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Indulgence: Shrimp, Red Pepper and Cheddar Quesadillas


I love shrimp, and Andrew and I used to eat them frequently. Lately I’ve been trying to scale us way back, due to certain ethical concerns, as well as the somewhat alarming news that seafood will be off the menu completely within 50 years. So these days we might have one or two meals with shrimp a month, which is pretty much it for our animal intake. 

Andrew loves them though, and for this I’m partly (ok, completely) responsible. When we met he didn’t actually eat them, and knowing what I know now, I might have let it stay that way. But no, I had to encourage and entice him to try my second favourite seafood (first is PEI mussels), thus beginning a destructive pattern that I like to call “Can we have prawns tonight?”

Actually, when asked if he has any particular food request for any given evening, Andrew will inevitably request something containing a) shrimp or b) cheese. Luckily, I have no such ethical qualms about eating cheese (pry it from my cold dead hands, why don’t you), so usually this request, at least, can be met. But sometimes, when I’m feeling nice (or hungry), it just makes sense to combine these two into one fantastic meal. 

quesadilla filling

Completely defying the whole “what grows together goes together” dictate, I’ve always loved shrimp with cheese- especially with a strong, sharp cheddar. Combining these two components with sweet bell pepper, chopped chili (always), green onion and fresh coriander seemed entirely natural. 

The bright flavours here are just right for summer. Perfect for a snack or a light lunch (maybe with a soup or salad?), these quesadillas are practically addictive. As expected, Andrew loved these, so much so that we ended up having them for lunch again today. Which I guess meets our shrimp quota for the month, then. 

shrimp quesadilla

  • Shrimp, Red Pepper and Cheddar Quesadillas
  • makes 2 quesadillas
  • 100g shrimp, shelled and de-veined (or use pre-cooked) 
    1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
    4 spring onions, finely chopped
    2 Tbs. finely chopped coriander
    1 small red chili, de-seeded and chopped finely
    juice of half a lemon 
    small pinch sea salt
    1 tsp. neutral oil
    2 flour, whole wheat or corn tortillas  
    1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese 
  • 1. Bring a shallow pan of water to a simmer, and gently drop in the shrimp. Poach the shrimp for 1-2 minutes, then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. (Skip this step if your shrimp are  pre-cooked.)

    2. Chop the shrimp into 2-3 pieces each, and place in a small bowl. Add the bell pepper, spring onions, coriander, chili, lemon juice and sea salt. Mix well and set aside. (Quesadilla filling can be made ahead of time up to this point. Covered tightly, this will keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours.)

    3. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tortilla and immediately sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over half of it. Follow with 1/2 of the shrimp mixture, and then another 1/4 of the cheese. (Putting cheese on both sides of the filling mixture helps everything stick together nicely.)

    4. Using a spatula, fold the empty side of the tortilla over the top of the filled side into a half-moon shape, like an omelette. Press down with the spatula and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the underside is golden brown. Carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook for another 30 seconds or so, pressing down with the spatula. Remove to a plate.

    5. Add the other half of the oil and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the remaining quesadilla. Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt.  


  1. margaux says:

    I’m with Andrew! Cheese and shrimp are among my favourite foods. I can’t make shrimp nearly as often as I’d like – I have some ethical concerns, but really it’s trumped by the fact that Josh is deathly allergic.

  2. Edd says:

    Sub Chicken for the Shrimp and this is what I had for dinner tonight, cant beat nice and simple quesadillas

  3. Ele says:

    Margaux, eek! That sounds horrible. I’m trying to eat less shrimp but the thought of not being able to have it- nah, couldn’t do it. What can I say, you’re a better woman than me!

    Ed- Yeah, love quesadillas. I only started eating them once I moved to the UK but very happy that I did. So fast to make and delicious.

  4. [...] got no concrete cooking plans for the week ahead, though I have promised Andrew we’ll make these quesadillas one day. I’ll have to come up with something to do with the rest of that kale and celery, [...]