Spicy Shrimp Tacos
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
These spicy shrimp tacos topped with colorful cabbage and creamy shrimp taco sauce are ready in just 20 minutes. Skip the takeout and make some tonight!
I like to keep a big bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for easy weeknight meals.
It thaws quickly under cold running water, making it the perfect last-minute dinnertime solution. Steamed clams is also another easy recipe to have on hand.
Toss some in a pan with lemon juice and garlic butter or combine them with pasta, veggies, and a spicy Cajun sauce.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
Take any Taco Tuesday to the next level with spicy tacos smothered in shrimp taco sauce made with avocado and cilantro!
These easy shrimp tacos are made from scratch, so you can feel good about serving this meal to your family.
Plus, you can easily scale the spicy shrimp taco recipe up or down to meet your needs.
Easy Shrimp Tacos Tips and Tricks
- Prep your ingredients first! Since the shellfish cooks quickly, you’ll want everything ready to go as soon as it’s done.
Make the sauce and slice the cabbage, then stick them in the fridge until it’s time to assemble.
- Adjust the spice. Remove the jalapeño seeds for mild heat or leave them in if you like it spicy!
Wear gloves when handling peppers, since the oils can irritate your skin and eyes.
- Use fresh or frozen shellfish. Either will work for this spicy shrimp taco recipe, but get the kind with the tails removed.
It will save you prep time, and you can dig right in once everything is cooked.
- Want authentic flavor? Fry your corn tortillas in a little bit of oil. Corn oil is an obvious choice, but peanut or vegetable oil will also do the trick.
How To Make Shrimp Taco Sauce
The shrimp taco sauce seriously couldn’t be any easier to prepare – just toss everything in a blender and press puree!
It gets even better the longer it sits, so feel free to blend it up in advance and store it in the fridge.
Keep the dressing in an airtight container and give it a good stir before drizzling over your spicy shrimp tacos.
Spicy Tacos Serving Suggestions
While these easy shrimp tacos are more than enough for a meal, you can stretch your servings with a few tasty sides.
You can never go wrong with refried beans and Mexican rice! Or, add some cilantro lime rice to your plate with a spoonful of Street Corn Salad for a lighter option.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos FAQ
The cooked shellfish, creamy dressing, and sliced cabbage can all be stored separately in the refrigerator for a few days.
For garnish, yes. Pluck off the leaves, pat them dry if needed, and rough chop with a sharp knife.
You can toss the stems into the blender for the sauce, though! They have plenty of flavor and break down easily with the blades.
Sour cream is a good substitute with a little more tang. Or, use Mexican crema in place of both the yogurt and milk since it has a thinner consistency.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Other Easy Shrimp Dinners
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp , peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lime, juiced
For The Sauce
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 jalapeno, stem trimmed; remove seeds for milder heat
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, (1 lime)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced green cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups sliced purple cabbage
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 8 corn tortillas
For the Shrimp
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season shrimp with chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and toss until evenly coated.Add shrimp to the pan (you'll need to cook in two batches) and cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until pink and no longer translucent. Transfer to a plate and cook remaining shrimp.
- Sprinkle with salt and squeeze lime juice over the top.
- Place all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Place a little of each cabbage on tortilla, drizzle with some sauce, top with 4-5 shrimp, drizzle with more sauce, sprinkle with cilantro. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published August 2018, updated and republished February 2023
Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.
I hope these are as good as they look 😊
Good but the chili powder is a little over powering. Hides the taste of the shrimp. Avocado sauce is awesome. Used sour cream instead of yogurt.
Was just going to ask if I could use sour cream cause that's what I have on hand! Good to know!!
These were pretty good but not as flavorful as I was expecting. I added a bit more salt to the avocado sauce and garlic salt and pepper to the shrimp.
Wound be nice if you stated exactly what in that list of ingredients makes the sauce!
The recipe has been updated, sorry about that.
TSRI Team Member,
Salt is listed twice in the sauce recipe. Which amount is correct? 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon? Thanks.
Thanks for catching that, Mary! The correct amount is 1/2 teaspoon salt. The recipe card will be updated accordingly. 🙂
TSRI Team member,
Shrimp tacos are awesome so I had to try this. It turned out great. A bit spicy and very delicious!