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Spicy shrimp tacos with sweet and crunchy slaw on a serving platter



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 3140 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


  1. Clean the shrimp. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil together.
  5. 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.
  6. Warm the tortillas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  7. 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