If you are looking for a new way to eat shrimp tacos, these cheesy, spicy Tacos Gobernador are for you! Tender shrimp cooked with poblano peppers, onions, and garlic served in a warm, crispy corn tortilla with melted cheese.
From classic shrimp tacos to aguachile, coctel de camarones, shrimp ceviche, and camarones a la diabla (spicy sautéed shrimp) - there are many delicious Mexican shrimp recipes. Today, we will add another to that list - Tacos Gobernador, the best cheesy shrimp tacos around.
Forget what you have heard about not combining seafood and cheese; these cheesy shrimp tacos are seriously delicious. Chefs originally created them to impress the governor of Sinaloa, and these tacos will impress any guests. The first time I had these tacos we were visiting Mazatlan and I haven't looked back since.
They start with a combination of sautéed shrimp, poblano peppers, onions, garlic, and oregano, a common combination in many Mexican shrimp recipes. But then they get even more delicious with gooey melted cheese and crispy corn tortillas. Think of it as the best combination of a quesadilla and taco.
What are Tacos Gobernador?
Tacos Gobernador, or “Governor’s Tacos,” are a twist on shrimp tacos from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Legend has it that chefs at Los Arcos Hotel invented these to impress the governor of Sinaloa, hence the name.
Tacos Gobernador are known for their unique combination of flavors and textures, making them a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine and beyond.
Authentic Tacos Gobernador starts with a combination of sautéed seasoned shrimp, poblano peppers, onions, oregano, garlic, and cilantro. Once cooked, chefs stuff this mixture into a corn tortilla with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Then, they cook it on a griddle or comal until the cheese melts and the tortilla becomes slightly crispy. Typically, Tacos Gobernador are served with cilantro, fresh lime juice, and spicy salsa.
There are variations of the classic recipe that include tomatoes or serrano peppers. You might also see these shrimp and cheese tacos served in flour tortillas.
Why You’ll Love These Shrimp Gobernador Tacos
These are one of the most delicious ways to make shrimp tacos! Here are three reasons why I’m sure you will love these tacos.
- 20-Minute Meal: This meal is easy to make. The shrimp and veggies cook in just 10 minutes, and then it takes another 10 minutes to assemble the tacos and melt the cheese.
- Unique Flavors: While most people have had fish or shrimp tacos, many haven’t tried these cheesy, spicy shrimp tacos. They are great for parties, Taco Tuesday, and an easy weeknight dinner.
- Crispy, Gooey Goodness: It’s hard to beat the combination of tender shrimp, gooey melted cheese, and crispy tortillas. Trust me.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make authentic Tacos Gobernador.
- Shrimp: This recipe uses chopped shrimp, so any size shrimp will work. Make sure they are cleaned, peeled, and deveined. If you are starting with frozen shrimp, defrost them first.
- Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers provide a mild amount of spice and add some texture. For a spicier taco, add a jalapeño pepper or serrano pepper as well.
- Onion: Traditionally, these tacos use white onions, but you can swap in yellow or red onion if you prefer. For a milder onion flavor, consider using green onions.
- Garlic, Oregano, and Cilantro: Minced fresh garlic, Mexican oregano (or regular), and cilantro add more flavor to the shrimp. Leave out the cilantro if you don’t enjoy the taste. Swap in garlic powder if you don’t have fresh.
- Cheese: Any type of shredded cheese will work in these tacos. Traditionally, queso Chihuahua, queso asadero, manchego cheese, or Oaxaca cheese is used. We use shredded Monterey Jack cheese since it is easier to find. Swap in whatever cheese you like as long as it melts well.
- Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the authentic option, but flour tortillas also taste delicious.
- Butter and Olive Oil: Typically, the shrimp and chile peppers are cooked in a combination of butter and oil for maximum flavor.
How to Make Tacos Gobernador
These tacos are surprisingly easy to make.
1. Sauté the Chile Peppers and Onions
Heat the butter and olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (or heavy skillet) until the butter melts. Add the sliced poblano peppers and onions. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until they begin to soften but still have some texture.
Note: If you are using an additional jalapeño or serrano pepper, add it during this step. If you plan to add tomatoes, add 1-2 chopped Roma tomatoes at this point as well. As a shortcut, some people use pico de gallo. Just drain it first.
2. Cook the Shrimp
Add the chopped shrimp to the pan with the peppers and onions. Sprinkle in the freshly minced garlic and oregano. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. It should be pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, or it will become rubbery.
Remove from heat and set aside. Place the shrimp on a plate since it will continue to cook in the hot skillet. Then wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
3. Assemble and Fry the Tacos
Start by gently warming the corn tortillas in the microwave so they don’t break. The best way to do this is by wrapping the tortillas in a moist paper towel and microwaving them for 30-60 seconds.
Place 3-4 corn tortillas in the skillet, depending on the size. Add about one tablespoon of cheese to one-half of the tortillas. Add some of the shrimp mixture and top with more cheese. Fold over.
Pro tip: Press down on the taco with a spatula, applying enough pressure so a little of the cheese squeezes out. This will get super crispy and golden brown on the edges. It also adds a little grease to the pan and additional flavor.
Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and lightly crispy. Serve with fresh lime juice and salsa.
Side Dishes and Salsas
While these can stand as a meal on their own, consider these delicious side dishes and salsa ideas.
- Refried beans or Black beans
- Mexican street corn salad
- Guacamole or Creamy avocado salsa verde
- Habanero salsa or Ranchero sauce
- Creamy Mexican slaw
- Mexican cauliflower rice
- Pickled red onions
Recipe Ideas and Variations
Tacos gobernador, popular throughout Mexico, especially along the coast, comes in many variations. Some of the most popular include:
- Add tomatoes: Some versions of taco gobernador contain diced tomatoes, cooked down with the poblanos and onions, similar to machaca de camaron. Roma tomatoes are the most common, but some recipes use pico de gallo.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo: For a smoky and spicy element, add diced chipotle peppers to adobo.
- Rajas: Although this recipe uses raw poblano peppers for ease, many times roasted and skinned rajas (strips of roasted poblano peppers) are preferred.
- Green bell peppers: For a non-spicy option, though not common in Mexico, use green bell peppers.
- Cheese: In Mexico, these tacos typically feature Chihuahua cheese, asadero cheese, or queso Oaxaca. Monterey Jack is a suitable and more widely available substitute.
- Celery: Some recipes also include chopped celery with poblano peppers and onions for an added layer of flavor and texture.
- Worcestershire or Maggi sauce: To season the shrimp and add salt, some recipes use Maggi sauce (a traditional Mexican choice) or Worcestershire sauce, adding a rich, umami flavor.
Leftovers, Storage, and Reheating
If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, store the shrimp separately and assemble the tacos before serving. While you can reheat fully prepped tacos in a hot skillet or air fryer, they might lose some crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common
When using corn tortillas, it is always important to gently warm them so they don't break when folded or rolled. The easiest option is to wrap them in a moist paper towel and microwave in 30-second intervals until they are heated through.
A Gobernador taco is a popular Mexican taco commonly served in the coastal regions of Mexico. It is most commonly made with shrimp, chile peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, and sometimes tomatoes. This mixture is served in a crispy griddled corn tortilla filled with melted cheese.
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- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb raw shrimp, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular)
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (or manchego, Oaxaca, mozzarella)
- 8 corn tortillas
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Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add a couple of corn tortillas to the pan. Add about 1 tablespoon of cheese. Pile on some of the shrimp mixture and top with another tablespoon of cheese. Fold the taco over. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until the tortilla gets crispy and the cheese melts. Repeat until all the tacos are cooked. Serve with salsa and lime juice.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Spicy: For spicier tacos, add a diced serrano pepper or 1-2 diced chipotle peppers in adobo to the poblano peppers and onions.
Make it lighter with reduced fat cheese and low carb tortillas.
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