Spicy shrimp tacos are a great way to change up your typical fish taco. While we usually use cod or salmon, shrimp offers a nice change of pace that’s very easy to cook. Shrimp cook in a matter of minutes, making this a delicious yet low-effort meal.
The secret to this recipe is in the shrimp seasoning. Dry-rubbed shrimp, blackened in a medley of spices until golden. The paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic give these shrimp tacos a nice smokey and mildly spicy punch.
My shrimp tacos are wrapped in toasted corn tortillas along with shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, and homemade avocado salsa—it’s an incredibly delicious and fresh-tasting dish.
Toasting the Corn Tortillas
My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula. You can also accomplish this right on the grill.
The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable. If you’ve run into ripping or tearing corn tortillas, this will remedy the problem and make them much more sturdy and flavorful. This can also be done with flour tortillas.
Salsa de Aguacate (Avocado Salsa)
Salsa de aguacate literally translates to avocado salsa. It’s nearly identical to guacamole in terms of ingredients, but blended into a spicier creamier sauce instead of mashed into guac.
I make salsa de aguacate in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Add additional water by the tablespoon if the sauce is too thick. If you don’t have a blender, a NutriBullet or Ninja Single Serve blender works like a charm (this is what I use 99% of the time).
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Dry-rubbed shrimp blackened in a medley of spices served with toasted corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, and avocado salsa.
- 1 pound large shrimp (raw), peeled, deveined, and tails removed (I used size 31/40)
- 1 package 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Finely shredded white or cabbage (cole slaw mix works well)
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for topping
- 1–2 limes, cut into small wedges
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt, to taste
Avocado salsa (salsa aguacate)
- 1 avocado, peeled, seed removed
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup cilantro, leaves removed from stem
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lime, juice squeezed
- 3–4 jalapeno slices, seeds removed (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the avocado salsa
- combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Add additional tablespoons of water if too thick. You want the salsa to be thin enough to slowly drizzle off a spoon. Consistency should be similar to creamy ranch dressing.
For the shrimp tacos
- Prepare all your shrimp taco toppings and set aside. Mix the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
- Remove the tails from the shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Season all over liberally with salt. Add the dry rub and toss until the shrimp are fully coated. They should be heavily seasoned.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or pan. Once warm, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and no longer transparent. If using larger or jumbo shrimp they may take a little longer.
- Serve tacos with warm/toasted tortillas. Fill with a small handful of cabbage, 3-4 shrimp, chopped cilantro, and a nice drizzle of avocado salsa. Squeeze a lime wedge over each taco before eating. See note below on toasting corn tortillas.
My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula. The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable with irresistible flavor. If you’ve run into ripping or tearing corn tortillas, this will remedy this problem and make them much more sturdy. This can also be done with flour tortillas.
The recipe calls for raw shrimp because using precooked shrimp tends to dry them out if heated.
- Serving Size: About 3 tacos
- Calories: 588
- Sugar: 2.1g
- Sodium: 580mg
- Fat: 32.7g
- Saturated Fat: 10.1g
- Carbohydrates: 26.5g
- Fiber: 9.9g
- Protein: 53.5g
- Cholesterol: 469mg
Keywords: spicy shrimp tacos, shrimp taco sauce