Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas

May 1, 2012 by Ali

Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas |

Whenever my coworkers ask where I’d like to go to eat for lunch, about 9 times out of 10 my reply is a way-too-enthusiastic vote for Mexican. Yeah, it’s kind of the office joke. This food blogger could absolutely live on Mexican food.

But being that we work clear out in the ‘burbs, authentic Mexican food can be a little hard to come by. Thankfully the closest local Tex-Mex chain happens to have some of the best chips and salsa in town, plus one of my all-time favorite dishes — Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas.

Yes, I admit, the first time I saw them on the menu, I did a double-take. Parmesan-Crusted? With sun-dried tomatoes? At a Mexican restaurant?!? YES. And apparently these quesadillas are one of their most popular dishes, with good reason — they are are muy, muy, muy delicioso. Seasoned shrimp is paired with fresh avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, lots of melted cheese, and then of course, sandwiched between parmesan-crusted tortillas. Ridiculously good.

So now after seven years of ordering them at the restaurant, the lightbulb suddenly went off and I decided to try making them at home. Why I waited so long? I now have no idea. These were a complete, Parmesan-y success. Do yourself a little favor, and make some today. :)

Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas |

Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and finely diced (**use more or less for desired level of heat**)
  • 6-8 medium tortillas
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle shrimp evenly with cumin and a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until shrimp is pink and no longer translucent. (Depending on the size of your shrimp, they could take more or less time to cook.) Remove shrimp from the skillet, and heat an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and jalapeno, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is cooked and no longer translucent. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Lay out three tortillas on a baking sheet (or two if need. Sprinkle each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese. Then layer on the avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, and the onion/jalapeno mixture as evenly as possible. Sprinkle each quesadilla with an additional 1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese, and then top each with another tortilla. Brush (or mist) the remaining tablespoon of olive oil onto the top of the three tortillas, and then sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes on the middle oven rack, or until the Parmesan is golden and the Monterrey Jack cheese is melted. Remove, and use a pizza cutter to slice quesadillas into sixths. Serve immediately with salsa.

Ali’s Tip: If you don’t like shrimp, these would also be delicious with chicken, steak, sausage or even mushrooms.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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27 thoughts on “Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas

  1. I made these for my family this past week and I do believe that they made my husband fall in love with me all over again! They were easy to put together and even easier to gobble up! The favors blended so amazingly together! I will absolutely be making these over and over again! I have added the ingredients to my every week market list so that I will be certain to always have everything on hand so I can throw these together at a moments notice and keep my husband drooling! Thank you for sharing this and for creating such a lovely balanced bite!!

    - Karen Rees

  2. Dear Ali,
    One question. I usually use a quesadilla maker when making quesadillas. (One of those unnecessary, but fun gadgets.). Would I gum up my quesadilla maker by using the Parmesan on the outside of the tortillas?
    Thanks for a great recipe.

    - Lorna Reyes

    • Hi Lorna,

      Unfortunately, I think that the Parmesan would probably stick to the quesadilla maker. It might not, but that would be my guess.


      - Ali

  3. These sound awesome and I just can’t wait to try them! I will probably toss in some fresh chopped cilantro and possible lime to brighten them up with more flavor! Thank you for such a great recipe!

    - Diane Rogers

  4. Made these last night – soooo delicious!! Definitely a keeper! Thank you for sharing!

    - Phuong

  5. My hubs and I loved these! And he doesn’t even like Mexican food! Thank you for sharing.

    - April

  6. These were fantastic! I will def be making these again!

    - Tina

  7. I love that you added parm cheese to a quesadilla! This looks so good and we love Mexican food too!

    - JulieD

  8. These look a-MAZ-ing, I love that Parmesan crust! Definitely trying this!

    - Anna @ hiddenponies

  9. This sound super delicious! I love that parmesan crust and the combination of ingredients in there.

    - Kathryn

  10. Wow, these look to.die.for. Gotta try them soon!

    - Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl

  11. What a great idea! It looks delicious!

    I could always eat Mexican food, too. Breakfast, lunch or dinner! :)

    - DessertForTwo

  12. You’re so creative!! I am very impressed

    - love2dine

  13. I could totally live on Mexican food too!! These look scrumptious!

    - Lori @ RecipeGirl

  14. I love recreating restaurant favorites and these look so good!

    - Baking Serendipity

    • Me too! I often forget that so many of my restaurant favs are probably easy (and cheaper!) to make homemade. It’s fun when one is a success!

      - ali

  15. I love that you recreated this. It looks fabulous, with such awesome fusion of flavors.

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  16. I practically do live on Mexican food…we eat at Cactus all the time since it’s right now the road from my office too. It’s always my vote and I’ll be trying these next time!

    - Cassie

  17. Gotta try this – yumm!

    - linda

  18. Oh I am totally making these for my fiance!

    - Blog is the New Black