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In search of an easy, flavorful NIGHTSHADE-FREE sheet pan meal? This simple lime shrimp fajita dish is for you. All of the fun and flavor without the pain. Paleo, Whole30, and AIP friendly!
Whether you're on the AIP diet (and can't have nightshades because that diet excludes them), or you choose to exclude nightshades because they give you joint pain or any other undesirable autoimmune symptom, Mexican-style foods are hard to eat.
I mean, talk about nightshades in Mexican food! Chili peppers, sweet peppers, chili powder, tomatoes, paprika… ugh. So. many. nightshades.
If you're someone who gets joint pain from nightshades you're probably sweating just reading this list, right?
But guess what – you do NOT need these in your dishes to have delicious, flavorful Mexican-style food.
You just need to get a bit creative, and I've done that FOR you with these tasty Lime Shrimp Fajitas.
And bonus – they're a SHEET PAN MEAL – so you can throw it in the oven and go read a book or spend some quality time with your kids for a few minutes.
Table of contents
Ingredients in this sheet pan meal
So you're probably wondering what exactly you'll be using if you're not using the usual nightshade-based items?
Here's what's in these shrimp fajitas (see the recipe card below for exact measurements):
• Shrimp – I mean, well duh, haha. I use frozen raw, peeled and deveined shrimp to make it easy.
• Carrots – This is the key replacement for the usual bell peppers used in fajitas. They're still sweet like bell peppers, have color like peppers, and when cut thinly and roasted in a sheet pan meal like this, get very soft and work well in some sort of tortilla-like vehicle like bell peppers do.
• Onions – These are a normal addition to fajitas and luckily they can still be included! When cooked they'll caramelize into a nice, sweet, soft addition to this meal.
• Limes – this is what um, gives the lime flavor. Get actual limes rather than using bottled lime juice since you'll need the zest from the peel as well
• Garlic– another flavor component
• Nightshade-free, seed-free spices– Oregano, Ground Ginger, Turmeric, and Cinnamon – these will help give the fajitas more of that Mexican-like flavor
• Sea Salt – needed in most everything, right?
• Avocado Oil – this is the fat I prefer for this dish but you could use olive oil or melted coconut oil instead
• Fresh Cilantro – I think this is an essential component of Mexican food, but obviously if you think this tastes like soap, omit it 🙂
• Coconut Milk – this is the base of the lime crema that you can drizzle over the shrimp. However, if you can't have coconut, you can use tigernut milk (if on AIP) or any dairy-free milk of choice (if not on AIP)
How to make the shrimp fajitas
The hardest part of making these fajitas is cutting the carrots. You'll want them to be long, thin matchsticks so that they cook evenly and become soft and pliable. Anything thicker than that and it'll be hard to bend them to get into your tortilla of choice.
To cut them into matchsticks, first cut them into 1/4 inch-wide planks like shown in the picture below (of sweet potatoes, from my Sheet Pan Coconut Chicken). Then cut those into 1/4-inch wide sticks.
Otherwise, you'll just need to thinly slice the onions and mince the garlic (if you don't buy pre-minced garlic).
Then you mix up the marinade of spices, lime juice and zest, and oil, pour half on the onions and carrots and mix, and half on the shrimp and mix.
You'll then put the onions and carrots on a sheet pan and put them in the oven at 425 F for 15-20 minutes, then take out, mix a bit and add the shrimp to the pan as well. And then cook the whole thing for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
You can't put the shrimp in at the same time as the carrots and onions because they take a LOT less time to cook. And no one likes overcooked, rubbery shrimp!
And while the entire thing is roasting you can quickly mix up a tangy lime crema that will be delicious drizzled on top of the shrimp!
What to serve with these fajitas
So while you could just serve these straight from the pan with nothing else, it's way more fun to either throw it over some cauliflower rice or to make tacos out of them.
If you want to go the cauliflower rice route, check out my Coconut Cauliflower Rice recipe. That's a quick side dish that goes REALLY quickly if you just buy pre-riced cauliflower, which is found in almost every grocery store these days. Look in either the pre-bagged produce area of your store or in the freezer aisle.
If you're leaning more towards making these into the traditional tacos, you have several options.
If you're on Paleo you can buy Siete tortillas – they make cassava flour, cashew flour, and almond flour ones. You can make your own – there are tons of recipes out there. Or you can use the ideas below as well (you have lots of options when on Paleo!!)
If you're on Whole30 you'll have to use things like large-leaf lettuce or cabbage to make a taco since tortilla-like products are out (sorry!). You can also use thinly sliced jicama.
And if you're on AIP you can do the things I mentioned for Whole30 above or make an AIP-friendly tortilla. My all-time favorite is Downshiftology's Cassava Flour tortillas, but use one you love.
If you're like my family and still need even MORE food – these pair well with a simple roasted broccoli or roasted diced sweet ptoatoes.
More delicious Paleo and AIP Sheet Pan meals
Mediterranean Sheet Pan Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
Sheet Pan Coconut Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
Brussels and Candied Carrots Bowl (Paleo, AIP) – this has a kale salad component as well, but 90% of it is a sheet pan meal
More Helpful AIP & Paleo Resources in the Freebie Library
If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.
Sheet Pan Lime Shrimp Fajitas Recipe
If you make these fajitas I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo!
Sheet Pan Lime Shrimp Fajitas (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
- 1/3 cup Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil or Coconut Oil)
- 2 Limes (both the juice and zest of)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 tsp ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 lb Raw, peeled, and deveined Shrimp (thawed if frozen)
- 3 large Carrots
- 1 large Yellow Onion
- 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro (chopped)
- Lime wedges
- Lettuce Leaves, Cabbage Leaves, Tortillas that fit in your diet, or thinly sliced Jicama rounds
- Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, lime juice and zest, and spices.
- Place the sliced onions and carrots on the baking sheet and toss with half of the marinade until covered. Put the sheet pan into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (the carrots should be soft at this point).
- In the meantime, place the shrimp in a bowl and pour the remaining marinade over the top and then toss to coat.
- Also make the Lime Crema by mixing the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until creamy.
- Once the carrots and onions are finished, remove the sheet pan from the oven and toss the veggies a bit to mix. Then place the shrimp onto the sheet pan as well in a single layer. Bake for another 6-8 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
- Assemble your fajitas as desired – placing the onions and carrots on the bottom of lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, jicama, or tortillas, adding the shrimp on top, and drizzling with the Lime Crema. Enjoy!