Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

39 reviews / 4.9 average

Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice! Tender shrimp in a sweet-meets-smoky cream sauce piled high on cilantro-speckled rice with a side of tangy cucumbers.

This is a fan favorite recipe that’s part of our Fall 2022 SOS Series! View the full series.

Holy yummm.

I love all of the SOS series recipes but I REALLY LOVE THIS RECIPE, all caps necessary.

First of all, juicy, tender, sweet, and delicate shrimp is just automatically really SOS-friendly because it’s so fast to cook (like, five minutes fast) and tastes like you live at a fancy restaurant. So there’s that.

But secondly, that creamy chipotle orange sauce. WUT. It’s so good. Who even knew?! It’s creamy and smoky and sweet – the flavor combination of fresh orange zest and a bold chipotle pepper is a total surprise and yet feels comforting and familiar at the same time. It packs some heat, for sure, but it’s also really luscious and cozy because heavy whipping cream takes everything to the next level (♡) and also because a pile of hot steamy rice will never not be comforting. The zippy cucumbers wake the whole thing up and cut through the richness of the sauce with a little zap and zing and crunch, and just, wow. I love this recipe. Did I say that already?

Close-up of chipotle orange shrimp in a bowl with rice and cucumbers

Ingredients We’re Working with Today

There are a few elements at play here which makes it rank just a little higher on the SOS scale – similar to the Harissa Meatballs with Whipped Feta. But never fear: nothing is difficult. Nothing is overwhelming. Our ingredient list stays short and sweet.

  • shrimp
  • orange
  • chipotle
  • cream
  • cilantro
  • cucumbers

A few pantry staples like salt, garlic, oil, and vinegar round it all out into a complete and total spicy shrimp miracle.

If you need even more shortcuts – skip the cucumbers in favor of an easy no-cutting-board-required side salad. Or use cauliflower rice or pre-cooked rice. But if you can spare the extra five minutes to slice up a cucumber and cook your own rice, you will not be sad about it.

I could cry tears of joy just looking at this saucy, creamy, spicy goodness.

Close-up of chipotle orange shrimp

Treat your people! Treat yourself! I mean, because seriously. This one is a TREAT.

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Click here to watch step-by-step stories to make this recipe!

Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice: FAQs

Is this dish pretty spicy?

Yes – it has some heat to it from the chipotle pepper. Just use just half of a chipotle pepper for a milder version.

How can I make this dairy-free?

You can sub the cream for canned full-fat coconut milk! It’s good, just not quite as creamy.

This sounds amazing, but I’m allergic to shrimp. Any substitution ideas?

Salmon or chicken could work or some crispy pan-fried tofu for a vegetarian option!

Source notes: I got this idea from my old beloved Cooking Light cookbook Fresh Food Fast (affiliate link) which now feels so retro! But man, I love that old thing. There’s a recipe for chipotle orange shrimp in the book – I made a few changes based on some of my preferences, but the flavor idea came from that cookbook. Thank you, CL!

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A picture of Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings (I can definitely eat half of this by myself) 1x


Chipotle Orange Shrimp with Cilantro Rice! Tender shrimp in a sweet-meets-smoky cream sauce piled high on cilantro-speckled rice with a side of tangy cucumbers. 


Units Scale

Chipotle Orange Sauce:

  • 1 chipotle pepper (or half of one pepper, for a less spicy version)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one orange

Shrimp and Rice:

  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, tails removed, patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (I like jasmine rice or just plain long grain rice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


  • 2 small cucumbers (or one large), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Cucumbers: Toss together all the cucumber ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Sauce: Blend sauce ingredients together until mostly smooth. But don’t overblend! See notes.
  3. Rice: Cook rice according to package directions. Stir in cilantro and salt to taste (+ add lime juice, or the juice of the zested orange, if you want some citrus goodness in there).
  4. Shrimp: Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes on each side, sprinkling with the cumin, plus some salt and pepper.
  5. Finish: Add the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Serve shrimp over rice, with a salad or some fresh zippy cucumbers.


Blending: The heavy whipping cream will start to get a whipped texture the longer you blend it, so don’t over-blend! We just want the garlic and chipotle mostly smoothed out so they can incorporate into the sauce. I use a little mini-chopper for this. If you accidentally find yourself with a whipped texture that’s okay, it’ll settle down and loosen up once it warms up in the pan.

Shrimp: You do not want your shrimp to be watery, so if you’re using frozen shrimp be sure to fully thaw it and pat the excess water out before sending it to the pan. If there’s some moisture in the pan before adding the sauce you’ll want to drain that out (but that shouldn’t be an issue as long as your shrimp is thawed and dry when it goes into the pan). Also: the shrimp is also good with a pinch of sugar added to it for a little sweetness, or the juice of the orange squeezed in!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shrimp bowl, shrimp and rice, shrimp recipe

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maika Manring

    Hi Lindsay! This looks amazing! Could this be done vegan with coconut milk? Thanks!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    thank you for this beautiful recipe (and all the others!!) .
    however, when i go to print this recipe, the print is very light gray color (i have experienced the same with other POY recipes) …. can you help, please ?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      anna m.

      Try switching your print selection to “black and white” rather than color- that often helps.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Alex! Could you let us know what type of device and which browser you’re using when you are accessing Pinch of Yum recipes? This information will help us troubleshoot. Thanks!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kate Fisken

    Hi, struggling to find chipotle peppers in the UK, any alternatives? Chipotle sauce from a bottle? Thanks

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      That will work, Kate! Chipotle chili powder will work too if that’s available.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I would think coconut milk instead of cream might work. Also, for those who are not a fan of spicy food, one could use a bit of chipotle powder instead of the real thing.
    My wife can’t deal with the heat.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      How much chipotle powder would you use, if trying to produce a milder recipe without using a fresh chipotle pepper?

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          I made it and used only a 1/4 teaspoon. I put it on the raw shrimp, added olive olive and lemon juice, marinated for an hour, and the grilled them. I made the sauce with the coconut milk. It was awesome. By the way, the cucumbers were crazy good.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow…this was amazing. I used a 3/4 C from a can of coconut cream (used 1/2 thick and 1/2 watery part) instead of dairy cream, and did have to thicken the sauce with a little arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). I used the rest of the can of coconut cream and water to make the rice. Heavenly!! (also…I freeze the rest of the can of chipotle peppers for later use and they always hold up great).

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad you enjoyed it, Erin! And thanks for sharing info about your substitutions!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Brandie R.

    Hey Lindsay!
    I count macros and entered this into my food tracker in hopes to have this for dinner next week, but the nutrition you have listed is no where near what I’m getting 😕 I’ve tried it a few different times and I still get about 22g of fat and 560 calories for 4 servings.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We’ll take a second look at the nutrition. Thanks for letting us know!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Do the nutrition facts also include the rice or would that be separate?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This turned out great! Five stars for prepping everything in 15 minutes while my baby napped and then spending another 15 cooking it after putting her to bed. I think making the cucumbers a few hours ahead made them that much better. They got pickly instead of more salad like and added a very unique pop. Loved having something new that actually was so easy! Great with brown rice.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Thanks for the tip on the cucumbers! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        carisa clarke

        By Chipotle pepper, do you mean in Adobe sauce? Or just a dried pepper?
        Thank you

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We didn’t use a specific ratio for the cucumbers, but you could try equal parts olive oil and vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and sugar. Then, adjust to your liking!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This one’s a winner! Thanks for sharing all the yummy recipes. This is my go-to site when I don’t know what to make for dinner.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So very good! I saw this post on Instagram and knew it would be great. The citrus is a game changer. Bet it would be good with lime too ❤️ Heavy rotation for this, yum!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Erin Kaichi

    We tried this for the first time and it was delicious! With the one chipotle pepper it packed some kick, which we loved. I sub’d chicken for shrimp, as I didn’t have shrimp on-hand, cut into 2 inch pieces — it was yummy. I do plan doing the shrimp version. Also, did half-n-half instead of heavy cream with an 1/8 cup or less of melted butter. I do plan on trying the recipe with shrimp. This will be a regular rotation dinner item from now on. Thank you such an easy to prepare and great tasting recipe.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      I’m glad it worked out with chicken! Thanks so much for the comment!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We loved this! Didn’t have heavy cream only half and half and it was terrific! We are gonna add it into our regular meal rotation! Also gonna try cauliflower rice next time. Loved the yummy cucumbers!! 10/10!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this tonight. I think the flavors had great potential but the orange zest made the sauce have a bitter aftertaste. I used the zest of a whole orange…did I misinterpret the recipe? Should I have used less zest?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Make sure when you’re zesting citrus to use only the very outer, colored part. If you zest any of the white underneath, you’ll get bitter results.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Rachel! Sorry to hear that. Zest of 1 orange is correct! If some of the white part of the rind made it into the sauce, that may have caused the bitterness. We appreciate the feedback!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah Hamilton

    Once again, POY wins at dinner! Made this tonight with boneless chicken thighs (because I’m shrimp averse) SO GOOD! The sauce flavors are zesty and spicey and creamy. I did 5 minutes on each side for the chicken then add the sauce and simmered for 5 minutes. And you can’t forget the cucumber, perfect addition

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Casey B

    I made this for dinner and then had leftovers for lunch and it was so good I can’t stop thinking about it!! I never leave reviews. Instead of cucumbers, I served with sauteed Asian greens. Make it!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Thanks so much for the review, Casey! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Erin W

    This was a big hit last night with the family. My husband made it in my absence and I came home to rave reviews.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ann Berga-Stavinoha

    Made this tonight and it was yummy. I did take the shrimp out of the sauce for a bit and thickened up the sauce for our taste and then put them back in but other than that stuck to the recipe including the juice of the orange into the cooked rice. Pinch of yum never disappoints. Will be making this again.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last night and it was wonderful! I made the dairy free version and used a bit less than a teaspoon of dried chipotle pepper. Since our kids aren’t fans of vinegar I treated the cucumbers with a dash of sugar and lime juice and it still turned out great! This recipe will be going into our regular rotation for quick meals. Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Thanks so much for the comment, Sharon! Glad the recipe was a hit with your family!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this for dinner tonight and the flavors are amazing! I used basamati instead of jasmine rice, and followed another commenter to let the cucumber sit in the marinade for a few hours. This recipe will definitely be on repeat!