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This Chipotle Shrimp Bowl Recipe uses rice, avocado, and a crunchy purple slaw to make tender shrimp a delicious and healthy meal. Add a drizzle of easy to make chipotle sauce and enjoy the subtle, creamy spice in every bite.
I distinctly remember my first ‘rice bowl’ meal. It was a place called Yum Bowl and the concept was fascinating. Pick your grain, pick your protein and veggies, and top with a sauce of choice. The options were literally endless.
It definitely inspired a different kind of meal for my house, and since we’ve enjoyed different combos at home. This Chipotle Shrimp Bowl recipe is the delicious result of those types of dinners, and I’m happy to say it’s an easy winner.
You have options on switching things up, but the particular combination of shrimp, avocado, rice, and crunchy slaw in a bowl topped with a creamy, spiced chipotle lime sauce creates layers of texture and flavor that is so satisfying.
They’re also easy to make too – 30 minutes or less!
Ingredients and Substitutions
It takes a combination of whole ingredients and pantry staples to make these chipotle shrimp bowls perfect. Since it’s all about making things from scratch here at The Flour Handprint I’ve made the sauce and spice blend too, which are super easy to whip up.
- Rice – Fresh or leftover rice, either white or brown, work great. If you’re not stuck on the ‘rice bowl’ concept, swap in quinoa, farro, or your preferred grain.
- Shrimp – I am using medium, frozen (but thawed) shrimp. You can use any RAW shrimp you like, just know that size will affect cooking times.
- Avocado – This adds healthy fats but also really great texture in contrast with the slaw.
- Cabbage – We prefer purple cabbage in our house, but you could definitely use green.
- Lime – A fresh lime is needed both for the zest and juice. If you must, use bottled lime and skip the zest.
- Chipotle sauce – I make my own chipotle lime sauce by combining mayo, adobo peppers, lime juice, honey, salt, and cumin. You can use a prepared sauce if you prefer, or make mine really easily.
- Spices – It’s a combination of cumin, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder (plus lime zest) to season the shrimp and draw out those chipotle flavors. Use a chipotle chili powder, or add a pinch of cayenne to spice things up.
- Oil – you’ll need just a little for cooking the shrimp. I used grapeseed in my cast iron pan, but any neutral cooking oil works.
Just a note on some optional add-ins….Feel free to add carrot matchsticks to the cabbage mix, top the bowls with cilantro, or toss in some crunchy peanuts or chickpeas to the top!
Tips for Perfect Shrimp Rice Bowls
You can get the step by step instructions in the recipe card below, but I do have some tips for making each layer of your shrimp avocado rice bowl perfect.
- Season the rice– If you’re cooking it just for this recipe, don’t forget to salt the water. It really does make a difference when the rice tastes good too.
- Season the cabbage first – I like to get all my prep done first so that assembling the bowls is a snap, plus it gives time for the cabbage to soak up flavor.
- Mix the seasonings with zest – Combine all the spices, salt, and lime zest in a bowl, then toss the shrimp in it. That will help the seasonings distribute evenly.
- Sear hard and fast – I like to use cast iron because it cooks the shrimp fast and also caramelizes those spices beautifully.
- Store things separately – if you’re using these as lunch meal prep, keep the cabbage slaw, cooked shrimp, sauce, and rice stored separately, then reheat the rice and shrimp and assemble when you’re ready to eat.
Beyond that, these shrimp rice bowls are really easy! Even with prep, cooking, and assembly, they take less than 30 minutes to put together and taste light and refreshing.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and definitely check out the chipotle lime sauce post for more info on making it perfectly. Or, check out any of these other recipes to enjoy homemade food in 30 minutes or less!
Chipotle Shrimp Bowl Recipe
- 24 medium raw shrimp
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1 large avocado
- 1 cup red cabbage shredded
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon oil
Chipotle Lime Sauce
- 3/4 cups mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo +1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Blend the chipotle sauce ingredients together to make a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust salt and lime juice if needed.
- Toss shredded cabbage with 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and set aside.
- Combine the remaining salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and lime zest in a small bowl.
- Toss shrimp in the seasoning mix and preheat a pan over medium high heat.
- Add oil to the pan and place in the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes per side, or until opaque (no longer translucent).
- Add remaining lime juice to hot pan and toss the shrimp as it sizzles.
- Scoop warmed rice into bowls and top with cabbage slaw, sliced avocado, and shrimp. Drizzle with chipotle sauce and serve.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.