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These Shrimp Tacos are simple to make and a great option for a busy weeknight meal. These shrimp tacos are made with juicy plump shrimp, seasoned with a bit of spice. The cooked shrimp is then wrapped in warm flour tortillas and piled high with homemade slaw and a fantastic shrimp taco dressing. Delicious on their own or pair them with some Mexican Street Corn or tortilla chips and Fresh Mango Salsa.
What Type of Shrimp is Best?
When it comes to cooking shrimp for ANY recipe, there are two main things to know. How to choose between fresh or frozen and it’s sizing. Let’s break it down:
Fresh vs Frozen Shrimp
While fresh shrimp is typically best, it’s not always practical or economical, especially if you happen to live in a landlocked state or province. This is where frozen shrimp is a great option! It is frozen within hours of being caught and you can buy it peeled, deveined and ready to go. You simply just have to defrost.
It’s best to thaw shrimp in the fridge overnight. If you forget to do that, luckily there is a quicker method! Place shrimp in a colander and place in cool water for 15-20 minutes. Resist the urge to use hot water….doing so will begin to cook your shrimp. Once defrosted, pat dry with paper towels.
Shrimp come in many different sizes. For this recipe, I used large shrimp. Not too big, not too small and they fit into a tortilla nicely. On a package for large shrimp, you will see a number range listed (31/35) which is equal to the number of shrimp per pound in that package. Shrimp range in size from extra small (61/70) to colossal (13/15). I would recommend medium to large shrimp for these tacos.
How To Make Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Tacos are easy to make and come together in just about 15 minutes! Be sure to not over cook your shrimp. Doing so will make them tough and rubbery. No thanks! They only need about 90 seconds per side. Combine the ingredients for the slaw dressing, and then assemble! For full recipe details, see the printable recipe card down below.
Prep + Season Shrimp
Start by blotting shrimp with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook half of the shrimp until opaque and bright pink, about 90 seconds per side. Remove from pan into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan and repeat the process with remaining pound of shrimp. Set aside.
Make the Slaw Dressing
In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk mayonnaise together with cumin, chili powder, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
Combine Cabbage, Cilantro, and Onions
In a large bowl, add chopped scallions, red onion, cilantro and shredded cabbage. Toss together with dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. The longer this sits the more delicious is becomes!
Serve + Enjoy
To assemble tacos, add slaw and warm shrimp to soft flour ( or corn if you prefer) tortillas. Enjoy!
Other Topping Ideas
While these shrimp tacos are amazing as the recipe is written, you may want or need to add other toppings. Here are a few good suggestions.
- your favorite Salsa
- iceberg lettuce
- shredded cheese
- sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- fresh lime juice
- chopped cilantro
Shrimp is best eaten on the day it is prepared. It does pretty well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The slaw will be good in the fridge for up to 2 days and the sauce is best used in 5 days.
Reheating- shrimp tends to dry out when it is reheated. I suggest using leftover shrimp in a salad.
Tips for Making the Best Shrimp Tacos
This is my favorite shrimp taco recipe. But it can get even better! Here are my top five tips for making this shrimp tacos recipe the best it can be:
- Start with the highest possible quality of shrimp. You’d be surprised how much of a difference the type of shrimp you use makes! If you want the absolute best flavor, and have access to it, try using fresh or frozen wild-caught shrimp.
- Ensure that you don’t overcook the shrimp. There are few things that can bring this recipe down, like overcooked shrimp can. If you want the best of the best from your shrimp tacos, pay careful attention while cooking them.
- Don’t be shy with the toppings. Toppings help to make this shrimp tacos recipe come alive. For the best culinary experience, I’d recommend stuffing it to the brim! Messy? Yes. Tasty? Without a doubt!
- Feel free to experiment. In the end, every recipe comes down to personal taste. Don’t be scared to make these shrimp tacos your own. Don’t get stuck on the toppings I’ve listed, for example. Try things you know you like, because your tastes are the ones that matter.
- Try toasting the tortillas. While it’s not for everyone, many people prefer their tacos toasted. You’ll never know if it’s for you if you don’t try it.
Love Shrimp Tacos? Give these recipes a try!
Alright friends, I hope you enjoy these shrimp tacos and add them to your dinner rotation! The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day! 🙂
For the Shrimp
For the Slaw
- 2/3 cup real mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 whole scallions chopped, white and light green parts
- 2/3 cup red onion sliced thin
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, optional
- 14 oz shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix, 1 pre-shredded bag
- flour tortillas
- Start by blotting shrimp with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Cook half of the shrimp (about 1 pound) until opaque and bright pink, about 90 seconds per side. Remove from pan into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat the process with remaining pound of shrimp. Set aside.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk mayonnaise together with cumin, chili powder, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, add chopped scallions, red onion, cilantro and shredded cabbage. Toss together with dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. The longer this sits the more delicious is becomes!
- To assemble tacos, add slaw and warm shrimp to soft flour tortillas. Enjoy!