by Olena

Shrimp Tacos

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 93 votes

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Make a weeknight meal or last minute entertaining a breeze with Easy Shrimp Tacos. Spicy, creamy and healthy this shrimp taco recipe is ready in only 15 minutes and can be made year round either on the grill or pan seared in skillet. Topped with an easy cilantro lime slaw, these tacos have great taste and texture.

I used store bought slaw but you can also serve shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa, mango salsa or even peach salsa.

shrimp tacos on plate with lime wedge

Easy Shrimp Tacos

Oh my goodness, these shrimp tacos came out fantastic! Spicy shrimp, creamy slaw, yummy shrimp taco sauce wrapped in warm fresh corn tortilla. Then a squeeze of lime juice and you are in Mexico. I promise you my shrimp tacos with slaw, fish tacos, grilled fish tacos and carne asada tacos are just as good!

And the best part is this shrimp taco recipe took 15 minutes to prepare and healthy dinner was served. We even use store-bought coleslaw. You can host or make easy weeknight dinner with these easy shrimp tacos. Just like with Instant Pot chicken tacos and more traditional chicken tacos.

Need more help with dinner? Check out iFOODreal meal plans.

Is Shrimp Healthy?

Let’s talk about that first. Shrimp is a low calorie source of protein. In addition, shrimp contains antioxidants, over 20 different vitamins and minerals and high amount of iodine that is not available in other foods. On another hand, shrimp is high in cholesterol. 3 oz serving contains 166 mg of cholesterol, which is 85% more cholesterol than other seafood.

However, research shows that only 25% of population are sensitive to dietary cholesterol which is found in shrimp. This is because most cholesterol in our blood is produced by liver. And when we eat foods high in cholesterol, our liver produces less of it.

Having said the above, it doesn’t mean we can just go and eat shrimp ceviche, shrimp stir fry, shrimp salad and grilled shrimp every day. But moderation is definitely applicable here, in my opinion and I really wouldn’t want to miss out on a shrimp boil come summer!

Why This Shrimp Tacos Recipe Works?

  • Easy: Ready in 15 minutes from start to finish!
  • Healthy: Shrimp is low calorie and full of nutrients and then combined with coleslaw cabbage – high in Vitamin C & K – we have a healthy dinner we can feel good about serving!
  • Enjoy year round: Grill in the summer, pan fry in cooler months.
  • Customizable: As with any taco, the sky is (almost) the limit when serving! Skip the tortilla and serve shrimp salad ‘taco bowl’ style. Drizzle with hot sauce for heat or add chopped jalapeño. Serve sliced avocados (learn how to cut your avocado!) or pico on the side etc. So many ideas!
shimp tacos on a plate

Ingredients You Will Need

Let’s start with simple and best shrimp tacos ingredients you always buy:

  • Raw shrimp: Fresh or frozen. To thaw shrimp, place in lukewarm water for an hour or so or in the fridge overnight. Make sure shrimp is very well drained and dry. This will ensure it gets a char on instead of releasing a lot of water. P.S. I forgot to remove the tails.
  • Tortillas: We prefer small corn tortillas around 6 inch in diameter. You can use flour tortillas as well.
  • Store bought coleslaw mix: Saves a lot of time.
  • Plain yogurt: I do not recommend to use 0% yogurt because slaw will lack flavour. We already reduced a lot of fat by cutting back amount of mayo.
  • Mayo: A little bit makes taco sauce “legit”.
  • Seasonings: Taco seasoning, garlic powder, lime and cilantro. That’s it!
shrimp tacos with slaw ingredients

How to Make Shrimp Tacos

1. Make Shrimp Taco Seasoning and Sauce

  • Shrimp taco seasoning: We combine enough taco seasoning with garlic powder to season raw shrimp for 5 minutes while you are making the sauce and pre-heating the skillet. You want shrimp to be a little spicy so assembled tacos do not taste bland. And no salt added because shrimp contains a lot of sodium, and so does taco seasoning (although I buy low sodium organic one).
  • Shrimp taco sauce: Most shrimp tacos with slaw are heavy on mayo. I used yogurt and some mayo because healthy shrimp tacos wouldn’t be real shrimp tacos without creamy mayo slaw. It is a version of this healthy coleslaw recipe. Combine with lime juice, more taco seasoning and a pinch of cayenne. And it will be the most simple and tasty taco sauce ever. We will use it for the slaw and to drizzle on tacos. Remember, easy! Set aside.

Adding a touch of mayo with yogurt reduces fat/calories but still gives these shrimp tacos with slaw a more ‘authentic taste’!

seasoned shrimp and shrimp taco sauce in glass bowls

2. Saute Shrimp and Make Cabbage Slaw

  • Cook shrimp for 4 minutes in a hot ceramic non-stick skillet. Shrimp cooks fast and it’s ready when no longer gray and starts to turn pink. For more browned look, flip once and press on shrimp with spatula.
  • Make slaw by literally just dumping a 14 oz bag of store-bought cabbage slaw, cilantro, salt and almost all of the taco sauce. I like to reserve some of the dressing for drizzling on tacos. But you don’t have to. Just looks good and tastes better!

Reserve some of the shrimp taco sauce for drizzling on the finished taco – this adds extra creaminess and gives it a ‘restaurant-worthy’ presentation quality!

shrimp cooking in a skillet and slaw mixed in a bowl

3. Assemble Easy Shrimp Tacos with Slaw

Time to assemble the tacos! Did you time yourself? Wasn’t it like 11 minutes until this step?

  • I like to warm tortillas in a cast iron skillet on high heat. Just 10 seconds per side because otherwise tortilla will dry out and break as you fold them. Not good unless you are making tostadas. Press with a spatula for extra char. If you have a gas stove, do it directly on the burner using tongs.
  • What goes in shrimp tacos? Fill each tortilla with 3-4 sauteed shrimps (depending on the size), some slaw and drizzle with sauce.

‘Crisping’ your corn tortillas in the skillet (or quickly on grill) helps prevent them from breaking when filling/eating!

tortilla in a skillet, sauteed shrimp, coleslaw, sauce, tortillas, lime, cilantro
shrimp tacos lunch ideas

Optional Add-in’s and Variations

  • Add fruit toppings: Dice avocado, pineapple or make my pico de gallo and mix with a bit of thinly shredded cabbage or store-bought slaw. Or replace coleslaw entirely with any of these salsa recipes – pineapple salsa, mango salsa or peach salsa.
  • To make low carb: Make lettuce wraps and serve in Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves (again double the layers to hold better) or make a taco salad.
  • Non-creamy slaw: I have this vinegar coleslaw recipe that is traditional Ukrainian recipe my mom made all the time. It will go very well here and make super healthy shrimp tacos!
  • Grilled shrimp tacos: You can grill shrimp on a silicone grill mat on high heat. The mat acts like a skillet. Keep in mind it slows down cooking as food is not hit directly by flames. Cover the grill and give shrimp a few minutes. Then open and when you see pink on the bottom, flip carefully not to lose shrimp between the grill grates. Cover and cook until no longer gray.

FAQs

How do you season shrimp for tacos?

We love to use low sodium taco seasoning with garlic powder, it gives just enough spice to make the shrimp ‘shine’ in the tacos! Combined with the cilantro lime coleslaw and creamy taco sauce, you will have a very flavorful seafood shrimp taco.

How many calories in shrimp tacos?

Eating the recipe as is (without additional items) one taco is 171 calories. See recipe card for additional nutritional information.

Is it better to use fresh or frozen shrimp for tacos?

You can use either! Since you are seasoning the shrimp, it is fine to use frozen. Thaw raw shrimp overnight or place in colander in a bowl with cold water, thaws in 15-20 minutes. Pat shrimp dry. Readers have had good luck with precooked frozen shrimp as well – after thawing let sit with seasoning for 20-30 minutes then warm up in skillet (I have not tested this method!).

Can you use 0% fat yogurt for shrimp taco sauce?

Readers have used 0% fat with great results, I like to use 2% as it gives it more flavor.

Serving Reccomendations

Making Shrimp Taco Recipe in Advance

Expecting company or want a 10 minute dinner tonight? Prepare shrimp tacos with slaw ahead of time. Refrigerate seasoned shrimp and sauce separately for up to 2 days. Cook tacos and assemble slaw right before serving.

Store leftovers: Refrigerate leftover cooked shrimp and slaw in separate airtight containers for up to 24 hours. Cabbage slaw will leak a bit, drain and stir before serving.

To reheat: Place previously cooked shrimp on well preheated ceramic non-stick skillet with a bit of cooking spray or oil. You want skillet to be hot, cook shrimp for 1 minute max per each side, just to heat through and not overcook. It doesn’t need much more than that.

Enjoy! I swear, it’s the easiest dinner I ever made besides smoked salmon salad.

More Favorite Mexican Recipes

shrimp tacos with lime taco sauce and slaw
Shrimp Tacos

15 Minute Shrimp Tacos {Easy Healthy Recipe}

Make a weeknight meal or last minute entertaining a breeze with Easy Shrimp Tacos. Spicy, creamy and healthy this shrimp taco recipe is ready in only 15 minutes and can be made year round either on the grill or pan seared in skillet. Topped with an easy cilantro lime slaw, these tacos have great taste and texture.
4.97 from 93 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 9 tacos
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Shrimp Tacos:

Shrimp Taco Sauce:

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add shrimp, 1 tbsp taco seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Stir and set aside.
    Shrimp Tacos
  • In a small bowl, add yogurt, mayo, lime juice, taco seasoning, cayenne and black pepper. Stir and set aside.
  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on high heat and add shrimp. Cook until pink on the bottom, flip and cook until no longer gray. For more char, flip once and press on shrimp with spatula. Or you can grill shrimp on a silicone grill mat on high heat.
    Shrimp Tacos
  • In a large bowl, add slaw, cilantro, salt and almost all of the sauce, reserving some for drizzling on tacos. Stir gently.
  • To assemble tacos, warm tortillas in a cast iron skillet on high heat for 10 seconds per side and pressing on with spatula.
    Shrimp Tacos
  • Fill each tortilla with 3-4 shrimps, some slaw and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately, maybe with easy guacamole
    too. 🙂
    Shrimp Tacos

Store: Refrigerate leftover cooked shrimp and slaw covered for up to 24 hours. 

    Make Ahead: Refrigerate seasoned shrimp and sauce separately for up to 2 days. Cook and assemble slaw right before serving.

      Video

      Notes

      • Shrimp: Make sure shrimp is very well drained and dry. This will ensure it gets a char on instead of releasing a lot of water.
      • Yogurt: I do not recommend to use 0% yogurt because slaw will lack flavour. We already reduced a lot of fat by cutting back amount of mayo.
      • Serve in 2 tortillas (double layer) if using small corn tortillas. They are delicate and tend to fall apart if fresh. That’s what they do in Mexico.
      • Add diced avocado, pineapple or mango. Make mango salsa or pineapple salsa instead of serving shrimp tacos with slaw. 
      • To make low carb: Make lettuce wraps and serve in Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves (again double the layers to hold better).
      • What doesn’t go into a taco?! If you have time, make easy guacamole, dice up some jalapenos for heat lovers or make a taco bar.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1taco | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 546mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 2mg
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