Shrimp and Red Quinoa with Romesco Sauce

Shrimp and Red Quinoa with Romesco Sauce is a healthy weeknight dinner that is sure to please. The textures alone make this recipe special, but then you add in the fact it’s healthy. You’ll feel good making this for your family knowing you’re feeding them something that is good for their body. Here’s a little information about the special ingredients in our recipe.

Shrimp have many nutrients our bodies are often lacking in, to list a few; selenium, copper, choline, zinc, niacin, vitamins b6 and b12. Selenium is hard to absorb for most people. Some foods and/or supplements that we take do not prevent selenium deficiencies, yet shrimp raises measured levels of selenium in those who eat it.

Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system and fertility in both men and women. Selenium is found in a variety of foods, the richest sources being brazil nuts, seafood and organ meats.


What is Romesco Sauce?

It is typically made from any mixture of roasted/salted Marcona raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or Hazelnuts, Roasted Garlic, Olive or Sunflower oil, and peppers like Piquillo pepper (zero heat), Bitxo peppers (similar to New Mexico chiles) and/or Nyora peppers (a sun-dried, small, round variety of red Bell peppers)

once we finish today, our hope this will be the best pepper/tomato sauce you’ll ever taste.

As cooks, we are focused on quality of the food, ingredients and textures.


Romesco sauce is one of America’s Best Chefs “Go-To” sauces…Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s

chef bobby flay



As cooks, we are focused on quality of the food, ingredients, textures and mouthfeel. My personal favorite choice of peppers for this dish are piquillo peppers.

What Piquillo Peppers Look like

Piquillo Chile pepper

The Piquillo pepper is a variety of chili, capsicum annuum, having a sweet taste with no heat, fruits about 7 cm long, well suited for growing in pots, which is traditionally grown in Northern Spain near the town of Lodosa. Its name is derived from the Spanish saying “little beak”.

Where the Piquillo pepper earns it place comes from the fact the peppers are not hot peppers, the taste is outstanding and available at most grocery stores




 is a superfood because of the fact that it has 9 essential amino acids and makes up whole protein; which is only awesome because you could live off of it in emergencies

In this dish, added red Bulgur and red Quinoa to bump up the flavor and healthy bonus points


Learn to make Perfect Quinoa

how to make quinoa

Learn How To Make Perfect Quinoa

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Shrimp and Red Quinoa with Romesco Sauce

Romesco Shrimp w/ Red Quinoa

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian / Mediterranean
Servings: 4 -6 People
Author: Steven Pennington



  • 1 Pound Peeled and Deviened Shrimp

Romesco Sauce

  • One 7-ounce jar Piquillo peppers drained, or 1 cup drained roasted red bell peppers from a jar,(Optional) tossed with 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • One inch-thick sliced country bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 8 Garlic cloves pasted
  • 1 Cup roasted blanched, unsalted Marcocna raw Almonds
  • 1 Teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 4 Ancho Chiles 1 1/2 ounces, stems discarded
  • 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Plum Tomatoes—halved seeded and very coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 of Vidalia onion
  • Kosher salt


  • 3/4 Cup of Red Quinoa Usually available in the bulk aisle in your grocery store


  • Put the Ancho Chile’s in a small microwavable bowl. Heat one cup of water in the microwave for 3 minutes, then add the hot water to the Chile's. Allow the Chile's to steep until they soften, about 5 minutes.
  • From there toast the bread. Next, bring a pan to med-high heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil then add your 1 inch cubed bread. Toast for about 5 minutes, what you are looking for is that nice toasted crisp on the outside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the toasted bread cubes to a plate and let cool.
  • After the 5-minute timer is up, drain the Ancho Chiles, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Using a sharp paring knife, slit the Chile's and remove the seeds. Transfer the Chile's to a food processor. Add the reserved Chile-soaking liquid and all ingredients for the sauce and process until pure. Strain the Chile purée through a fine sieve(strainer) for silky consistency.

Cooking the Shrimp

  • The Brine…(not required) ( How To )
  • Brine adds flavor and moisture to your Shrimp
  • Stir salt and sugar into boiling water until dissolved;
  • You can add any of your favorite shrimp seasonings at this point. A little ol-bay is nice with onion and garlic powder; after 5 minutes of high heat. Then pour the brine into a large bowl filled with ice in another bowl underneath to shock and preserve the flavor of the brine ingredients.
  • Place cleaned Shrimp in the room temperature brine
  • Into the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but not too long, or the shrimp texture will change due to the salt/sugar. No NO
  • Next, take your cleaned Shrimp and saute in a pan over medium-high heat with 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil /Or GrapeSeed oil. From there you’ll be looking for the Shrimp to start turning pink around the edges. At that point, wait another minute or so depending on how many Shrimp your cooking. Then turn the Shrimp and continue cooking till all your Shrimp are a nice pink color. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain.

Serving - In a saucepan, warm your Romesco sauce to serving temperature. Remember, this is non-cooked sauce to keep the vibrant flavor. Add your warm Shrimp to the Romesco sauce to coat all over. Add your fluffy Quinoa to a warmed plate (follow instructions on quinoa package or watch our how-to video in the post above)

  • (Chef Tip: place your oven on a low temp and add your plates while bringing everything together). Top your Quinoa with the Shrimp, add a little extra Romesco sauce on top and garnish with a green herb you enjoy like parsley or basil.


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Chef Steven Pennington

Chef Steven Pennington

Content Creator

Le Cordon Bleu Chef sharing food adventures from around the world with a style of cooking rooted in southwestern flavors using French culinary technique.