Savory, spicy, and slightly sweet, this spicy Mexican Shrimp checks all the right boxes! It’s a super simple one-pan meal that’s packed with bold flavor. It doubles as an easy weeknight meal or a party dish. Serve it with your favorite sides for a seafood dish that creates a fiesta for your taste buds!
What’s in Mexican Spicy Shrimp
The mix of agave syrup and chili gives these shrimp a sweet and spicy hit!
- Shrimp: Any size of shrimp will work. Your cooking time will vary depending on how large your shrimp are, so keep a close eye on them.
- Smoked Paprika: You can swap this with regular paprika, but you’ll lose the subtle smokey element.
- Garlic Powder: Be careful! A little garlic powder goes a long way, and you don’t want it to overpower the other ingredients.
- Onion Powder: This helps to balance out the more pronounced ingredients.
- Ground Cumin: Cumin makes everything a little more earthy and savory.
- Chili Powder: This is what gives the shrimp their slightly spicy flavor.
- Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper always yields the most potent flavor.
- Butter: Salted butter is what I like to use, but you can always use unsalted instead if preferred.
- Dark Agave Syrup: Balance out all of that heat with this natural sweetness! You can use honey instead if you’d like.
- Lemon: The juice of one ripe lemon gives the entire dish a mouthwatering zesty kick.
Pro Tip: Don’t use bottled lemon juice. The real deal lends so much flavor!
Are these shrimp super spicy?
This spicy Mexican shrimp recipe packs a punch of flavor! It’s slightly sweet thanks to the agave syrup and slightly spicy thanks to the chili powder. Overall it has a great balance of flavors. If you prefer dishes that are less spicy, start with ½ teaspoon of chili powder and add more if you feel like it needs it at the end of the cooking.
There’s no need to marinate these spicy shrimp. The spices will add plenty of flavor.
To keep these shrimp tender, cook them quickly over high heat. It only takes a minute for shrimp to go from tender to rubbery, so keep a close eye on them.
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp but be sure to let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
How to Store and Reheat Spicy Shrimp
Store leftover spicy Mexican shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
How to Freeze Hot and Spicy Shrimp
Freeze spicy Mexican shrimp in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Sweet and Spicy Shrimp
More Shrimp Recipes We Love
- Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
- Crispy Coconut Shrimp
- Creamy Parmesan Shrimp
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Shrimp Fajitas
- Honey Sesame Shrimp
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Shrimp Marinade
Spicy Mexican Shrimp Recipe
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons dark agave syrup
- 1 lemon juiced
Pat the shrimp dry. Season with the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, chili powder, and a salt and pepper sprinkle. Toss to evenly coat the shrimp with the spices and set aside.1 pound shrimp, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1½ teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook in a single layer until pink, around 2 minutes per side. Add the agave syrup and the lemon juice and stir to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, or until the sauce has caramelized. Adjust salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat and serve.3 tablespoons salted butter, 3 tablespoons dark agave syrup, 1 lemon
- You can sub the agave for honey, the end result is just as good.
- If you prefer dishes that are less spicy start with ½ teaspoon of chili powder and add more if you feel like it needs it at the end of the cooking.
- If using frozen shrimp, be sure to let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
- Patting the shrimp dry on both sides ensures that the seasoning will stick to the shrimp and that they will get a good sear when cooking.
- Use high heat for the best results.
- Shrimp cook very quickly, and can taste rubbery if overcooked. Watch your shrimp to make sure they’re pink and have curled up into “C” shapes; that’s when they’re done.
- If using extra-large shrimp, place them on the skillet in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. For smaller shrimp, cook for a total of about 5 minutes, stirring often.