Easy Shrimp Tacos

These easy shrimp tacos are ready in 30 minutes! The shrimp are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce made with chili seasonings, honey, lime juice, and garlic. Serve the shrimp and sauce on warm tortillas with a simple creamy cabbage slaw for a great weeknight dinner.

close-up shot of a shrimp taco.

In my world, the best shrimp tacos are easy shrimp tacos and this recipe hits that mark. You can have everything cooked and assembled in about 30 minutes. I repeat, total time 30 minutes to delicious shrimp tacos with a sweet and spicy sauce and creamy Mexican inspired coleslaw. They’re so fast there’s time to make a margarita to go with them.

What I love about this recipe is the sauce. It has all the flavors you expect like a chili powder, cumin, lime juice, and garlic with a touch of honey for sweetness. You cook the shrimp in it and then you reduce it until it’s thick and glossy and a little sticky.

It’s so good and it’s so easy. 30 minutes easy, remember? You have to try it because there’s a taco Tuesday every week and a new recipe to try is always a good thing.

Ingredients

  • Finely chopped garlic cloves
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Medium shrimp

How to Cook the Sauce and Shrimp

Place everything but the shrimp in a large skillet. Mix well to combine and then bring the sauce to a simmer over medium high heat.

Once it’s simmering, add the shrimp and stir to coat them in the sauce. Saute them in the sauce for four to five minutes or until they are pink and opaque. The sauce will be thin at this point, which is fine. No worries here.

Take the shrimp out of the pan and place them in a large bowl. Bring the sauce to a boil in the skillet and boil it until it thickens.

Pour the thickened sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat them. You can also reserve some of the sauce to spoon over the shrimp once you’ve assembled the tacos.

Assemble the Tacos

Make the cabbage slaw by combining shredded purple or green cabbage with sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) and salsa verde (details are in the recipe card!). Pile it on warm flour tortillas, top with the saucy shrimp, and garnish with fresh cilantro and serve them with lime wedges. So good. Want more topping options?

  • Add a dollop of sour cream
  • Add some diced jalapeno or red onion or both!
  • Some diced avocado would not be a bad idea
  • Or spoon some guacamole on top

A Few More Tips

To make it a little easier use your favorite taco seasoning mix instead of the individual spices. A generous tablespoon would be a good amount. If you like spicy shrimp add more cayenne pepper.

The prep time is pretty quick, but to make it even faster save yourself the chopping and sub the fresh garlic for garlic powder. Use a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead (or up to a teaspoon if you like it garlic-y). I prefer fresh garlic, but sometimes a shortcut is nice.

I love these with small flour tortillas, but you can use corn tortillas, too.

For the shrimp, I use a 16-ounce bag of medium frozen shrimp that are peeled. If you opt for frozen, you will need to thaw them first and then dry them thoroughly before cooking them. If you use fresh shrimp you will need to peel and devein them first.

Sometimes I skip the tortillas and make a shrimp taco bowl with the slaw, cooked rice, and the shrimp piled on top. It’s an easy way to switch things up.

Side Dish Ideas

Want some more easy recipes to go with your easy shrimp tacos?

I hope you give this shrimp taco recipe a try – especially if it’s a Tuesday because we all know that’s the day tacos are the most tasty.

Happy taco-making!

a plate of shrimp tacos.

More Taco Recipes

Print

Easy Shrimp Tacos

a plate of shrimp tacos.

These shrimp tacos are ready in 30 minutes! The shrimp are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce made with chili seasonings, honey, lime juice, and garlic. Serve the shrimp and sauce on warm tortillas with a simple creamy cabbage slaw for a great weeknight dinner.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American

Ingredients

Scale

For the Slaw

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For the Shrimp

  • 4 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 16 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp (see note)

For Serving

  • Flour tortillas (see note)
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Make the slaw first by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Keep it in the refrigerator while you prepare the shrimp and sauce.
  2. Combine the garlic, honey, olive oil, all the spices and seasonings, and the lime juice in a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, and add the shrimp to the sauce. Stir to coat them and cook them until they are opaque and pink. About four to five minutes. The sauce will thin as the shrimp cook, which is fine.
  4. Once the shrimp are cooked, take them out of the skillet and place them in a bowl. Leave the sauce in the pan and bring it back to a boil. Boil it until it thickens. This will take a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat them evenly. 
  6. To assemble the tacos, place some slaw in a tortilla and top it with some shrimp and sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Notes

For the shrimp, you can use fresh or frozen. If you use frozen ones you will need to thaw them first. I like to use a medium-size, which is the 21-25 count.

I like to use the small street taco tortillas for this recipe, which gives you approximately 8 tacos. You can also skip the tortillas and serve the shrimp over rice with the slaw for taco bowls.

The nutrition estimate is for the shrimp, sauce, and slaw only.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 203
  • Sugar: 11.3g
  • Sodium: 897.4mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.6g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Protein: 17.1g
  • Cholesterol: 151.3mg

Keywords: easy shrimp tacos, shrimp tacos recipe, shrimp taco sauce, shrimp tacos with cabbage

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