Shrimp Fajitas

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Make a hot skillet of shrimp fajitas for a quick and healthy meal. The recipe is a tasty combination of vegetables sauteed until crisp-tender and marinated shrimp sizzled to perfection. Just warm up some tortillas and you’re all set!

Shrimp fajitas in a cast iron skillet

This easy shrimp fajitas recipe uses fresh ingredients and bold flavorful spices. The trickiest part of the preparation is making sure not to overcook those briny crustaceans. In just a few seconds they can go from succulent to super tough. Just don’t walk away from the stovetop, and you’ll be fine.

For maximum flavor, I marinate the shrimp using dried spices like cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder. This Mexican-inspired meal wouldn’t be complete without crisp bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. The array of colorful vegetables enhances the taste and wow-factor, but it also adds nutritional benefits to each serving.

Single layer of shrimp sauteing in a pan

A simple marinade

I use a combination of ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder, smoked paprika (sweet or spicy works well too) for a base flavor to play up the Latin notes. The charred flavor from the paprika adds a barbecue taste without having to fire up the grill.

To extract more water and fat-soluble flavors from the seasonings, I combine it with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Marinate any type of shrimp while preparing the vegetables, it just needs about 10 minutes before cooking. I use a similar mixture for my chicken fajitas recipe, it’s so versatile and simple to prepare.

Sauteing onions

Crunch and color

What makes a fiery hot pan of fajitas so enticing is the contrast between taste and textures. I like to use a variety of mild-bright bell peppers like red, yellow, green, and even orange if available. A handful of sliced sulfurous onions and freshly minced garlic add incredible aroma and a touch of sweetness from the surface caramelization. Summer squash like zucchini makes for a good seasonal add-in as they tenderize quickly just like the other veggies.

Preparation is key

Each item cooks for just a few short minutes, so preparation is key. It’s best to have the protein and vegetables peeled, chopped, separated and ready to add into the cast iron skillet or your pan of choice.

slices of bell peppers and zucchini cooking in a large skillet

Quickfire cooking

Start by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. I keep the temperature moderate so that the shrimp and paprika in the marinade don’t burn. Cook the shrimp in a single layer, then flip over. You want them to be pink, opaque, and in a loose “C” shape. Transfer to a plate while cooking the vegetables.

The onions get sauteed first, followed by the tougher zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic. Make sure to cook stirring occasionally for even browning on the surface. They should still have a slight crunch. This process only takes about 5 minutes, then the shrimp are added back to rewarm. Sprinkle some fresh cilantro leaves on top and this one-pan dish is ready to devour!

What to serve with the fajitas

Warm tortillas, flour or corn is a must with shrimp fajitas. Add the hearty filling and wrap it up. To make dinner a little more festive, have everyone customize their toppings with options like sour cream, lime wedges to squeeze, avocado slices, freshly mashed guacamole, or homemade salsa.

close up of shrimp, limes wedges, and bell peppers in a pan

Do you like it spicy?

There are two easy ways to make the shrimp fajitas spicy. In the marinade add in some dried chili, chipotle or cayenne pepper powder. Use sparingly, add a little (¼ teaspoon at a time), taste, and then increase to your heat tolerance. You can also add some fresh minced hot peppers like jalapeno or serrano when cooking the bell peppers for extra heat.

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Shrimp Fajitas

Make a hot sizzlingly skillet of shrimp fajitas. This recipe has tons of flavor, it's quick, and healthy, just warm up some tortillas and you’re all set!
Pin Print Review
4.63 from 8 votes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, or sweet
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup yellow onions, ¼-inch thick slices
  • 2 cups zucchini, ¼-inch thick slices
  • 4 cups bell peppers, ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • 8 tortillas, flour or corn

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl combine shrimp, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice and chop the onion, zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic.
  • Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, once hot add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes, flip, and cook until opaque, about 1 minute. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the onions, saute for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, saute for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Season vegetables with ½ teaspoon salt, stir to combine.
  • Add shrimp back to the pan, stir, and cook for 1 minute to warm.
  • Garnish shrimp fajitas with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and warmed tortillas.

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Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Fajitas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 314 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 286mg95%
Sodium 1768mg74%
Potassium 625mg18%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 4980IU100%
Vitamin C 211mg256%
Calcium 198mg20%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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9 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. JJ says

    This was very good; husband loved it. We didn’t have tortillas, but had thin Tostitos, so we put the fajita mix nacho-style. A few refried beans on the side, dollop of sour cream…yummy! Will make again!

  2. Eric Womack says

    Great recipe! Lots of flavors, with very few common pantry ingredients. I took a pasilla pepper, roasted the skin off, then sliced it up into some thin strips. Gave the dish a little extra pop. This will be added to the rotation. Thank you!

  3. Jane Engdahl says

    The recipe sounds delicious but I am concerned about the sodium at 74% and cholesterol at 95%. The rest of the ingredients seem harmless.

  4. Roger says

    Terrific meal. Would make it again in an instant. I’ve been on a low cholesterol diet for 30 yrs. Pay less attn to cholesterol and most attn to saturated fat. 2 grams is low. Not having a problem with sodium I’m not sure where all that comes from. Do you know, Jessica. Thanks for the great recipe.

  5. Bea says

    These were absolutely delicious! They have all the great Mexican flavors and the addition of zucchini is a nice change. I printed the recipe to make again and again. By the way – I am a huge fan of yours, Jessica.

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