Taco Tuesday meets Surf-n-Turf with this recipe, and oh, are you going to love this one.
Imagine a warm, softshell tortilla filled with juicy shrimp that’s been baked in a hot cumin-chili-garlicky marinade. Accompanying the shrimps are sweet pineapple chunks, crunchy shallots, and creamy cilantro coleslaw.
Flavor, texture, and nutrition – this recipe truly has it all. Also, depending on the type of tortilla wrap you use, these shrimp tacos can be gluten-free. It’s also a keto-friendly recipe and can be made low-carb by skipping the tortilla wrap and serving the shrimps over a bowl of cauliflower rice or a quinoa salad.
Can you believe it only takes less than 20 minutes to prepare? They’re so easy to make that you might consider having them on any other weeknight, even when it’s not a Tuesday. I could definitely whip up these shrimp tacos even after a long day. I just pop them in the oven and scroll on Instagram until the oven goes ding!
To make this easy shrimp tacos recipe, you will need:
- Tortillas – Flour or corn tortillas.
- Pro Tip: Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free, and so is the rest of this recipe.
- Shrimp – Shell and de-vein 2 pounds of medium shrimp, fresh from the market. If you are buying frozen shrimp, thaw before cooking.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Measure 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. These will help to tenderize the shrimp while it’s marinating.
- Lime – Measure 2 tablespoons of lime juice. For the best results, use freshly squeezed lime juice or lemon juice. Most of my recipes use lime so I highly recommend stocking up your fridge with lime. It’s such a useful and versatile ingredient and stays good for three to four weeks in the fridge.
- Garlic – Mince 4 garlic cloves. You can purchase a bag of minced garlic or make it yourself at home. I bought an electric chopper recently and it is a gamechanger, for real.
- Chili powder, cumin, and coarse sea salt – Season, season, season. These are the secret ingredients in the marinade, adding a spicy kick to the shrimp. Measure 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
- Shallots – Shallots are delicate, tiny onions that grow in a bulb-like shape, just like garlic. They don’t have the sharp, pungent smell of regular onions and have a nice earthy taste when baked or fried. Slice thinly, and if you can’t find shallots, then mellow-flavored yellow onions are the best substitute.
- Pineapple chunks – Oh, the sweetness and juiciness of pineapple chunks are always a great companion to any seafood recipe. This is an optional ingredient as these tacos are perfection on their own! But, if you are adding pineapple we will need 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks. Pro Tip: You can purchase pre-cut pineapple chunks at many grocery stores.
Along with the spiced shrimp, we will make a thick, creamy cilantro lime sauce as well as coleslaw coated in the same heavenly sauce. Here are the ingredients:
- Full-fat sour cream – Scoop 1 ½ cups of full-fat sour cream (or full-fat Greek yogurt). I love the luscious texture of full-fat sour cream, but it’s the tanginess that makes this sauce special.
- Garlic – 2 garlic cloves, minced. If you are a big fan of garlic, why stop at 2? Go for 3, 4, or even 5 cloves.
- Cilantro – Pack ½ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro. Remove the stems and rinse well.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Measure 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil works too).
- Lime – From one lime, squeeze lime juice and grate to collect its zest.
- Sea salt – Measure ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt or to taste.
- Coleslaw mix – I like to get store-bought coleslaw mix that already has shredded cabbages and carrots because it saves so much time. However, if you want to shred your own vegetables, go ahead. Make sure to collect 3 cups (24 oz.) of coleslaw mix.
How to Make the Taco Sauce
The shrimp taco sauce is a cilantro lime dressing that is creamy, tangy, and downright delicious. It is slathered onto the taco before serving, and also serves as the dressing for the cabbage slaw.
If you’re a huge fan of the cilantro-lime combination, check out this recipe for a healthy cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
To make creamy cilantro lime sauce, all you need is a food processor or a blender. Add the sour cream, olive oil, minced garlic, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and chopped cilantro to the food processor. Mix until smooth and you will get a beautiful, bright green sauce. Yum!
- Pro Tip: If a food processor is not accessible to you, simply use a whisk to combine all the ingredients. Your sauce will have a fun texture of minced garlic and cilantro leaves and still taste amazing, regardless.
You may want to make this sauce in big batches – it will go great on just ANY dish, whether it’s fish tacos, grilled chicken, or baked salmon. I might even use it as a flatbread dip.
Step One: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel before transferring them to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt to the bowl. Let the shrimp marinate for 30 minutes.
Step Two: On one side of your baking pan, arrange the marinated shrimp in a single layer. To the other half of the pan, add pineapple and shallots. Toss the pineapple and shallots with the remaining extra virgin olive oil.
Step Three: Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the shrimp is cooked. Cooked shrimp has an orange-pink hue, and would have shrunken or curled into a C-shape. Broil for 1 minute until the pineapple has charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Pro Tip: This is a great time to warm up your tortillas. I wrap some corn tortillas in foil and let them warm up right alongside the sheet pan. That way, I’m cooking both components simultaneously and they can be ready at the same time.
Step Four: While the oven is doing its magic, make the cilantro lime sauce and coleslaw. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth. Half of the shrimp taco sauce will be tossed into the coleslaw mix, while the other half will be drizzled over your tacos.
Step Four: Assemble the tacos. Lay down a layer of slaw in a warmed tortilla, then add a mixture of cooked shrimp, pineapple, and shallots. Top with avocado (optional), feta cheese (optional), and cilantro, before drizzling the tacos with some creamy cilantro lime sauce.
Best Taco Toppings
I love the idea of a taco bar. I mean… what better way for your guests to customize their own tacos with a variety of toppings available? These are some of my favorite taco toppings to complement the sweet and zesty flavor of our shrimp tacos:
- Sliced avocados – Avocados are creamy and mild, but alongside the cilantro cream sauce and the pineapples, they will definitely stand out. Better yet, make a bowl of delicious guac with those avocados.
- Feta cheese – Chopped (or crumbled) savory feta will make up for the lack of cheesiness in this recipe.
- Pico de gallo – An authentic Mexican salsa that’s fresh and zingy? Count me in!
- Grilled corn kernels, black beans, and jalapeño – You cannot go wrong with these three simple ingredients. Place them in individual bowls and let your guests take as much or as little as they like.
Shrimp Taco Recipe
- 2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Lime juice
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon course sea salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple chunks Pro Tips: You can purchase this at many grocery stores pre-cut (optional)
- 4 shallots thinly sliced
Cilantro Lime Sauce + Slaw:
- 1 ½ cups full fat sour cream (can sub for full fat greek yogurt)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped, stems removed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime zested + freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon course sea salt
- 3 cups coleslaw mix
- warmed Tortillas flour or corn
- avocado sliced (optional)
- feta cheese chopped or crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel before transferring them to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin and sea salt. Let shrimp marinate for 30 minutes.
- Arrange in a single layer on one side of the pan your marinated shrimp. To the other half of the pan add pineapple and shallots. Toss with remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until the shrimp is cooked. Turn your oven to broil and broil for 1 minute, until the pineapple has charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
TO MAKE CILANTRO LIME SAUCE + SLAW
- To make cilantro lime sauce add all the sauce ingredients to the food processor. Mix until smooth.
- Place the cole slaw in a large bowl. Drizzle ½ of the cilantro lime sauce on top of the cole slaw, then toss until the mixture is evenly combined. Add more if needed. Leave the other half of the Cilantro Lime Sauce to drizzle over your taco.
- To assemble tacos, lay down a layer of slaw in a warmed tortilla, then add a mixture of shrimp, pineapple, shallots and top with avocado, feta cheese, cilantro and drizzle with a little Cilantro Lime Sauce.