Paprika Shrimp with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

If you’ve been following my blog now you know one of my favorite cooking ingredients, sheep’s milk feta (see Bourbon glazed meatballs) . It’s creamier and more well balanced than regular feta, in my opinion.  Well this little ingredient makes an appearance again in this new favorite dish.  It’s part of the red pepper sauce and it really is what gives the sauce a beautiful texture without having to use any heavy cream.  

The paprika shrimp really couldn’t be any easier to make.  I used a smoky Spanish paprika but you can use whatever you have on hand.  I love the color you get from the paprika when the shrimp is nicely seared.  And because I am cooking the shrimp at such a high heat I used canola oil versus olive oil in this recipe, but again, feel free to substitute to your taste.  Just remember that olive oil has a lower smoking point than canola oil so you may not be able to get the pan quite as hot or else watch out for those smoke alarms.

Don’t skip the garnishments on this one!  Sometimes those lemon slices and fresh herbs can be optional but in this case the parsley, olives, onions, and capers really are a part of the dish as much as they are there to add to some color and freshness.  I can’t wait to make this dish again for my friends for our next wine and tapas nights.  It will definitely be one of my new standby favorites.

Red Pepper Feta Sauce

  1. Place the garlic in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse until chopped.  Add in the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.  Taste for seasoning and heat and adjust salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  Sauce can be made 2 days in advance.

Paprika Shrimp

  1. Make a marinade for the shrimp by combining 2 Tablespoons canola oil, paprika, garlic, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk. 
  2. Season the shrimp with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and then add the shrimp to the marinade and refrigerate for up to an hour.
  3. Heat a cast iron or heavy pan over medium high to high heat and add in the remaining tablespoon of canola oil.  When the pan is very hot sear the shrimp for about 30 seconds on each side.  Don’t move them while they are searing so you get the crusty texture but be careful not to overcook.  They should just barely turn pink.  Remove immediately to a plate.


1.      Skewer the shrimp on small individual skewers.  You may need to take a long thin skewer and cut it down with scissors.  The short fat skewers will tear the shrimp. 

2.      Place the feta sauce either in a small shot glasses (for individual servings) or just on the plate itself and place skewers around the sauce.  On the other side of the plate garnish with the olives, onions, capers and fresh parsley.  The garnishments go well with the sauce and the shrimp so don’t be afraid to mix them together when you eat them!

Red Pepper Feta Sauce

1 roasted red bell pepper (approximately ½ of a 12 oz jar)

1 large clove garlic

¼ cup sheep’s milk feta cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

½ teaspoon paprika (sweet, mild)

Pinch red pepper flakes

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Paprika Shrimp

1/2 lb 16/20 count large Shrimp, peeled with tails left on and de-veined

2 Tablespoon canola oil, plus 1 additional for cooking

1 teaspoon Paprika

1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, chopped

Zest of ½ lemon and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper


¼ small red onions, very thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons capers

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

Fresh parsley, chopped

Serves 4 as an appetizer

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