Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
This recipe for shrimp tacos is seasoned shrimp layered with cabbage slaw, a creamy avocado sauce, chopped tomato, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime; all tucked inside warm tortillas. It’s a crowd-pleasing meal that’s quick, easy, and packed with flavor!
It doesn’t have to be Tuesday, in my house, for Taco Night! We regularly enjoy fish tacos, salmon tacos, turkey tacos or these delicious shrimp tacos. These taste amazing and are definitely better than anything you’d get in a restaurant.
When you want to boost your taco game and don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered! Shrimp tacos are such an easy way to make a light, fresh meal with seriously delicious flavors and really simple steps.
My husband even told me that he thinks this might just be the best meal I’ve ever made. 🙌🏻 I think I have to agree with him. These shrimp tacos are so incredibly flavorful and just plain awesome! And although there are several components, the whole meal comes together in less than 30 minutes. I typically use store-bought shredded cabbage, quickly whip up the avocado sauce in the food processor, and the shrimp takes only 5 minutes to cook. Usually, we serve everything taco-style. But, the shrimp and avocado sauce could also be served in a burrito bowl with coconut rice, pineapple salsa and beans. You could even add in lettuce to make salads. Lots of possibilities here!
This easy shrimp tacos recipe is so simple to make and totally versatile. Add your favorite toppings for a personalized taco and leave out whatever you don’t really like or don’t have on hand. Here’s what I like to use:
- Avocado sauce. This sauce is SO tasty and adds the perfect finishing touch to these tacos. It’s a simple combination of avocado, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, salt, olive oil and lime juice. Feel free to replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt, if preferred.
- Shrimp. I like using a small-sized shrimp for this recipe. Smaller shrimp are easier to tuck inside the tortillas with all of the other ingredients. I recommend taking the tail off because it makes the tacos easier to eat when wrapped in a tortilla.
- Spices. The homemade taco seasoning is so flavorful! I like making my own to control the ingredients and flavors. It’s a simple mix of chili powder, paprika and salt. For added deliciousness, the shrimp also cooks with 3 fresh cloves garlic and lime juice.
- Cabbage slaw. Toss red and green shredded cabbage with some of the avocado sauce for extra flavor.
- For serving. We served our shrimp tacos using flour tortillas, but corn work great (or use any favorite tortillas). We also added in diced tomato and avocado, fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cojita cheese. Feel free to add any favorite toppings that you prefer.
how to make this recipe
Making tacos has never been easier or more delicious with these flavorful shrimp tacos! You can have this mouth-watering meal on the table in less than 30 minutes, including prep! The shrimp doesn’t even need to be pre-seasoned or marinated, so that’s more time saved! Here’s the easy method:
- Make the avocado sauce. Combine all of the ingredients for the avocado sauce in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Cover and store this in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
- Prep the taco fixings. Shred the slaw and mix it with some of the avocado sauce, chop the tomato and avocado.
- Cook the shrimp. Season the shrimp and then cook it for about 5 minutes at medium-high heat in a hot pan or skillet.
- Assemble the tacos. In this order, fill warm tortillas with the slaw, shrimp, tomato, and avocado. Now, drizzle avocado crema over the top, add a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of cojita cheese. Enjoy!
how to know when shrimp is cooked
Shrimp cooks super quickly, so it’s important to watch it closely once you get it cooking!
- Raw shrimp is grayish in color. As it cooks, it turns to an opaque whitish pink color.
- You will know that the shrimp is cooked when it curls up into a loose “C” shape. If the shrimp curls up into a tight “O” shape, then it has most likely cooked too long. (An undercooked shrimp will still have some grayish spots on them and form more of a flexible “U” shape.)
how to warm tortillas
Whether you’re using flour or corn tortillas, you’ll want to warm them up following these instructions. It will help them to fold and hold ingredients without breaking. It will also make them more flavorful and the overall dish tastier. Here’s a few ways that you can warm the tortillas:
- Wrap a stack of 5 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-30 seconds at a time until warmed through.
- Place on a gas stovetop over a medium/low flame — place the tortilla right on the flame on the stovetop and flip after 10-15 seconds.
- Cook in a hot, dry skillet, griddle, cooktop, or grill grates — flip after 10-15 seconds.
Here are a few quick tips for making these easy shrimp tacos perfect every single time:
- I recommend buying shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined to make this dish go faster with less prep.
- If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure to let them completely thaw out before cooking. To quickly thaw frozen shrimp, place the shrimp in a mesh colander or sieve, then submerge the colander in cool water for 20-ish minutes.
- Feel free to add in a little extra chili powder or pinch of cayenne pepper if you prefer spicy shrimp tacos with an extra kick of spice.
Beyond the tacos, it’s nice to have some accompaniments to round out the meal. Here’s some ideas:
- Appetizer. Chips and salsa! This homemade salsa is a family and reader favorite. You’ll also probably want to stir up some fresh guacamole!
- Drinks. Don’t forget the skinny jalapeño marg, or if it’s summertime, my watermelon cocktail is a fan favorite.
- Sides. A simple batch of cilantro lime cauliflower rice or cilantro lime rice would pair perfectly with these tacos.
- Dessert. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies or no-bake cheesecake are always delicious options!
how to store and reheat
- Storing leftovers. Shrimp is best the day it is made, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The slaw and other fresh fixings can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and any extra sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Reheating leftover shrimp. Since shrimp tends to dry out when reheated, I prefer to use the leftovers on top of salads. However, you can rewarm the shrimp for about 20 seconds in the microwave or for a minute or two in a hot skillet on the stovetop.
- Large Cast Iron Skillet – You can really use any large skillet for cooking shrimp, but I prefer using a cast iron skillet because the heavy bottom retains heat. This ensures even cooking and cooks the shrimp quickly. Lodge is a great budget-friendly brand.
- Wüsthof Two Piece Prep Set (Knives) – This is the knife set that I use most often and I can’t say enough great things about these high-quality knives.
- Small Food Processor – I love this mini food processor for whipping up salad dressings, dips and sauces.
What I love best about this recipe is that it’s just so easy to make with minimal, fresh ingredients! These flavorful shrimp tacos are definitely going on my regular dinner menu rotation!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- juice of one lime
CHILI LIME SHRIMP
- 1 pound raw small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- juice of one lime
- 6-8 medium tortillas
- 1 cup finely shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1 avocado, cubed or sliced
- lime juice to top
- 1/4 cup Cotija cheese or another preferred cheese
- To make the avocado sauce, combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Store sauce, covered, in the fridge until you're ready to assemble tacos.
- Prep all of the taco extras – shred the slaw, chop the tomato and cut the avocado.
- In a medium bowl, add some of the avocado sauce (a few tablespoons) to the slaw and mix until well combined.
- In a medium to large bowl, toss shrimp with chili powder, paprika and salt. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Stir around for one minute, then add shrimp, stirring constantly until pink and no longer soft, about 5 minutes. Squeeze with the juice of one lime and remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Warm the tortillas and assemble the tacos. In this order: add the cabbage slaw, shrimp, tomatoes and avocado to the tortillas. Drizzle with more avocado sauce, squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle on the cheese.