Classic Mexican flavors make the prawns or shrimp pop in these tasty shrimp and avocado quesadillas. They make a great lunch or quick mid-week dinner.
I think I could pretty much live off of quesadillas or tacos. There are so many different ways to create and serve them with authentically Mexican flavors. Quesadillas are a versatile family meal that makes everyone happy. Serve shrimp and avocado quesadillas with a simple salad or cole slaw on the side.
When you think of quesadillas you probably think of cheddar or Mexican cheese blend quesadillas. In this recipe I use a mix of mild cheddar cheese and a soft goat cheese. You may be surprised by this, but the flavor of the goat cheese tastes really good with the shrimp and the classic Mexican seasonings. It’s ooey gooey delicious! They are quite filling too.
Seasoning the prawns or shrimp
To season the prawns or shrimp, I like to do a quick marinade and let them soak up the flavor. I have even prepared the shrimp the day before and allowed it to season and marinate in the fridge. This is a great idea if you plan to make the shrimp and avocado quesadillas for lunch the next day. The marinade consists simply of extra virgin olive oil, fine sea salt, ground pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and lime or lemon juice (your choice). Both lemon or lime juice work great in this recipe.
Start with prawns or large shrimp that are deveined and had the tails removed. If you don’t have access to fresh shrimp, look for frozen shrimp where the work has already been done for you to save time. Cooking the shrimp takes no time at all. I typically spray a cast-iron frying pan with a little Pam vegetable spray. Heat the pan to medium-high and sear the shrimp a couple minutes per side. Once the shrimp turns a light pink color and are slightly firm to the touch, they are done.
Spice it up
For me, sometimes the best part of quesadillas or tacos is all the toppings. I recommend serving these shrimp and avocado quesadillas with your favorites. You will not go wrong with topping these with salsa, pickled jalapenos or radishes. They are really delicious served with a simple cool coleslaw with lime squeezed on top. I prefer to control the spice with my choice of toppings. But if you are adventurous, you can certainly kick it up a notch by adding a dash or two of cayenne pepper or freshly diced jalapenos in the shrimp marinade.
One of the great things I love about shrimp and avocado quesadillas night in our household is that it is an easy dish to adjust to everyone’s personal tastes. I have one picky eater that has declared he does NOT like shrimp. Nope. Will not eat it. Well, ok. Three out of the four family members are fine with this recipe as is. So, I simply leave the shrimp out of his cheesy cheddar quesadilla and call it a day. More guacamole and chips or salad on this little one’s plate instead. Some kids will not eat anything if food groups touch each other on their plates. It’s frustrating. So, again…cooked shrimp on the side is not any more work for mom in this case. Win, win.
Making the quesadillas
Making the quesadillas is very easy. In fact it feels odd providing you step by step photos of it. But I can’t assume everyone knows how to make this delicious classic. If you use a large non-stick frying pan you won’t need any oil in the pan. If your pan has sticky tendencies, spray it with a small amount of cooking vegetable spray first. Before you begin assembling the quesadillas, it’s important to have all of your ingredients out and ready to go. The cheese is shredded, the shrimp is cooked, the avocado is chopped, the tomatoes are diced, your margarita is ready to sip on…etc.
Get the pan nice and hot. Add the flour tortilla and start layering. Start with shrimp on one half of the tortilla. Next, add some green onion, avocado, some cheddar, some goat cheese, some diced tomatoes and a little cilantro all over. At this point, the quesadilla is ready to be folded. Use a spatula and fold over the tortilla like this. I usually flip it over one more time. It will turn golden brown on both sides. Cook for just a couple minutes and serve. Use a sharp knife to cut them in half. Repeat the process.
Fresh diced tomatoes are tasty in this quesadilla. But a great alternative (and actually a preference) is to use a can of Rotel original. Rotel is canned, diced tomatoes seasoned with jalapenos. Using Rotel is time saving and adds great flavor.
I think you’ll love how delicious these shrimp are once you taste them. Make a large batch of just the cooked shrimp. Store them in the fridge and add them to garden salads with a Southwest style dressing for a delicious lunch. Cook once, eat twice.
Feel like seafood but keeping it simple for dinner? You’ll love these shrimp and avocado quesadillas. Give them a try. I’d love to hear how you liked them in the comments below.
Shrimp and avocado quesadillasCourse: Uncategorized
Classic Mexican flavors make the prawns or shrimp pop in these tasty shrimp and avocado quesadillas.
- Marinade for prawns or shrimp
1 lb prawns or large shrimp (shelled, deveined, tails removed)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Juice of half a lemon or lime
- For the quesadillas
2 large ripe avocados, coarsely chopped
large flour tortillas
1 large tomato coarsely chopped or see notes below
5 oz soft goat cheese (Chevre)
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 scallions, diced
small handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
lemon or lime wedges for garnish
- Suggested toppings/sides
- Clean the prawns or shrimp. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and toss the shrimp. Marinate for minimum 30 minutes in the fridge or up to eight hours.
- Cook the shrimp! Spray a large skillet with vegetable spray and heat the pan to medium-high heat. Add the shrimp. Sear the shrimp about two minutes per side or until they turn a nice pink color and are firm to the touch. Remove them from the heat and set aside. If the prawns/shrimp are very large, cut them in half.
- Use another large clean skillet. Get it nice and hot. To assemble the quesadillas, add a flour tortilla to the skillet. Layer the tortilla with some shrimp, then sprinkle it with some avocado, scallions, tomatoes and cilantro leaves. Dot with goat cheese and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
- Fold the tortilla half over on top of the shrimp. Carefully, turn it over once. This takes just a couple minutes. They should turn golden brown and heat through. Transfer the quesadilla carefully with a large spatula to a plate or wooden cutting board. Slice them in half and serve with lemon or lime wedges on the side for garnish and squeezing.
- I love to use a can of original Rotel in place of diced fresh tomatoes. It saves time and I like the mild spiciness with hints of jalapeno. Drain the liquid from the tomatoes you use from the can. Serve remaining diced tomatoes from the can on the side like salsa for dipping.