Tender, juicy, seasoned shrimp, sautéed onions, and sautéed bell peppers, topped with melty cheese and folded up inside a crisp, flaky tortilla. This simple shrimp quesadilla is full of incredible flavors, and my trick for rich, perfectly browned, restaurant-style tortillas puts the whole dish over the top!
🍤 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- I love a good quesadilla. They’re convenient, and portable, and mostly self-contained. The ultimate I-only-have-one-free-hand-to-eat-with food. With the filling enveloped by a warm, crisp tortilla, I’m able to keep a hand free to wrangle kids or edit photos or stir the soup I’m making for dinner after soccer practice. IYKYK.
- You can put literally anything in a quesadilla. Obviously we went with shrimp for these shrimp quesadillas, but I’ve got a delish chicken tikka masala quesadilla that I make all the time. You can also do a cheeseburger-inspired quesadilla, a bacon-chicken-ranch club quesadilla, or a fajita-style quesadilla. Of course, the classics are, well… classic. Beef or chicken or steak or cheese, add beans or rice, sour cream or guac, pico or lettuce. Whatever you put in yours, you literally can not go wrong.
- This recipe in particular is super quick, super simple, and full of amazing flavors. Tangy taco seasoning, tender shrimp, savory onions and peppers, and the pop of the fresh lime juice – oh, man. What really seals the deal, though, is the way we cook the tortilla. A little bit of butter makes the outside of the quesadilla super rich and deliciously browned. A sprinkle of salt makes it feel like a quesadilla from your favorite restaurant. Pair it with a bowl of restaurant-style queso and a refreshing margarita and you’ve got a total dinner experience.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- Careful not to overcook the shrimp! They cook really quickly, but since they’ll rest in the warm pan and then heat up a little more inside the tortilla, it’s easier to overdo it than you might expect. For the best texture, you want the shrimp to be opaque and white or just barely pink. They should also curl up into a “J” shape, rather than a “C” shape or even an “O” shape.
- This method uses one large (generally 10-inch) flour tortilla folded in half. For some people, quesadillas are made with 2 tortillas per ‘dilla, stacked more like a sandwich. You are welcome to do that if you’d prefer! Overall, nothing would really change much. You’d just want to cover the filling with your second tortilla, rather than folding the tortilla in half as directed.
- You can use cooking spray or neutral oil to cook your quesadilla, but I highly encourage you to use butter if you’re able! It makes the tortilla buttery rich, but also gives it a gorgeous golden-brown color and a flaky texture. That combined with a little salt is what really makes this shrimp quesadilla as incredible as it is.
🥘 Deliciously Cheese Dishes We Love
- Cream Cheese Garlic Skillet Chicken
- Homemade Boursin Cheese
- Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Instant Pot Cheesy Potatoes
- Cheesy Garlic Bread Casserole
For the Shrimp Quesadillas
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil avocado oil, refined coconut oil, canola oil, etc.; plus more as needed
- 1 small onion diced, approximately 1 cup
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped, approximately 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning store-bought or homemade
- salt to taste
- 1 pound raw medium shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice juice from approximately 1 medium lime
- 4 tablespoons butter plus more as needed
- 6 10-inch flour tortillas
- 3 cups shredded cheese divided; quesadilla cheese, Monterey cheese, or Mexican-style cheese blend
Suggested Toppings (All Optional)
- sour cream
- pico de gallo
- 2 large skillets
- Large wooden spoon
- Large plate
- Heat one large skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is warm, add 2 tablespoons neutral oil and swirl pan to distribute oil across surface. Continue heating pan until oil is hot and shimmery.
- Add diced onion and chopped bell pepper to skillet. Cook, stirring periodically, 5 to 6 minutes or until onions are translucent and peppers have softened. Note: stirring too frequently will prevent veggies from browning, fajita-style. If mixture begins to dry out or smoke, add 1 additional tablespoon neutral oil.
- Once veggies are ready, reduce heat under skillet to medium. Add taco seasoning and stir until pepper and onions are well coated.
- Add uncooked shrimp to skillet. Stir to incorporate, then cook shrimp 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are slightly curled and opaque with no pink in center.
- Remove skillet from heat. Sprinkle fresh lime juice over mixture in skillet and stir to incorporate. Set skillet aside.
- Heat other large skillet over medium heat. When pan is warm, add ½ tablespoon butter. Melt butter, swirling pan to distribute butter across surface. When butter is melted but not boiling or browned, place 1 flour tortilla in skillet completely flat.
- Spoon approximately ⅓ cup shrimp mixture onto one half of tortilla. Top shrimp mixture with approximately ½ cup shredded cheese. Cook 90 seconds or until bottom of tortilla is lightly browned.
- Use spatula to carefully lift opposite edge of tortilla from skillet. Fold tortilla in half, covering filling completely, and press lightly on top of quesadilla with spatula to keep tortilla folded.
- Carefully place spatula under bottom half of tortilla and flip quesadilla over. Immediately sprinkle now-top of quesadilla with salt to taste.
- Cook quesadilla 1 to 2 minutes or until other side of tortilla is lightly browned. When satisfied with doneness, carefully transfer quesadilla to large plate and set aside. Repeat process with remaining 5 flour tortillas until all quesadillas have been folded and melted.
- Serve quesadillas warm with desired sides and toppings.
- Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten-free tortillas and make sure your taco seasoning doesn’t contain any gluten.
- Make it Low Carb: Use low-carb tortillas.
- Make it Keto: Use a keto taco seasoning and these homemade keto tortillas.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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