Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Quesadilla

Cilantro adds its sharp green presence to this quesadilla, which is topped with a sprinkling of brassy ancho chile powder.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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4 large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

3 (6-inch) tortillas or 8-inch tortillas cut to size

1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack

1/4 cup grated white cheddar

3 tablespoons Cilantro Pesto, recipe follows

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons sour cream, or to taste

Cilantro Pesto:

2 cups firmly packed cilantro leaves

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Reserve for garnish.

Place 2 tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet, sprinkle half the cheeses and 1 1/2 tablespoons pesto on each, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Stack the 2 layers and cover with the remaining tortilla. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle evenly with ancho chile powder. May be prepared 1 day ahead up to this point and refrigerated. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the tortillas are slightly crisp and the cheese has melted.

Cut into quarters and serve hot, garnished with the shrimp, more pesto, and sour cream.

Cilantro Pesto:

In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, pumpkinseeds, lime juice, salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until sauce is emulsified. May be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 1 cup

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