Spanish Shrimp and Pinto Beans

Spanish shrimp and pinto beans is a delicious flavorful combination of cooked jumbo shrimp, garlic, tomato, and pinto beans.

Growing up I had a Puerto Rican grandmother who loved to cook in her kitchen. She would be in there most days humming while rolling fresh tortillas by hand at her table. Or at the stove mixing around an array of meats and sauces that permeated the entire house.

I always loved the blend of different spices she would use in her dishes and so anything full of flavor often reminds me of her. This dish reminds me of her cooking. Simple, but flavorful and one I highly suggest serving with warm tortillas to help scoop up all it’s goodness.  There are many different ways one can make shrimp and beans but I always come back to recipe ideas that are fresh and simple. This 20-minute meal is certainly that. 

Spanish Shrimp and Pinto Beans Are…

  • Similar to a bean stew with tender shrimp, pinto beans and Spanish spices
  • A delicious recipe with a quick cooking time as this dish only takes a couple of minutes to make.
  • Perfect for home cooks looking for a Spanish dish with delicious flavor.
  • Similar to Spanish white bean recipes but made with pinto beans.
  • Made completely in one large skillet for easy clean up. 

Ingredients

Beans- Pinto beans add a nice flavor and stand up to the spices in this dish. Black beans or cannellini beans will also work.

Shrimp- Use raw shrimp preferably jumbo. Use cleaned shrimp.

Green Onions- Give a nice subtle onion flavor to the dish without it being overpowering. They also add a bit of color. If you don’t have green onions, you can use white onions too.

Crushed Tomatoes- A can of crushed tomatoes helps give the beans a nice tomato base. If you like chunkier tomatoes, you can use diced tomatoes instead. 

Garlic- I use fresh large garlic cloves which add a nice garlicky flavor to the dish.

Spices- Cumin, salt, and cracked black pepper add to the delicious garlic flavor. I like to use sea salt or kosher salt but standard table salt will work. 

Butter/Olive Olive- A blend of butter and olive oil helps cook the shrimp perfectly while adding flavor and keeping the butter from burning. I use extra virgin olive oil but pure olive oil will work too. 

Avocado- To top the dish with fresh avocado when serving.

Warm Tortillas- Corn or flour tortillas work great. Optional, but highly suggested.

shrimp and pinto beans in a white bowl

Directions

In a large pan, add the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Scatter shrimp into the pan. Sprinkle the cumin on the shrimp with a dash of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Cook the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes. . Add the precooked beans, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and green onions. Stir up any brown bits from the bottom of pan.

Bring the pot to a gentle boil and finish cooking the shrimp until pink. Taste the liquid and make sure to add any additional salt and pepper you’d like. Turn the heat off. Top each serving with sliced avocado. Serve with a warm tortilla or loaf of crusty bread. It’s also delicious with rice. 

shrimp and pinto beans upclose in a bowl

Cooking Tips

  • Use a skillet with enough space, you don’t want to overcrowd the shrimp when cooking.
  • One of the best things about this original recipe is that it works as a base for making it your own. You can add extra veggies or chili flakes for heat  if you’d like.
  • Use jumbo large shrimp or if you only have small shrimp, add twice as many to ensure you have enough for the dish.

How To Precook Pinto Beans

Precook the pinto beans either the night before or get them started in the morning. Cooking times will depend on if you soak your beans or not. To soak, simply place the clean beans into a bowl and cover them with water. Let it sit on the countertop overnight for 6-8 hours. I find the beans only take about 2 hours of boiling to be ready when done this way.

If you opt not to soak them, it will take several hours for them to boil. When ready to boil whether soaked or not. Transfer to a pot and fill with water until the beans are completely covered. Add a few tbsp. of salt to the water before boiling them. I like to also add a bay leaf. Bring them to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover and simmer. Be sure to check on them occasionally to add any additional water that might be needed. Beans need to be under the water at all times.

To Clean Shrimp

Start with thawed shrimp. Hold each shrimp by the tail and pull off the legs. Next, unwrap the thin shell surrounding the body. You can choose to pull the tail off at this point or leave it on for looks. It’s up to you. I remove the whole thing. Use a pairing knife to cut a shallow incision down the back of the shrimp to remove the vein that runs down to the tail. Once cut, use the tip of the knife to remove the vein.

Serving Suggestions

  • I like to serve Spanish Shrimp and Beans in a bowl with sliced avocado on top. Along with a warm flour tortilla on the side.
  • This recipe is great for topping or serving alongside white rice.
  • For a Spanish-style breakfast you can serve this with a fried egg on the side.
  • Crispy corn tortilla chips in a bowl on the table is another great idea to have when serving this dish.

FAQ

Would kidney beans work for this recipe?

Kidney beans would work, also black and even white beans work too. 

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes, this recipe can be doubled to feed more.

Do you have a spicy version?

Not on the blog. However, you can dice a jalapeño and add it into the pot to help give it a kick or add a few red pepper flakes for heat. 

More Recipes To Try…

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Yield: 4 servings

Spanish Shrimp and Beans

shrimp and pinto beans

A delicious shrimp dish wtih beans and topped off with avocado

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups precooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups raw jumbo shrimp
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 bundles of green onions about ½ cup
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 large avocado
  • warm tortillas to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, add the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Scatter the shrimp into the pan.
  2. Sprinkle the cumin on the shrimp with a dash of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  3. Cook the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the precooked beans, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and green onions.
  5. Bring the pan to a gentle boil until the shrimp is fully cooked.
  6. Taste the liquid and make sure to add any additional salt and pepper you'd like.
  7. Remove from heat. Top each serving with sliced avocado. Serve with a warm tortilla or loaf of crusty bread. It's also delicious with rice. 

Notes

  • Use a skillet with enough space, you don't want to overcrowd the shrimp when cooking.
  • One of the best things about this original recipe is that it works as a base for making it your own. You can add extra veggies or chili flakes for heat if you'd like.
  • Use jumbo large shrimp or if you only have small shrimp, add twice as many to ensure you have enough for the dish.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 920mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 16gSugar: 2gProtein: 30g

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