Shrimp Quesadilla

Need a delicious dinner tonight but don’t have a lot of time? This Shrimp Quesadilla recipe will be the solution you are looking for my friend! Not only are they cheesy, crispy, and packed with flavor, they are ready in 15 minutes. Yes, a true 15 minutes! The key to these healthy shrimp quesadillas is using already-cooked shrimp so all you have to do is toss together the filling in a bowl. They are the perfect dinner idea for a beginner cook. So, grab your ingredients, and let’s get dinner on the table.

Shrimp Quesadilla

What I Love About This Recipe

Being a mom to six kids, while running my own business, keeps my weekday schedule completely packed from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every single day. I know your schedule is just as crazy! Monday through Friday is not the time for me to make anything that takes a long time to cook like my Pork Loin Roast and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I save those fancy meals for the weekends!

Since weeknight dinner needs to be quick, and often able to run out the door with me, this shrimp quesadilla recipe is one of our standards on the menu. We love a good quesadilla because they are delicious AND super fast to make. My youngest really loves my Southwest Chicken Quesadillas, while her older brother will always pick his favorite vegetarian Mediterranean Quesadillas. Personally, I love them all, including this shrimp and avocado version. As long as it tastes amazing and it only took minutes to make, I’m all in!

Shrimp Quesadilla Ingredients & Tools

  • Fully cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Fresh avocado
  • Red onion
  • Serrano or jalapeño pepper
  • Roma tomato
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Colby jack cheese
  • 6 inch flour tortillas
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric griddle or large nonstick pan
Shrimp Quesadilla

How to Make a Shrimp Quesadilla

Making shrimp quesadillas couldn’t be more simple! In fact, it makes a perfect recipe for a beginning cook because it comes together so easily and is fail-proof.

Time needed: 15 minutes

How to Make Shrimp Quesadillas

  1. Select the proper type of shrimp

    It is very important that you do not use raw shrimp in this recipe. The quesadilla doesn’t spend enough time on the heat to cook raw shrimp. Only use fully-cooked shrimp. You can find it in the freezer section of your grocery store.

  2. Prepare the shrimp filling for the quesadillas

    Because there is no need to cook any of the filling ingredients, all you need to do is toss the shrimp together with the avocado, onion, Serrano pepper, and seasonings.

  3. Assemble the shrimp quesadillas

    This is easily done and can be completed one at a time, or all four at once. Simply the flour tortilla with cheese, filling, more cheese, then one more tortilla on top.

  4. Cook the quesadilla until it is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly

    You can complete this step using either an electric griddle or on the stove with a large nonstick skillet. The griddle is beneficial because you can cook all 4 shrimp quesadillas at the same time, saving you even more time.

Shrimp Quesadilla filling

Recipe FAQs

What to serve with shrimp quesadillas?

Since shrimp quesadillas are a Mexican food, think about what side dishes you like that have that southwest flavor to them. Something simple like a green salad with a spicy salad dressing would be delicious. Or what about a side of cilantro lime rice? Oftentimes, some type of beans is served with a shrimp quesadilla. You can simply open a can of black or pinto beans, or make some frijoles charros (charro beans) from scratch.

What is the most flavorful cheese for quesadillas?

You need to keep in mind that for quesadillas, you want a cheese, or a combination of cheeses, that is not only flavorful but provides the melty, gooey aspect as well. Both are really important inside a quesadilla. A sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack does a great job at hitting both of those requirements. If those are a bit too strong for your pallet, try using a colby jack.

Are Shrimp Quesadillas Healthy?

Any question relating to if a food is or is not healthy is such a matter of perspective so I hesitate to answer that question. For this recipe as written, a whole shrimp quesadilla has less than 450 calories and packs in 23 grams of protein. In my book, that is a healthy dinner option for sure! Plus, you will be very full once you are finished devouring it and will be happy all night long.

Shrimp Quesadillas

What can I use instead of cilantro in a shrimp quesadilla?

For many people, fresh cilantro provides a soapy flavor so I completely understand why there are cilantro haters out there! I would feel the same if it tasted like soap to me as well. The easiest substitution is to use flat-leaf Italian parsley in place of the cilantro. While you could just eliminate the fresh herb completely, it adds such freshness and brightness to the shrimp quesadilla so I think you really do need one or the other.

Air Fryer Shrimp Quesadilla

If you want to make your shrimp quesadilla in the air fryer instead of on the stove or griddle, no worries! This recipe works perfectly in the air fryer. Prepare the recipe exactly as it is written below, but cook it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 6-9 minutes. You will know it is done when it is brown on the outside and bubbly on the inside. The amount of time will depend on the power level of your machine. This time estimate if for a 1500-watt air fryer. A 1300-watt machine will take more time, while a 1700-watt machine will need less.

Looking for More Great Dinner Ideas?

If this shrimp quesadilla was perfect for your easy dinner tonight, be sure to click on the pictures below and grab these other easy dinner recipes as well!

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Shrimp Quesadilla

Shrimp Quesadilla

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Ready in less than 15 minutes and packed with so much amazing flavor! This is how you do weeknight dinner right.

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x

Ingredients

Scale

18 fully cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 medium avocado, diced

1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and minced

1 Roma tomato, diced

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

86” flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Remove the tails from the shrimp and chop them into small pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the cheese and tortillas.
  3. Preheat an electric griddle to 325 degrees, or use a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium.
  4. Assemble the quesadillas by laying down one flour tortilla and sprinkling some of the cheese all over the surface. Top the cheese with 1/4 of the filling mixture, then more cheese. Finish with one more flour tortilla on top.
  5. Place the quesadilla on the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Use a wide silicone spatula to carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook on the second side for the same amount of time.
  6. Remove the finished quesadilla to a cutting board and use a large chef’s knife to cut into 4 equal pieces. Serve immediately.

Notes

Air Fryer directions: assemble as directed above. Place one in the basket of the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 6-9 minutes. The total time will depend on the power level of your air fryer.

  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
  • Calories: 444 kcal
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 1234 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 15 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Cholesterol: 20 mg

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Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

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