Creamy Chipotle Shrimp

Creamy Chipotle Shrimp

A few years ago, my partner and I went to a low-key Mexican inspired restaurant in Florida where I ordered the Creamy Chipotle Shrimp. I’m not usually a huge chipotle fan, but something about it was just calling my name. When the dish arrived and I took that first bite I was absolutely blown away. Juicy shrimp, crispy chopped bacon, and tender sautéed onions swimming in a creamy yet spicy chipotle sauce topped with queso fresco and fresh cilantro. For the weeks following, I caught myself a few times daydreaming of that shrimp. It’s then I decided I needed to recreate it, and after many trial and errors it’s finally perfected. It has only a few simple, easy to find ingredients, but it is PACKED with flavor, and the best part, comes together in about 25 minutes.

Crispy bacon and cooked shrimp on a white paper towel lined plate.

Creamy Chipotle Shrimp Ingredients:

  • Shrimp- use peeled and deveined shrimp. If using frozen, allow shrimp to thaw in cool water, rinse, and drain before cooking. We like to use extra-large shrimp because once cooked, they are perfectly bite sized.
  • Bacon- bacon adds a wonderful salty/savory element that this dish really needs. Cook bacon until crisp for a lovely mix of textures.
  • Red Onion- red onion gives a milder onion flavor and a gorgeous purple color to the dish.
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Butter- butter is used to grease the pan before cooking the shrimp & vegetables to prevent sticking. I’ve found the flavor of butter compliments the dish better than oil.
  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce- chipotles in adobo sauce are smoked and dried jalapenos packed in a sauce of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and spices. The flavor is smoky, tangy, a bit sweet, and quite spicy.
  • Half & Half- half and half is a mixture of cream and milk. It has a wonderful creamy flavor, but not as thick as full cream. It can generally be found in the coffee creamer section of most grocery stores.
  • Sour Cream- sour cream is fluffy and light, giving this sauce a wonderful velvety texture.
  • Lime Juice- a splash of lime juice adds a touch of acid and balance to the spicy, savory sauce.
  • Salt & Pepper

Substitutions & Variations:

  • Not a shrimp fan? No worries! This creamy chipotle sauce is great on other proteins such as grilled chicken or flaky white fish.
  • Instead of red onion, try shallots for a milder, sweet onion flavor or white onions for a spicier onion flavor.
  • Try adding different vegetables, such as any color of bell pepper or sliced mushrooms.
  • Instead of butter, you can use a neutral tasting cooking oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Instead of half & half, whole milk can be used.

How to Serve Chipotle Shrimp:

  • This dish is both quick and easy, making it a perfect fast dinner for any night of the week.
  • Top shrimp in chipotle sauce with crumbled queso fresco and roughly chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Serve your shrimp with toasted tortillas, Spanish rice, and roasted vegetables.
Cooked shrimp and creamy chipotle sauce in a frying pan with queso fresco & cilantro.

Equipment Needed:

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How to Make Shrimp in Chipotle Sauce:

  • Mix Chipotle Sauce: In a food processor or blender, add all chipotle sauce ingredients and blend until smooth and fully combined. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Cook Bacon & Shrimp: in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon strips. Cook bacon until done and crisp, about 3-5 minutes per side. Add cooked bacon strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain grease. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan, stirring as it melts. Add shrimp to pan in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 90 seconds per side until opaque and done. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
  • Saute Onions & Garlic: turn heat down to medium-low. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to pan and melt. Add sliced red onions to pan and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until onions are tender. Add minced garlic to pan and cook 1-2 minutes longer until fragrant.
  • Add Sauce & Finish: add creamy chipotle sauce, shrimp, and roughly chopped bacon to pan. Stir to combine and let simmer 2-3 minutes more until everything is warmed through. Top shrimp with chopped cilantro & crumbled queso fresco and serve.

Leftovers:

  • If you have any leftovers, store chipotle shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, leftovers will last 1-2 days. Use your best judgement when consuming leftover shrimp. If you notice any unusual smell, slimy texture, or discoloration, discard shrimp.
  • To reheat, add leftovers to a frying pan over medium-low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through.
Creamy chipotle shrimp, spanish rice, and flour tortillas in a white ceramic plate.

Tips & Recipe Notes:

  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce are quite spicy. Control your sauce’s spice level by starting with 3.5 oz, tasting after blending, then adjusting according to your personal taste.
  • If you would like more flavor than spice, remove chipotles from can and only add adobo sauce.

Recipes You May Also Love:

  • The Best Crock Pot Carnitas– Juicy, crispy pulled pork with notes of citrus and garlic. And with the Crock-Pot doing 90% of the work for you, these are both the best and the easiest make at home Carnitas for all of your taco needs.
  • Slow Cooker Birria Tacos– Pork shoulder slow cooked in a delicious chile consumé until fall-off-the-bone tender, crispy corn tortilla, and ooey gooey melty cheese.
  • Queso & Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers– easy vegetarian Queso & Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers filled with fluffy Spanish rice, black beans, corn, and lots and lots of cheese
Upclose of creamy chipotle shrimp with queso fresco and cilantro.

Creamy Chipotle Shrimp

Juicy shrimp, crispy bacon, and sauteed onions swimming in a creamy yet spicy chipotle sauce. It only has a few ingredients, but it is packed with flavor & comes together in about 25 minutes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Food Processor or Blender
  • Frying Pan
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb shrimp thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 2 tbsp butter divided
  • 1/2 cup red onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic about 3 cloves

For Chipotle Sauce:

  • 3.5-7 oz Chipotles in Adobo Sauce adjust according to taste
  • 3/4 cup half & half or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Splash lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Mix Chipotle Sauce: in a food processor or blender, add chipotle sauce ingredients (begin with 3.5 oz chipotles in adobo sauce and adjust according to taste). Blend until smooth and fully combined. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Cook Bacon & Shrimp: in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon strips. Cook bacon until done and crisp, about 3-5 minutes per side. Add cooked bacon strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain grease. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan, stirring as it melts. Add shrimp to pan in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 90 seconds per side until opaque and done. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
  • Saute Onions & Garlic: turn heat down to medium-low. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to pan and melt. Add sliced red onions to pan and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until onions are tender. Add minced garlic to pan and cook 1-2 minutes longer until fragrant.
  • Add Sauce & Finish: add creamy chipotle sauce, shrimp, and roughly chopped bacon to pan. Stir to combine and let simmer 2-3 minutes more until everything is warmed through. Top shrimp with chopped cilantro & crumbled queso fresco and serve.

Notes

Chipotles in Adobo Sauce are quite spicy. Control your sauce’s spice level by starting with 3.5 oz, tasting after blending, then adjusting according to your personal taste.
If you would like more flavor than spice, remove chipotles from can and only add adobo sauce.
Keyword bacon, chipotle in adobo sauce, easy mexican recipe, mexican shrimp, minced garlic, red onion, shrimp, sour cream, weeknight recipe

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