These easy mango shrimp quesadillas are zesty and flavorful and are a perfect weeknight dinner! They also happen to be easily vegetarian.Jump to Recipe
These incredibly flavorful mango shrimp quesadillas are loosely inspired by a memory. At some point in the last decade, I went to a restaurant at the beach and had a shrimp quesadilla. Mango was involved in some way, shape, or form. I remember thinking this was a genius idea. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of said restaurant or what exactly went into this quesadilla of theirs. Therefore, I have done my best to recreate the magic, and perhaps a little of my own spin to it as well.
Ingredients for Mango Shrimp Quesadillas
Shrimp: Definitely use wild caught shrimp if possible, as it tastes better and is better for you!
Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Sea Salt, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Don’t be shy! This seasoning mix is what really takes these shrimp quesadillas to the next level.
Fresh Lime Juice: Brightens up the shrimp and brings out the best in our spices.
Olive Oil: Just a splash for cooking the shrimpies.
Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar Cheese: You could certainly just choose one type of cheese, but I find mixing the two maximizes our flavor potential. And flavor potential is what it’s all about, right?
Mango: What really sets these shrimp quesadillas apart and makes them shine. You can use any type of mango you want! I often use Ataulfo mangoes.
Burrito-Sized Tortillas: You have options here. We love Sieté tortillas when they’re on sale, but otherwise use flour or corn. You could also use two regular-sized tortillas and stack them on top of each other like a sandwich if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips & Tricks
- Be careful to only marinate the shrimp for 5-10 minutes, as allowing the shrimp to sit in the lime juice for too long will actually start to cook the shrimp and result in a rubbery, not at all desirable texture.
- Make sure you don’t overcook your shrimp! They generally only need 2-3 minutes per side. You will know your shrimp is done when it turns pink and has curled into a C-shape.
- Don’t skip out on cutting your shrimp in half lengthwise after they cool some. This may seem like a tedious step, but it will make sure all our ingredients are evenly distributed in the quesadilla and it doesn’t become too heavy. Trust me, I know from experience that you will have a much messier quesadilla otherwise.
- Storage and Reheating: I do recommend making these quesadillas just before eating them for best results, but you can certainly make the shrimp up to 3 days ahead of time.
- To Make Vegetarian: Replace shrimp with a can of black beans. Simply drain and rinse the beans and toss it in the spices and lime juice before proceeding to the quesadilla assembly steps. You could even take it a step further and use plant-based cheese shreds to make it vegan!
If you make these mango shrimp quesadillas, be sure to leave a rating and review! It means so much and helps Google figure out that my tiny blog exists!
Other Easy Dinner Ideas:
- Amazing Vegetarian Barbecue Stuffed Bell Peppers
- The Very Best Easy Weeknight Turkey Burgers
- Crispy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos
Mango Shrimp Quesadillas
- Large Bowl
- large frying pan
- Chef's Knife
For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound wild caught shrimp peeled, deveined, and tail removed
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- dash of cayenne pepper
- freshly ground black pepper
- juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For Assembling Quesadillas:
- 1 cup monterrey jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 mango diced
- 4 burrito-sized tortillas
- Place all shrimp ingredients except olive oil in large bowl and mix with clean hands until well-combined. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil on large pan over medium heat until shimmering and add shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. You will know your shrimp is done when it turns pink and has curled into a C-shape.
- Set aside your shrimp to cool for at least ten minutes, then carefully cut each shrimp in half lengthwise. This may seem like a tedious step, but it will make sure all our ingredients are evenly distributed in the quesadilla and it doesn't become too heavy.
- While the shrimp is cooling, you can dice your mango and grate your cheese.
- Assemble! I like to sprinkle cheese over one half of the tortilla, layer on about one fourth of the shrimp and mango, and then sprinkle more cheese on top of the mixture. Then, fold the tortilla in half to make a quesadilla.
- Use a bit of neutral cooking oil to grease a clean pan and add the assembled quesadilla. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes, flipping once about 5 minutes in. Repeat until all 4 quesadillas are made!
- Enjoy! You can add whatever garnishes you like. I often add salsa and guacamole.
- To make vegetarian: Replace shrimp with a can of black beans. Simply drain and rinse the beans and toss it in the spices and lime juice before proceeding to the quesadilla assembly steps. You could even take it a step further and use plant-based cheese shreds to make it vegan!
Photography by Hope Agresti