Shrimp Diablo or Camarones a la Diabla: Fancy, Fiery & Easy!

shrimp diablo or camarones a la diabla

Shrimp diablo or camarones a la diabla will probably be on the table when Vivi Abeja, one of our favorite Mexican cooks, wants to serve a meal that’s a little extra to honor a special occasion. Unlike most of her delicioso and truly magical Mexican recipes, which she learned to make from her Abuelita or one of her aunts in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Vivi did not grow up eating this dish with its signature fiery tomato-chile sauce.

“I taught myself how to make this recipe. One thing I love to do is treat myself to fancy dinners and replicate the meals in my home. It’s very empowering and fulfilling. I shared this meal with my sister and she could not stop talking about it!” reports Vivi.

”This recipe feels so fancy to me. I loved mariscos and going to a mariscos restaurant was always something I did for special occasions. Seafood restaurants can be a little on the pricier side, so this is a treat.”

What ingredients did she play with to make this shrimp dish truly her own when she came home from that shi-shi restaurant? Vivi smiles. She pumped up the flavor and doubled down on los chiles. “Instead of adding only one or two spices, I love adding a combination of chiles with the sweetness of a tomato. It gives it a spicy, smoky sweet flavor that I love,” she says. 

Watch Vivi Abeja make this elegant and surprisingly easy dish starring shrimp: Camarones a la diabla, great for Lent Fridays and when you’re looking for meatless recipes.

Chile fan? You will be happy to see that Vivi uses three kinds of dried red ones in this dish. In order of heat, they are: ancho, guajillo and de árbol. After lightly frying them in oil, she blends the chiles with sautéed tomatoes, onions, garlic and (here’s the fourth in this spicy dish) chipotles in adobo sauce. All this chile love explains where the fuego factor comes from in this delicioso shrimp diablo, which one of her sisters has been telling everyone about ever since Vivi first made it for her recently.

Now that she has mastered this ”fancy” dish, how often does she plan to make it? “After hearing all the rave reviews from my sister, it’s definitely being added into the rotation. It’s very simple to make and something I can easily make in a weeknight for a nice pick-me-up,” says Vivi.

Fancy-tasting and easy? Shrimp diablo is going into rotation here at Familia Kitchen too. Plus, Vivi recommends making this seafood dish for Lent Fridays and for your friends and family who don’t eat meat. And for your family and friends who like their comida bien hot. Vivi’s shrimp diablo is🔥 fuego.

To check out more of Vivi’s family-famous Mexican recipes, check out some of the traditional dishes she learned to make from her grandmother, who is from Michoacán, including these Familia Kitchen community faves: gorditas with beans and cheese, red enchiladas with queso fresco and onion, and flautas de papa. All are abuela approved!

Ready to Make Vivi’s Shrimp Diablo? They’re Fuego!

Shrimp Diablo or Camarones a la Diabla: Fiery, Fiery & Easy!

Recipe by Vivi Abeja
3.5 from 8 votes
Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Chile, Tomato and Onion Sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 6 chiles guajillo, stemmed

  • 2 chiles ancho, stemmed

  • 8 chiles de árbol, stemmed

  • 3 cloves garlic, whole

  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 3 1/2 oz chipotles in adobo sauce, canned, about 5 peppers

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken bouillon seasoning, to taste

  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

  • 3 cups water

  • For the Shrimp
  • 3 lbs raw shrimp

  • 1 tsp garlic powder, or to taste

  • 1 tsp onion powder, or to taste

  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste

  • 4 oz butter (1 stick)

  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 lime, juiced


  • Make the Chile, Tomato and Onion Sauce
  • Warm oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Lightly fry the chiles and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the chiles. Remove the chiles and add to blender.
  • Let the garlic cook for an extra 2 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove and add to the blender.
  • In the remaining hot oil in the same pan, sauté tomatoes and onions for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to get soft and darken in color. Remove and add to blender.
  • In the blender add chipotle peppers, chicken bouillon seasoning, oregano and water. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Prep and Cook the Shrimp
  • Clean, devein and pat dry the shrimp, using paper towels.
  • Sprinkle the shrimp with garlic power, onion powder, Old Bay seasoning, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  • Melt butter in a large frying pan.
  • Add sliced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add shrimp. Sauté until the shrimp turns 80% pink, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Add the Sauce to the Shrimp
  • Slowly pour the chiles and tomato mixture through a strainer, using a wooden spoon to help press the sauce through the mesh. Add the strained sauce to the sautéed shrimp in the pan.
  • Simmer the shrimp and chiles-tomato-onion sauce for about 5 minutes, to let the flavors blend.
  • Add juice of 1 lime and season with ½ tsp salt, or to taste. Stir.
  • Serve hot, with a side of white rice and a green salad.

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