Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tostadas

This is what you eat when you feel like being fancy but not. Fancy.


Because it’s not fancy. It’s faux fancy. It’s fauncy.

The thing is, I could alwaysalwaysalwaysalways eat Mexican food. But guess what, this isn’t really that Mexicany! Besides the use of cilantro and tortillas, it’s not really Mexican at all. It’s faux Mexican. It’s Fauxican.


The main point of the main point of this is that this is (are you gone?) soooo stupid easy. I toasted my tortillas in the oven for a little bit, but you can a) buy premade tostada shells, b) not worry about a crisp and just heat them like you would tacos, c) order a pizza, or d) not order a pizza and just follow the instructions below. Or e) all of and/or none of the above.

I’m pretty sure you’re gone.


Once your shrimp is seared, you just introduce it to a super fresh cilantro pesto and watch them fall in love, get married, try for kids, realize they need medical help after many months of frustration, see a doctor and take the plunge with IVF, get pregnant and give birth to twins. And you’re just so happy for this sweet little cilantro pesto shrimp tostada family that you almost don’t want to eat them. But then you do. You eat them.

You’re definitely gone now.


Don’t forget to eat these.

Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tostadas:

What it took for 6 tostadas:

* 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 bunch cilantro
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
* 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
* 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
* 6 corn tortillas
* 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400. Toast tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet until crisp, flipping halfway through, about 8 minutes. (You could/should also melt some parmesan cheese on the tortillas. The end.)

Heat a Tbs. oil in a sauté pan. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; sear on both sides, 3 minutes total. Remove from the pan and add the pepper strips; sear 3 minutes on all sides.

In a food processor, add the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, remaining oil, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. Transfer pesto to a bowl and stir in the shrimp to coat.

Top toasted tortillas with red pepper strips, sliced avocado and the pesto shrimp. Make your mouth happy.


This is their family portrait.

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30 Responses to Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tostadas

  1. nicole @ I am a Honey Bee March 18, 2014 at 5:49 am #
    The cutest tostada shrimp family. noms.
  2. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl March 18, 2014 at 6:27 am #
    You had me at shrimp and cilantro, naturally.
  3. Trisha March 18, 2014 at 7:07 am #
    Love the brightness of this dish! I've never tried cilantro pesto before, but it's definitely on my to do list now. I'll be wishing the shrimp and pesto many happy years and babies together...... :)
  4. Cassie March 18, 2014 at 7:46 am #
    I'll take faux fancy ANY day. Love this pesto!
  5. Tieghan March 18, 2014 at 7:59 am #
    I al all for faux fancy and cilantro pesto!! Gimme!
  6. Dena Norton @ Back To The Book Nutrition March 18, 2014 at 8:07 am #
    LOVE the idea of cilantro pesto! And those massive shrimp are just gaw-geous! :)
  7. Susan March 18, 2014 at 8:16 am #
    What a wonderfully simple yet amazingly inventive recipe. Thanks for creating it!
  8. Heather Christo March 18, 2014 at 8:32 am #
    Fauncy or not, I want to shove that whole thing in my face right now :)
  9. Abby March 18, 2014 at 9:07 am #
    Gawd these look so good. I love fake fancy food.
  10. jaime @laviejaime March 18, 2014 at 9:14 am #
    i love cilantro- this sounds delicious!
  11. Christine @ Cooking with Cakes March 18, 2014 at 11:47 am #
    you sound just like my fiance, he is never NOT in the mood for mexican! this looks like a great dish bev, love it!
  12. Caitlin March 18, 2014 at 11:47 am #
    You somehow timed this recipe perfectly! I was thinking of ideas for dinner tonight, I already have small tortillas and cilantro on hand, and I was interested in a shrimp dish! Can't wait to try it. :)
  13. Eileen March 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm #
    Well, now I need one of these tostadas immediately! I love that beautiful cilantro sauce.
  14. Sarah @ The Chef Next Door March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm #
    Shrimp + Cilantro Pesto + Red Peppers = the most delicious little family ever!
  15. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet March 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm #
    Who needs fancy when you are a stay at home (ME) and you have to figure out how to choke down some food before the kiddos climb the walls and start being trapeze artist? About 4 times a week I make a quesadilla and this shrimp would go perfect in that!
  16. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health March 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm #
    fauxican shrimp looks amazing...
  17. Kevin @ Closet Cooking March 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm #
    So light, fresh and tasty!
  18. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion March 19, 2014 at 6:38 am #
    Lady I am all over this. EASY = HAPPY ME. and it looks delicious to boot. on a side note, you truly are one of the few new mom's I love to see updates from. Follow you on instagram and you have me laughing all the live long day!
  19. DessertForTwo March 19, 2014 at 8:05 am #
    How dare you insult my ancestors from Fauxico! xo
  20. Jennie @themessybakerblog March 19, 2014 at 9:29 am #
    I'll be sure not to forget to eat thesre so well that I'll eat three. Yum!
  21. Nam / The Culinary Chronicles March 19, 2014 at 11:34 am #
    Mouth watering!!!!! I need a dozen!
  22. Rachel @thedessertchronicles March 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm #
    I could eat Mexican every night of the week. These look delicious and slightly fancier than the average taco I whip up!
  23. Megan {Country Cleaver} March 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm #
    I like the fancy un-fancy! Or is that the un-fancy fancy? Or whatever it is - I want eeeettt!
  24. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures March 20, 2014 at 9:10 am #
    This looks super fancy. The pesto shrimp is my favorite part!
  25. Ashley March 28, 2014 at 7:28 am #
    I just made this dish on Tuesday and it was FABULOUS! I could eat the pesto with a spoon, every. single. day. I was worried that my meat-and-potatoes-down-home-cooking husband would think it was too frou-frou, but he added sriracha (he does this to anything remotely Mexican) and housed it. A hit!
  26. Joe April 5, 2014 at 7:40 am #
    Ooook... these are definitely on deck for date-night-in with my wife! Dumb question (my specialty), when toasting the tortillas "until crisp," how crisp exactly should they be? Still bendable? Totally turned into chips? Joe
    • Bev Weidner April 5, 2014 at 8:32 am #
      It's really up to you! If you prefer your tostadas to to be chippy, then toast them a little longer. I like a sliiiightly bend in mine. Let me know how they turn out!
  27. Katy Cook March 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm #
    Typically pesto requires a lot of oil (which makes a tasty, but terrible calorie bomb). Do you really only need 1 TB of oil for the pesto? Does it effect the taste? Just making sure I read the recipe right. I didn't know you could get by with less oil.
    • Bev Weidner March 2, 2017 at 6:35 am #
      You're correct! A little oil here goes a long way. And if you end up needing to add a tiny bit more, go ahead!


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