Quesadilla is a Mexican dish made by filling a flour tortilla with shredded cheese, folding it in half, and cooking it on a grill or stove (a few minutes on each side) so the tortilla gets crispy and the cheese gets melted. That’s the most basic quesadilla.
While the basic traditional quesadilla has nothing but tortilla and cheese, you will very often find quesadillas with other additions, such as a source of protein like meat or fish, and potentially add-ons like grilled veggies (often it’s onion and bell peppers, sometimes mushrooms, etc.), spices, herbs, sour cream or other condiments, black beans, etc. You can add them as-is, or you can add a dipping sauce for your quesadillas – salsa, guacamole, sour cream, ranch, whatever you like.
While I love all types of quesadillas – the plain ones, but also the chicken or beef ones, a kind of quesadilla that doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion, but definitely deserves it, is a shrimp quesadilla. It’s one of my favorite variations to make, especially when I’m looking for a super simple and quick recipe to make for lunch or dinner.
It’s so quick and easy to make – it’s a perfect weeknight dinner and a delicious meal to make whenever you feel like eating something delicious, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. It’s also an easy lunch idea for college students, as it doesn’t require lots of cooking or prep.
That’s why in this post, I’m sharing an easy shrimp quesadilla recipe you can prepare as is, or make your own by adding some additional ingredients that you love, or switching out the type of cheese for another one you like.
Shrimp Quesadilla Recipe
My shrimp quesadilla recipe is a very simple and basic one – but that’s why I love it. The whole thing is done in less than 20 minutes, and it’s very easy to make.
However, if you like your quesadillas with a bit more ingredients, you can definitely add to this recipe. You can add grilled veggies to it, a dipping sauce, or whatever you like.
I love mozzarella in my quesadillas but also feel free to switch out the cheese to the one you love the most – whether that’s gouda, Monterey jack or pepper jack, provolone, or something else. Just make sure that it’s a cheese that melts nicely – so you don’t want to use feta as your cheese option.
For example, you want something that can melt nicely, as that’s one of the most important parts of quesadillas. It’s also what holds the quesadilla together, as the melted cheese acts as glue.
You can also add spices to your shrimp per your liking. I kept it very simple and basic, but if you like more seasonings on your protein, definitely feel free to add them.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s delicious as is, but it’s also so easy to tailor to everyone’s liking and spruce it up if that’s what you prefer.
The recipe as-is has 436 calories. However, if you add ingredients to it, make sure you calculate and add on the calories for those additional ingredients as well, if you’re interested in knowing how many calories your final dish will have.
Of course, counting calories is not necessary for weight loss or healthy eating. But, some people prefer to do it.
Another great thing about this recipe is that if you don’t always feel like eating shrimp, you can easily substitute shrimp for another source of protein, and switch it up. You can use chicken, beef, or anything else. Of course, the cooking time might be longer because some types of protein require more cooking than shrimp, but the main preparation method stays the same.
You can even make a bean quesadilla, or a veggie quesadilla, if you’re vegetarian. The options are endless, and this simple recipe can give you the base, so you know how to prepare simple quesadillas, and then you can make them your own.
Now, let’s get into the actual easy shrimp quesadilla recipe!
Shrimp Quesadilla Ingredients
- 2 Tortilla, whole wheat or corn, small – 120 calories
- 5 oz Shrimp, fresh or frozen – 140 calories
- ⅓ cup Cheese, shredded, mozzarella – 112 calories
- 2 Cucumber, small – 64 calories
- ⅛ tsp Red pepper flakes – 0 calories
As you can see, this recipe calls for 3 main ingredients – very simple and basic. Cucumbers are meant to be eaten on the side (it’s not necessary, it’s just the way I like to eat my shrimp quesadillas), and red pepper flakes are not a must, so you basically just need the first 3 ingredients to make this.
That’s why I said this is the easiest and most simple recipe you can make for a quick weeknight dinner or for lunch as a college student.
How To Make A Shrimp Quesadilla
Step 1: Spray pan with an oil spray (you can use olive oil or another type of oil spray you prefer)
Step 2: Stir fry the raw shrimp, drain away any excess liquid
Step 3: Add cooked shrimp, cheese, and red pepper flakes to one half of tortillas, fold over
Step 4: Bake in toaster oven, microwave, a pan or a nonstick skillet over medium heat (low/medium heat), flipping over after ~3 minutes on each side, until the cheese has melted
Step 5: Have cucumber slices on the side (this is obviously optional, but this is how I like to eat it
Note: No dairy? Try a dairy-free cheese, guacamole, or refried beans. No shrimp? Use chicken, tofu, or another fish (e.g. tuna). Gluten free? Use gluten-free tortillas, e.g. corn. You can also squeeze some lime juice over your shrimp if you want.