There is no quicker meal to make than cilantro lime shrimp! You’ll love them in fajitas or tacos, but they’re also great with a simple bowl of rice and black beans. Can’t go wrong!
Plus, the prep time is 5 minutes. I know, I know — sometimes recipes will say it takes a certain amount of time to prep, and then it ends up taking twice as long, but if you buy peeled, deveined shrimp, all you’re doing here is mixing a few spices, chopping fresh cilantro, and squeezing some limes.
Got some leftover limes on standby? Please oh please try our favorite classic margaritas!!
Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Avocado oil, though olive oil, canola, or vegetable oil are all fine
- Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Dried spices: chili powder and ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the shrimp!
- Finely chopped garlic cloves: use more than you think you should!! The minced garlic adds so much flavor!
- Fresh lime juice: the acidity brings out the natural flavor of the shrimp and brightens the whole dish.
- Fresh cilantro: again, lots of it!
You’ll also need a large skillet. Pictured below is my beloved Staub 3.5-Qt braiser.
How To Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Pan seared cilantro lime shrimp is easy easy easy — seriously!
First, you’ll want to peel and devein shrimp. Yes, it’s important to buy raw shrimp versus cooked shrimp (which is often rubbery and overcooked). You can leave the tail on or remove it. Your choice!
Season the shrimp generously with Kosher salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Heat a large skillet with a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the seasoned shrimp, then cook for 1-2 minutes, or until pink on the first side. Use tongs to flip the shrimp, then add chopped garlic and fresh lime juice. Give it a good stir.
The shrimp should finish cooking in another 1-2 minutes — they cook very quickly! Turn off the heat, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Toss, then serve immediately with lime wedges.
Does The Type Of Shrimp Matter?
Honestly, no! The size you use — large, extra large, jumbo shrimp, etc. — will determine how long it takes to cook, but it won’t have a big impact on flavor. If you don’t mind peeling and deveining the shrimp yourself, these are usually the less expensive option. If you’re tight on time after a busy work day, sometimes it’s helpful to buy the shrimp already cleaned.
You can peel the tails or leave them on! Just do NOT buy already cooked shrimp. Like, ever.
How Long Will Cooked Shrimp Keep?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Best Side Dishes To Serve
Here, we’ve served the cilantro lime shrimp fajita style! Piled high onto large, charred flour tortillas with fajita veggies, sour cream, and an abundance of fresh cilantro. So delicious! You could easily turn these into shrimp tacos by serving them in smaller flour or corn tortillas.
Or! You could 100% turn these into fajita rice bowls — cilantro lime rice for life! Prefer a salad? Chop up some romaine, throw it in a bowl with shrimp, fajita veggies, and your favorite toppings: guacamole, salsa, black beans, sliced avocado, cotija cheese, cabbage slaw, or eloté salad (Mexican street corn — a house favorite here!!). No matter how you serve the cilantro lime shrimp, we think you’ll agree they taste amazing!
Light, healthy, quick to make, and so flavorful! These will certainly become a regular on taco Tuesday and beyond! If you make this Cilantro Lime Shrimp recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More Tex-Mex Inspired Recipes To Try!
- Skirt Steak with Cilantro Chimichurri
- Sante Fe Salad
- Tacos De Carnitas
- Sweet Potato Fritters
- Grilled Fish Tacos
- Mexican Cobb Salad
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or other oil, such as olive oil, grapeseed, or canola oil
- 1 ½ lb large shrimp raw, peeled, and deveined
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp lime juice about 1 ½ limes, plus additional lime wedges for serving
- 2 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped (about ¼ cup fresh leaves, packed)
- Cook the shrimp. Heat 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or other oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add cleaned shrimp, then season with 1 tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp ground cumin, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink on the first side.
- Flip the shrimp. Once the shrimp turn pink, use tongs to flip them over, then add chopped garlic and fresh lime juice. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Note: tails should curl up a bit and the shrimp will be pink all over.
- Finish, then serve. Turn off the heat, then sprinkle shrimp with 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro. Toss well, then serve immediately with additional lime wedges on the side.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- We recommend buying peeled and deveined shrimp to cut back on prep time, but certainly you can clean them yourself.