These spicy shrimp tacos are healthy, delicious, and ready in about 30 minutes. Plus, they’re just fun to eat. They are served on a sweet and crunchy slaw and drizzled with a cool, creamy cilantro jalapeno sauce to balance out the heat of the shrimp’s spices.
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My mouth waters when I imagine sinking my teeth into a warm, crisp, corn tortilla that cradles a healthy scoop of crunchy, sweet slaw. And nestled on top are several plump, succulent, spicy shrimp that are sprinkled with crumbled cotija cheese, sometimes making it extra special with a creamy drizzle of sauce. It’s the stuff naughty daydreams are made of!
I think shrimp may be the perfect weeknight dinner protein. They’re healthy. They’re ready in just minutes and they are delicious. This could be your ‘go-to’ Taco Tuesday recipe.
WHAT INGREDIENTS GO INTO A SHRIMP TACO?
The greatest part of these spicy shrimp tacos is that you can put in anything you like. I love a crunchy slaw that has a bit of heat and a bit of sweetness to it. I think the contrast in textures is exciting, but use what excites your palate.
- Shrimp – use fresh, wild shrimp. These are the stars of the recipe, so you want them to be delectable.
- Slaw – what veggies speak to your tongue? For this recipe, I like using a crunchy cabbage, some fruit for sweetness, and jalapeno for heat.
- Sauce – this could be your favorite salsa, sour cream, or my recipe for creamy cilantro jalapeno sauce.
- Tortillas – Flour or corn? It’s again just a matter of taste – both are delicious in this recipe.
TIPS FOR MAKING THESE SPICY SHRIMP TACOS WITH SWEET AND CRUNCHY SLAW
Save yourself time by taking shortcuts. Trust me, your family will never know or care that you took advantage of the conveniences available to you.
- Purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined.
- Use a bagged slaw instead of grating or chopping cabbage.
- Pick up extra chopped vegetables for the slaw at the salad bar in your grocery store.
- Grab a creamy salad dressing instead of making a dressing. It will still be amazing.
Complete this yummy meal with this recipe for Creamy, Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce, maybe a side of Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto, and these Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies for dessert. Then wash it all down with a Classic Cadillac Margarita.Print
SPICY SHRIMP TACOS WITH SWEET AND CRUNCHY SLAW
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
Perfectly seasoned, spicy, shrimp tacos that are on your table in 30 minutes. They are served atop a bed of cool, sweet and crunchy slaw that helps to balance the heat of the shrimp. This quick and easy meal is the ultimate weeknight dinner idea.
For the tacos:
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I like using 31–40 size)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro, more for serving
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Juice of 3 limes
- 8 flour or corn tortillas, warmed for serving
- 1 cup of creamy cilantro jalapeno sauce
- 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
For the sweet and crunchy slaw:
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced very fine
- ¼ small red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
- ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup finely diced fresh pineapple
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Clean the shrimp. Rinse and pat dry.
- In a zippered food storage bag, combine the cilantro, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Massage the bag to combine all of the ingredients. Add the shrimp. Close the bag and massage the marinade into the shrimp. Place in the refrigerator while you prep the slaw.
- For the slaw, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, red bell pepper, pineapple, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Toss to combine all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the salt to taste. Set aside while you make the shrimp.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil together.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and saute, turning and stirring with a spatula, just until the shrimp become pink and curl into a “c” shape. Do not overcook the shrimp. If the shrimp curl into an “o” shape, they are overcooked. If the shrimp are not consistently pink and have opaque gray spots, they are undercooked. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Warm the tortillas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- To assemble: Take one warmed tortilla. Add a healthy scoop of slaw to the bottom of the tortilla, top with 4 or 5 shrimp. Drizzle with cilantro jalapeno sauce, if desired, and sprinkle with cotija cheese. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
Here’s a video on how to devein shrimp. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!
2 thoughts on “SPICY SHRIMP TACOS WITH SWEET AND CRUNCHY SLAW”
Tacos are always amazing 🙂 I love shrimp but have never made shrimp tacos. We have one family member that doesn’t like shrimp, but I can make beef tacos for some and shrimp for some. I might have to try the jalapeno sauce – I will have fresh jalapenos in a couple days and my cayenne peppers are ready now.
I didn’t know what cotija cheese, I had to look it up. Not sure if they have it here in our supermarket but I will look for it. If not, we have a lot of other cheeses we like.
Hi Dawn! Please let me know how you like them. The cotija cheese is a Mexican crumbling cheese. Plain feta or even a mild shredded mozzarella would work.