Tex-Mex shrimp and vegetable bowls

A flavourful, colourful fiesta-worthy meal!

I just love dishes that look as good as they taste, and I find that’s true of many ‘meals in a bowl’. It takes little effort to arrange the components into a pleasing collage of textures and colours. With this dish, you’ll be rewarded with big flavours in the shrimp, contrasted by the bright, fresh vegetable accompaniments. Best of all, it takes just minutes to make. If you’re looking for other Tex-Mex ideas, check out this tasty no-fuss fajita bowl – it’s part of this fun Tex-Mex recipe roundup.


For the shrimp:

  • 1 pound (454 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined (or cubed tofu for vegan version)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) canola oil , divided
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (more if you like things spicy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.5 g) freshly ground black pepper

For the bowls:

  • 4 cups (720 g) cooked quinoa, brown rice or barley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 can (15 oz / 425 g) black beans; drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cups (320 g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large, ripe avocado; peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup (149 g) diced yellow or orange pepper
  • 1/3 cup (17 g) sliced red onion *

*if you prefer to soften the flavour of the onions, soak them for 15 – 30 minutes in 3 tablespoons (45 mL) cider vinegar with a pinch each of sugar and salt

To garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Lime wedges


  • Place the shrimp in a non-reactive dish (or use a freezer bag). In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, maple syrup, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour over shrimp then gently stir or flip the shrimp so it is well coated with the marinade. Let shrimp rest on the counter for 15 minutes or in the fridge for up to two hours.
  • When ready to serve, assemble the bowls by filling them evenly with the quinoa which has been tossed with the olive oil and lime juice, followed by the black beans, tomatoes, peppers, avocado and onions. Let sit while you quickly sauté the shrimp.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Spread the shrimp and marinade across the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they’ve turned lightly pink on the outside and have curled up.
  • Add the shrimp and any cooking liquid to the assembled bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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