Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls

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Spicy shrimp with cilantro lime rice, black beans, avocado, and a creamy cilantro lime sauce

Clearly I’m all about food holidays this year after sharing not one, but two recipes for National Grilled Cheese Day:) And don’t worry, I’ve already got something planned for National Chocolate-Chip Cookie Day (May 15th!). Today, however, we’re getting ready to celebrate National Shrimp Day, and we’re doing it by making some amazing Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls.

National Shrimp Day is May 10th and today I’m sharing a tasty and simple shrimp dish the whole family will go crazy for. And while these bowls are perfect for National Shrimp Day, they’re really a great recipe for any day of the year.

Creole seasoning on top of the cilantro lime shrimp

The goal for these bowls is to keep things simple! To accomplish that, we’re using Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice Mix. I love this mix because it’s delicious and so easy to make. You simply start the rice cooking then leave it alone while you prepare the rest of the dish. The flavor profile on this cilantro lime rice is zippy, tangy, and well seasoned. It makes a great base for the shrimp and toppings.

For maximum flavor you’ll toss the shrimp in a few different spices: Creole Seasoning, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Once the shrimp is coated in seasonings, cover and set in the fridge while you prepare the sauce and other toppings. The shrimp gets cooked in a skillet just before serving.

While the rice is simmering and shrimp is “marinating” in the fridge, you can assemble the rest of the toppings for these bowls. The sauce is just as easy as tossing a bunch of ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulsing to combine. The rest of the bowl toppings are simple: a sliced avocado, black beans, a chopped-up jalapeno (if desired), some lime wedges, and a few pieces of fresh cilantro. I warm the black beans by stirring them into the finished (and warm) rice. Alternatively you can warm them in a separate pot.

Once the toppings are ready it’s time to work on the shrimp! Sauté the shrimp in a hot skillet until pink and cooked through. There are some tricks to getting this just right, so see my tips below:

A few tips for cooking the perfect shrimp:

  • When shrimp is raw the flesh is a grayish color. As it cooks, the protein turns to an opaque whitish pink color. Shrimp cook VERY quickly – about 2-3 minutes per side – so don’t take your eyes off of them while they’re cooking.
    • The shrimp should curl up into a loose “C” shape when properly cooked. If they have curled up into a tight “O” shape, then the shrimp is most likely overcooked. (An undercooked shrimp will still have some grayish spots on them and form more of a flexible “U” shape)
    • Cook the shrimp very last for this recipe so the shrimp don’t dry out while preparing the other components of this dish.
  • I recommend buying shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined to make this dish go faster and the prep to be simpler!
  • If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure to let it completely thaw out before putting over any heat.

More Delicious Shrimp Recipes:

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls

5 from 4 votes
Spicy shrimp with cilantro lime rice, black beans, avocado, and a creamy cilantro lime sauce
Print Recipe

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls

5 from 4 votes
Spicy shrimp with cilantro lime rice, black beans, avocado, and a creamy cilantro lime sauce
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 524kcal
Author Chelsea


For the Bowls and Shrimp

  • 1 package Zatarain's Cilantro Lime Rice Mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: cumin and Zatarain's Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 large avocado, pit removed and thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • For serving: lime wedges, additional cilantro
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • 1 lime juiced and zested (3 tablespoons juice + 1/2 teaspoon zest)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (add to desired preference), minced
  • 1/3 of a large bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, or 1 full jalapeno for a spicier dressing
  • 1/2 cup regular full fat mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I use fat-free)


  • Prepare the rice according to package directions. As soon as the rice is done cooking, fluff and then stir in the drained and rinsed black beans. OR warm beans separately if you want to serve as a side in the bowl (as pictured).
  • Pat both sides of the shrimp dry and then gently toss in a large bowl with the cumin, Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, and salt & pepper to taste (the Creole does have salt so don't add too much extra salt). Cover and place in the fridge while preparing the rest of this dish.

For the Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Zest and juice 1 lime to get 3 tablespoons juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest. Add the juice and zest to the blender or food processor along with the minced garlic, cilantro, 1/2 of the seeded jalapeno (add more of the jalapeno for a spicier sauce, add slowly if you're worried about the heat), and mayo. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend or pulse until smooth. Add in the sour cream and pulse once more to combine.
  • Taste and adjust sauce to personal preference (more lime, more garlic, salt/pepper)

Cook the Shrimp/Assemble Bowls

  • In a large skillet (if you don't have a big enough skillet to cook all the shrimp in a single layer, separate this process and butter + olive oil into 2 parts), melt butter and olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add shrimp in a single layer and saute until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • ASSEMBLE the bowls: Place the prepared rice mixture first, add the shrimp, add your desired bowl toppings (avocado, cilantro, lime, black beans) and finally a drizzle of the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 524kcal

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

Delicious and simple cilantro lime shrimp bowls with the BEST sauce! via #easy #30minute #meal #kidfriendly #cilantro #lime #shrimp #seafood #avocado #southwest #fast #quick #dinner #healthy #rice


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Recipe Rating


    I love your apron though its messy…:-):-) I mean I am a regular reader of your blog -chelseasmessyapron. My hubby loves my cooking and admires it quite often. Little he knows that most of the items on the menu are from your blog:-):-) So, today I thought of thanking you for all those recipes.
    Thanks a lot, dear.

  2. 5 stars
    another great recipe, love all of these ingredients although I’m not eating much rice these days, a few bites will be fine, thank you for this recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of the top 5 recipes I’ve tried of yours. SO good and SO easy. Perfect amount of spice and flavor.

  4. 5 stars
    This was my first recipe from your site and what a delicious way to start I made the rice with lime juice ,rind and chopped cilantro. Made the shrimp as written. Served as shown in the recipe. That sauce is delicious, I used yogurt instead of sour cream and mayo with a pinch of salt since no mayo. My husband said it’s a keeper!

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