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This crowd-pleasing shrimp quesadilla with spinach and black beans works equally well as a quick dinner or a party app.

Shrimp Quesadilla with Spinach and Black Beans | Umami Girl

Happy mid-August Monday, my friends. We’re on our way to Utah today for 10 days of low-key adventure. We’ll hike Zion, Bryce and Moab. We’ll hop up to Rexburg, Idaho to watch the eclipse. And then we’ll play in Park City. Maybe catch an organ recital at the Mormon Tabernacle because even amidst the most outdoorsy sentences I’ve ever written, I’m still a huge geek like that, and I’m not sorry.

In the meantime, how about a shrimp quesadilla? We’ve eaten QUITE a few of these recently, and I wish I had another one right now. They’re ridiculously quick and easy and happy-making, and just right for summer days and beyond.

Shrimp Quesadilla with Spinach and Black Beans | Umami Girl

I don’t quite know why, but shrimp and garlic and spinach smothered with cheese just does it for me. Sounds a little wonky, maybe, but it works. This is not the first time I’ve been jazzed enough about this combo to post a recipe about it, and it won’t be the last. (Hello, Shrimp Fundidos inspired by our favorite Sea Bright, NJ restaurant Woody’s, coming your way in the fall because I’m not the kind of person who would keep a thing like that from you.)

Okay, off to Utah. Keep an eye out for a wild barrage of photos on Instagram, if you’re into that sort of thing. Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

Shrimp Quesadilla with Spinach and Black Beans

Preparation 00:10 Cook Time 00:10 Total Time 0:20
Serves 4     adjust servings

This easy crowd-pleaser works equally well as a quick dinner or a party appetizer. Small shrimp are less expensive and almost preferable here. If you use larger ones, consider cutting them in half lengthwise either before or after cooking (it only takes a minute) so they'll be flatter and better spread throughout the quesadilla. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound wild shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 12 ounces Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Pickled onions, optional


Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add shrimp. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook, flipping once, until just shy of opaque in the center -- a couple minutes total, depending on size. Add spinach and another sprinkle of salt and cook until wilted. Set aside.

Arrange four of the tortillas on a work surface. Using half the cheese, sprinkle each tortilla evenly, leaving a slight border around the edge to account for melting. Top each tortilla evenly with beans and the shrimp and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top each with one of the four remaining tortillas.

Wipe the pan clean and place over medium heat. One at a time, cook quesadillas until tortillas are browned in spots and cheese is fully melted, flipping once. 

To serve, cut into wedges. Stir a tablespoon of water into the sour cream and drizzle over quesadillas. Sprinkle with pickled onions if using.


Recipe Notes


2 reviews

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Ohhhh hiiiiii. I have a chocolate sauce recipe for you. It takes five minutes to make and has five ingredients if you count the pinch of salt. It’s the perfect consistency. The perfect amount sweet. The perfect amount chocolatey.

It keeps well in the fridge for a week or more. And it’s really hard to screw up.

Hi hi. Let’s do this.  (more…)

Oh, you guys. You GUYS. I was running on the treadmill. I was watching HBO’s Insecure (just do it), and suddenly there was this t shirt. MTWTFSS. It captured my mood for the run, the day, the week. Why hadn’t I thought of this myself, like, the day I was born?

No matter. Here it is now. I ordered two yesterday — a navy tank for me and a black t-shirt for Addie, who’s 12 and has more excuse than I do to want a shirt like this.

Thanks to the internet, you too can have one. I ordered here, because I like the shape of the tanks they sell, but you have lots more options right here.

Have fun. Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

P.S. Happy birthday to this guy.

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Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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