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Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

Get ready to embark on a journey of flavors with this Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla recipe. This dish is a delightful blend of succulent shrimp spiced with chipotle powder and crisped to perfection in a cheesy quesadilla. The freshness of lime, cilantro, and avocado complements the spice and offers a balanced, tantalizing treat that is hard to resist.

Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

Photos of Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

The key to this recipe is the shrimp, chipotle powder, lime juice, and Monterey Jack cheese. Shrimp is usually available at the seafood section of most supermarkets. Chipotle powder is a type of smoked chili powder that gives the shrimp its unique spicy flavor; you can find it in the spice aisle. Monterey Jack cheese, known for its melting quality, is essential for the quesadilla. It's commonly available in the cheese section. If you can't find it, any good melting cheese like mozzarella can serve as a substitute.

Ingredients for Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla

Shrimp: The star of this dish, providing a juicy and tender bite.

Chipotle powder: Gives the shrimp a smoky, spicy flavor that makes this dish stand out.

Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

Pepper: Adds a slight kick and pairs well with the chipotle powder.

Lime juice: Adds acidity to balance the flavors.

Olive oil: Used for cooking the shrimp and toasting the tortilla.

Red onion: Provides a slight crunch and sweetness to balance out the spice.

Cilantro: Fresh herb that adds a refreshing note.

Flour tortillas: The base of the quesadilla where all ingredients come together.

Monterey Jack cheese: Melts beautifully, giving the quesadilla a gooey, cheesy texture.

Avocado: Adds creaminess and a rich, buttery flavor.

Sour cream: Serves as a cooling element, perfect for balancing the chipotle's heat.

One reader, Kenton Rash says:

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This spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are incredible and the shrimp is perfectly seasoned. It's easy to make and a hit with my family. The combination of spices and cheese is just perfect. I highly recommend trying it out!

Kenton Rash

Techniques Required for Making Spicy Shrimp Quesadillas

How to prepare the shrimp: Toss the shrimp in a small bowl with chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then drain out the juice.

How to cook the shrimp: Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for half a minute on each side, then remove to a bowl.

How to heat the tortillas: Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Place one flour tortilla on the skillet and flip it over a few times until air pockets begin to form within the tortilla. Repeat with the second tortilla, leaving it in the pan and reducing the heat to medium.

How to assemble the quesadilla: Sprinkle the tortilla with grated cheese, distribute the cooked shrimp on top of the cheese, add chopped onion and cilantro, then place the other tortilla on top.

How to cook the quesadilla: 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.

How to serve: Cut the quesadilla into six pieces and place on a serving plate. Serve with avocado slices and sour cream, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, and squeeze a little lime juice over everything.

How To Make Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla

Perfect as a meal or a heavy snack, this shrimp quesadilla has tons of fresh cilantro, chili powder, and onions served with some fresh and creamy avocados.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes



  • ¼lbraw shrimp,medium-small, peeled and deveined
  • ¼tspchipotle powder,or chili powder
  • pinchsalt
  • pinchpepper
  • 1tbsplime juice,or lemon juice
  • tspextra virgin olive oil,divided, (2 tsp and ½ tsp)
  • 1tbspred onion,chopped
  • 1tbspfresh cilantro,chopped, plus more for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • 2mediumflour tortillas
  • ½cupmonterey jack cheese,shredded
  • ¼avocado,sliced
  • dollop of sour cream,or crema fresca


  1. Toss the shrimp in a small bowl with the chipotle powder or chile powder, a pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, and a tablespoon of lime or lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then drain out the juice.

  2. Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a relatively stick-free skillet (a cast iron skillet works well for this) on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for half a minute on each side, and remove to a bowl.

  3. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Add a small amount of olive oil and heat the pan on medium-high. 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 on top of the cheese. Add chopped onion and cilantro. Place the other tortilla on top. 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.

  6. Serve with avocado slices and sour cream. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Squeeze a little lime juice over everything.


  • Calories: 828.97kcal
  • Fat: 46.80g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.57g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 22.77g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.05g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.03g
  • Fiber: 6.77g
  • Sugar: 4.02g
  • Protein: 48.32g
  • Cholesterol: 241.31mg
  • Sodium: 1282.81mg
  • Calcium: 747.90mg
  • Potassium: 807.17mg
  • Iron: 5.04mg
  • Vitamin A: 148.48µg
  • Vitamin C: 10.66mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Your Shrimp Quesadillas

When cooking the shrimp, it's crucial not to overcook them as they can become tough and rubbery. Shrimp cook very quickly, usually in about 2-3 minutes. As soon as they turn pink, they're done. Also, when assembling the quesadilla, evenly distribute the cheese and shrimp to ensure every bite is flavorful and well-balanced.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and marinate the shrimp in advance to save time when cooking. You can also pre-grate the cheese and chop the onions and cilantro beforehand.

Use pre-cooked shrimp: To save time, you can use pre-cooked shrimp instead of raw shrimp. This will reduce the cooking time and simplify the preparation process.

One tortilla option: Instead of using two tortillas, you can opt for a single tortilla and fold it over, similar to an omelette, to save time and effort.

High heat cooking: Cooking the quesadilla over medium-high heat will help it cook faster, ensuring that the cheese melts and the tortilla crisps up quickly.

Efficient slicing: Use a pizza wheel to efficiently cut the quesadilla into six pieces, making it easier and quicker to serve.

Prep station: Set up a prep station with all the ingredients and tools you need before you start cooking to streamline the process and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

  • raw shrimp - Substitute with sliced chicken breast: Chicken breast can be used as a substitute for shrimp, providing a lean protein option with a mild flavor that complements the other ingredients.

  • chipotle powder - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika offers a similar smoky flavor profile to chipotle powder, adding depth and a hint of heat to the dish.

  • lime juice - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for lime juice, providing a similar level of acidity and brightness to the dish.

  • extra virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil can be used as a substitute for extra virgin olive oil, offering a mild, buttery flavor and a high smoke point for cooking the ingredients.

  • red onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for red onion, providing a milder, sweeter flavor that complements the other ingredients in the quesadilla.

  • flour tortillas - Substitute with corn tortillas: Corn tortillas can be used as a substitute for flour tortillas, offering a gluten-free option with a slightly different texture and flavor.

  • monterey jack cheese - Substitute with pepper jack cheese: Pepper jack cheese provides a similar creamy texture with the added kick of spicy peppers, enhancing the overall heat of the quesadilla.

  • avocado - Substitute with mango: Mango can be used as a substitute for avocado, providing a sweet and tropical flavor that pairs well with the spicy elements of the quesadilla.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt offers a tangy and creamy alternative to sour cream, adding a refreshing contrast to the spicy shrimp quesadilla.

Plating Ideas for a Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla

  1. Elevate the quesadilla: Place the quesadilla slices on a sleek, modern plate to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish.

  2. Garnish with precision: Carefully place the avocado slices and dollop of sour cream on the plate, ensuring each element is positioned thoughtfully to enhance the visual appeal.

  3. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Use a squeeze bottle to create a delicate drizzle of lime juice over the quesadilla, adding a touch of elegance to the presentation.

  4. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of minimalism by allowing some empty space on the plate, drawing attention to the quesadilla as the focal point.

  5. Add a touch of greenery: Place a sprig of fresh cilantro as a final garnish, adding a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Quesadillas

  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Cast iron skillet: A heavy-duty skillet made of cast iron, known for its excellent heat retention and distribution.
  • Paper towels: Absorbent paper used for drying and cleaning.
  • Pizza wheel: A sharp, circular blade used for cutting pizzas and quesadillas into slices.

Storing and Freezing Spicy Shrimp Quesadillas

  • Let the quesadilla cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, wrap the quesadilla tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • For longer storage, freeze the quesadilla:
    • Wrap the cooled quesadilla tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.
    • Place the wrapped quesadilla in a freezer-safe bag or container.
    • Label the bag or container with the date and contents.
    • Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat a refrigerated quesadilla, place it in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through and crispy.
  • To reheat a frozen quesadilla:
    • Thaw the quesadilla in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Unwrap the quesadilla and place it in a skillet over medium heat.
    • Cook until warmed through and crispy, flipping once.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat a frozen quesadilla in the oven:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Unwrap the frozen quesadilla and place it on a baking sheet.
    • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy.

How To Reheat Leftover Shrimp Quesadillas

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Wrap the leftover quesadilla in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy. This method helps to retain the crispiness of the tortilla while evenly reheating the filling.

  • If you prefer a quicker method, you can use a microwave. Place the leftover quesadilla on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 30-60 seconds, depending on the strength of your microwave. However, keep in mind that microwaving may result in a softer tortilla.

  • For a crispy exterior, reheat the leftover quesadilla in a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease the surface with butter or oil and place the quesadilla on the hot surface. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your leftover quesadilla. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the quesadilla in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

  • To maintain the best texture and flavor, avoid reheating the quesadilla more than once. Reheat only the portion you plan to consume and store the remaining leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Interesting Trivia About Shrimp Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a popular Mexican dish that can be traced back to the colonial period. They were originally made using corn tortillas and filled with cheese, but today there are countless variations, including this spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe.

Is Making Spicy Shrimp Quesadillas at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe is quite favorable. The main ingredients, such as shrimp, cheese, and tortillas, are reasonably priced and readily available. The addition of avocado and sour cream may slightly increase the cost, but they contribute to the overall flavor and appeal. Considering the balance of protein, dairy, and vegetables, this dish offers a good nutritional value for the cost. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its taste, simplicity, and affordability. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20-$25.

Are Shrimp Quesadillas Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe is a relatively healthy dish with a few areas for improvement. Here's a breakdown of the recipe's healthiness:


  • Shrimp is a lean protein source, low in calories and high in essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium
  • The recipe uses a small amount of olive oil, which is a healthy fat
  • Lime juice adds flavor and vitamin C
  • Cilantro and red onion provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Avocado is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber


  • Flour tortillas are high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber
  • Monterey jack cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium
  • Sour cream adds additional saturated fat and calories

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap flour tortillas for whole wheat or corn tortillas to increase fiber content and reduce refined carbohydrates
  • Use a reduced-fat monterey jack cheese or a lower-fat alternative like queso fresco to decrease saturated fat
  • Replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt for a lower-fat, protein-rich alternative
  • Add more vegetables to the quesadilla, such as bell peppers, spinach, or tomatoes, to increase vitamin and fiber content
  • Use a salt-free chipotle powder to reduce sodium intake
  • Serve with a side salad or fresh salsa to boost vegetable intake and add more nutrients to the meal

Editor's Opinion on This Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

This spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The chipotle-marinated shrimp adds a smoky and spicy kick, while the melted Monterey Jack cheese brings a creamy richness. The addition of fresh cilantro and lime juice brightens the dish, and the creamy avocado and sour cream provide a cooling contrast. The cooking method ensures a perfectly crispy tortilla with a gooey, flavorful filling. It's a simple yet impressive dish that's perfect for a quick lunch or a casual dinner. Enjoy the bold and zesty flavors in every bite!

Enhance Your Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty guacamole with a hint of lime and cilantro to complement the spicy shrimp quesadilla.
Mango salsa: Whip up a refreshing mango salsa with a kick of jalapeno to add a tropical twist to your meal.
Black bean and corn salad: Prepare a colorful and flavorful black bean and corn salad with a tangy vinaigrette to serve alongside the spicy shrimp quesadilla.
Cilantro lime rice: Cook up a fragrant cilantro lime rice to add a citrusy and herby element to your dish.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Shrimp Quesadillas

Spicy Shrimp Tacos: Grilled shrimp, spicy slaw, and avocado crema make these tacos a flavorful and satisfying meal.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Tender chicken breasts topped with a sweet and tangy mango salsa for a refreshing and tropical twist on a classic dish.
Coconut Curry Vegetables: A creamy and aromatic coconut curry sauce paired with a variety of colorful and crunchy vegetables for a satisfying and flavorful vegetarian dish.
Berry Cobbler: Fresh mixed berries topped with a buttery and crumbly cobbler topping, baked to golden perfection for a delightful and comforting dessert.
Butternut Squash Soup: Velvety smooth butternut squash soup with a hint of warm spices, perfect for a cozy and comforting meal on a chilly day.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Serve with Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a mouthwatering appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Take your taste buds on a tropical vacation with these crispy coconut shrimp. Dip each shrimp in a light batter, coat with shredded coconut, and fry until golden brown. Serve with a tangy dipping sauce for a delightful appetizer.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, with a buttery graham cracker crust and a sweet strawberry topping. Each bite is a delightful combination of tangy and sweet flavors that will satisfy your dessert cravings.

Why trust this Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe:

This spicy shrimp quesadilla recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The chipotle powder and lime juice infuse the shrimp with a zesty kick, while the Monterey Jack cheese adds a creamy richness. The use of fresh cilantro and red onion brings a burst of freshness to each bite. The careful cooking techniques ensure perfectly cooked shrimp and a beautifully golden, crispy tortilla. Trust in the combination of these high-quality ingredients to deliver a mouthwatering and satisfying quesadilla experience.

Want to share your own twist on this Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe or discuss cooking tips with fellow foodies? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum and let's talk all things quesadillas!
What type of shrimp should I use for this recipe?
You can use any type of raw shrimp for this recipe, but I recommend using medium-sized shrimp for the best texture and flavor.
Can I use a different type of cheese if I don't have Monterey Jack?
Absolutely! Feel free to use any cheese of your choice. Cheddar, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would all work well in this recipe.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
While it's best to enjoy the quesadilla fresh, you can prepare the shrimp and other ingredients ahead of time and assemble the quesadilla when you're ready to eat. Just be sure to reheat it gently to avoid overcooking the shrimp.
Is there a substitute for avocado if I don't have any on hand?
If you don't have avocado, you can omit it or substitute it with a spoonful of guacamole for a similar creamy and flavorful addition to the dish.
How spicy is this quesadilla?
The spiciness of the quesadilla can be adjusted to your preference by adding more or less chipotle powder. It provides a mild to medium level of heat, but you can customize it to suit your taste.

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