Gambas Al Ajillo with Zoodles

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Gambas Al Ajillo

This classic Spanish tapas dish is traditionally served sizzling hot with crusty bread for dipping in oil, but here, we’re swapping the bread for zucchini noodles and turning it into a complete meal, instead of an appetizer! 

Gambas Al Ajillo

I love tapas and one of my go-to dishes to order when I’m having tapas at a restaurant is Gambas al Ajillo, a garlicky shrimp that’s traditionally given with bread to dip into the oil and garlic that’s at the bottom of the vessel it’s served in.

Gambas Al Ajillo

The cooked shrimp in the oil, garlic, lemon, parsley, and sherry is divinely tasty, but the best part is dipping that crusty bread in the sauce at the bottom of the dish. Here, we’re replacing bread with zucchini noodles to turn this into a pasta dish and now, the zucchini soaks up the sauce in the bottom of the pan for a sensationally delicious meal.

If you love garlic and zest, you’ll love this meal. I wanted to keep this as true to Gambas al Ajillo as possible, but you could amp this up a notch by adding some chorizo and lima beans.

Gambas Al Ajillo

This could even be served as an appetizer or tapas, if served in small portions- it’s light enough to be an appetizer.

You’re going to love this spiralized spin on tapas! And let me know what your favorite tapas is and I’ll transform it into something #inspiralized!



Serves 4

Gambas Al Ajillo

15 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 small dried hot red chile, seeded and minced
  • 1.5 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp, tails on
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup minced parsley
  • 2 zucchinis, Blade D, noodles trimmed


  1. Heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is fragrant and just browning, about 7 minutes. Add the dried chile and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. As the garlic cooks in the oil, season the shrimp with salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the sherry, lemon zest, parsley, and season again with salt. Using tongs, transfer the shrimp to a bowl and add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. Raise the heat on the skillet and toss until cooked to your preference, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back, and serve.

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Diane says:
Looking forward to making this. What do you recommend as a non-alcoholic substitute for sherry?
Meaghan says:
White vinegar works or any other substitute you prefer - there are a few!
Julie Soupley says:
Is the olive oil measurement correct?
Meaghan says:
Great catch! It's actually 1/4 cup olive oil - thank you so much for letting us know.

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my 2020 holiday gift guide is finally live on the blog! 🎁 you’ll find my picks For Her (like this cute velvet puffer!), For Him, For Toddlers, and Under $50. but let me leave this disclaimer here: it’s the thought that counts. gift giving is supposed to spread joy - don’t get caught up searching the internet for hours for the “perfect gift.” the perfect gift is simply something thoughtful 💓 and frankly, our good health is the best gift we could all ask for this year 🖤 but if you need some more inspiration, check out my stories for swipe ups or go straight to! 😘 #holidaygiftideas #holidaygiftguide ...

a festive seasonal snack or dessert idea for you and your little ones 🍎 - these french toast apple slices were inspired by my grandmother and this apple butter, cinnamon, maple syrup toast situation she used to make with her famous applesauce. you can grab this recipe from #inspiralizedandbeyond! ⁣

tell me how everyone's doing on their thanksgiving prep - ready? haven't even started yet? I haven't bought a single thing yet! 😇😱🤡

the holidays are going to be very tough and emotional for many of us this year. we're not going to spend it with the loved ones we typically do to keep one another safe and even worse, some of us will miss family we've lost to the COVID virus. 💔⁣

something that always cheers me up is food. I've come to realize that one of the reasons it has this therapeutic effect on me is because it's a safe space for me to block out everything else and just enjoy the art of cooking. 🥄⁣

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but, IF food and cooking is cathartic for you too, I encourage you to make something new this year for Thanksgiving (or over whatever holiday you celebrate.) sometimes following steps in a new recipe keeps your brain focused on the task and you're able to let everything else wash away. at least that's how it is for me! I'm flipping through my cookbooks and sharing some of my favorite holiday-friendly recipes over on stories, like this one from #InspiralizedandBeyond! 📚⁣


makes 8-10 crostini⁣

1 large golden beet (about 6 ounces), peeled and sliced into 1/8" thick rounds⁣
1/4 cup ricotta cheese⁣
5 fresh figs, diced⁣
honey, for drizzling⁣

arrange the beet slices on a serving platter and spread about 1 teaspoon of the ricotta on each. top evenly with the chopped figs and drizzle very lightly with honey. serve.

📸: @evansungnyc