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Easy Shrimp Tacos

5 from 2 votes

posted: 05/05/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

These Easy Shrimp Tacos are light, fresh, and so full of flavor! Simple and easy to make, they’re ideal for a busy weeknight meal.

close up front view of a shrimp taco recipe with tacos on either side, tacos are garnished with red and green cabbage and visibly seasoned, they also have cilantro creamy on them and are on a rimed metal baking sheet

You. Guys.

It is Cinco de Mayo AND Taco Tuesday. On. The. Same. Day. As a lover of tacos and margaritas and all things delicious, this feels like a small miracle. Tacos and I are like star crossed lovers and this is OUR day.

I am pretty hard core missing my favorite taco restaurant. I got take out from them the other day, and it was amazing, but I decided I needed to be able to make awesome tacos like them at home.

Enter these incredible and easy Shrimp Tacos.


These tacos are very simple to make, and require just a few spices and ingredients.

We start by seasoning the thawed and raw shrimp with taco seasoning. I’m breaking it down to exactly how much you need to make this recipe, but I strongly encourage you to keep a big batch of my taco seasoning on hand. You will need 3 tablespoons of it for this recipe.

After thawing the shrimp pat them down. The thawing process leads to shrimp that are very wet. Simple put the shrimp on a paper towel lined plate and pat them down to remove excess liquid before marinating.

Add the shrimp, taco seasoning, oil, and a little lime juice to a bowl. Let it sit, covered, in your refrigerator for 15 – 20 minutes. We are marinating the shrimp and allowing the acid in the lime juice to break down and penetrate just the first layer of the shrimp.

After they have marinated for a little bit, add them to a hot skillet. You want to add just enough to the skillet so that they are in a single layer. Cook only for about 2 to 3 minutes, flipping in between. We want to cook them until they turn pink. If you cook too long they will be chewy and unappetizing.

Cook them in batches, returning them to a clean plate and losely covering them while cooking the next batch.

overhead view of a bowl of raw shrimp marinating in a combination of taco seasoning, oil, and lime juice with lime wedges next to the bowl


The sky is the limit with how to top these easy shrimp tacos. I made some cilantro creama to go on top and then added red and green cabbage. Here are some other great options:

  • My Pineapple Salsa might be my favorite way to eat tacos.
  • Another great option is this Corn Salsa. It’s perfect with shrimp.
  • Finally, you could just go with a little guacamole.
overhead view of three shrimp tacos on a rimed small metal baking sheet, topped with pineapple salsa with lime wedges on the white wood surface around them


In general, Crema is like a thin sour cream that has an added flavoring to it. Cilantro Crema is exactly like it sounds. It has a great cilantro flavoring with a little lime juice and salt. It is perfect for these tacos.

  1. Add sour cream, cilantro, and a lime juice to a blender or food processor.
  2. Process until it is smooth.

This part of the recipe is best eaten the day it is made.

Please note that you may want to add only half the lime juice and salt that the recipe calls for. After the initial processing, you can always add more to taste.

overhead view of three shrimp tacos in corn tortillas garnished with cilantro cream and green and red cabbage on a small baking tray with lime wedges around them


If you are making a big Cinco de Mayo spread for your family, I have some other great options. Plus, all of the toppings listed above would make great dips.

If you make any of my recipes or this shrimp taco recipe, I would love if you would come back and leave me a comment! Hearing from you makes my day.

slightly pulled back front view of easy shrimp tacos that are garnished with red and green cabbage on a rimmed baking sheet with two lime wedges in the background and one in the foreground
overhead view of three shrimp tacos in corn tortillas garnished with cilantro cream and green and red cabbage on a small baking tray with lime wedges around them
5 from 2 votes

Easy Shrimp Tacos

Serves: 12 tacos
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 36 minutes
These Easy Shrimp Tacos are light, fresh, and so full of flavor! Simple and easy to make, they're ideal for a busy weeknight meal.


  • 2 pounds raw frozen shrimp, deviened and peeled thaw according to package instructions
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (please see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage optional
  • 12 corn tortillas

Cilantro Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (see note 2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Pat the shrimp down with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid that accrued during thawing.
  • In a measuring cup, mix together the chili powder, paprika, kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper with the olive oil and lime juice. Pour over the thawed shrimp in a large bowl, and mix to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. (Move on to making the Cilantro Crema and shredding the cabbage.)
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough shrimp to the skillet to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Cook for 4 to 5 mintues, flipping once half way through. Cook so that the shrimp turn pink, but before they compltely curl in on themselves.
  • Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate. You will need to cook the shrimp in mutliple batchs.
  • Add shrimp, shredded cabbage, and cilantro creama to the corn tortilla shells and enjoy. Consider also making pineapple salsa or corn salsa to go on top!

Cilantro Crema

  • Add the sour cream, cilantro, 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until fully combined. Taste and add the rest of the lime juice and kosher salt a little at a time to taste.


  1. You can replace the spices in this recipe (from the chili powder down to the cayenne pepper) with 3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning or a 1 ounce packet of store bought taco seasoning.
  2. I recommend adding half the lime juice and salt when you initially blend this. Taste the recipe and add more to taste.
Serving: 1taco Calories: 133kcal (7%) Carbohydrates: 21g (7%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 2mg (1%) Sodium: 406mg (18%) Potassium: 278mg (8%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 3IU Vitamin C: 17mg (21%) Calcium: 2mg Iron: 5mg (28%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
overhead view of three shrimp tacos in corn tortillas garnished with cilantro cream and green and red cabbage on a small baking tray with lime wedges around them

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Easy Shrimp Tacos

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says

    These tacos are simply perfect!!! <3

  2. Rachel @ Rachel Cooks says

    I’ve been craving a lighter meal like this in the midst of all the stews and pumpkin. Looks amazing!

  3. Romayne L Andel says

    Shrimp Tacos an d Pineapple are awesome. as usually everything is great thanks

    • Lisa Longley says

      So happy you like them Romayne!

  4. John Pearsoni says

    Excellent quick & easy shrimp tacos. I added 1/4 cup chopped cabbage and 1 cleaned jalapeno to the blender for the cilantro crema… wasn’t necessary but turned out good.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad you liked them John!

  5. Dawn says

    Can you use already cooked shrimp for this recipe?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I don’t think this is a good recipe for that. The shrimp really takes on the flavors while marinating and cooking. If you use precooked shrimp, it just won’t be the same. What might be delicious is precooked shrimp with something crunchy like cabbage or cut up jicama and my pineapple salsa.

  6. Martha simmons says

    Very good limited fats. This is very important to those of us that need to limit fats!

  7. Clarice says

    this really was very easy and turned out well. Went basic this time will try a pineapple salsa next t ime. I always have everything prepped and ready for When I cook the shrimp.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked them, Clarice!

  8. Julia says

    Do you have recipe just for two people?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I don’t have recipes specifically for two people, but I do my best to include instructions on freezing leftovers where appropriate. Also, many of my recipes can easily be cut in half. If you hover over the serving sizes, you can scale them back.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners