Shrimp Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice

This shrimp bowl recipe gets 5 stars! An easy lunch or dinner, it stars cilantro lime rice, black beans and chipotle ranch dressing.

Shrimp Bowl

Here’s an irresistible recipe you’ll want to make again and again…this Shrimp Rice Bowl! It got 5 stars in our house. Of course, that’s an unofficial poll judging by how quickly it disappeared! Mix up a batch of cilantro lime rice, then top it with tender shrimp and a quick black bean and corn salad. This best part is a creamy, zingy chipotle ranch dressing that covers it all in deliciousness. (Yep, that’s the technical term.) This is one of our favorite bowl meals we’ve made in a while. And while it’s basic, every element is seasoned to perfection.

Ingredients in this shrimp bowl recipe

It has several components, but you should be able to finish this healthy dinner recipe in 30 minutes or less. Here’s the breakdown of the elements in this shrimp rice bowl:

  • Shrimp: You can bake, broil, or sauté the shrimp for this recipe! See below to determine your favorite method. We like using tail-on shrimp for the look, but you can use peeled for easier eating.
  • Cilantro lime rice: This bowl features our favorite cilantro lime rice: and it really does step up the recipe vs plain rice!
  • Black bean and corn salad: Here’s a fun trick for an impromptu black bean salad: mix beans, corn, and pico de gallo: no chopping involved!
  • Chipotle ranch dressing: This healthy chipotle ranch is so easy to make, and you’ll want to drizzle it on everything! It’s got yogurt, mayo, and adobo sauce (see below).
Shrimp bowl recipe

Baked vs broiled vs sauteed shrimp!

There are a few different methods you can use for the shrimp here! Here are the pros and cons of each:

  • Baked shrimp: This method is easy and hands off! Pop the shrimp in the oven and cook 4 to 6 minutes. The only con? You have to preheat the oven.
  • Broiled shrimp: Even easier! It’s even quicker to broil shrimp, and you don’t have to preheat. The con? You’ll have to keep an eye on it in the last few minutes.
  • Sauteed shrimp: Super simple and quick: the fastest method for cooking shrimp! It also comes out more browned than the other methods. The con? You have to be hands-on the entire cooking time, and be good at quickly flipping the shrimp. Be careful not to overcook!

The type of shrimp to buy

There are lots of option at the store for shrimp, and it can get confusing! Here’s the type of shrimp we like to grab for this recipe:

  • Find medium or large shrimp. Medium shrimp is sometimes labeled 41 to 50 count, and Large is labeled as 31 to 40 count.
  • Use tail on or peeled. Tail on looks nice, but you do have to pull them off when eating. So use shelled if you like! Do not use shell on. If you accidentally buy shell on, remove it before cooking.
  • Fresh or frozen. Both are essentially the same freshness since most shrimp are immediately flash frozen. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance.
  • Wild caught. Look for wild caught: it’s the most sustainable!
Chipotle ranch dressing
You’ll want to use this chipotle ranch dressing on everything!

The shrimp bowl sauce: a healthy spin on ranch dressing!

Who doesn’t love ranch? For the drizzle for this healthy shrimp bowls recipe, we created a healthy spin on ranch that’s seriously delicious. Here’s what to know:

  • The dressing uses both mayonnaise and yogurt: the yogurt helps to cut down on calories but keeps it deliciously creamy.
  • It has only 38 calories per tablespoon, vs 73 calories in store bought! So we’d call that healthy version. It’s also gluten-free, keto and low carb.
  • You can customize the spice level! Use more adobo sauce if you love the heat, and less if you’re cooking for kids. What’s adobo sauce, you ask?

Using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

The key ingredient to the chipotle ranch dressing? Adobo sauce. It adds a smoky nuance and complexity that is impossible to replicate! Here’s more about this special ingredient if you haven’t worked with it before:

  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are easy to find at most grocery stores near the Mexican products. The can includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices.
  • Use only the sauce in this can! Use a spoon to work around the spicy peppers.
  • It’s not ultra spicy. Use 1 tablespoon for a mild ranch, and 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons for a medium spicy ranch.
  • What to do with the leftovers? Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, and use it for more adobo sauce recipes, like tortilla soup, taco soup, fajitas, or enchilada sauce.
Shrimp rice bowl

Meal prep and storage for this shrimp bowl recipe

Can you make this shrimp bowl recipe ahead? How long do the components last for lunches and easy healthy dinners? Here’s what to know:

  • Cooked shrimp lasts 3 days in the refrigerator. So you can cook in advance and use for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  • You can make the rice in advance, then reheat. But rice does become dried out in the refrigerator. To reheat it, place on the stovetop or in the microwave with a few tablespoons water. It will re-absorb the water and become moist again!
  • Make the dressing up to 1 week in advance. Then refrigerate! It will likely last even longer.

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this shrimp bowl recipe in the comments below! Serve it up for healthy dinners or easy lunches throughout the week!

Cilantro lime rice
Cilantro lime rice is a tasty basic staple

This shrimp bowl recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free and vegan, substitute vegan mayonnaise for the yogurt or go to Chipotle Sauce.

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Shrimp Bowl

Shrimp Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This shrimp bowl recipe gets 5 stars! An easy lunch or dinner, it stars cilantro lime rice, black beans and chipotle ranch dressing.


Ingredients

Scale

For the shrimp bowl

  • 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon each kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 15-ounce can corn
  • 1 cup pico de gallo 
  • For serving: avocado slices, cherry tomatoes (optional)

For the chipotle ranch dressing (or Chipotle Sauce for vegan)

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (or use mayo for dairy-free)*
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 each teaspoon each dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 each teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis**

Instructions

  1. Start the rice: Start the Cilantro Lime Rice (open the rice recipe in a separate tab).
  2. Cook the shrimp: Thaw the shrimp, if using frozen. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat the broiler (or you can sauté it: keep reading!). Pat the shrimp dry. Mix it in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and spices. Place the shrimp in an even layer on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if you’re baking). Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until juicy and opaque, about 4 to 6 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. Or for broiling, broil for 3 to 6 minutes, until juicy and opaque, rotating the tray as necessary for even cooking. If you prefer, you can sauté the shrimp: In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  3. Make the beans and corn: Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans. Drain the corn. In a medium bowl, mix the beans, corn, and pico de gallo with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. Make the chipotle ranch dressing: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. 
  5. Serve: To serve, place the rice, black bean corn salad, and shrimp in a bowl. Add avocado and cherry tomatoes, if using. Drizzle with dressing and top with extra chopped cilantro (leftover from the rice). 

Notes

*Make sure the yogurt has a creamy consistency. Most yogurt brands we’ve used work, but we found one brand that was very runny which didn’t work well for salad dressing. You can also use Greek yogurt, but since it’s thicker, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dressing comes to a creamy consistency. 

**Customize to your heat level. For a mild version, use 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Shrimp bowl

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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