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Super Simple Shrimp Taco-Quesadilla

by Lori on May 5th, 2011

A bite of shrimp taco, take one

Usually on Girl Meets Oven, you’ll find me baking something in the oven. Today I gave the stovetop a try — and made a super simple shrimp taco-quesadilla to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

The Story

I am usually a stick-to-the-cookbook type gal. I may substitute an ingredient or two, but I don’t stray too far from the original recipe. I am impressed by people who invent new recipes. One time my mother-in-law made this incredible guacamole cornbread. When I asked her where she found the recipe, she simply said she made it up.

Today I made up a recipe of my own. After a long week of sweets, which included both cupcakes and cookies, I was ready for something savory. After a long day at work, I wanted something simple and easy. Since it’s Cinco de Mayo, I was in the mood for Mexican.

After a quick inventory of the ingredients I had on hand, I decided to create a shrimp taco-quesadilla.
Shrimp quesadilla, take one

The Moral of the Story

Toss the cookbook aside and try making up your own recipe once in a while.

About the Recipe

This recipe has a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a taco or is it a quesadilla? It starts with melting cheese between two tortillas quesadilla-style. Then sauté some onion, garlic and shrimp and serve it taco-style.

The Cast of Characters

Shrimp is definitely the star of the taco part of this performance.
Sauteing shrimp and onion, take one

However, the cheese in the quesadilla steals the show.
Say cheese, take two

The Play-by-Play

If you are using frozen, pre-cooked shrimps, defrost them in a colander under cold running water for about 5 minutes.
Defrosting shrimp

While the shrimps defrost, chop your onion and garlic.
Garlic meets onion

In a skillet, heat some olive oil.
A reflection in oil, take two

Add sliced onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Browning onion

In another skillet, place a tortilla and cover it with shredded cheese.
Just say cheese

Place another tortilla on top of the cheese. Warm over medium heat until the cheese is melted, turning it over about half way through to toast evenly on both sides.
Warming quesadilla

Meanwhile, remove the tails from the shrimps and toss the shrimps in a large bowl with lemon juice, seafood seasoning and minced garlic.
Seasoning shrimp

Add the shrimp mixture to the onion in the skillet, and sauté until the shrimps are warm, about 2 minutes.
Sauteing shrimp and onion, take three

Place your cheese quesadilla on a plate.
Cheese quesadilla, take two

Top it with the shrimp and onion mixture.
Shrimp and onion, take two

Add some chopped tomato and lettuce.
Shrimp quesadilla, take four

Fold the quesadilla in half — magically turning it into a taco.
The fold

A bite of shrimp taco, take one

Recipe: Super Simple Shrimp Taco-Quesadilla

Summary: A quick and easy shrimp taco in a quesadilla shell


2 large four tortillas
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ of a large onion, sliced
6-7 large pre-cooked frozen shrimp, thawed and de-tailed
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 slices tomato, chopped
A few leaves of lettuce, chopped


  1. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes
  2. In another skillet, place a large tortilla, sprinkle it with shredded cheeses and top with another tortilla. Warm over medium heat until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes, turning over about halfway through.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the shrimps, seafood seasoning, garlic and lemon juice.
  4. Add the shrimp mixture to the skillet with the browned onion and sauté for 2 more minutes, or until the shrimps are warmed.
  5. Place the quesadilla on a plate, top with the shrimp and onion mixture and then top with chopped tomato and lettuce. Fold and serve taco-style.

The Footnotes

  • About the shrimps: If you use pre-cooked shrimps, only sauté them for a minute or two. You could use fresh shrimps too, but would need to cook them longer.
  • About the onion: Cook the onion until it starts to turn brown before adding the shrimps. This gives the onion extra flavor.
  • About the cheeses: You could use any type of cheese in the quesadilla. I just happened to have cheddar and Parmesan on hand.
  • About substitutions: I think the other ingredients in this recipe could be easily changed as well. Don’t like shrimp? Try it with beans or ground beef. Want extra heat? Throw in some fresh, chopped jalapenos. Love sour cream? Add a dollop on top before serving.

Cooking time (duration): About 10 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 1 taco-quesadilla
Ken was out of town when I made this, so I only made one. You could definitely double or even quadruple the recipe if you want to share with others.

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Do you typically cook/bake from a recipe — or make it up as you go along?

  1. Looks super good and pretty easy too which is always a plus.

  2. I don’t care if you call it a taco or a quesadilla, I’m going to call it dinner because this is exactly what I need to eat tonight. Yum!

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