Sometimes I think I should rename the blog Annie’s Cinco de Mayo or something along those lines. My love for Mexican food seems to grow each day, and this is only amplified by the fact that the kids love it as much as I do. We would be perfectly content eating some form of Mexican food 90% of the time. Shrimp tacos with green chile adobo are the newest addition to our growing repertoire of Mexican cuisine. We first tried these when Josie and I cooked a fabulous New Year’s Eve spread in which we used this sauce for both shrimp and steak tacos. I haven’t been able to get them off my mind since!

The very best thing about this recipe is the it makes a full jar of the green chile sauce so once you have made it, you will be set for quite some time. A way to make taco night even more delicious and easier at the same time? I’m all for that. If you aren’t a fan of shrimp, no worries. Just sub your protein of choice, toss with the sauce and assemble tacos to your liking. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I am anxious to experiment with a veggie- and/or bean-based meatless version. Your weekend dinner plans = covered.


For the sauce:

  • ½ head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
  • 4-5 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, thick bottom stems cut off
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

For the shrimp:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1½ lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve:

  • Fresh tortillas (flour or corn – both are great!)
  • Guacamole
  • Thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges


  • 01

    To make the sauce, place the unpeeled cloves of garlic and the serranos in a medium skillet over medium heat. Roast, turning regularly, until softened and brown in spots, about 10 minutes for the serranos and 15 for the garlic. Let cool  until able to handle, then peel the garlic cloves. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and serranos with the cilantro, parsley, olive oil and salt. Process until nearly smooth. Transfer to a jar and store until ready to use. (This will last in the refrigerator for several months.)

  • 02

    To make the shrimp, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook, turning once, until just opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove from the skillet to a bowl. In the bowl, add a few tablespoons of the green chile sauce and toss with the shrimp. Add more to taste.

  • 03

    Serve the warm shrimp with fresh tortillas, guacamole, cabbage, sour cream and/or fresh squeezed lime juice as desired. And blood orange margaritas, obviously.

  • 04

    Note: This recipe makes a huge amount of the green chile adobo, far more than needed for the recipe. This is a fantastic refrigerator staple! You can do so much with this but my favorite use is to swirl some into scrambled eggs for breakfast. Best eggs ever!

  • Gina Wolff DaMetz

    Oh my! That sauce sounds wonderful, and I love the idea of stirring it into eggs! Thank you for all of your terrific recipes! You are my favorite stop on the blogosphere!

  • Melissa Brooker

    OH.MY.GOD i need this in my life now! As your Mexican repertoire grows, my love for all Mexican food does as well! I love trying all your new recipes.

  • Angela

    Mexican food for president. Every term.

    This looks amazing. My goodness, I love your blog.

  • Celine

    Looks fantastic! Just a question- how would the chile sauce last in the fridge for several months, given that it has fresh parsley and cilantro in it? Both go bad much sooner. Does the salt act as a preservative?

  • Natalie Stachon

    Looks delicious! We are very partial to roasted hatch chiles so I might try a variation with hatch instead of serrano. BTW – those tortillas look SO GOOD!!!!! I could eat a dinner of nothing but homemade corn tortillas with fresh salsa and guac to dip.

  • Melanie Esquivel

    How was the spice level? My kids are 2 and 6 and are still sensitive to “spicy” sauce. They do fine with enchilada sauce!

  • Annie

    Not super spicy but if you are concerned, just seed the peppers before roasting. I didn’t seed any of ours and the kids didn’t mention the “s” word at all :) They are tolerant of some spice but usually at least mention it if they notice it. I considered it a mild spice with a mellow burn but I have a high tolerance so I may not be the best judge of that!

  • Annie

    If they are left alone exposed to air, yes, they go bad much sooner. This is a sauce and is liquid based so the herbs are immersed in the oil and it preserves them. Sort of the same way that if you want to freeze fresh herbs, you do it in olive oil.

  • Andrianna

    For a veg protein option, I’ve had a couple of really great ones. At my husband’s restaurant they make yam tacos which are VERY popular! (It’s Poquitos in Seattle – maybe you had them when you were there!) I’ve also played around with yam and black bean combos which make a great filling for tacos, enchiladas, and even hearty quesadillas. Although I’m not sure how those flavors would work with this sauce, I think maybe pinto beans would make the best base.

    Also -not sure how you feel about tofu but this sauce would be fantastic on crumbled tofu in a taco. If the texture of tofu isn’t something you like, I find a light pan fry before saucing then returning to the pan for another round once sauced really helps. Another thing that helps remove that “tofu-y” mouthfeel is crumbling it really small – this helps eliminate large, rubbery chunks and provides more surface area to get crisp if you do choose to lightly fry it.

    Thanks for another amazing recipe – I can’t wait to try this one!

  • mmm these were so so good! miss you guys!! <3

  • Just made the sauce, which is incredible. VERY excited now for dinner tonight! In case this helps anyone else, I followed the recipe exactly but used adobo chiles (that is all I have been able to find in Brussels, where we live), and I think it is absolutely delicious. Probably a bit less heat and sweeter than it would be with serranos.