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    Caldo De Camaron (Mexican Shrimp Soup)

    I’m so excited to introduce you to Caldo de Camarón, a flavorful Mexican Shrimp Soup that’s close to my heart. Here, the base broth is simmered with the shrimp shells, loading it with delicious seafood essence. This soup is a beautiful blend of bold and vibrant flavors, thanks to the combination of chiles, tomatoes, tons of fresh vegetables and plump shrimp.

    My Caldo de Camaron is a hearty shrimp soup that's loaded with veggies and bold Mexican flavors.

    I am a big fan of Mexican Caldos. My Caldo de Res and Caldo de Pollo are big hits on GypsyPlate, and are loaded with all the goodness of Mexican cuisine. I always get amazed at how a simple bowl of soup can be so good, when the recipe is so easy and straight forward. The secret is in the magic of slow and low cooking, when all the flavors just meld together.

    This recipe is all about combining fresh ingredients and aromatic spices to create a rich, hearty broth. I use a mix of guajillo and chile de árbol peppers, along with tomatoes and garlic, to give the soup its signature spicy kick. Adding potatoes, carrots, celery, and corn makes it wonderfully hearty, while the shrimp adds a deliciously savory touch. This soup is perfect for family dinners, or any time you want a comforting meal. Join me as I make this incredible Caldo de Camarón!

    Large clear bowl full of Mexican shrimp soup.

    What is Caldo de Camarón

    Caldo de Camarón is a staple in Mexican cuisine, commonly served in Mexican restaurants and cooked in households across the country. It’s made with a flavorful broth that includes shrimp, vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery, and corn, and a mix of spices and chiles. 

    This soup has its roots in the coastal regions of Mexico, where fresh seafood is abundant and a staple in the local diet. Over time, it spread throughout Mexico, each region adding its own twist with local ingredients and spices.

    Close up overhead shot of this shrimp and vegetable soup.

    Ingredients Needed

    Oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables and chiles.

    Onion and Garlic: Adds the aromatic base flavor to the soup.

    Chiles (Guajillo Peppers and Chile de Arbol): Give a combination of mild, sweet heat and a spicy kick. Use less chile de árbol if you want the soup to be less spicy.

    Roma Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce: I like to use both to give a little tangy base.

    Chicken Bouillon: Gives savory depth to the broth.

    Salt and Pepper: Basic seasonings to taste.

    Oregano and Cumin: My essential Mexican spices.

    Water: Used to create the broth and for blending the chile mixture.

    Jumbo Shrimp and Shrimp Shells: I use jumbo shrimp for this soup, and I make a pouch with the shrimp shells and heads to infuse the broth with a rich shrimp flavor.

    Vegetables (Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Mexican Squash or Zucchini): Add heartiness, texture, sweetness, and freshness to my soup.

    Bay Leaves: Go great in this soup.

    Cilantro: My favorite fresh herb in any Mexican dish.

    Lime: I always serve it on the side for a tangy finish.

    Authentic Caldo de Camarón Recipe

    Chili Sauce and Broth Preparation: I start by heating oil in a large pot. Then, I sauté the onion, garlic, guajillo peppers, chile de árbol, and tomatoes until they’re fragrant and softened.

    Tomato, onion and chili peppers cooking in a pan.

    I add a bit of water and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. After that, I blend this mixture with chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, and more water until it’s smooth. I strain this blended mixture through a sieve back into the pot to ensure a smooth broth and add additional water to reach my desired consistency.

    Straining the blended chili pepper mixture in a sieve.

    Shrimp Preparation: Next, I peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on for extra flavor. I place the shrimp heads and shells into a cheesecloth pouch and tie it securely with kitchen twine. I add this pouch to the pot and let it simmer in the broth for about 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat. This infuses the broth with a rich shrimp flavor. After simmering, I remove and discard the shrimp pouch.

    Cheesecloth pouch full of shrimp shells simmering in the broth.

    Vegetable Addition: To the simmering broth, I add diced potatoes, carrots, celery, and bay leaves. I let these vegetables cook until they begin to soften, which takes about 15 minutes. Then, I add the corn and a handful of cilantro. I continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes.

    Adding the zucchini into the soup pot.

    Final Steps: Finally, I add the shrimp to the pot and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp are fully cooked and opaque.

    Adding the shrimp into the soup.

    I serve the Caldo de Camarón immediately, garnished with fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro. My hearty and comforting Mexican shrimp soup is always a hit!

    Final product, after the shrimp have cooked.

    Alpana’s Tips

    Adjusting Spice Level: I like to control the heat by adjusting the number of chile de árbol peppers, depending on how spicy I feel that day. If you prefer a milder soup, you can use fewer árbol chilis.

    Straining the Broth: Straining the blended chile mixture through a sieve ensures a smooth and silky broth, which I find makes the soup more delicious.

    Using Fresh Shrimp: Fresh shrimp give the best flavor. I leave the tails on for extra taste and use the heads and shells to make a richer broth.

    Cooking Vegetables at Intervals: I add the potatoes, carrots, and celery first since they take longer to cook. Squash and corn go in later to prevent them from becoming too soft.

    Simmering the Shrimp Pouch: When I simmer the shrimp heads and shells in a cheesecloth pouch, it infuses the broth with a deep shrimp flavor without leaving any bits in the soup and I don’t have to strain them again.

    Overhead shot of two bowls full of caldo de camaron.

    Serving Suggestions

    I love to serve Caldo de Camarón in the biggest bowl possible. I make sure to ladle in all the different types of vegetables and shrimp, and then I pour in lots of the delicious broth. I garnish the soup generously with plenty of fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

    This soup is fantastic when paired with warm tortillas or crispy tostadas. I also enjoy serving it with a side of Mexican rice, which complements the rich flavors of the soup perfectly, making it super hearty and comforting.

    Dutch oven full of our Mexican shrimp soup.

    Making Caldo de Camarón is always a joy for me. The rich flavors, the hearty ingredients, and the comforting warmth of the broth make it a favorite in my kitchen. I love sharing this dish with family and friends, knowing it brings a little taste of Mexican tradition to our table. I hope you enjoy making and savoring this delicious soup as much as I do!

    Caldo de Camarón, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of caldo de camaron atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other great soups!
    Portuguese Bean Soup
    Chicken Pastina Soup
    Finnish Salmon Soup
    Asopao de Pollo
    Birria Ramen

    Featured image for caldo de camaron recipe.

    Caldo De Camaron (Mexican Shrimp Soup)

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

    My Caldo de Camaron is a hearty shrimp soup that's loaded with veggies and bold Mexican flavors.


    Chili Sauce and Shrimp Broth

    • 1 Tbsp oil
    • ½ large onion, cut into big chunks
    • 4 large garlic
    • 5 guajillo peppers stemmed and seeded, cut into big chunks
    • 4 chile de árbol ( use less for milder soup)
    • 3 roma tomatoes, cut into big chunks
    • 1 chicken bouillon
    • 1 tsp salt + salt to taste
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 8oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • ½ tsp cumin
    • 10 cups water, divided
    • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled with tails on and deveined, shells reserved

    Caldo De Camaron

    • 3 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
    • 2-3 cobs corn, cut into wheels
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 Mexican squash or zucchini cut into chunks
    • handful of cilantro + more for serving
    • lime to serve


    1. Heat oil in large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, chiles and tomato chunks for a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
    2. Blend this chile mixture along with chicken bouillon, 1 tsp salt, pepper, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin and 4 cups of water.
    3. Strain the blended chile mixture through a sieve into soup pot for a smoother broth. Add 5 cups of water.
    4. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Make a pouch with shrimp heads and shells with cheese cloth and tie it with kitchen twine. Place this shrimp peel pouch in the soup pot and simmer the broth for 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat. Add 3-4 tsp salt, or according to taste. Discard the shrimp pouch from the soup pot.
    5. Add diced potatoes, carrots, celery and bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes.
    6. Add corn and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
    7. Add shrimp into the soup and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through out.
    8. Serve immediately with fresh lime and chopped cilantro.


    1. You can also serve it topped with avocado and tostada or tortilla, or Mexican rice.
    2. Storing Leftovers: If I have leftovers, I store them in an airtight container in the fridge. The soup can be reheated gently on the stove, and it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 436Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 319mgSodium 2261mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 8gSugar 13gProtein 43g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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