Shrimp Quesadilla

Shrimp quesadilla recipe, flour tortillas toasted with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and shrimp marinated in lime juice with chiles, green onion and cilantro.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves one.


  • 1/4 pound of medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp of lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 jalapeno or serrano chile, finely minced and/or dash of chile powder
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium-sized flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • Dollop of sour cream or crema fresca


1 If you are starting with frozen raw shrimp, defrost them by placing them in a bowl of ice water until defrosted. Then poach the raw shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water, remove from pan with a slotted spoon, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. If you are starting with frozen cooked shrimp, you can defrost them in a bowl of ice water or lemon juice with ice.

2 Place strained cooked shrimp in a bowl. Add lime or lemon juice, some chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano chile and/or a dash of chile powder (can also use chipotle chiles or chipotle chili powder) to desired level of heat, green onion, and cilantro. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10 to 30 minutes. Strain out the juice.

3 Heat a cast iron or stick-free skillet on medium high. Add a small amount of oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan with a spatula (you could use butter as well). Place one flour tortilla on the skillet. Flip the tortilla over a few times, 10 seconds between flips. Air pockets should begin to form within the tortilla. Remove the tortilla and repeat with the second tortilla. Leave the second tortilla in the pan and reduce the heat to medium.


4 Sprinkle the tortilla with the grated cheese. Distribute the shrimp mixture on top of the cheese. Place the other tortilla on top. Using two spatulas (one to hold the top in place) flip the quesadilla over when the bottom tortilla is nicely toasted and the cheese has begun to melt. Remove the quesadilla from the pan when the now bottom tortilla has toasted sufficiently.

You can also use just one tortilla instead of two, and fold the tortilla over itself like an omelette.

5 Cut like a pie into six pieces. A pizza wheel works well for this. Place on a serving plate. Serve with avocado slices and sour cream. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

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  • Ann

    Made this tonight and it was so yummy! Unfortunately I did not have avocado but I sautéed mushrooms, ginger, coconut cream and a few drops of lime juice and drizzled that on top. It was pretty nice! Thanks for the recipe, Simply Recipes!

  • alisa

    This is a remarkable site…..I can’t thank you enough for all these amazing recipes. I’m one for getting bored quickly of making the same things….I made the Shrimp Quesadillas this weekend for lunch and they were a HUGE hit! Yummy…..;o)

  • Jenny

    I made these last night for a few friends, and everyone loved them! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe — I’m sending it out to my friends right now. We are all big fans of Bucks also (I live in the Bay area) — I’ll have to try the version of these quesadillas at Bucks soon!

    PS. I love the blog — I’m slowly working my way through all the yummy recipes!

  • Naomi

    I’m not very familiar with peppers and chiles. Is “chile powder” the same as the “chili powder” that I put in my beans & beef chili?

  • Ni'Chole

    I’ve had this before and it is WONDERFUl…I was just wondering if anyone has tried to make them with corn tortillas instead of wheat or flour? If so how did they turn out?

  • Laryssa

    I made a Mexican-inspired tabbouleh on Friday night and refrigerated all the leftover, chopped-up cilantro, red onion and green peppere. How lucky for me to find this recipe on Saturday morning so that I could put my chopped vegetables to good use. I even made my own guac to go with this yummy dish. So delicious…quesadillas are my weakness. Thanks!

  • Leisureguyy

    If the shrimp are not cooked, soaking them in brine greatly improves texture…

  • Sarah

    I do a similar take on the shrimp quesadilla, but toss in a couple of extra ingredients to make them more substantial. Instead of poaching, I saute the shrimp and toss in some sweet corn (from the freezer) and black beans. I think I need to make these sometime soon.

  • Susan from Food Blogga

    This is one of our go-to meals as well. In fact, we just had them on Saturday. They’re so fast, easy, and versatile. What’s not to love?

  • Janice C. Cartier

    Yummy. Became a fan of shrimp tacos in Santa Fe. Now I can make my own. these look fantastique! Just a note for those of us to whom cilantro tastes like ivory soap (10% of the population) what would you substitute?

    If cilantro tastes like soap to you, I would just skip it! ~Elise