Easy, cheesy and delicious open-faced shrimp quesadillas – with pepper jack cheese, salsa verde, pickled jalapeños and tomato!
These open-faced shrimp quesadillas feel like an elevated way to enjoy the traditional snack. However, they could not be any easier to make! It almost makes you feel like you’re eating a Mexican pizza, and I’m all about it.
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants. El Vez in Philadelphia. I believe they also have locations in NYC and Fort Lauderdale. If you’re in either of those cities, you have to try! I’ve lived in two Texas cities and have visited four. Yet I still consider El Vez the best modern Mexican restaurant. That’s just my humble opinion. Their mahi tacos are also amazing. The margaritas are great too.
The last time I went to El Vez we decided to order the open-faced shrimp quesadillas on the menu as an appetizer. To be honest, I didn’t have high exceptions for these. But, wow they were unbelievably flavorful. I knew right away I had to come home and re-create them.
So, I’m very sure the restaurant version is way more authentic. The sauces are homemade and probably require a lot more work. But, we all know I’m about big flavor with minimal ingredients and keeping it easy. We don’t all have time to be chefs ya know. With that being said, my less authentic version of this recipe is pretty dang good if I don’t say so myself. My husband and I loved them. They’ll definitely be a staple around here!
A few things to know about this recipe:
Shrimp – I always use Trader Joe’s frozen red Argentine shrimp. Click here for my shrimp scampi cauliflower crust pizza using them. I can not recommend them enough. I find that they have the best taste and texture. They almost taste like lobster. However, feel free to use whatever kind of shrimp you’d like! They just need to be peeled and de-veined.
Tortillas – I used about 8 inch flour tortillas. I got the Mission brand carb balance ones. They’re loaded with fiber so they only have 4g of net carbs. Another healthy option is Siete Foods brand – I like the cassava flour ones, they hold up the best!
Hope you enjoy this first recipe of the 2020! Happy new year!Print
2 tortillas, about 8 inches – for healthier option try Mission carb balance flour tortillas or Siete cassava flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese – plus 1-2 tbsp more for sprinkling
2 tbsp salsa verde
5–6 red Argentine shrimp – peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise – can also use any type of shrimp
1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 tomato – chopped in small pieces
pickled jalapeños to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
wedge of lime for squeezing, optional
Defrost shrimp if they’re frozen.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet or lightly spray with non-stick spray.
Place tortillas on baking sheet and evenly top with 1/3 cup pepper jack cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.
In a bowl, combine shrimp with salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil. Toss and coat shrimp.
Add shrimp to cheesy tortillas.
Top with tomatoes and pickled jalapeños.
Drizzle salsa verde over each tortilla and sprinkle on 1-2 more tbsp pepper jack.
Bake 5-6 more minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.
Top with cilantro and squeeze on some lime if desired.
Cut each tortilla into 4 pieces and enjoy!