30-Minute Arroz Con Camarones (Shrimp and Rice)

Colombian arroz con camarones is a delicious dish that translates to “rice with shrimp.” It’s a very popular Colombian dish that is traditionally made in the Pacific region of the country. Although, I have also seen a few versions from the Caribbean coast that are just as delicious.

Arroz con camarones is usually served as a main dish with classic Colombian side dishes like patacones, sweet plantains, and avocado.

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A dish with shrimp, rice, peas, and cilantro with a fork on the side.

This is one of my favorite Colombian dishes because of the wonderful flavor it gets from the coconut milk and lime juice. That delicious combination truly reminds me of a beautiful hot and sunny day at the beach.

Ingredients Needed To Make Arroz Con Camarones

  • Oil. We’ll need good quality oil like olive or avocado to stir-fry the rice for a few minutes to get a delicious nutty flavor. We’ll also need it for making the hogao or sofrito.
  • Onions, garlic, and tomatoes. The Colombian trinity for making a delicious hogao. This is the base for many of our traditional recipes.
  • Rice. I usually make this dish with white long-grain jasmine rice. You can also make it with Arborio rice if you want to get a nice risotto consistency.
  • Shrimp. Use large peeled and deveined shrimp. If I don’t get fresh shrimp from the grocery store the same day I want to make this dish, I will just use frozen shrimp, which works just as well.
  • Achiote. Only a small amount is needed to give this dish a beautiful red color. You can substitute it with turmeric, which gives you a lighter orange color, or a small amount of Sazón or Bijol. Paprika may be used as a last resort but since you have to use more of it to get a nice hue, it will alter the flavor in this recipe.
  • Broth or stock. Seafood or chicken stock are both great options to make arroz con camarones. I usually use chicken stock since that is what I tend to have in my pantry.
  • Coconut milk. A must! The flavor you get from coconut milk is unmatched. Use unsweetened coconut milk.
  • Limes. I’m telling you, the combination of lime juice and coconut milk in this dish is amazing! We’ll be using not only a small amount of lime juice but some of the lime zest as well.
  • Cilantro and sweet peas. These two ingredients not only add another layer of flavor, but the green color beautifully pops up against the red color of the rice and shrimp.
Ingredients for making arroz con camarones or shrimp and rice. Rice, shrimp, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, sweet peas, achiote, chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt.

How To Make A Delicious Arroz Con Camarones or Rice With Shrimp

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a medium pot or saucepan. Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes, then add the achiote for some color. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and cook until done.
  2. In a large pan or skillet heat about 2 tbsp of oil. Add the onion, garlic, and tomatoes to make an hogao or sofrito. Add achiote for color and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in the broth, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime zest. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the shrimp and cook until done.
  4. Add green peas, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and more salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Finally, add the cooked rice, stir, and serve.
A large stainless steel skillet with cooked arroz con camarones or shrimp and rice with cilantro and sweet peas.

Tips For Making Arroz Con Camarones

  • As with all shrimp recipes, don’t overcook the shrimp. I have seen recipes where they cook the shrimp along with the rice or let it simmer for a long time in the hogao. This should be avoided or you will end up with very rubbery shrimp. It should only take about 3 minutes to cook large shrimp.
  • This recipe will give you a risotto consistency because we’re adding broth and coconut milk to the hogao. If you want an arroz con camarones with a dryer consistency, don’t add any liquid. Simply cook the shrimp in the hogao and then mix in the rice.
  • Try to use achiote for this recipe. Having said that, it is no big deal if you don’t have it on hand. I would much rather skip it than try to make it work with other spices which could eventually alter the flavor.
  • Don’t feel bad if you’re using frozen shrimp! Oftentimes that is all I have available, and it works just as well. Use peeled and deveined shrimp to make things easier.
  • To rinse or not to rinse your rice. It depends on the recipe. If you want super fluffy rice, then yes, you should rinse it to get rid of all the starch. If you want flavorful rice, don’t rinse it. I never do, and honestly, my rice comes out perfect every… single… time.
  • One last tip. Don’t be picky about the stock that you use. Sure, making your own stock from shrimp shells will give you bragging points. But do you really need to make it from scratch for this recipe? No. I’m telling you, it is still out of this world delicious with store-bought chicken or seafood stock.

Arroz Con Camarones Video

A large stainless steel skillet with cooked arroz con camarones or shrimp and rice with cilantro and sweet peas. Half a lime and a bunch of cilantro in the background.

How To Store Arroz Con Camarones

You can store this dish in the refrigerator inside an airtight container for about 3 days.

You can also freeze it for a couple of months inside an airtight container. Make sure to thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can reheat it using a large pan or skillet.

A dish with arroz con camarones or shrimp and rice, peas, and cilantro with a fork on the side.

More Shrimp Recipes You May Like

Equipment Used For Making This Recipe

¡Buen Provecho!

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A dish with arroz con camarones or shrimp and rice, peas, and cilantro with a fork on the side.

30-Minute Arroz Con Camarones (Shrimp and Rice)

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  • Author: Diana
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Colombian, Dinner, Main Dish, Rice, Seafood
  • Cuisine: Colombian


Make this delicious arroz con camarones in about 30 minutes. You will love the amazing combination of shrimp, coconut milk, and lime juice.




  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (225 g) white long-grain rice
  • ¼½ tsp achiote (I only use ¼ tsp but you can add more)
  • 1½ cups (354 ml) seafood or chicken stock or broth
  • ½ cup (118 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 green onion, whole (stalk only)
  • 1 garlic clove, whole
  • Salt to taste

Hogao (Sofrito)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped (stalks only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼½ tsp achiote
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup (118 ml) seafood or chicken stock or broth (See notes)
  • ½ cup (118 ml) unsweetened coconut milk (See notes)
  • ½ handful of cilantro, whole
  • Zest of ½ lime (Use more if you want a stronger lime flavor)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½¾ cup (112 g) frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • ¼½ cup (25 g) cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium pot or saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir-fry it for about 2-3 minutes. Add the achiote and stir to cover the rice.
  2. Add the 1½ cups of stock and ½ cup of coconut milk, the green onion stalk, garlic clove, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and tender. Remove the green onion and garlic, and fluff up the rice with a fork. Set it aside.
  3. To make the hogao, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan or skillet, over medium heat. Add the chopped white or yellow onion and cook for 3 minutes or until it’s softened. Add the chopped green onion and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the achiote, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
  4. Add the ½ cup of stock and ½ cup of coconut milk, along with the handful of cilantro and lime zest. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the cilantro and add the raw shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes or until it turns pink. Add the sweet peas, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Finally, fold in the cooked rice until it is well combined. Serve immediately.


  • If you want an arroz con camarones with a dryer consistency, don’t add the ½ cup of stock or the ½ cup of coconut milk to the hogao. 

  • You can serve this dish with patacones, sweet plantains, a simple Colombian salad, and/or avocado.

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