Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

By Sally Cameron on December 09, 2015

Fish & Seafood, the daniel plan

Have you ever made Shrimp Fra Diavolo? While it sounds fancy, it’s an easy, no-fail dinner sure to make your family happy. Tender shrimp, quickly cooked in a bubbling, spicy tomato sauce, “brother devil” style. See serving options below.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo | AFoodCentricLife.com

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

While the origin of this Italian-sounding shrimp dish is bedeviling, no one will care when you serve it up for dinner. The “devil” refers to the spiciness of the dish. How spicy is up to you. A modest 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper is what I started with for 4 servings. It’s also called pizza pepper or pepper flakes. You can amp it up if you love spicy heat. This is just enough to make my wimpy nose run. Serve a small dish of the dried chili peppers on the table for people to add their own spicy heat. That way the dish isn’t too hot for those “spice-challenged”.

Buying Shrimp

Buy 4-6 ounces per person or 1 – 1 1/2 pounds for 4 servings. I usually buy the 16-20 size (16 – 20 pieces per pound) but smaller shrimp work just as well. Smaller shrimp will cook more quickly. If the shrimp are already peeled and deveined (cleaned), the prep time is faster. If they are shell on, peel and devein the shrimp before cooking.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo | AFoodCentricLife.com

Cooking Shrimp

Cooking shrimp is fast and easy because they tell you when they are done by turning pink. The shrimp are added to the simmering onions, garlic and tomatoes and cooked just a few minutes until they turn pink, then served.

Shrimp are perfect for time-crunched dinners because they cook so quickly. This dish takes about 30 minutes from prep to serve. If you are serving with pasta, get your water boiling first so everything is done at the same time and hot to serve.

Serving Options

Serve Shrimp Fra Diavolo over brown rice pasta (for gluten-free),  polenta, zucchini noodles, or steamed kale ribbons. A sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a wonderful finish. While traditional Italians would never, ever finish seafood with cheese (and probably look at you with horror), it sure adds a nice rich saltiness at the end. As real Parmigiano-Reggiano has a strong flavor, just a sprinkle will do. Skip the green can and get a chunk to grate fresh yourself.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo|AFoodCentricLife.com

Since shrimp are sp easy and tasty, try my baked lemon shrimp scampi too!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp FraDiavolo, shrimp “brother devil” style in a spicy tomato sauce. How spicy is up to you. The shrimp cook fast for a quick an easy dinner.  Serve over brown rice pasta for gluten-free, polenta, zucchini noodles, or steamed kale ribbons for grain-free.
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion 1 1/2 cups, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup white wine optional
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 ounces, no salt added
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves plus extra for garnish if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper plus extra for garnish if desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds large wild shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese optional, skip for dairy-free


  • Heat a medium (3-4 quart) saute pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. If the onion starts to brown, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the wine and cook down halfway.
  • Next, add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, peppers and salt. With the heat on medium, cook the tomatoes until bubbling. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes to meld flavors. Add the shrimp in a single flat layer, cover and turn heat to medium low. Cook until shrimp turn pink, 3-4 minutes. Timing will depend on the size of the shrimp. For large shrimp you may need to turn them over once.
  • Serve hot garnished with extra basil leaves and a sprinkle of cheese if desired.

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