a little more salt to get to taste right. It’s also a bit more spicy because it’s not cut with all the butter, but I enjoy spice ALOT. And yes, it DOES need that much garlic. My boyfriend’s not sleeping in the bed tonight #vampiremode Thanks TBA!!!

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