Instantly Elevate Shrimp Tacos With This 1-Ingredient Upgrade

Not to play favorites, but when it comes to street food, it's hard to beat a well-executed taco. Shrimp tacos are easy, fast, and the perfect canvas for showcasing all the best parts of the handheld favorite. Pan-seared shrimp get seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and drizzled with lime juice, then piled into a charred corn tortilla with crisp cabbage slaw and topped with jalapeno-garlic crema. Whip these up on a weeknight with a side of corn salad or cilantro-lime rice for a satisfying, customizable meal.

Which kind of tortilla is best for shrimp tacos?
Corn tortillas are the classic choice for shrimp tacos and our first choice because of the fragrant corn smell, but it’s truly up to you. If you prefer a toasted flour tortilla, you can make an equally delicious taco.

What kind of toppings go on a shrimp taco?
Like any taco, shrimp tacos are best when you keep it simple. We went with a simple slaw of shredded cabbage, cilantro, scallion, and lime juice to add a layer of crunch and freshness. Seafood tacos also benefit from a layer of crema to provide some creaminess and a slight tang. For an extra kick to the crema, we added chopped pickled jalapeño, garlic, and plenty of lime juice. With all of the mix-ins, the crema that tops the tacos is on the chunky side. If you want something smoother and drizzle-able, blitz all of the crema ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Need more taco recipes? Check out these 34 ideas for tacos!

Did you try making this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments!

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 45 mins


  • 1 lb.

    medium shrimp, peeled, deveined

  • 2 tsp.

    store-bought or homemade taco seasoning

  • 2

    large cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided

  • Kosher salt

    large cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided

  • 2

    scallions, green and white parts separated, sliced

  • 1/4 c.

    sour cream

  • 2 tbsp.

    finely chopped pickled jalapeños

  • 2 tbsp.


  • 2


  • 1 c.

    shredded green cabbage

  • 1 c.

    shredded red cabbage

  • 1/4 c.

    fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for serving

  • 3 tbsp.

    neutral oil, divided

  • 8

    small corn tortillas

  • 1/2

    avocado, sliced

  • Sliced radishes, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp, taco seasoning, half of garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk white scallion parts, sour cream, jalapeños, mayonnaise, zest from 1 lime, juice from 1/2 lime, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining garlic until combined. If you desire a smooth sauce, blend in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds. Set aside until ready to use.

  3. In a large bowl, toss green cabbage, red cabbage, cilantro, green scallion parts, juice from ½ lime, and a heavy pinch of salt until combined.

  4. In a large stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat pan. Once oil is shimmering, add shrimp in a single layer. Cook, turning halfway through, until cooked through and opaque 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a clean medium bowl.

  5. Reduce heat to medium, add juice from remaining 1 lime, and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour lime juice over shrimp. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

  6. In same skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Toast half of tortillas, turning frequently, until slightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and tortillas.

  7. Divide shrimp mixture and coleslaw among tortillas; drizzle with crema. Top tacos with avocado, radish, and more cilantro.

You Might Also Like