Our cilantro lime shrimp recipe beautifully combines the juicy, semi-sweet flavor of shrimp with a bright and zesty mix of cilantro and lime, to create a dish bursting with flavor. The result is utterly divine — a perfectly served family-style dinner that only takes 22 minutes from start to finish!
Is This Cilantro Lime Shrimp Healthy?
Yes, it is.
One serving of this cilantro lime shrimp has 502 calories, nearly a third of which come from the shrimp.
Shrimp contain zero carbs, very little fat, and a rich amount of protein. This explains why they are a highly-favored ingredient in many weight-loss plans.
These marine creatures are also packed with a generous amount of omega-3 fatty acids and are an excellent source of antioxidants. They are also high in many vitamins and minerals, such as:
Calcium: for proper functioning of heart, muscles, and nerves.
Potassium: for blood pressure and heartbeat regulation.
Iodine: for proper thyroid function and brain health.
Selenium: for better heart health and inflammation relief.
Main Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Either small or jumbo shrimp can work well for this recipe. We also keep shrimp tails on to save the robust flavor that seeps out from the tails. You can remove them later when eating.
Remember that small shrimp will cook faster than jumbo shrimp, so 5 minutes of sautéeing on medium heat in this recipe is enough to cook them through.
You can easily tell if the shrimp are done just by looking at their color and shape. Remove them from the heat once they turn fully pink and opaque with bright red accents, and curve into a loose C shape.
We sear the shrimp quickly in melted unsalted butter to reduce the total amount of sodium in the dish a little bit. Replace butter with olive oil if you don’t want to make it buttery in taste.
Shrimp Marinade (with lime juice):
In this recipe, we opted for a spice blend of salt, pepper, cumin, tabasco, lime juice, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, and sriracha to create a bright and bold flavor profile for the shrimp. Feel free to use your own favorite spice mix or add cayenne pepper to the marinade if you prefer it a bit spicier.
Whatever spices you use, it's important to not let the shrimp sit in the mixture for more than 20 minutes. Longer than that and the marinade will draw moisture out of the shrimp and the acid from the lime juice will start to break down the meat.
As a result, over-marinated shrimp are always dry and mushy after cooking. So to play it safe, we only marinate them for 5 minutes in this recipe; it’s long enough to absorb the flavor, but not so long that it alters the texture.
Cilantro plays an important role in the overall flavor of this dish. It adds a bright, peppery, pungent note that enhances the semi-sweet and savory flavor of the shrimp.
You can use more or less cilantro as per your taste, or replace it with other aromatic fresh herbs such as basil, dill, chives, or parsley to create a similar result if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, or don’t have any to hand.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Today's 22-minute family-style cilantro lime shrimp recipe creates a meal full of bright and hearty flavors, all done in 6 easy steps:
Step 1: Marinate shrimp with the spice blend for 5 minutes.
Step 2: In the meantime, season the cooked rice.
Step 3: Quickly sauté garlic in heated olive oil until fragrant.
Step 4: Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet with butter. Sauté until pink and opaque.
Step 5: Turn off the heat. Sprinkle cilantro and jalapeño on top.
Step 6: Portion out and serve hot with rice and avocado.
How to Store and Reheat Cilantro Lime Shrimp
This cilantro lime shrimp is best served hot and fresh right after it's done or within the same day as cooking. The lime and cilantro flavors will intensify with resting time, so there's a chance it will be too strong taste-wise the longer it's left.
If properly stored in airtight containers and put in the fridge, leftover cilantro lime shrimp can still be good for up to 3 days. When frozen, it can last up to 3 months.
To reheat the leftover portions, you can either pop them in the microwave or heat them quickly on the stove. You'll only need the shrimp to be warmed through but not cooked further, so be careful not to leave them on the heat for too long.
What to Serve With Cilantro Lime Shrimp
This cilantro lime shrimp makes a scrumptious meal when served over seasoned white rice. You can also replace the white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice to cut down the calories and add fiber.
Other common ways to enjoy this dish are piling it into tacos, burritos, or preparing a small portion of mashed potatoes to have as a side.
To help sneak more veggies into our diets, we decided to combine our cilantro lime shrimp with Greek salad to round out a nutritious full meal.
Calling for fresh produce such as lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, olives, and feta cheese, along with olive oil and red wine vinegar, our Greek salad is low GI and contains absolutely no processed carbs or trans fat. It's packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber and is a perfect side dish for protein-rich entrées like this cilantro lime shrimp.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.
Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.
Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.