Super Simple Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
These super simple Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa are such an easy, tasty dinner idea. They feature tender shrimp and sweet, tangy pineapple salsa all inside warm corn tortillas. These shrimp tacos make for a light, refreshing, quick meal that’s perfect for summer!
This is the ultimate way to do taco night! The fresh pineapple salsa is the perfect counterpart to the spiced shrimp. Not a pineapple fan? Try pico de Gallo instead or sub mango for the pineapple.
This post was originally published on June 7, 2015 and was updated June 9, 2020 with new content.
These shrimp tacos are quickly becoming one of my family’s favorite dinner options. And every time I make a recipe with shrimp, I ask myself why I don’t cook with it more often.
In addition to being healthy, shrimp cooks in a matter of minutes, making it ideal for fast weeknight dinners. The sautéed shrimp in these tacos cooks in fewer than five minutes, which is just enough time to pour yourself something fun to sip. Have you tried my skinny jalapeño margaritas? They pair perfectly with these tacos or any tacos! And don’t forget to make my 5 ingredient Mexican rice to serve on the side!
How do you make shrimp tacos?
Since this recipe moves so quickly once you get the shrimp cooking, I like to make the pineapple salsa first. Then I coat the shrimp in chili powder and lime juice. The shrimp are seared until golden brown, which only takes about 1-2 minutes per side. You definitely don’t want to overcook shrimp! I recommend heating the tortillas according to package instructions and this can be done while the shrimp is cooking.
The final step is to assemble your tacos with corn tortillas, shrimp, pineapple salsa and any other fun toppings. We like to add sliced avocado or guacamole and fresh cilantro. If you would like a sauce for your shrimp tacos, try this creamy sauce that I make when I serve fish tacos.
How do you peel shrimp?
This recipe calls for raw shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. While fresh shrimp are great, most of the time, I purchase raw, frozen shrimp. Frozen shrimp is usually less expensive, and because you can purchase it already peeled and deveined, it puts one less step between me and my plate of shrimp tacos.
If your shrimp have shells on them, you can easily remove them by pulling the main part of the shell off with your fingers, then removing the tail end of the shell. To devein the shrimp, use a paring knife to cut a slit along the top of the shrimp, then use the knife, your fingers or a wooden skewer to remove the vein. I do this under running water in the sink.
How do you know when shrimp is cooked?
Shrimp cooks really fast, so be sure to keep a close eye on it once you get it cooking!
- When shrimp is raw the flesh is a grayish color. As it cooks, it turns to an opaque whitish pink color.
- The shrimp should curl up into a loose “C” shape when properly cooked. If they have curled up into a tight “O” shape, then the shrimp is most likely overcooked. (An undercooked shrimp will still have some grayish spots on them and form more of a flexible “U” shape.)
How do you heat 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.
Tips for making shrimp tacos
- I like to use medium to large shrimp for tacos or fajitas. Any size will work, though, so use what you prefer. Cooking times vary, slightly, depending on the size of shrimp.
- You can thaw frozen shrimp in your refrigerator overnight. Or if you forget, to quickly thaw frozen shrimp, place it in a colander, then submerge the colander in cool water for about 20 minutes.
- The pineapple salsa can be prepared a couple of hours in advance.
- I typically use corn tortillas for these tacos, but flour tortillas are also a great choice.
Pineapple Salsa Recipe
This pineapple salsa is absolutely delicious and pairs so well with the shrimp! It features fresh pineapple, tomato, red onion, apple cider vinegar, honey and chopped cilantro. The pineapple salsa includes a little bit of fresh jalapeño for a kick – if you’re sensitive to spicy foods, make sure to take the ribs and seeds out of the pepper to considerably tone the spice level down. I like to use precut pineapple to keep this recipe super easy.
The pineapple salsa is actually great with just chips and would work well on grilled chicken or served over brown rice. The sweet juicy pineapple balances out the spice from the jalapeño and really takes this whole meal to the next level. I have to say the pineapple salsa really steals the show in this flavorful shrimp taco dinner. So fresh and tasty!
Shrimp Taco Variations
I typically make this recipe as written, but sometimes I switch things up a bit depending on the ingredients I have on hand.
- Protein: Instead of shrimp try a different type of seafood. I’ve used cod or salmon for a fun twist.
- Salsa: No pineapple on hand? You can use another fruit such as peaches, mango, papaya or even kiwi. Another great option is to add a diced avocado to the salsa.
- Toppings: Add some different toppings such as sliced avocado or guacamole, jalapeño slices, grated cotija cheese or pickled red onion.
Other Favorite Taco Recipes
If you try this shrimp taco recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves these tacos 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.
Absolutely the most perfect summer meal - light, refreshing and quick!
- 1 cup finely chopped pineapple
- 1 small to medium tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 minced jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- juice from 1 lime (2-3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 6 corn tortillas for serving
- optional garnish- guacamole, avocado slices, sour cream, cheese, jalapeño slices and/or fresh cilantro
- Prepare salsa by combining all salsa ingredients listed above, pineapple through honey, in a small bowl.
- Toss shrimp with lime juice, salt and chili powder in a medium bowl. Grease a large skillet with olive oil or spray with a nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
- Transfer shrimp to skillet and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side and until pink. Do not overcook.
Serve shrimp on warmed corn tortillas with salsa and any other favorite garnish.
Follow package instructions for heating tortillas. I like to cook them in a heated skillet for a minute or so on each side.
Make ahead: The pineapple salsa can be made up to 4 hours in advance.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.