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Cilantro Lime Shrimp

· ·
Easy and flavorful, this Cilantro Lime Shrimp is a quick saute of shrimp in a cilantro-lime-tomato sauce with all the flavors of Mexico.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cilantro Lime Shrimp in a cast iron skillet with garlic bread on the side.

Easy and flavorful, this Cilantro Lime Shrimp is a quick saute of shrimp in a cilantro-lime-tomato sauce with all the flavors of Mexico. Ready in under 30 minutes, this recipe is a great protein rich main course that can be used for tacos, burrito bowls, or served with your favorite weeknight sides!

I don’t know what happened to me last Sunday. Suddenly this huge burst of energy came from somewhere and all I wanted to do was cook! I got started just past noon and by the end of the day I had cooked and photographed five recipes.When supper time came around I was still going strong in the kitchen but had to start thinking about getting something ready for our dinner.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp in a cast iron skillet with garlic bread on the side.

I really wanted something with shrimp and tex-mex flavors so I just started gathering up anything that I thought might go well together. The end result was this really tasty Cilantro Lime Shrimp.

This was just enough for the two of us for Sunday night supper. Even better with the garlic toast alongside to soak up all the delicious juices.

And did I mention it’s really quick to make? In less than 30 minutes we sat down at the table and shared this beautiful shrimp right out of the skillet!


  • You’ll have a protein-rich seafood dinner ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
  • The pan juices are so flavorful that you can enjoy them on their own with a slice of garlic toast.
  • Simple ingredients easily accessible at any grocery store.
  • Scales up to feed a crowd or makes a delicious supper for two.
  • Cilantro and lime are a perfect combination to elevate shrimp make it taste rich yet fresh at the same time.
  • Easily adapted to use your favorite herbs and citrus and to adjust the heat level.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Shrimp (the star of this recipe is beautiful fresh shrimp; make sure to peel and devein them)
  • Butter and olive oil (the combination of fats gives a rich flavor to the finished pan sauce)
  • Garlic and onion (this pair of ingredients compliments the flavor of the shrimp)
  • Chopped jalapeno (fresh jalapeno adds a kick of heat to the shrimp but can be omitted if you don’t like much spice)
  • Red pepper flakes (another way to boost the spiciness of the dish)
  • Mexican oregano (a bit bolder flavor than Mediterranean oregano; if you only have the regular Mediterranean version, that’s fine!)
  • Roma tomatoes (freshly diced tomatoes create a sauce that is beautifully colored with a slightly acidic taste)
  • Lime juice (adds a pop of freshness and acidity typical of Mexican cooking)
  • Salt and pepper (balance all the flavors in the dish)
  • Cilantro (it wouldn’t be cilantro-lime shrimp without the cilantro; fresh chopped cilantro is a MUST in this dish for flavor, texture, and freshness)

How To Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I started out by chopping a couple of cloves of garlic, a medium onion, and one fresh jalapeno.

Note: Most of the heat in fresh jalapenos is in the ribs and seeds. If you’d like yours on the milder side, remove those. If you like it spicy, leave the seeds and ribs in when chopping.

Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Of course, I used a black cast-iron pan. I just love the way they heat up and hold the heat steady.

Onion, garlic, and jalapeno cooking in a cast iron skillet.

When the butter and oil are melted, add in the garlic, onion and jalapeno. Cook those together, stirring, for a few minutes until the onion begins to wilt.

Adding red pepper flakes and oregano to skillet.

Next, add the red pepper flakes and oregano. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent.

Chopped Roma tomatoes added to the mixture in the skillet.

Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until they’re nicely wilted. Once they’ve cooked down add the shrimp. Cook and stir until the shrimp are just done.

It shouldn’t take more than 4 or 5 minutes. Watch them carefully since shrimp cook so quickly.

Adding lime and final seasonings to the skillet.

When the shrimp have turned opaque, add the salt and pepper along with the juice and zest of a lime. Stir together for a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp in a cast iron skillet with garlic bread on the side.
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Recipe Success Tips

  • For best results, use fresh raw shrimp. They’ll absorb the flavors much more than frozen shrimp will.
  • Cilantro should be added after everything is cooked to make sure it keeps its bright, fresh flavor.
  • Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat to get a good sear on the veggies which will develop depth of flavor in the sauce. Use a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron is recommended).
  • Leave the tails on the shrimp (they add loads of flavor).

Variations

  • If you just really don’t like the flavor of cilantro (and I know some people really don’t!), try substituting an equal amount of freshly chopped basil.
  • Swap lemon juice for the lime juice for a unique, but equally delicious, recipe.
  • Use a different variety of tomatoes in your recipe. Heritage varieties are especially good at the peak of their season.

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Shrimp

  • Wrap it in warm tortillas for fresh shrimp tacos.
  • Serve with a side of your favorite sourdough bread to soak up the flavorful pan sauce.
  • Serve on a bed of rice with pico de gallo, sour cream, and lettuce for a fun shrimp burrito bowl.
  • Toss into fresh, hot pasta for a beautiful summer dinner dish.
  • Serve with your favorite weeknight sides like my Sweet and Sour Cucumber and Vidalia Onion Salad.

FAQs

Can I freeze this recipe?

Allow the finished recipe to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe storage bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal the bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use.

How long will this keep in the refrigerator?

Cooked seafood keeps for 2-3 days refrigerated. However, it’s always best when eaten the same day and this dish tastes best when consumed immediately after cooking.

Does this taste like the Costco cilantro lime shrimp?

This recipe is better in my opinion, because it’s made with a light homemade tomato sauce that is unmatched in the Costco version. Homemade is always best!

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Recipe

Cilantro Lime Shrimp in a cast iron skillet with garlic bread on the side.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Easy and flavorful, this Cilantro Lime Shrimp is a quick saute of shrimp in a cilantro-lime-tomato sauce with all the flavors of Mexico.
5 from 5 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Southwestern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 196kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 lime zest and juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp split and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Melt the butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic, onion and jalapeno.
  • Cook, stirring until the onion begins to wilt, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and oregano.
  • Continue cooking until the onion becomes translucent, approximately 3 additional minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the shrimp, zest and lime juice, salt and black pepper.
  • Cook until the shrimp are just opaque. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Notes

Tips
  • For best results, use fresh raw shrimp. They’ll absorb the flavors much more than frozen shrimp will.
  • Cilantro should be added after everything is cooked to make sure it keeps its bright, fresh flavor.
  • Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat to get a good sear on the veggies which will develop depth of flavor in the sauce. Use a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron is recommended).
  • Leave the tails on the shrimp (they add loads of flavor).
Variations
  • If you just really don’t like the flavor of cilantro (and I know some people really don’t!), try substituting an equal amount of freshly chopped basil.
  • Swap lemon juice for the lime juice for a unique, but equally delicious, recipe.
  • Use a different variety of tomatoes in your recipe. Heritage varieties are especially good at the peak of their season.
How to Serve Cilantro Lime Shrimp
  • Wrap it in warm tortillas for fresh shrimp tacos.
  • Serve with a side of your favorite sourdough bread to soak up the flavorful pan sauce.
  • Serve on a bed of rice with pico de gallo, sour cream, and lettuce for a fun shrimp burrito bowl.
  • Toss into fresh, hot pasta for a beautiful summer dinner dish.
  • Serve with your favorite weeknight sides.
FAQs
Can I freeze this recipe? Allow the finished recipe to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe storage bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal the bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use.
How long will this keep in the refrigerator? Cooked seafood keeps for 2-3 days refrigerated. However, it’s always best when eaten the same day and this dish tastes best when consumed immediately after cooking.
Does this taste like the Costco cilantro lime shrimp? This recipe is better in my opinion, because it’s made with a light homemade tomato sauce that is unmatched in the Costco version. Homemade is always best!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 293mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Recipe Rating




137 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a delicious and quick meal to make! I always add an extra jalapeño for more kick, but wonderful when made as is!

  2. This sounds super tasty, but is the sodium content a misprint, in the Nutr. Info? It seems like an awful lot per serving.

    1. The recipe card application that I and many other bloggers have, uses the Spoonacular API to calculate the nutrition information. I don’t calculate and enter it manually. No machine-done nutrition calculation can be 100% correct, so that’s why I include the disclaimer below the recipe card. I did run a re-calculation on this recipe based on 4 servings rather than 2 and that result is now displayed.

  3. Wow! This was so delicious! I threw in some mushrooms and didn’t have Mexican oregano so I used regular. My daughter who was going out to eat was so sad she didn’t get to eat this!

  4. LANA! SERIOUSLY. This shrimp was amazing. I threw in a splash of tequila with the lime juice, served it with some crusty baguettes. Honestly, this recipe is a keeper. Fantastic job!

  5. Loved this recipes. I have made this many times and it is a favorite of ours. I usually mix in a half box of orzo with it. I used my own fresh herbs (oregano and cilantro) and it is to die for.

  6. Just had to let you know this is the best shrimp recipe I have ever tried…have made it so many times for us and company..I always triple it so we will have enough and than we lick the bowl clean after everyone leaves..lol

  7. I’ve made this dozens of times. Whole lime is perfect by the way!
    This is a staple in my house because I almost always have the ingredients for it. We’ve been basically snowed in and never got to go grocery shopping this week, so I threw this together for another quick, tasty meal.