Fiery Shrimp Diablo

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Shrimp Diablo is a fast and fiery Mexican dish for those who love a spicy kick! Succulent shrimp are sauteed with red pepper flakes, jalapenos, garlic, onions, green bell peppers and simmered in a rustic tomato sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes for a bold and flavorful meal.

We love shrimp recipes at our house. You also have to try this Shrimp Fried Rice, Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp. or this Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Skillet.

shrimp diablo in a skillet

Shrimp Diablo

Chili lovers, this spicy seafood dish is for you! Jumbo pieces of shrimp are cooked in a chunky tomato sauce infused with two sources of hot peppers. It’s a simple and quick meal that delivers some serious devilish heat. If you’re on the hunt for more bold shrimp recipes then try Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Easy Shrimp Creole, or Blackened Shrimp Fajitas to make dinner much more exciting.

One of the hallmarks of Mexican cuisine is the use of robust spices and chilis. This peppery seafood dish showcases fresh chopped jalapenos, dried chilies, smokey tequila, oregano, thyme, and tomato combination. The sizzling shrimp in the fiery diablo sauce and vegetables satisfies all of your hot cravings. Serve this dish as an appetizer with crunchy bread for dipping, Spanish rice or pasta for a tasty entree.

shrimp cooking in a skillet

How do you make Shrimp Diablo?

  • Season shrimp with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Saute garlic, jalapeno, onion, oregano, and thyme in olive oil in a large skillet until fragrant.
  • Add shrimp, heat until cooked through then transfer to a plate.
  • Saute bell peppers with the other vegetables and herbs.
  • Add tequila, stock, tomatoes, and salt, simmer until slightly thickened.
  • Add shrimp back into the pan to heat through.
  • Garnish with parsley.

What kind of shrimp do you use?

The best type of shrimp to use is sweet white shrimp, however, any variety will work well such as pink or brown. Make sure that the shrimp are peeled and deveined, it’s cooks choice whether or not to keep the tails on. One important decision to make is the size of the shrimp. I often use extra jumbo size, which is purchased at 16/20 count. It’s a generous size that doesn’t overcook too quickly in the hot pan. The shrimp is tossed with dried crushed chili flakes before cooking. The capsicum coats the surface for maximum heat and flavor transfer once it hits the hot olive oil in the pan.

tomato sauce cooking in a skillet

What goes into the diablo sauce?

This spicy diablo sauce uses tomatoes as a base similar to a marinara sauce. It starts off by sauteing the aromatics like garlic, onions, thyme, and oregano. Blooming dried spices in oil dissolve the fat-soluble flavor compounds for a stronger herbaceous taste. To bring the heat, fresh jalapeno’s and dried red peppers give a subtle upfront bite with a lingering sizzle. Simmering aged tequila, vegetable stock, and tomatoes create a rich and concentrated sauce to toss with the shrimp.

Looking for more spicy seafood recipes? Try these ones!

mixing shrimp diablo with a spoon


Shrimp Diablo

4.92 from 12 votes
Shrimp diablo sauteed with red pepper flakes, jalapenos, garlic, onions, green bell peppers and simmered in a rustic tomato sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Jessica Gavin
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion ¼-inch dice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper ¼-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup tequila or dry white wine
  • ½ cup unsalted vegetable stock
  • 14 ounce can of whole tomatoes cut into ½-inch dice, reserve juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley


  • Combine shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Add garlic, jalapeno, yellow onion, oregano, and thyme. Stir and cook until onions are tender and garlic is fragrant but not browned, 2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan in one layer, turn heat up to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, not moving the shrimp.
  • Flip shrimp over and cook until just cooked through 1 minute. Transfer to a clean bowl.
  • Add bell peppers and saute for 1 minute
  • Turn heat up to medium-high, add in tequila, vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and allow tomato mixture to reduce until slightly thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to low and add in the cooked shrimp. Stir and cook until shrimp is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Garnish shrimp diablo with parsley.


Serves: 4

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Jessica Gavin

Jessica is a Certified Food and Culinary Scientist. She’s also a culinary school graduate and a teacher at heart. Jessica loves nothing more than unraveling the science behind better, healthier cooking and sharing that know-how with her readers at

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m Jackson, I’m a chef who loves food, I’m always interested in new foods. Shrimp Diablo is great! I just finished them tonight, taste is great and i had a great dinner with my little family. Thanks for your sharing.
    Sincerely grateful!

  2. Added small can of tomato sauce with basil, garlic, a couple dashes of cayenne and wine instead of tequila. Big hit

  3. Love this! Added a little extra tomato and juice plus vegetable stock. Also added spinach and some pasta water at the end. Served over linguine.

  4. Very good dish. I substituted Mezcal for the tequila/wine. I have vegetable stock so I just used a bit of water, also my tomatoes were Mexican style stewed tomatoes so that probably had some additional spices. I will definitely be making this again. So quick and easy once you prep the ingredients.

  5. For some reason, I love cooking your recipes. It looks delicious, for sure this Shrimp Diablo is going to be on my table tonight. Thank you, for this simple yet delicious looking recipe. !!

  6. 5 stars
    This is always a favorite. I came across is reciepe with Tequila. It should be excellent. Tonights the night along with garlic parmesan pasta as a side. Yum…

  7. 5 stars
    Sounds wonderful! Couldn’t you use canned diced tomatoes rather than whole tomatoes? Sounds a lot less messy and would save some time also.

  8. 5 stars
    Goodness gracious these look delicious! I love how simple the recipe is and can tell from the ingredients that these Shrimp diablo is packed with flavour! Definitely on my list!

  9. 5 stars
    This sounds like jambalaya without the sausage. No need to pre-cook the shrimp. Simply drop them into the sauce at the end of cooking it. Might as well go the extra step and add andouille sausage too.
    Serve over steamed rice. Mmm

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