Shrimp quinoa bowl is the perfect easy meal for weeknight dinners. It’s filled with whole grain quinoa, blackened shrimp, and toppings of choice. This healthy dinner recipe is packed with flavor and a great option for everyone in your family.

What is Shrimp Quinoa Bowl?

If this is your first time cooking grain bowls, you’re in for a treat! Most quinoa recipes are bland and lack flavor, but this recipe is packed with fresh ingredients, seasonings, and herbs. It’s perfect for serving on busy nights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook a big meal.

All you need to do is cook the quinoa, saute the shrimp, and add your favorite toppings. Don’t forget to drizzle this delicious meal with cilantro lime crema. It’s the perfect addition to these quinoa power bowls.

Meal Prep Tip: Spend a little time on meal prep earlier in the week, so it’s even easier to assemble the bowls. When you’re ready to eat, layer the cilantro quinoa in a large bowl first, place a few cooked shrimp on top, and scoop on your toppings of choice.

How to Pick the Best Shrimp 

Shrimp is the star of this dish, so you want to make sure you get the best quality you can find.

Either fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp will work wonderfully as long as it’s good quality.

If you buy fresh shrimp from the seafood department at the grocery store, ask when they were caught. This needs to be within 24 hours. If not, go with frozen shrimp instead.

Frozen shrimp are a great option since they’re flash frozen when they’re still fresh. You can buy a bag in the frozen seafood department of the grocery store.

You can choose to buy peeled or unpeeled shrimp depending on if you want to take the extra time to devein and peel them.

To peel the shrimp, remove the shell and use a knife to scrape off the dark vein along the inside of the shrimp. Rinse them free of any lingering shells or veins and place them in a large bowl.

It’s best to buy raw large or extra-large shrimp for this recipe.

ingredients for quinoa bowl with shrimp

Ingredients

Quinoa: 

  • Dry quinoa 
  • Fresh lime juice 
  • Fresh cilantro 

Shrimp: 

  • Large shrimp 
  • Chili powder 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Onion powder 
  • Ground cumin 
  • Dried oregano 
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Olive oil 

How to Make Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

Cook the quinoa in broth or water and then remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. 

cooked quinoa in a saucepan

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with spices and oil. Cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.

cooked shrimp in a skillet

Serve cooked shrimp over quinoa with toppings of your choice.

Variations

Here are some tasty options to make this shrimp quinoa bowl your own.

  • Meat: chicken, tofu, scallops, salmon
  • Grains: farro, barley, brown rice, wheat berries, black or red quinoa  
  • Fresh Veggies: red peppers, red onion, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, romaine lettuce, corn, green onions
  • Cheese: cheddar cheese, Colby jack cheese
  • Herbs: parsley, oregano, cilantro
  • Seasonings: curry powder, red pepper flakes 

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overcook! Don’t overcook the shrimp, or it will be tough. Cook time will depend on the size of the shrimp. I used large shrimp for this recipe which requires about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Too much liquid? If the quinoa is cooked, but there’s still too much water in the pan, you can pour out any extra. Put the pan back on the stove for a minute to allow the rest of the water to evaporate.  
  • Prep ahead. This is a great recipe to make ahead. Toss thawed shrimp with spices and oil in the morning so it’s ready to cook later in the day. Cook quinoa the day before, reheat, and just before serving stir in lime juice and cilantro.    

Other Ways to Cook this Dish  

There are a couple of other ways to cook shrimp and quinoa that work great for this recipe.

You can cook the shrimp in the oven as well. Place the shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the shrimp are thawed and seasoned. Bake at 400 F until shrimp is juicy and opaque, about 4 to 6 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.

Make the quinoa in an instant pot if you don’t want to cook it on the stove. You can also use vegetable or chicken broth for added flavor.  

shrimp quinoa bowl recipe

How to Serve 

Top this healthy meal with salsa, avocados, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, or lime wedges. You can also drizzle it with sauce, creamy dressing, or vinaigrette.

Serve it for a hearty lunch or for dinner with pita bread or side dishes, such as:

Storing Tips 

Refrigerate: Keep leftover shrimp and quinoa stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat: Gently reheat the shrimp until just warm enough, or eat them cold. You can heat the quinoa until warmed through in the microwave or eat it cold as well.

Freeze: If you’d like to make this dish in advance, you can freeze it and save it for later.

Place the shrimp in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove the shrimp and put them in a large freezer bag and back in the freezer.

Scoop the quinoa into a container with a lid and into the freezer.

Be sure to label and date everything, so you know what you’ve saved later.

FAQs

Why is my shrimp rubbery? 

If your shrimp tastes rubbery, that means it was cooked too long.

How can I make quinoa more flavorful? 

Using ingredients like salt, pepper, cilantro, broth, and lime juice will help make your quinoa very flavorful.

How do you know when shrimp is done?

Cooked shrimp should be opaque in color and curl into a nice “C” shape.

More Shrimp Recipes

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cilantro lime quinoa with shrimp

Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Shrimp quinoa bowl is the perfect easy meal for weeknight dinners. It’s filled with whole grain quinoa, blackened shrimp, and topped with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro lime crema. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Quinoa

  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Shrimp

  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Toppings


Instructions

Quinoa

  1. In a saucepan, combine the water and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook covered until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp

  1. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with spices and oil.
  2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Immediately remove to a serving bowl. The shrimp will continue to cook if left in a hot skillet.

To Serve

  1. Served cooked shrimp over quinoa with toppings of choice.

Notes

  • Leftovers: Store leftover quinoa and shrimp in separate containers for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup cooked quinoa, 4 ounces shrimp (does not include toppings)
  • Calories: 321
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 162.6 mg
  • Fat: 10.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Protein: 29.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 182.5 mg

Keywords: quinoa bowl, shrimp, easy