Authentic Tequila Lime Shrimp

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

A fast and easy weeknight dinner, serve this tequila lime shrimp with warm corn tortillas, over rice, or tossed with pasta.

Authentic tequila lime shrimp.

When I am wanting a true taste of Mexico, one of my favorite dishes is this simple yet flavorful Authentic Tequila Lime Shrimp. The star of the dish? Pureed ancho chile peppers. It’s so flavorful, and can be made in 20 minutes or less, making it a great choice for a quick and easy seafood dinner.


  • Shrimp: A relatively common and affordable seafood, shrimp are high in protein and healthy fats while low in calories.
  • Ancho chile peppers: Dried poblano peppers that are typically mild and naturally smoky in flavor.
  • Garlic: Nutty and earthy in flavor that caramelizes and sweetens as it cooks.
  • Tequila: While the brand can change the taste a bit, tequila is usually smooth, sweet, and slightly fruity.
  • Lime juice: Bright, fresh, and acidic that pairs wonderfully with tequila.
  • Butter: Evens out the texture of the sauce and enhances the natural flavors of the shrimp.

How to Make Authentic Tequila Lime Shrimp

Steeping ancho chilis

Start your Tequila Lime Shrimp by putting your ancho chiles in boiling water to steep and soften.

Pureed ancho chilis

Once chiles have softened, add them and a portion of the steeped water to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Grating garlic into pan

Then in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the grated or minced garlic.

Cooking shrimp

Once garlic is aromatic, add in the raw shrimp. As soon as the shrimp turn pink, it’s cooked, and you can remove from the pan and set aside.

Adding tequila to pan

Then slowly add the tequila to the pan and use it to deglaze all the browned bits from the bottom.


Be careful and prepared, as adding alcohol to hot pans and stoves can cause it to catch fire.

Adding lime juice to shrimp

Once your pan is deglazed, add the shrimp back in and add the lime juice.

Stirring in pureed chilis

Next you’ll add the pureed ancho chiles, stir it all together, and simmer for about 4-5 minutes.

Adding butter to shrimp

Finish your shrimp by adding the butter and stirring until melted.

Garnishing authentic tequila lime shrimp.

Serve garnished with additional fresh lime juice, and enjoy!

Ways to Serve Tequila Lime Shrimp

Liz heating up tortillas

My favorite way to serve Tequila Lime Shrimp is in warmed corn tortillas with cilantro and an extra squeeze of fresh lime juice; the best way to enjoy any shrimp tacos if you ask me. But you can also serve it with rice, which I also like to garnish with cilantro. Or you can mix it with pasta and use the ancho chilis as a sauce for the whole dish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it necessary to devein shrimp?

I never skip deveining when cooking shrimp. While it’s not actually a vein, it’s part of the digestive tract, and while it won’t hurt you, it can affect the taste.

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes you can! But if you use frozen, make sure they’ve thawed completely before cooking.

How do I store leftover tequila lime shrimp?

Kept in an airtight container, leftover shrimp will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. You can reheat in the microwave, or throw it back into a pan and heat through.

Authentic tequila lime shrimp.

More Seafood Recipes

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Did you try this dish and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.

Liz eating authentic tequila lime shrimp.

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Mexico, you have got to try this Tequila Lime Shrimp recipe. It comes together in just 20 minutes and is a true testament to how delicious and easy healthy eating can be at home.

No fork required.

Authentic tequila lime shrimp

Authentic Tequila Lime Shrimp

4.45 stars average
A fast and easy weeknight dinner, serve this tequila lime shrimp with warm corn tortillas, over rice or tossed with pasta.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (raw)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 dried ancho chili peppers (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Sprinkle the shrimp evenly with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Place the dried chilis in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Steep chilis in the hot water until softened, about 20 minutes.
  • Puree softened chilis and 1/2 cup of the steeping liquid in a food processor or blender until smooth and set aside.
  • Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil to the pan. Stir in garlic and warm until fragrant, about 15 seconds, being careful not to burn.
  • Add shrimp to the pan, without over crowding, and heat for 90 seconds per side. The minute the shrimp turns pink, it is cooked so be careful not to over cook. It shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes total. Remove cooked shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • Stir the tequila into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to deglaze any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the cooked shrimp along with the pureed chilis and lime juice to the pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce to low and heat for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Right before serving, finish the shrimp with butter and stir until melted through. Check for seasoning and add more salt or pepper to taste.
  • Serve with warmed tortillas, rice, or tossed into pasta if you wish.


Calories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 24.6gFat: 15.6gSaturated Fat: 3.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11.7gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 799mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 0.1g

Want more Healthy Mexican Eats?

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46 responses to “Authentic Tequila Lime Shrimp”

  1. Maggie Unzueta Avatar
    Maggie Unzueta

    This dish looks SO deliciously good. I wish I could eat that right now!

  2. VERONICA Avatar

    What size shrimp do you use in your recipe?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I usually use 21-30 :)

  3. Joanie @ ZagLeft Avatar
    Joanie @ ZagLeft

    I think I really need to visit this place. It looks so relaxing and invigorating. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I love the simplicity of this dish, easy, full of flavor and a meal I know my family would love.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You would love it there – I hope you get to experience it one day soon!

  4. Lori @ RecipeGirl Avatar
    Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Oh gosh, many years ago (when I lived in SD), I was invited to experience Rancho La Puerta and wasn’t able to go. One of these days I’ll get there! It looks like such a fabulous place. Your shrimp dish looks yummy!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh Lori I hope you can get there one day! You would love it so much!! So peaceful!

  5. Heather Avatar


  6. carrie @ frugal foodie mama Avatar
    carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    This shrimp dish looks amazing! So flavorful, yet simple. This would be perfect to serve for Cinco de Mayo next week. I read Monique’s post last week about your all’s adventures at the Rancho la Puerta. It looks like you two had an amazing (& tasty!) time there. :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Ahhh I missed her post!! I need to check it out now!!!!! I hope you get there one day!

      1. Diana Avatar

        Made dish tonight…it was amazing. A must do-over!!!!!!!

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Let me know if you make any other recipes of mine!

  7. Tiia Avatar

    What a lovely looking place!! It’s been a cold spring in Finland, can I just… escape and go there instead??

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh wow I would love to visit Finland one day!! But yes I agree – I think you need a little taste of Mexico!

  8. Nicole Taggart Avatar
    Nicole Taggart

    Looks like a beautiful trip and dish!!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It was so relaxing friend! I hope you can get there one day!

  9. Sabrina Modelle Avatar
    Sabrina Modelle

    Liz, looks like you had an amazing trip and these shrimp look fantastic. Can’t wait to make them for dinner, soon!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It was a great time – you would have loved it Sabrina!

  10. Tara Avatar

    Wow, this spot looks fantastic and that shrimp looking amazing!! Loved that you could do cooking classes too!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      YES!! The cooking classes were honestly one of the highlights of the whole trip. I hope you get to experience the ranch one day!

  11. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor Avatar
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    I need this for dinner! I love that you took inspiration from your trip to Mexico to create this dish. The tequila lime flavors are too good to resist.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so inspired to cook with chilis more – every time I do I love how the dish turns out!

      1. Mike Avatar

        I’m a mannie and I love to cook Mexican food. Have u guys ever try making enfrijoladas. If not you lady’s need to they are fantastic..

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          Oh cool I’ve never tried it! I’ll look into it!

  12. Beverley Press Avatar
    Beverley Press

    you girls had so much fun and OH my Goodness , this Recipe rocks! xoxo

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      We did have a blast – having good travel buddies is KEY!!

  13. Caroline Avatar

    Such a fun trip! Ahhhh…I love easy dishes like this that look like you fussed! Sounds perfect for easy entertaining…leaving you more time to enjoy a margarita with the rest of that tequila! ;)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I like the way you think!! ;)

  14. Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen Avatar
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen

    I HEART you and our time together. You forgot to include the video of us singing Mariah. ;)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      hahahaha I mean seriously… that video will NEVER be deleted off my phone!

  15. Andi Avatar

    I am trying to get my husband to have a greater appreciation of Mexico. He sees Tijuana and Cabo and says no thank you, BUT this place is a GEM. I love farm to table and healthy eating so this is right up our alley and in such a beautiful location. I really think if my hubby saw this Mexico, he would be in love.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I have to agree with you. To be honest it was really just like being in California. The climate is similar and the agriculture is similar. I hope you get there one day!

  16. Amelia @ Eating Made Easy Avatar
    Amelia @ Eating Made Easy

    That shrimp looks INCREDIBLE. And isn’t Rancho La Puerta a magical place? I can only imagine how much you two must have enjoyed yourself there. What a treat. Sending big hugs. xoxo

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I thought of you the whole time! It had Amelia written all over it!!! I hope we get to hang out in person one day soon lady!!

  17. Liz Avatar

    Thank you Liz for the nice recipe.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Of course! Hope you’re doing well Liz!

  18. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It Avatar
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It

    Nice Dancer’s Pose pic!! :) This dancer approves. ;) Haha I absolutely LOVE all the spices you used in the shrimp. I really need to consider going to Rancho La Puerta soon!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      heheh – thank you so much!!! :) xoxo I hope you get there one day!

  19. Sarah | Broma Bakery Avatar
    Sarah | Broma Bakery

    Have been waiting to hear more about this trip. It sounds just fantastic, mama! I’m going to have to ask for these shrimp for dinner when I come to visit ;)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you get there one day! It was so gorgeous!!!! xoxoxo Deal!

  20. cookbook queen Avatar
    cookbook queen

    Oh my gosh — what a lovely trip. Sounds like a fun and relaxing weekend!! And this shrimp!! YUMMMMM!!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It was so relaxing!! The perfect start to a busy travel month!! xoxo

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.