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Easy Grilled Shrimp Tacos

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Ready for a twist on your typical taco night? Try these quick and easy Grilled Shrimp Tacos. The best part? It’s ready in about 15 minutes with simple ingredients, including a bagged cabbage shortcut from the grocery store.

grilled shrimp tacos with cotija cheese and avocado


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Grilled Shrimp Tacos

If you need a simple and fast dinner idea, these tacos hit the spot!

Ingredients for Shrimp Tacos

Randa and Stacie Canadian food bloggers in their kitchens

Tip: Save time by buying large shrimp that are peeled and deveined. You can find this in the seafood section or the frozen section at your supermarket.

PS: If you love shrimp, you gotta try our Instant Pot Shrimp Boil recipe.

Love all tacos? These Pork Belly Tacos hit the spot for comfort food with a sweet and tangy flavor.

Need a dessert? This Jello Strawberry Cake recipe is a great one to bring to a cookout.

Shrimp Tacos Toppings

I love a variety of toppings when it comes to tacos. It’s fun to build a taco bar and customize it to your liking (and it works so well when you’re feeding a crowd).

Here are a few seafood taco topping ideas:

  • Cotija cheese: This crumbly Mexican cheese adds a salty and tangy flavor that complements the shrimp and other ingredients. Sprinkle it on top of the tacos for an extra burst of deliciousness. Note: This isn’t easy to find in Canada (or at least the interior and northern British Columbia), I tend to use feta cheese as a substitute.
  • Lime wedges: Serve lime wedges alongside the tacos so that diners can squeeze fresh lime juice over the shrimp. It adds a bright and zesty citrus note that enhances the overall flavor.
  • Ranch dressing: If you enjoy creamy dressings, drizzle some ranch dressing over your tacos. It adds a rich and tangy flavor that pairs well with the grilled shrimp and other ingredients. Try this homemade ranch seasoning mix and add it to yogurt or sour cream.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves are a classic garnish for Mexican dishes. Adding a handful of cilantro on top of the tacos provides a refreshing and herbaceous element that complements the flavors of the shrimp.
  • Salsa: Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, a flavorful salsa can add a burst of freshness and tanginess to the tacos. Choose your favorite types, such as pico de gallo, salsa verde, or mango salsa, to complement the shrimp. Try this air fryer salsa recipe.
  • Guacamole: Besides using sliced avocado, you can take it up a notch by adding a dollop of homemade or store-bought guacamole. It brings a creamy and flavorful element to the tacos. You can also thin it out and make an avocado crema.
  • Sour cream: A dollop of sour cream can add a cool and creamy contrast to the spiciness of the shrimp. It also helps balance the flavors and adds richness to the tacos. You can also use Greek yogurt for a little extra protein too.
  • Hot sauce: If you’re a fan of heat, drizzle some hot sauce over your grilled shrimp tacos. Whether it’s a classic Mexican hot sauce like Cholula or Valentina or your favorite fiery sauce, it can bring an extra kick to the dish.
  • Pickled onions: Tangy and slightly sweet pickled onions can provide a delicious crunch and a tangy element to the tacos. They add a hint of acidity that complements the shrimp nicely. Here’s how to make pickled red onions.
  • Chipotle mayo: For a smoky and slightly spicy kick, consider adding chipotle mayo to your tacos. It adds creaminess and a subtle smoky flavor that pairs well with the grilled shrimp.
  • Diced tomatoes: Fresh diced tomatoes can bring a juicy and vibrant element to the tacos. They add a burst of freshness and add a nice contrast in texture.
shrimp tacos on a corn tortilla with cabbage and avocado

Leftovers and Storage

Store leftover shrimp on its own in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Reheat on the stove or microwave just until warmed through.  

You can also switch up the recipe and use the leftover shrimp for salads, bowls, and stir-fries.

What to Serve with Shrimp Tacos

Sides for Shrimp Tacos

If you’re looking for some fresh and easy sides for these seafood tacos, check these out:

  • Mexican Street Corn (Elote): Another corn-based side dish option is elote, which is Mexican street corn. Grilled corn is slathered with a mixture of mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, and Cotija cheese. It’s a tangy, savory, and slightly spicy treat.
  • Coleslaw: A refreshing and crunchy coleslaw pairs well with shrimp tacos. You can make a traditional coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing, or try a Mexican-inspired slaw with lime juice and cilantro. You can also try this Spicy Coleslaw recipe.
  • Tortilla Chips and Salsa/Guacamole: Offer a side of crispy tortilla chips with a bowl of fresh salsa or guacamole. It’s a simple and satisfying option that adds extra texture and flavor to the meal.
  • Mexican Salad: Create a vibrant salad with a mix of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, black beans, and avocado. Dress it with a zesty lime vinaigrette for a light and refreshing side.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Prepare a medley of roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. Toss them with olive oil, garlic, and Mexican spices before roasting until tender and slightly caramelized.
  • Raw Veggies: Make it easy on yourself tonight and grab a veggie tray from the store, or cut up your own and serve.

Tools you’ll need

A grill basket is helpful to prevent ticking. No bbq? Try a grill pan.

Beverage Pairings for Shrimp Tacos

  • Margaritas. A traditional lime margarita or mango would be delicious with this dish.
  • Mexican Beer: Keep it cool with a Mexican beer like Corona, Modelo, or Dos Equis.
  • Citrus-Infused Water: Want a non-alcoholic option? Infuse water with slices of lime, lemon, or orange. It’s simple and refreshing.
  • Iced Tea: Chill out with a glass of iced tea – whether it’s classic black tea, green tea, or herbal tea. Just keep it lightly sweetened or unsweetened to avoid overpowering the taco flavors.
  • Fruit Infused Mocktail: Get creative by mixing fresh fruits like berries or tropical fruits with sparkling water or soda. It’s a fun and fruity mocktail that adds a burst of flavor to your meal.
  • Sparkling Water with a Twist: If you want something simple and bubbly, go for sparkling water with a squeeze of lime or a splash of your favorite fruit juice. It’s a light and fizzy option that keeps things refreshing.
lifting seafood tacos to eat

Wine Pairings for Shrimp Tacos

When it comes to pairing wine with grilled shrimp tacos, you’ll want to consider wines that complement the flavors of the dish without overpowering it. Look for citrus notes on the back of the bottle.

That being said, I believe in throwing out the rules and drinking what you enjoy. Here are a few wine options that can work well:

  • Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp and refreshing white wine pairs nicely with seafood. The citrusy notes and lively acidity can complement the tanginess of lime in the tacos.
  • Rosé: A dry rosé wine with its fruity and floral characteristics can provide a versatile pairing option. It offers a balance between red and white wine, making it a great choice for the diverse flavors in the tacos.
  • Riesling: If you prefer a slightly sweeter wine, an off-dry Riesling is for you. The sweetness can counterbalance the spiciness of the shrimp seasoning while harmonizing with the other flavors.
  • Verdejo: Verdejo wines offer a combination of vibrant acidity and aromatic intensity. They can provide a nice contrast to the richness of the shrimp and the creaminess of the avocado.

FAQs about Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Here are a few tips to prevent shrimp from sticking:

  1. Make sure your grill is clean and hot before grilling.
  2. Give the grill grates a light coating of oil before adding the shrimp. This creates a barrier and prevents sticking. You can use a heatproof basting brush or paper towel dipped in oil.
  3. Use a Grill Basket. It helps with sticking and keeps smaller shrimp from falling through the grates.
  4. Overcooking can make them stick, so don’t cook for more than 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Be gentle when you flip.

Use a stovetop grill pan with or without the skewers.  No matter the method, shrimp cook fast, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Overcooked shrimp can be rubbery, so keep an eye on them.

Yes, you can, just thaw them first.

Tip: to thaw them quickly, place the frozen bag in a bowl full of water.

Squirt a little lemon or lime juice over them to prevent the avocado from browning.

How to Make Shrimp Tacos

  • If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes first.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the seasoning, oil, garlic, and lime juice.
  • Add the shrimp to the bowl and stir well to coat them with the mixture.
  • Thread the shrimp onto the skewers if desired, or place them directly in a grill pan or grill basket on an outdoor grill.
  • Heat the grill to medium temperature and cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side. They’re done when they turn opaque and start to become pink.

Fill each tortilla with the cabbage mix, avocado slices, and cooked shrimp.

Voila! Grilled shrimp tacos!

More Easy Grilled Recipes

If you’re looking for more BBQ ideas, we think you’ll love these:

Try our Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry and Instant Pot Shrimp Boil.

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor with these grilled shrimp tacos! Seasoned shrimp, crunchy cabbage, creamy avocado, and tangy lime come together in a mouthwatering combo. Customize with optional toppings like cheese, lime wedges, ranch, and cilantro.
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe
shrimp tacos on a corn tortilla with cabbage and avocado
Prep Time:2 minutes
Cook Time:13 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes

Ingredients
 

Topping Ideas

Instructions

  • In large bowl, combine seasoning, oil, garlic, and lime juice. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Tails can be removed before or after cooking.
    1 lb large raw shrimp, 1 tablespoon chili or taco seasoning, 2 cloves garlic, Juice from ½ lime, 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers (if using wooden please soak them for at least 30 minutes first) if desired or place directly in grill pan or grill basket on outdoor grill.
  • Heat to medium temperature and cook shrimp about 2-3 minutes on each side. You’ll know they are done when they are opaque and start to turn pink.
  • Warm tortillas in a pan, directly on grill, or over flame of gas stove (optional).
  • Fill each tortilla with cabbage mix, avocado slices, and shrimp. Top with cotija cheese, a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of ranch dressing, and cilantro (optional).
    8 corn tortillas, 2 cups cabbage mix, 1 avocado, Cotija cheese, Lime wedges, Ranch dressing, Cilantro

Notes

Save time by buying large shrimp that are peeled and deveined. You can find this in the seafood section or the frozen section at your supermarket. 
You can also used bagged coleslaw mix as a short cut.
Outdoor grill: you will need to put them on skewers or use a grill basket made for the barbeque. 
BBQ: soak wood skewers in water for 10 minutes to prevent them from burning on the BBQ.  You can also use metal skewers. 
No BBQ? Use a stovetop grill pan with or without the skewers.   No matter the method, shrimp cook fast, about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Overcooked shrimp can be rubbery, so don’t over cook.
Corn tortillas. You’ll want to cook them a bit.  When cooking in the pan or grill, just flip after one side has started to brown (about 30 seconds).  If using an open flame on your gas stove, this process will be much faster, so flip every 10 seconds.  
Storage: Store leftover shrimp in container in refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Reheat on stove just until warmed through. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (2 tacos)Calories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 20gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 677mgPotassium: 574mgFiber: 8gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1175IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 2mg
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 383kcal


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