Gluten-free cilantro-lime shrimp sopes are like heavenly deep-fried pillows

This traditional Mexican dish is savory and filling. It can easily move from appetizer to light meal without any trouble. Either way, these sopes are delicious.

These fried dough rounds — or sopes — are a traditional Mexican dish topped with meats or vegetables. You can pile your favorite toppings onto these little “cakes,” but I especially like this recipe for gluten-free cilantro-lime shrimp and guacamole sopes. These sopes are the perfect size to serve as an appetizer or as a light meal.

Guacamole is so easy to make, and it gives this dish great flavor while acting like the glue to hold it all together. The shrimp get marinated in just a few ingredients, but they really make the dish stand out. If you like, top these sopes with crumbled Cotija cheese or pepitas as garnish. Make sure to double-check the corn masa flour package for any specific directions.

Note: Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While SheKnows tries to ensure that these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.

Cilantro-lime shrimp and guacamole sopes recipe

Serves 4-6


For the guacamole

  • 3 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, ends cut off, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice from 1 lime

For the shrimp

  • 1/2 pound precooked, frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest from 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

For the sopes

  • 1 cup instant corn masa flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 ounces shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • Lime wedges to squeeze over the sopes (optional)
  • Cotija cheese or pepitas, for garnish (optional)


For the guacamole

  1. To a bowl, add the avocados, and mash them with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the shrimp marinade

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the juice from 2 limes, the zest, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a sealable plastic baggie or sealable container, and add in the shrimp. Mix well to coat, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For the sopes

  1. As the shrimp marinates, begin to make your sopes. To a bowl, add the masa, salt and water, and mix well to combine until a soft dough forms. If it seems a little dry, then add a teaspoon of water a little at a time until you reach the right consistency (you don’t want the mixture to be sticky or so dry that it crumbles).
  2. Divide the mixture into 10 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Keep the balls covered with a clean, damp cloth as you work.
  3. On a clean work surface, use the palm of your hand to flatten the balls into rounds, about 3 inches in diameter and less than 1/2 inch thick. On a non-oiled hot skillet or griddle, cook the sopes on high heat for about 60 seconds on each side or until golden.
  4. Working quickly as each sope comes off the griddle, pinch the edges to make a lip around the edges of each. Note that they will be hot, so work carefully. Cover them with a cloth to keep them warm.
  5. In a pan, heat the vegetable oil. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the sopes, and fry them until lightly golden. Remove the sopes from the pan with a slotted spoon, and place them onto a platter lined with paper towels.
  6. Remove the shrimp from the marinade. To a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Discard the marinade, and when the oil is hot, add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook until done, about 3 minutes, tossing once, or until the shrimp turns pink.
  7. Spoon the guacamole onto the sopes. Top with the cabbage and tomatoes and then 3 to 4 pieces of shrimp for each sope.
  8. Serve warm with lime wedges to squeeze over the tops of each, or with crumbled Cotija cheese or pepitas.

Pile on your favorite toppings.

More gluten-free recipes

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Vanilla-lavender crème brûlée
Artichoke and rice salad with lemon-pepper dressing