Camarones a la Criolla

By Julie Davis Canter Aug 01, 2022 • 25min

This Puerto Rican take on Louisiana shrimp creole delivers a double dose of delicious—and healthy—vegetables, quick-cooked in layers of flavor. High in protein and fiber, it all adds up to a nutritious and satisfying main dish.


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 Tbsp. sofrito (see Note below)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 28 oz. can no-salt-added, crushed tomatoes
  • 4 pitted green olives, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 lb. shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 3 c. hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado, sliced


Step 1:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, sofrito, paprika, oregano and cumin, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, bay leaves and salt. Slowly mix in water, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2:

Remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in pepper. Divide rice among 4 bowls and top with the shrimp mixture and avocado.

Note: For a healthy homemade sofrito, roughly chop 1 medium Roma tomato, 1 medium onion, 5 garlic cloves, 1 medium green bell pepper and 1 bunch cilantro. Process the tomato in a blender until finely chopped. Add onion and garlic and process until finely chopped and incorporated. Add bell pepper and cilantro and process until the mixture is well combined and mostly smooth. Use the sofrito immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings 

Serving size: 3/4 cup rice, 6 shrimp & 1/4 avocado

Amount per serving

Calories 521

Total fat 17g; saturated fat 3g; monounsaturated fat 11g; polyunsaturated fat 2g

Cholesterol 183mg

Sodium 522mg

Total carbohydrate 58g; dietary fiber 11g; total sugars 9g

Protein 32g

Potassium 1370mg

Phosphorus 446mg

Adapted from

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