Shrimp Fajitas

4.95 from 20 votes
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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 with lime wedges.

This easy shrimp fajitas recipe uses fresh ingredients and bold, flavorful spices. The preparation’s trickiest part is ensuring 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.

I marinate the shrimp using dried spices like cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder for maximum flavor. 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.

A simple marinade

Shrimp marinating in a metal bowl.

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

To extract more water and fat-soluble flavors from the taco seasoning, 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.

Preparation is key

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

Quickfire cooking

Single layer of shrimp sauteing in a pan.

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 loose “C” shape. Transfer to a plate while cooking the vegetables.

Crunch and color

The contrast between taste and textures makes a fiery hot pan of fajitas so enticing. 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 an incredible aroma and a touch of sweetness from the surface caramelization. Summer squash, like zucchini, makes for an excellent seasonal add-in as they tenderize quickly, just like the other veggies.

Sauteing 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, and this one-pan dish is ready to devour!

What to serve with the fajitas

Warm corn or flour tortillas are a must to hold the shrimp and veggies. To make dinner 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 and veggies served in a hot skillet.

Recipe Science

Do you like it spicy?

There are two easy ways to make the shrimp fajitas spicy. Add some dried chili, chipotle, or cayenne pepper powder to the marinade. 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.

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!
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
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" thick slices
  • 2 cups zucchini, ¼" thick slices
  • 4 cups bell peppers, ¼" thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • 8 flour tortillas

Instructions 

  • Marinate the Shrimp – 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.
  • Cook the Shrimp – 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.
  • Saute the Vegetables – Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the onions, saute for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, and saute for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Season vegetables with ½ teaspoon salt and stir to combine.
  • To Serve – Add the shrimp back to the pan, stir, and cook for 1 minute to warm. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and warmed tortillas.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 314kcal (16%)Carbohydrates 17g (6%)Protein 26g (52%)Fat 16g (25%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Cholesterol 286mg (95%)Sodium 1768mg (74%)Potassium 625mg (18%)Fiber 5g (20%)Sugar 10g (11%)Vitamin A 4980IU (100%)Vitamin C 211mg (256%)Calcium 198mg (20%)Iron 4mg (22%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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13 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Donald Hanle says

    I made this for my parents, sister, nephew, very picky aunt who says she’s not a fan of “fish” tacos, and a guest. The result was a huge success and smiles all around, to include my aunt who asked me when I can make this again for them. I accompanied this dish with a refried bean recipe my wife is fond of using (black beans, cumin, ham bullion cubes, garlic salt and 1/2 cup water per can of rinsed/ drained beans).

    Thank you so much Jessica for this awesome recipe. As I’m typing this, my dad is eating the leftovers from last night and he said it is even better today!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Your feedback made me smile, Donald! That’s wonderful that the entire family enjoyed the fajitas. The refried bean recipe sounds delicious!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!