Cilantro lime shrimp is the perfect quick, healthy, and flavorful weeknight dinner recipe! It comes together in just about 20 minutes and is packed with cilantro lime flavor. Serve it with rice and vegetables or use it to make homemade tacos!

Cooked cilantro lime shrimp in a frying pan with slices of limes

I’m all about recipes that are healthy, flavorful, and FAST. As a Registered Dietitian I love food and cooking, but most nights after working all day I just want to sit down with my husband and relax. This cilantro lime shrimp recipe checks all those boxes. Shrimp is a super healthy lean protein. Cilantro and lime add irresistible flavor. And this recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make!

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.

Ingredients in cilantro lime shrimp

Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe:

  • Shrimp: I used large peeled and deveined shrimp. If you use frozen or unpeeled shrimp, factor in extra prep time for defrosting and prepping the shrimp.
  • Cilantro: Buy fresh cilantro with leaves that are sturdy, and make sure the bunch is not wilting or super damp. When chopping up the cilantro for this recipe, it’s OK to include the stems – they actually have a ton of great cilantro flavor!
  • Lime: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best, but you can also use pre-bottled lime juice if needed.
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Plate of cilantro lime shrimp with lime wedges and a gold serving spoon

How to make cilantro lime shrimp

Start by heating olive oil in a large frying pan.Add the red pepper flakes and garlic, then place your shrimp in the pan. Add a generous amount of salt, pepper, and cumin to the pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan with shrimp by ensuring none of the shrimp are touching each other. If you need to, cook the shrimp in two separate pans or in batches.

Cook shrimp for 1-3 minutes, then use tongs to flip them over and cook the other side. Shrimp will be done cooking when they are pink and white and opaque, and no grey or black spots remain. Perfectly cooked shrimp only take a few minutes to make, and will form a loose C shape. If the shrimp shrink up a tightly coiled C shape, they are probably overcooked.

Remove the shrimp from the heat. Whisk together lime juice and olive oil and pour it over the shrimp in the pan, along with chopped cilantro. Mix everything together, using your mixing spoon to lift up any crispy brown bits in the pan. Enjoy right away!

Cooked cilantro lime shrimp in a frying pan with slices of limes

Is cilantro lime shrimp healthy?

This shrimp recipe is quite healthy and nutrient dense. Shrimp is a lean protein source with healthy fats and micronutrients. A three ounce serving of shrimp provides you with:

  • 18 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat, most of which comes from essential omega-3 fatty acids
  • 48 percent of your daily selenium needs
  • 21 percent of your daily Vitamin B12 needs
  • 15 percent of your daily iron needs
  • Other micronutrients, including phosphorus, niacin, zinc, and magnesium.

While shrimp is high in cholesterol, you need not worry about that affecting your own cholesterol levels. Research consistently shows that foods high in saturated fat, not cholesterol, are what raise cholesterol levels. Most people’s cholesterol levels are not sensitive to the cholesterol levels of foods, and since shrimp has very little saturated fat, it is a safe bet.

Cilantro lime shrimp in a bowl with rice, avocado and lime wedges

How to serve cilantro lime shrimp

This recipe pairs well with so many different dishes. With the fresh Mexican inspired flavors, it’s perfect with:

  • Rice, beans, and roasted vegetables
  • In tacos or burritos
  • As the protein source in burrito bowls with sauteed vegetables, quinoa, salsa, and guacamole
  • Tossed into your favorite salad
  • On top of nachos with melted cheese, black beans, pickled jalapenos, salsa, and avocado

Storing cilantro lime shrimp

You can store this shrimp in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. When you put the shrimp in the container, pour all the juices from the pan over everything to lock in the flavor.

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Cilantro lime shrimp in a bowl with rice, avocado and lime wedges

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Print

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro lime shrimp in a frying pan with wedges of lime

Cilantro lime shrimp is the perfect quick, healthy, and flavorful weeknight dinner recipe! It comes together in just about 20 minutes and is packed with cilantro lime flavor. Serve it with rice and vegetables or use it to make homemade tacos!

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir around.
  2. Place shrimp in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Sprinkle with cumin and a generous shake of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook shrimp for 1-3 minutes, then use tongs to flip them and cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
  4. When shrimp are done cooking, remove from heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro to the pan and stir to coat the shrimp. Use your mixing spoon to scrape up the browned and crispy bits from the pan.
  5. Serve right away with lime wedges if desired!

Notes

Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Keywords: cilantro lime shrimp, gluten free

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Cilantro lime shrimp in a bowl with rice, avocado and lime wedges