Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Admit it. You love tacos. You love shrimp. But never should the two meet. Right?

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Wrong! And I’m going to share this super-easy and everything is good for you quick main dish. Yes, shrimp are the centerpiece of this mind-changing taco.

Don’t wrinkle your nose at the idea of anything from the ocean becoming part of a taco. Change your attitude—everyone knows that seafood is a healthy alternative to land animals.


This easy, summer-perfect dish is simple enough for kitchen-savvy youngsters or even husbands to prepare. Nothing whatsoever complicated about seasonings or cooking techniques. Just prepare the pantry-friendly marinade for the shrimp (just one hour allows the flavors to work their magic on the shrimp), whip up a slaw of red cabbage (or buy the pre-packaged, pre-chopped slaw mix in your produce section if you just don’t want to deal with that chopping!), and grill the shrimp on your stovetop.


If shrimp isn’t your cup of tea (or taco filling of choice), there’s always my recipe for grilled steak and poblano pepper tacos.

But just in case they are, they’re SUPER easy to prepare.


You can marinade the shrimp and prepare the slaw the evening before—honestly, the prep for these tacos is so easy you’ll almost feel guilty. The flavors are bold and I guarantee you’ll want to eat more than one just to experience the party on your palate. Not only are these tacos family-friendly, you’ll want to bring them out for entertaining those skeptical folks who refuse to accept that shrimp are indeed acceptable to wrap in a tortilla. I won’t tell anyone how hard you didn’t work to whip this dish up.

Mexican, tacos, shrimp tacos, spicy
main dish
Yield: 8

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Spicy shrimp tacos are big on flavor, light on effort. A perfect weeknight dinner on the table in under 20 minutes.
prep time: 1 H & 10 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 1 H & 20 M


For Grilled Shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf, torn in half
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
For Slaw
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Pico de gallo
  • 10  small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced, for garnish


How to cook Spicy Shrimp Tacos

For Shrimp Tacos & Slaw
  1. Combine the cayenne, cumin, paprika, garlic, bay leaf, and oil in a bowl. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the slaw, stir together the vinegar, oil, and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the cabbage and cilantro, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and discard the bay leaf. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Using nonstick cooking spray, coat the grill. Grill the shrimp until opaque, about 2 minutes per side. To serve, place the shrimp, slaw, pico de gallo, tortillas, and avocado, if using, on platters and allow guests to make their own tacos.


If you'd like, add a simple drizzle of avocado creme (such as the one used https://www.insolenceandwine.com/blog/sweet-potato-green-chile-tacos, or your favorite ranch dressing.



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