Gambas Pil Pil - Honest Mum recipe



Having just returned from a relaxing week away in Marbella, I wanted to share the recipe for one of my favourite Spanish tapas dishes – Gambas Pil Pil! Prawns with chilli and garlic. Basically, what culinary dreams are made of.

I was in Marbella on a family holiday reviewing the gorgeous James Villas and I’ll be sharing our wonderful week away on the blog soon.

The villa was truly magnificent (palatial almost), and the kitchen got a lot of use (kudos to James Villas for stocking it with brand new copper pans and Denby crockery no less too).

I love eating out at restaurants, particularly on holiday (and we did that too), but it was a real joy to buy groceries close to our place, with independant shops, bustling markets and even supermarkets brimming with local, fresh and seasonal produce, meaning my Dad (an award winning restaurateur of The Olive Tree group of restaurants) and I, could easily rustle up flavoursome dishes for la familia during our stay.

Papa G doing what he loves best-

Dad cooking

A tiny supermarket with everything we needed, on our doorstep.

fruit and veg in a Spanish supermarketBack to Gambas Pil Pil-it is one of my all time favourite dishes and something I just can’t resist on a tapas menu.

The first picture was taken at the famous Camuri, a stunning restaurant situated in the Laguna Village in Estapona and truly exceeded all expectations. Tonnes of garlic (good job Peter was back in blighty otherwise garlic kisses would also have been on the menu), just the right hit of chilli and lots of parsley.

The dish is essentially just prawns sizzled with slithers of garlic and whole baby red chillies or 1 red finely chopped bad boy (depending on the chef) making it the perfect summer dish: hot, simple and rustic.

Typically a tapas dish yes, but for family dinners I like to make a big batch as below, dishing up in a big bowl so everyone can tuck in easily.

Then I just serve with crusty bread for dipping! Delicious!



Serves 4

  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
  • 400g of raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 125ml white wine (I like to use a white Rioja)
  • finely chopped parsley for garnish


Pour oil into a small frying pan or cazuela dish to about 1.5 cm deep. Heat over medium–high heat.

Add the garlic, chilli and prawns, they should start sizzling immediately. Sprinkle the paprika. Cook for 15 seconds then turn the prawns over. Add the salt, white wine and parsley, then serve straightaway. Easy peasy. Sunshine on a plate.


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68 Responses

  1. Alida

    I love prawns done in any possible way! This recipe is really inspiring. I love the photo of your dad cooking!

  2. Zena's Suitcase

    Had to stop by and see how you made this. It’s one of my favourite dishes. Never would have thought to add wine, will have to give that a try
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Achieving Your Dreams: Pick The Right OnesMy Profile

  3. Helen at Casa Costello

    One of my most favourite dishes ever! I could eat this every day – the spicier the better.
    Helen at Casa Costello recently posted…Dulce De Leche Marshmallow Brownies #BakeoftheweekMy Profile

  4. Sian

    Woah, these sound so simple but sooo tasty!
    Sian recently posted…Easy 3-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies: Banana, Oat & CinnamonMy Profile

  5. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    This sounds amazing! I love tapas after living in the Canaries for 7 years, I do miss it x
    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins recently posted…Isabella’s Spaghetti – Family FavouritesMy Profile

  6. Megan - TMK

    My mouth is watering! Your Dad is a very talented man! Love this recipe
    Megan – TMK recently posted…All The Thrills of Skydiving…but Indoors!My Profile

  7. Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    That sounds so good. Summer on a plate. I like good, healthy summer food, and this fits the bill. Glad that you had a great vacation, but as always it is good to have you back!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Mother’s Day Gift List.My Profile

  8. Alison

    This is one of my favourites as well. Hope you had a great holiday.
    Alison recently posted…Pancetta and Parmesan SconesMy Profile

  9. Lisa@intotheglade

    Welcome home! I bet your husband and Oliver were pleased to have you both back I loved following your holiday on Instagram, the villa did look amazing. You have made us all very excited for when we go in July and tapas is just the best. This looks delicious x

  10. Rachael A

    I often make this when I’m doing a tapas night – not added paprika to it though so will give that a go next time I make it!
    Rachael A recently posted…For the many times we are time poor………….{enchilada bake}My Profile

  11. Rebecca U

    Yum, this is my kind of dish. Perfect for on holiday x
    Rebecca U recently posted…Blueberry & Maple Syrup SmoothieMy Profile

  12. Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork

    I totally agree that this dish is what culinary dreams are made of!!! I’ve been to Spain a couple of times in the last 5 years and this is one of our go-to dishes. Love it love it love it, thank you for sharing a recipe for it!

  13. Rachel

    Hope you’ve had a lovely holiday. That tapas looks yummy. I’ve never fine prawns quite like this with paprika but I am huge fan of garlic prawns. Thanks for hosting #tastytuesday

  14. North East Family Fun

    I love your tapas dish – it is very authentic. We keep saying we are going to have a tapas night but never get around to it – this needs to change soon! Love garlic prawns!
    North East Family Fun recently posted…Washington Old Hall – A National Trust Hidden GemMy Profile

  15. Lydia Gerratt (@LydiaGerratt)

    I love prawns cooked like this and I do the same as you when I’m on holiday, cook up a big batch for everyone to eat – so good!
    Lydia Gerratt (@LydiaGerratt) recently posted…Rhubarb and apple crumbleMy Profile

  16. Elizabeth

    You always seem to enjoy such amazing food! This recipe sounds gorgeous too!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Chocolate Covered Alpen Swiss Muesli Bars with Seeds and Goji Berries & Alpen’s Seven-Day Brighter Mornings ChallengeMy Profile

  17. Emma

    We’re on holiday in Estapona this week! Heading over to Marbella today for a child free dinner – any restauranu recommendations?
    Emma recently posted…We’re all going on our Easter holiday!My Profile

    • honestmum

      Oh fab Emma, we love it there. We enjoyed Alfredo for rustic Spanish food in San Pedro (they play music on an evening too) and head to Laguna Beach/ Puro Beach to stunning Camuri restaurant where we enjoyed this Piri Piri and incredible sushi. It’s a luxurious place to eat. Enjoy your holiday x

  18. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)

    Mezes and tapas – you just can’t beat it! And you’re so lucky having your own personal chef with you on holiday to cook up such amazing food 🙂 Welcome back and hope you had the most amazing time, can’t wait to read about it. Linking up with my easy peasy pastry puffs xx
    Michelle Reeves (bodfortea) recently posted…Share the Joy link up #14My Profile

    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, it was fabulous and you are right, very lucky Dad was on hand to cook for us! Thanks for linking up x

  19. Mummy Tries

    Totally and utterly drooling now. Yum yum yum. More tapas recipes please hon xx PS. Glad to have you back 🙂
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Changing my AttitudeMy Profile

  20. Farmerswifeandmummy

    Ooo this looks lovely. I’m veggie so would choose patatas bravas when having tapas but I would have a good smell he he
    Farmerswifeandmummy recently posted…Beef Stew with DumplingsMy Profile

  21. Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

    Welcome back, Vicki. The Gambas Pil Pil looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to read all about your adventure. 🙂 Thanks for hosting. Have a great week. xx
    Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook recently posted…{Baking Challenge} Mini Challah RollsMy Profile

  22. Mel

    I absolutely love tapas with a good glass of wine. Just the thought of getting lots of small dishes rather than having to settle for one makes so much sense! X
    Mel recently posted…Easy Thai-Style Chicken ThighsMy Profile

    • honestmum

      Totally agree, we Greeks love mezes, shared courses with lots of dishes, just like tapas (think our portions are bigger though)!


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