Shrimp Fajitas with Spanish Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo on grilled flour tortillas.  Today, let’s double down on intense Spanish flavors with these Tex-Mex fajitas – tender shrimp seasoned with smokey Spanish paprika and cumin, spicy hot Spanish chorizo, a tangy savoy cabbage slaw, and dripping in a creamy chipotle mayo.

Shrimp Fajitas Give Life To That Cast Iron Pan

Step back ya’ll.  These fajitas on fleek.

Shrimp fajitas are a delicious and easy to prepare alternative to steak or chicken fajitas.  Served on grilled flour tortillas with a sweet and tangy savoy cabbage slaw and a smokey chipotle mayo – these little guys are awesome.

Tipping our hats (or it is cowboy hats?) to the Tex-Mex fajitas tradition of skirt steak in a sizzling hot cast iron pan, we’ve decided instead to go with peeled shrimp and Spanish chorizo.

If you want to buck the sizzling cast iron tradition completely, try grilling unpeeled shrimp and toss those together with cured Spanish chorizo that has been warmed through.

Shrimp Fajitas with Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo |

Peel and clean the shrimp, but leave the tails on.  In fact, I’m all for leaving the shell and heads on, but that seems to be a sticking point with a lot of folks.  The natural sugars in the shell and tail caramelize and make for better tasting shrimp.  It freaks some people out in the same way leaving the head attached to fish does before broiling or grilling.  Do you cook lobster removed from the shell?  No, because they taste better – in the same way a t-bone steak tastes better with the bone in.   My recommendation for better tasting shrimp, leave at least the tails on and remove the shells so you can devein.

Just as the shrimp finishes cooking, add previously sauteed chorizo back to the skillet to heat both through together.

We’re using Spanish chorizo which is cured, so you only need to cook them for about 5 minutes.  Just until they are slightly browned, warmed through, and begin to release some of their paprika flavored oils.

Shrimp Fajitas with Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo |

The flavors of chorizo and shrimp meld together to create a fantastic combination in a Spanish-inspired seafood fajitas.

Shrimp Fajitas with Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo |
Shrimp Fajitas with Spanish Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo
Shrimp fajitas with Spanish chorizo are a delicious and easy to prepare alternative to steak or chicken fajitas. Served with the bright delicious flavors of queso fresco, cilantro, and pickled red onion.
Serves: 8 fajitas
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 24 medium shrimp
  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • pinch of salt
Pickled Red Onion
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
Cabbage Slaw
  • ½ savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 lime
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon imported Italian honey
  • pinch of cayenne
Chipotle Mayo
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 lime
  1. Slice small red onion and soak in a glass bowl of white wine vinegar for at least 30 minutes. The longer the red onion pickles in vinegar, the more pink they will turn.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, finely chopped chipotle peppers plus adobe sauce, and juice from one lime.
  3. Make the slaw: Whisk together rice vinegar, juice from 1 lime, celery seed, honey
  4. Shred cabbage and toss together with dressing in a second glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The acidity of the rice vinegar and lime juice softens the cabbage.
  5. Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet, coat with a teaspoon of canola oil, and toast each of your tortillas on both sides. Set aside, or place in warm oven.
  6. Sauté chorizo and shrimp: While all this pickling is going on, prep your chorizo and shrimp. Slice sausage into ½ inch thick slices. Clean, devein and peel shrimp.
  7. Preheat skillet on medium heat. Add chorizo and cook for 4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add shrimp and garlic to chorizo oil, sprinkle with paprika, cumin, and sauté for 2½ to 3½ minutes. Add chorizo back to skillet when shrimp is just cooked, stir, and turn off heat.
  8. Assemble fajitas: On a warmed flour tortilla, layer cabbage slaw, pickled onions, shrimp, chorizo, a spoonful of chipotle mayo, crumbled queso fresco, and some torn or chopped cilantro leaves. About 3 shrimp and 3 pieces of chorizo per fajitas works well.
If you're not a fan of cilantro, certain go ahead and substitute with Italian parsley.

Unpeeled shrimp are more flavorful and can be deveined while still leaving the shells on.  Using a pair of small scissors, cut the shrimp shell up along the seam of the back.  Pull back the shell without removing it and use the tip of the scissors to put out the vein.  Once the vein has been removed, press the shell back around the shrimp.

I did a quick search on YouTube and there are several tutorials that demonstrate how easy it is.