These Shrimp Tacos are loaded with perfectly spiced baked shrimp and ultra creamy slaw! This quick and easy dinner is loved by all.
These shrimp tacos are the reason I wake up in the morning… Okay, that might be an exaggeration but seriously, they’re so good!
Easy, light, healthy, and loaded with yummy spices. Who knew you could pack so much flavor into one little taco?!
- Shredded Coleslaw – adds delicious crunchy texture to the tacos. I use a bagged coleslaw (no dressing) with shredded green cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots.
- Cilantro – adds tons of fresh flavor to balance out the smokiness of the shrimp.
- Lime Juice – provides the slaw with some zest and tang.
- Sour Cream and Mayo – makes the slaw extra creamy and delicious. Want to lighten this up? Try greek yogurt and an olive oil based mayo.
- Garlic – gives a rounded, nutty flavor to cut the tang from the lime and sour cream.
- Salt – enhances other flavors.
- Shrimp – peeled, deveined, tails off. I always have frozen shrimp on hand, but feel free to use fresh, if desired!
- Olive Oil – adds fat to the lean shrimp to help keep the shrimp from being chewy.
- Lime Juice – breaks down the shrimp, resulting in super tender shrimp!
- Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper – the most delicious blend of spices to give the shrimp tons of flavor.
Serve with tortillas (corn or flour), feta cheese, jalapeño slices, and green onions!
How to make
There are two parts to today’s recipe: the baked shrimp and the slaw. While the shrimp is marinating and baking, make your slaw. Multi-tasking for the win!
- Stir together all slaw ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Place shrimp, oil, lime juice, and spices in a gallon-sized ziplock baggie or bowl and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Place the contents of the bag or bowl on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
- Bake then serve with slaw and other taco fixings!
Should you use fresh or frozen shrimp?
You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for tacos! Whether you’re using fresh or frozen, look for medium shrimp (about 40-50 shrimps per pound) that are peeled, deveined, with tails removed.
I use frozen shrimp, because that’s what I always have on hand, but feel free to use fresh shrimp as well. If using frozen, make sure it’s completely thawed before marinating and baking it!
How long do you marinate shrimp?
Shrimp should be marinated for no more, but no less than 30 minutes! It allows the shrimp to really soak up the seasonings without getting mushy.
After 30 minutes the acid in the lime juice will start to break down the shrimp too much. Marinating for less than 30 minutes, however, and the shrimp won’t pack that flavor punch we’re looking for.
- Use frozen shrimp. Raw shrimp lasts for at least 6 months in the freezer, so I love having a bag or two on hand for dinner emergencies!
- OR use fresh shrimp that’s already peeled and deveined – go to the seafood counter at your local grocery store and ask them for shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined with the tails removed.
- Don’t overcook your shrimp. Overcooked shrimp is rubbery, so keep an eye on your shrimp in the last couple minutes of baking. You’ll know they’re done when the inside of the shrimp is white and opaque!
- Don’t skip the slaw. The crunch from the slaw balances the soft shrimp beautifully and the creaminess of the dressing cuts the smokiness of the spices.
- Customize. The great thing about tacos is you can make them just how you like! Make it spicy by adding cayenne pepper, lighten it up with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, use any tortilla you like, add on favorite toppings, you name it!
What to serve with shrimp tacos
Assemble your taco with your favorite tortilla, a few shrimp, and a generous scoop of slaw, then serve it next to your favorite side dishes!
- Mexican street corn spoon bread
- Easy black beans
- Pico de gallo – don’t forget the tortilla chips!
- Easy margaritas
How to store
Assembled tacos are best served immediately, but be sure to store shrimp and slaw leftovers in separate containers.
Shrimp: Leftover shrimp can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, pop the shrimp in the microwave or bake in the oven until heated.
Slaw: Leftover slaw will last in the fridge for up to 2 days. I don’t recommend storing it in the freezer.
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined; I used medium, 40-50/pound size; thaw completely if frozen
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups shredded coleslaw mine contained shredded green cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots and did NOT contain a dressing
- 1/4 cup cilantro minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt to taste
- tortillas, feta, jalapeños, and green onions for serving
- Place all taco ingredients (shrimp, oil, lime, and spices) into a gallon-sized ziplock baggie or bowl. Gently shake or stir until the shrimp are fully coated in the oil, lime, and spices.
- Seal (or cover), then marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- Dump the contents of the ziplock baggie onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked.
- In a large bowl, stir together all slaw ingredients (coleslaw, cilantro, sour cream, mayo, garlic, and salt).
- Taste and re-season.
- Store, covered, in the fridge until ready to use.
- Place warm shrimp into your favorite tortilla, top with a generous scoop of slaw, and serve with optional toppings!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.