Camarones Rancheros: A Flavorful Mexican Shrimp Dish

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Camarones Rancheros is a delightful Mexican dish that features succulent shrimp cooked in a savory tomato-based sauce, infused with the flavors of garlic, onions, and a medley of spices. The term “Rancheros” refers to the rustic, ranch-style cooking typical of rural Mexico, where fresh ingredients and bold flavors are the stars of the meal. This dish is simple to prepare yet packed with vibrant flavors, making it a perfect choice for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. Served with rice, beans, or warm tortillas, Camarones Rancheros brings the authentic taste of Mexican cuisine to your table.


For the Camarones Rancheros:
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, for extra heat)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving
For Serving:
  • Cooked white or Spanish rice
  • Warm tortillas
  • Refried beans


  1. Prepare the Shrimp:
    • Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
    • Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Cook the Peppers and Tomatoes:
    • Add the chopped green and red bell peppers to the skillet, cooking for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
    • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and jalapeño (if using), cooking for an additional 5 minutes until the tomatoes break down and create a chunky sauce.
  4. Add the Spices and Tomato Sauce:
    • Stir in the tomato sauce, ground cumin, dried oregano, paprika, and chili powder.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Cook the Shrimp:
    • Increase the heat to medium and add the shrimp to the skillet.
    • Cook the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are pink and opaque, and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Finish and Serve:
    • Once the shrimp are cooked through, remove the skillet from the heat.
    • Stir in the chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.
    • Serve the Camarones Rancheros hot with cooked white or Spanish rice, warm tortillas, and refried beans.
    • Garnish with lime wedges for an added burst of fresh flavor.

Tips for Serving

  • Taco Option: Serve the Camarones Rancheros in warm tortillas for a delicious shrimp taco variation.
  • Heat Levels: Adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer jalapeños or substituting with milder peppers like poblanos.
  • Garnish Ideas: Top with avocado slices, crumbled queso fresco, or a dollop of sour cream for added richness and texture.


  • Seafood Mix: Add other seafood like scallops or chunks of white fish for a mixed seafood Rancheros dish.
  • Vegetable Addition: Include other vegetables like zucchini or corn to add more texture and flavor to the dish.
  • Creamy Twist: Stir in a bit of heavy cream or coconut milk for a creamy version of Camarones Rancheros.


Camarones Rancheros is a flavorful and vibrant dish that captures the essence of Mexican ranch-style cooking. The combination of fresh shrimp, savory tomato sauce, and a medley of spices creates a dish that is both satisfying and delicious. Easy to prepare and adaptable to your taste preferences, Camarones Rancheros is perfect for any meal occasion, whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a festive dish to share with family and friends. Enjoy the rich, bold flavors of this classic Mexican recipe and bring a taste of the ranch to your kitchen.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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