A fast and easy weeknight dinner, serve this tequila lime shrimp with warm corn tortillas, over rice, or tossed with pasta.
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
Start your Tequila Lime Shrimp by putting your ancho chiles in boiling water to steep and soften.
Once chiles have softened, add them and a portion of the steeped water to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Then in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the grated or minced garlic.
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.
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.
Once your pan is deglazed, add the shrimp back in and add the lime juice.
Next you’ll add the pureed ancho chiles, stir it all together, and simmer for about 4-5 minutes.
Finish your shrimp by adding the butter and stirring until melted.
Serve garnished with additional fresh lime juice, and enjoy!
Ways to Serve Tequila Lime Shrimp
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.
More Seafood Recipes
- Easy Pan Seared Salmon
- Crab Linguine in White Wine Sauce
- Broiled Whitefish with Mango Salsa
- Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic and Chilies
- Jamaican Fish Escovitch
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.
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
- 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.
Want more Healthy Mexican Eats?
I tried this dish last night and followed all steps – it is OK, but not great. The ancho chillies have a very earthy taste to them and overall the dish lacks flavor.
I’m sorry you didn’t love this Katie! Did you properly season with salt?
I cooked onion, tomatoes, and garlic. I added redchili flakes then added tequila cooked alcohol out. Added lemon zest and juice of same lemon. Added shrimp to cook with salt n pepper and added garlic butter at the very end to thicken to a creamy sauce.
That sounds amazing!