Camarones con crema chipotle (creamy chipotle shrimp)
This camarones con crema chipotle recipe is hearty, creamy, slightly spicy with a smoky touch, and comes out in less than 20 minutes! You can have this over rice or pasta, with a side of salad, or make simple but delicious tacos.
About the Recipe
Camarones con crema chipotle is a Mexican recipe that consists of shrimp simmered in a creamy and slightly spicy chipotle sauce.
The recipe is known in Mexico by various names, such as camarones enchipotlados, camarones con salsa chipotle, and camarones al chipotle to name a few.
The star of the dish is the chipotle sauce, which is super simple to make and requires only a few ingredients:
- Chipotle chilies. Normally used canned chipotle in adobo sauce, it adds a smoky and slight touch to the sauce, use as many as you wish!
- Cream cheese. Add a nice savory touch and creaminess to the sauce.
- Mexican cream. Which can be replaced with regular whole cream.
- Tomato sauce. For flavor and color, you can swap with 1 spoonful of tomato paste.
Though there are many ways to make shrimp, this camarones al chipotle recipe will quickly become your favorite. It’s very easy to make, so it’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
What Is Chipotle?
Chipotle is very common in Mexican recipes, so it’s important to get a little familiar with it. This chile is the smoke-dried version of jalapeño chili pepper and it’s not only spicy, but it’s also incredibly flavorful.
In terms of heat, chipotle ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units. You can find it dried, but it also comes stewed in adobo sauce, which is the kind I use for my camarones al chipotle recipe.
Where to buy it: Canned chipotle in adobo sauce is very easy to find at Mexican stores, Amazon, and even in local supermarkets in the international aisle. There are many brands to choose from.
How to Clean Shrimp
Whenever you’re cooking with fresh shrimp, it’s very important to clean them properly. Luckily, the process is easy, it will just take a bit of time.
For this camarones con crema al chipotle, I used frozen shrimp which I thaw before cooking. But, if you want to use fresh shrimp, you need to peel and devein them first. Here is how:
- You want to start by removing the head with a gentle twist.
- Next, you need to remove the shell by digging your thumb under it, where the legs are, to release it.
- Then, gently tug at the tail to remove it. You can save the heads and shells to make a flavorful stock.
- To devein the shrimp, lay it down and run a paring knife along its back. Don’t cut too deep, just enough to take out the vein with the tip of your knife.
- Then, repeat the process for each shrimp and give them a rinse when you’re done.
How To Make Camarones Con Crema Chipotle
Clean your shrimp as suggested above. Or, if you are going to use frozen shrimp, thaw them before starting with the recipe.
In a blender, place cream cheese, cream, tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo peppers, and 1 cup water. Blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and season with garlic, pepper, and salt.
Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink on all sides and no longer translucent. Is ok if some juices are still on the pan, it adds lots of flavor to the sauce!
Pour in the creamy chipotle sauce and give everything a good mix. Since the sauce will be a little cold from the cream and cheese, you need to bring back the heat quickly, so set it to high and bring it to a simmer.
Return heat to medium and allow to simmer everything for 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Taste and adjust seasonings, turn off the heat, and serve your camarones con crema chipotle as suggested below.
How To Serve
Creamy chipotle shrimp are perfect to pair with rice. In Mexico, the dish is normally served with arroz blanco, and sometimes also with ensalada de codito (macaroni salad).
You can also use the mixture to fix some tacos or top some crunchy tostadas, or sopes. Last, we suggest making agua fresca to refresh your mouth from the spicy. We recommend strawberry fresca with chia or agua de melón.
How to Not Overcook Your Shrimp
Shrimps are very delicate and it’s easy to overcook them. However, you want to avoid that because it gives them a rubbery and chewy texture.
For my camarones con crema chipotle recipe, you need to saute the shrimp, which is the best cooking method to keep your shrimp tender and plump.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your shrimp are more or less the same size. Once you clean them, you can add them to a hot, oily pan and spread them in one layer so they can cook evenly. Let the shrimps sear for up to 1 minute before you flip them over.
You’ll know they are cooked through when the flesh at the thickest part of the shrimp turns opaque. Keep an eye on them so you can add the sauce at the right time.
Store and Reheat Instructions
Place your leftovers in a glass container with a tight lid and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing as the sauce will become too watery once thawed.
For reheating, place camarones con crema chipotle in a pan and add a splash of water. Stir and heat over medium heat until nicely warm.
More camarones recipes
Camarones con crema chipotle
- 1 ½ lb frozen shrimp (thawed)
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (about ⅓ cup)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup Mexican crema (or regular whole cream)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Place cream cheese, cream, tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo peppers, and 1 cup water in a blender.
- Blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add shrimp and season with garlic, pepper, and salt.
- Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink on all sides and no longer translucent.
- Turn heat to high, pour in the creamy chipotle sauce and give everything a good mix.
- Return heat to medium and allow to simmer everything for 4 to 5 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, turn off the heat and serve.
- Make sure you don’t over cook the shrimp or they will become rubbery.
- This recipe is slightly spicy, but you can adjust spiciness by adding less chipotle peppers than the recipe calls.
- You can store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days in the fridge.
Loved this recipe! The shrimp were super soft and the sauce OMG! amazing! I served with your buttery rice and garlic bread. Not a single drop of sauce was left on the plate! Thank you so much for the recipe.
Garlic bread sounds amazing to serve with creamy chipotle shrimp, will try it next time!