Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe

Shrimp Quesadilla

The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Total: 26 mins
Serving: 1 to 2 servings
Yield: 1 quesadilla
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1627 Calories
75g Fat
174g Carbs
63g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1627
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 75g 96%
Saturated Fat 32g 161%
Cholesterol 232mg 77%
Sodium 2590mg 113%
Total Carbohydrate 174g 63%
Dietary Fiber 11g 41%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 63g
Vitamin C 83mg 415%
Calcium 880mg 68%
Iron 12mg 64%
Potassium 762mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Quesadillas are an easy weeknight meal all wrapped in a delicious, crispy, buttery tortilla. This version combines shrimp, peppers, onions, and melty Monterey Jack cheese, but you could also use chicken or beef or go meatless and add grilled vegetables like zucchini or drained black beans.

Any melty cheese will do, like Mexican blend, cheddar, or mozzarella. Skipping the cheese is a nonstarter for this meal, as “quesadilla” literally translates to “cheese little thing” in Spanish. Try serving yours with classic pico de gallo or a zesty salsa verde along with pickled jalapeños and sour cream. If you prefer to chop your shrimp before cooking and building your quesadilla, that is totally OK. Doing this will help ensure you get bits of shrimp in every bite. Just be sure to lower your cooking time slightly so you don’t overcook the shrimp.

This is a meal to make in real time. Trying to make it ahead of time could yield a soggy quesadilla and reheating the shrimp in the microwave could give it a rubbery texture. This quesadilla is great next to a plate of black beans topped with cotija cheese and Spanish rice. You could even cut the quesadillas with cookie cutters in the shape of stars and lightning bolts (or hearts for valentines day and snowmen for wintertime.) to make lunchtime a bit more fun for your kids. Plus, you get to eat all the crispy edges yourself. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced

  • 1/4 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 10-inch-size flour tortillas

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    shrimp quesadilla ingredients

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  2. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes.

    Onions and peppers in a pan

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  3. Add the shrimp, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin and continue to cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

    Shrimp and onions and peppers in a pan

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  4. Wipe down the skillet and return it to the heat, or use a separate skillet if needed. Add the butter and allow it to melt but not brown.

    melted butter in a skillet

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  5. Add the tortilla to the pan and sprinkle about half the cheese on one side, then top with the shrimp mixture and add the remaining cheese.

    Tortilla topped with cheese in a skillet

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  6. Top with the second tortilla and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side.

    Shrimp quesadilla in a skillet

    The Spruce /Morgan Baker

  7. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into wedges using a large knife or a pizza cutter. Serve hot with your choice of toppings or sauces for dipping.

    Shrimp Quesadilla with salsa and lime

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker