Shrimp Tacos – WellPlated.com

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Easy, kickin’, and topped with a fresh, crunchy slaw, these are the best Shrimp Tacos you’ll ever eat, promise! The shrimp are plump and juicy, the taco sauce is cool and creamy, and the combo inside of a tortilla is something you’ll TACO-’bout, long after the meal is cooked.

Five shrimp tacos with creamy taco slaw

Why You’ll Love These Shrimp Tacos with Sauce

  • The shrimp is juicy and splendidly spiced.
  • The prep is EASY (these tacos have restaurant taste but are appropriate for beginner cooks).
  • The entire package is complete with a dreamy shrimp taco sauce.

Not only is this Mexican shrimp tacos recipe worth making for dinner tonight, but it’s also worth putting up with my bad jokes!

shrimp tacos with creamy slaw and lime

5 Star Review

“This is the first time I have ever commented on a recipe – that’s how good these are!!!! These were amazing!!”

— Allison —

Shrimp Tacos: A Quick and Easy Dinner

Every time I make a recipe with shrimp, I ask myself why I don’t cook with shrimp at least once a week.

  • Shrimp cooks in a matter of minutes, making it ideal for fast weeknight dinners (Shrimp Fajitas are another speedy winner).
  • The sautéed shrimp in these tacos cooks in fewer than five minutes, which by my calculation is just enough time to pour yourself a Skinny Margarita if you move very very quickly.
  • They’re a refreshing alternative protein. I love Shredded Chicken Tacos and Steak Tacos as much as the next person, but it’s nice to throw shrimp into the mix to keep things exciting.
easy Mexican seasoned shrimp in a skilleteasy Mexican seasoned shrimp in a skillet

How to Make the Best Shrimp Tacos

The Ingredients

  • Shrimp. While fresh shrimp are delicious, the majority of the time, I purchase raw, frozen shrimp, which are usually less expensive. Unless you live near the ocean, often the “fresh” shrimp in the grocery store case arrived frozen in the first place. Plus, you can purchase frozen shrimp already peeled, saving valuable time!

More about Using Frozen Shrimp

  • For easy shrimp taco recipes using frozen shrimp, you can thaw the shrimp in your refrigerator overnight, or if you forget (guilty!), you can quickly thaw them by running them under cool water.
  • While frozen shrimp are not the best choice if you’ll be eating shrimp cocktail, it’s perfect for recipes where the shrimp are being jazzed up with spices (hi, Shrimp Pad Thai) or fresh ingredients like garlic (check out Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa and Garlic Shrimp Pasta).
  • Spices. Chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt make the shrimp pop! These shrimp seasonings make the tacos smoky, earthy, and a little spicy.
  • Taco Sauce. With olive oil, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and fresh lime juice, this Greek yogurt sauce is cool, creamy, and zippy. The jalapeño adds a hint of spice too.
  • Slaw. Crunchy, fresh slaw mix pairs perfectly with the creamy taco sauce and smoky shrimp. No mayo here! Instead, this recipe swaps Greek yogurt.
  • Tortillas. The shell for our tacos. You can use flour or corn tortillas, so pick your favorite. Use corn tortillas if you’d like the tacos gluten free.
  • Toppings. Jazz up your tacos with avocado, chopped cilatro, chopped white onion, or other toppings of your choice.

Substitution Tip

For the slaw, I used a “super” blend of prebagged shredded cabbage, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. If you prefer your shrimp tacos with cabbage only, that is a perfectly tasty swap. For cabbage slicing tips, see Sautéed Cabbage.

The Directions

seasoning shrimp to make shrimp tacosseasoning shrimp to make shrimp tacos
  1. Season the Shrimp. Place shrimp in a large bowl with the oil and spices, tossing to coat.
creamy taco sauce for shrimp tacoscreamy taco sauce for shrimp tacos
  1. Make the Taco Sauce. Use a food processor or a blender. This will double as the dressing for the slaw.
cole slaw for shrimp tacoscole slaw for shrimp tacos
  1. Make the Slaw. Place the cabbage in a bowl, then toss it with part of the sauce.
cooked shrimp to make healthy shrimp tacoscooked shrimp to make healthy shrimp tacos
  1. Saute the Shrimp. Don’t overcook it!
Shrimp topped with a creamy taco slaw and extra shrimp taco sauce to make a delicious and healthy shrimp taco.Shrimp topped with a creamy taco slaw and extra shrimp taco sauce to make a delicious and healthy shrimp taco.
  1. Serve. Pile inside tortillas. Don’t forget your favorite toppings. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Grilled Shrimp Tacos. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, then cook on an outdoor or indoor grill (see this Grilled Shrimp recipe for cooking tips).
  • Shrimp Taco Bowls. Instead of a tortilla, serve your bowls with rice, or use quinoa like these Burrito Bowls do.
  • Shrimp Taco Salad. Use the shrimp instead of ground meat in this delicious Taco Salad, or add them to Mexican Salad.

What to Pair with Shrimp Tacos

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Do Not Overcook the Shrimp. This is the first and most important rule of cooking shrimp—they can go from underdone to tough and chewy, fast. As soon as they curl and are firm to the touch, they are ready to eat.
  • Warm Your Tortillas. This small extra step makes all the difference! You can heat the tortillas over a gas stove, in a skillet, or (in a pinch) the microwave.
  • Make the Slaw Ahead. While not mandatory, the marinating time in the fridge makes the flavors even better. Plus, you’ll love dinner coming together that much faster!

For the Shrimp Tacos:

  • 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined, and tails removed (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • Garnishes: avocados cilantro, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), lime wedges, mango salsa

For the Slaw and Shrimp Taco Sauce:

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1/2 small jalapeno seeds and membranes removed
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 large or 2 very small limes about 2 teaspoons zest and 3 tablespoons juice
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or slaw mix

  • Rinse and pat the shrimp dry, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the chili powder, chipotle chili, cumin, and salt. Toss to coat evenly. Let rest while you prepare the shrimp taco sauce and slaw.

  • Prepare the sauce and slaw: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, lime zest, and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Add more sauce if you desire a creamier slaw, then reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.

  • Cook the shrimp: In a large nonstick skillet over medium high, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté just until the shrimp is cooked through and no longer translucent in the center, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook! Transfer the shrimp immediately to a plate.

  • Warm the tortillas (optional) and assemble the tacos: If you like, warm the tortillas in the microwave (put them in a stack and cover them with a lightly damp towel) or a 250 degrees F oven while the shrimp cook. To serve, fill the tortillas with your desired number of shrimp, then top generously with the slaw, extra sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, and any other desired toppings. Enjoy immediately.

  • TO STORE: The shrimp tastes best the day it is made but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Slaw can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and any extra sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Since shrimp tends to dry out when reheated, I prefer to use the leftovers on top of salads. However, you can very gently rewarm the shrimp in a skillet over medium-low heat if needed.

Serving: 1taco (of 8), including tortilla, shrimp, and slawCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 13gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g

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