Spicy Shrimp Veracruz Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Spicy Shrimp Veracruz

31 reviews / 4.9 average

Shrimp Veracruz - my new favorite recipe!! Juicy shrimp in a pepper / tomato spicy, briny sauce served over rice. Oh my gosh, THIS IS SO GOOD.

You guys, Shrimp Veracruz is so good, and it's also so strange, and also so good. Did I say that? Just MEGA DELICIOUS.

And so this is where I test your allegiance to Skillful Cook. Trust?

It's hard for me to articulate why I love this seemingly bizarre-o combination so much. But I think it has something about the therapeutic nature of sauteing lots of peppers and tomatoes and garlic, the sizzle of the red wine in the hot pan, the briny bursts of capers (my favorite) followed by sweet bites of golden raisins, plus just enough heat from the pickled jalapeños to playfully bite back. Also: since the shrimp just get gently cooked - almost kinda poached - on top of the whole sauce, they maintain a super delicate and sweet flavor that is just... YUM.

Heaped over rice, hot out of the skillet? DONE. Game over.

I learned of Shrimp Veracruz by way of a Blue Apron meal, and I have just been hot on the trail of this ingredient combination ever since. The internet tells me that Shrimp Veracruz normally has green olives and normally doesn't have golden raisins. But dang, those bites with the plumped up golden raisins are not something I'm willing to sacrifice at this point in my life.

Ingredients for spicy shrimp veracruz in bowls.

Here are the noteworthy players in the Shrimp Veracruz game:

  • Shrimp
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Red wine
  • Oregano

And just when you thought life was normal, this happens:

  • Capers (!!!)
  • Pickled jalapenos (!!!)
  • Golden raisins (!!!)

Let's walk this out. First, you saute your tomatoes and peppers and garlic and stuff.


Adding wine to skillet of peppers and tomatoes.

Then, once you have a bubbling skillet, you add your shrimp on top and just let them cook ever so gently.

When they're done, stir them in and squeeze lemon over the entire thing because you're an adult and you know how to love yourself.

Spicy shrimp veracruz in a pan.

Plate up some steaming rice and scoop your shrimp and sauce mixture over the top.

Lemon wedge - check.

Parsley sprinkles because you fancy - check.

Spicy, briny, bold flavors bringing you to a whole new world - CHECK CHECK CHECKCHECKCHECK.

Spicy shrimp veracruz in a bowl with rice.

As you know, I don't ACTUALLY know what I'm talking about when it comes to Shrimp Veracruz, so for more authentic Shrimp Veracruz recipes, check out this recipe from Gabriela Cámara and this video from Paul Sanchez.

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Spicy Shrimp Veracruz with rice.

Spicy Shrimp Veracruz

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


Shrimp Veracruz - my new favorite recipe!! Juicy shrimp in a pepper / tomato spicy, briny sauce served over rice. Oh my gosh, THIS IS SO GOOD.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 sweet mini peppers, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 cup water (see notes)
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (see notes)
  • 1 cup rice
  • lemon or lime (optional)


  1. RICE: Get your rice cooking according to package directions.
  2. PEPPERS: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute peppers for 5-10 minutes until they're nice and soft.
  3. TOMATOES AND STUFF: Turn the heat down to medium (to avoid burning the garlic). Add the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, capers, raisins, oregano, and salt. Saute for 5-10 minutes until it's all fragrant and yummy and the tomatoes have released some of their juices.
  4. SAUCE HAPPENING: Add the wine - sizzzzzzle. Add the water, a little at a time, and simmer for another 5-ish minutes until it's moderately saucy.
  5. SHRIMP: Place the shrimp on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with more salt / pepper. Cook on one side for 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
  6. DONE! Serve the saucy, briny, moderately spicy goods over hot steaming rice. Squeeze a lemon or lime over the top to be totally extra.


I recommend using a very wide skillet so you can fit all your shrimp in a beautiful single layer on top! If you can't fit them, you can also just stir them into the sauce and let them cook for a few minutes that way.

I like to add the water a little bit at a time, so I start with about 1/2 cup, and then add 1/4 cup as it simmers down. You can play with the texture of the sauce by adding liquid - wine, lemon juice, water, etc. But you can't take OUT liquid, so just add carefully. 🙂

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: shrimp veracruz, spicy shrimp veracruz

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy shrimp recipes. Check it out!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I want to make this tonight! This recipe is also making me seriously consider if a rice cooker is in my future. Besides all the pros (obviously), any cons? What brand do you have/recommend? The idea of cooking rice in the current humidity is not really enticing

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Get a Wolfgang Puck rice cooker. We like ours so much that we even take it on vacations with us, like when we rent a house at the beach for a week etc.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I make Halibut Veracruz and LOVE IT. I never thought to make it with shrimp…cannot wait to make this! Thank you!!!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    How much Cayenne did you use in the recipe? It isn’t in the list of ingredients, but is mentioned in the directions. Making this now, very excited about it!! 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks great! But I’m allergic to shellfish. Could I subsistute chicken?

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Interesting combination! I will never shy away from something that I see as a challenge. This seems like it could be a super interesting dish.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Okay, can I just say something? Between recently committing to being pescatarian and just being in a general food funk, I’ve felt so stuck and uninspired lately (and I used to LOVE cooking and experimenting so it sucks extra)!! Finding your blog today has given me the boost I’ve needed SO badly. Your recipes and writing style are dope. Thank you.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Good morning Lindsay,

    I absolutely love this blog post because it’s another healthy meal you were discussing. And shrimp is one of my most favorite low-fat healthy foods. I’ve never heard of the saying Shrimp Veracruz but I’m sure it’s definitely finger lickin good.

    You don’t have to worry about me being loyal to your blog because you already know how loyal I am. In fact, you know I go above and beyond to contribute lots and “lots of content” to your blogs. You know you can count on me to “do the transformation business work at full strength!” (Smile) 🙂

    By far, this is another healthy meal that is rewarding on the stomach and Metabolism because it won’t put the metabolic processes in overdrive to digest this delicious meal.

    However, I must say I never heard of adding pickled jalapenos to a shrimp meal. This must be really good because jalapenos as we all know burn your mouth… Lol! 🙂

    Have you thought of making YouTube videos to compliment your new blogs my friend? I’m pretty sure people have lots of questions and you can make additional income from ads in your videos answering people’s questions about your wonderful food blogs. Something to think about.

    Enjoy your day my friend and thanks again for posting another award-winning blog! 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    What can I do if I don’t have any red wine? Can I use red wine vinegar instead? Thanks

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    capers are just so delicious. love that you used them here with the pickled jalapenos. this is just an awesome dish – what great flavors!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Jenna I notice that you are answering all questions, just hoping that everything is ok with Lindsay. 10/11 weeks more to-go..

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made this tonight and it was delicious! Not nearly as spicy as the 2 tablespoons of jalapeño led me to believe. I did add a little extra red wine (1-2 tsp) during the cooking. and a squeeze of lime at the table. . I have a teen and preteen and they devoured it.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this for dinner…RIDICULOUS…LY…DELICIOUS!!!! Winner, winner, shrimp dinner! I’m making this again! <3