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Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew

4 Servings

35 minutes

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At Palacio Carvajal Girón, in the Extremadura region of Spain, we tasted a delicious shellfish and chickpea stew that was rich and redolent with locally produced smoked paprika. Requiring both a ham- and langoustine-infused broth and made with dried chickpeas, the dish was a time- and labor-intensive preparation. Our much-simplified version captures the essence of the stew in just a fraction of the time. We use canned chickpeas for convenience, and the broth gets flavor from bottled clam juice and the viscous liquid from the chickpeas. A combination of Spanish smoked paprika and standard sweet paprika give the stew deep color and earthy complexity without overwhelming the shrimp.




Don’t forget to reserve ½ cup of the liquid before draining the can of chickpeas. The liquid adds both body and flavor to the broth. When peeling the shrimp, don’t remove the tails because they also lend flavor to the broth. But do remove the tails when halving the seared shrimp so that the pieces are easier to eat in the finished stew.

35 minutes



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Laura W.
October 28, 2022
What’s not to like?!
This is delicious! The first time I made it, I accidentally used HOT paprika! If you like spicy food, it is great! We like spicy, but we like it to ed down a bit, so kow I use 1/3 spicy, 1/3 sweet, and 1/2 regular or smoked. This is a very easy dish to make. It is also good served with crusty french bread to sop of the yummy juices. When I make this dish, my son tells me I truly have outdone myself!
Juan G.
January 17, 2023
Almost followed the recipe ;)
I started as instructed and then found out someone used my leeks so I replaced that with a mix of green onions and celery. I also cooked the shrimp shells a bit, with a couple of bay leaves, adding a bit of white wine and reducing it before following the next steps (butter, garlic, chickpeas) and replace clam juice for fish bouillon. Overall, good stew.
kelly s.
October 30, 2022
Smokey and Delicious
This soup is very tasty. I felt it needed a bit more broth so I added more clam juice a bit of lemon. This is very easy and a quick savory meal.
Isabel B.
January 27, 2024
Great base recipe….I make all kind of adjustments
I have made this many times…the first time I used hot smoked paprika…wow super hot. But I still like adding some to make it spicy. Another time I did not have garbanzos (I swore I did) and used cannellini beans instead…now a favorite. I also like adding fresh cilantro or parsley depending on my mood and what I had available 😉
Heather G.
December 27, 2022
Very tasty, paprika forward
Made this per the recipe, except took MS Tuesday recommendation for a faster prep. In the future I will add a green like spinach/kale to add some more texture/taste, but welcome comfort food
Alyce G.

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Elizabeth B.

This was a disappointment. It was a lot more work than I realized and the smoked paprika didn’t do it for us.

Wadi M.

Delicious, I increased the garlic and butter. Got a good sear in that jumbo shrimp. Addictive. I wonder if some saffron would work with this?

Mark C.

This was very tasty. Leaving the tails on and halving the shrimp after par-cooking them was annoying and messy. If the whole point is to add shrimp flavor it might just be easier to simmer the clam juice and shrimps shells together in a small pot to extract the flavor. I'd also cut the shrimp before cooking them so I don't have to slice greasy, slippery shrimp. Next time I might also drizzle on some lemon juice along with the finishing olive oil.

Kay Ellen T.

If you have the shells from the shrimp, why wouldn't you make a quick stock from them with tomato paste, white wine and water?

Jay G.

Any suggestions as a substitute for the clam juice due to an allergy? Shrimp are okay, no mollusks.

Janelle C.

Hi Jay,

You can try chicken broth.

The Milk Street Team

Ramona W.

Made this the other night and served it with some rice beneath it. Husband was maybe three bits in and said, "This one is a keeper". So that was the review of this in our house! It was simple to make, and as we are in shelter in place, I made the adjustments of yellow onion for leek (didn't have on hand) and shelled tail off shrimp (as that is what I had in the freezer). The recipe is fast and warming as any comfort food should be. So I second the household review, "It is a keeper".

christine d.

I didn't bother cutting the shrimp in half and taking off the tails. It was just as easy to pick off the tails when we ate them.
We both really liked this - I just wish I had some bread to sop up the sauce with.

Kristi M.

I thought this was good, but not amazing. Working with the shrimp was a little fiddly; it is definitely not a weeknight dish. The paprika taste was good, but felt it was missing something? Salt? Also, I served it over rice. It wasn’t quite enough of a meal to serve it as a stew (for 4). I don’t think the rice was quite right, though. Polenta? Noodles?

Bryan M.

Made it over a campfire with triumphant results. I had nothing but time so I cooked the chicken peas from a dry state. A wonderful exercise in pushing outside the paprika safety zone. Already marked as a favorite. Thank you!

Ellen H.

I made this but added extra veggies (kale, zucchini, broccoli) and served it over brown rice to make it more nutritionally balanced. I loved it, however, my husband thought the flavor of the smoked paprika and leeks were overhwhelming and too gritty. This goes to show that the flavors in this dish are definitely strong so it might be a love it or hate it dish.

Amber S.

It was a little overwhelming to cook (I probably just need more practice): I maybe left my shrimp in too long because my paprika was looking pretty burnt and sad. The day I made it, it was good..fine. I froze the left-overs and reheated them maybe a week later and it tasted SOOOOO much better. The gritty paprika texture I had went away and everything melded really well. I am definitely going to come back to this one :)

Milk Street S.

To turn this in to a Tuesday night dish: Remove tails and simmer them in clam broth with1/2 cup garbanzo liquid and the 2T of paprika . Cut the shrimp while raw.

John W.

Completely disappointing. Sadly we threw it away after a few bites as it lacked any depth of flavor and body. It is literally like eating smoky paprika water. I even went so far as to boil full shrimp shells in white wine before hand and reduced the liquid to add to it. This one wont go in my recipe box

Michael Y.

This is very good but needs salt and maybe something else. Lemon? sherry vinegar? Olives?