shrimp tacos EXPLODING WITH juicy, flavorful cilantro lime shrimp complimented by sweet refreshing mango salsa and silky avocado crema!
These Shrimp Tacos are the BEST light, flavorful and filling shrimp tacos that rival any restaurant and on your table in 30 minutes! You can prep the toppings ahead of time for a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that tastes wonderfully gourmet. These Healthy Shrimp Tacos are unintentionally healthy and intentionally sensational. Wellness never tasted so good.
Thank you McCormick® for sponsoring this Shrimp Tacos post. All opinions are my own
Shrimp Taco Recipe
Taco Time! I love tacos in every form from my from to Taco Soup to nontraditional Asian Caramel Pork Tacos to straightforward Baja Fish Tacos, Tacos Al Pastor. and Chili Lime Chicken Tacos. It just doesn’t get better than tacos with their symphony of flavors and textures all in one bite – and in each and every bite. There is a reason there is a day of the week dedicated just to this food group and now you have a new reason to celebrate Taco Tuesday with these Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos!
These Shrimp Tacos join my long list of favorite taco recipes but are my first shrimp taco recipe! I don’t know what took me so long but these beauties are worth the wait. They are brimming with bright garlicky, fiestalicious cilantro lime shrimp, piled with sweet, refreshing, juicy Mango Salsa, and drizzled (or doused) in silkilicious Avocado Crema for mouthfuls of spicy, savory, sweet, tangy, creamy all in one mouthful.
How should I season Shrimp Tacos?
As we emerge from the depth of winter, I’m excited to share more better-for-you options WITHOUT sacrificing flavor AKA Shrimp Tacos! You all know I am big on seasonings because that is the difference between boring and bodacious.
McCormick is my favorite brand of spices with their robust flavors and uplifting ingredients. They can transform simple healthy recipes into restaurant tasting healthy recipes without packing on the calories. Like all my recipes, we are using quite a few McCormick spices in this Shrimp Taco Recipe and you will be able to taste the difference!
Once your shrimp is defrosted, we combine it with: garlic, lime zest, McCormick® Chili Powder, McCormick® Ground Cumin, McCormick® Smoked Paprika, McCormick® Dried Oregano, McCormick® Onion Powder,McCormick® Cayenne Pepper, McCormick® Salt and McCormick® Pepper.
These spice infuse our Shrimp Tacos with kicking flavor through and through so the flavor isn’t just surface level.
How to Defrost Shrimp for Shrimp Tacos
I love shrimp because it’s so convenient, you don’t have to chop any raw meat, and it cooks super quickly. If you keep frozen shrimp on hand, then you can make these Shrimp Tacos any night of the week! Once your shrimp is defrosted then it will cook up in minutes – literally.
- There are two options for defrosting your shrimp. To quickly defrost, place the frozen shrimp in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Place this sieve in a large bowl of cold tap water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water in the bowl with new cold tap water and resubmerge the shrimp. Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes. At this point the shrimp should be completely defrosted.
- The easier way to defrost your shrimp if you remember in advance is to remove your frozen shrimp to a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- Whatever you do, resist the urge to use warm tap water (and definitely NOT the microwave) as this will cause the shrimp to defrost and cook unevenly.
How to Make Shrimp Tacos
- Step 1 – Toss with seasoning: Toss your defrosted shrimp with all the spices, garlic and lime zest. If you are sensitive to heat or want to make these Shrimp Tacos extra kid friendly, you can omit the cayenne pepper although I don’t find the shrimp very spicy once loaded with sweet Mango Salsa and bright Avocado Crema.
- Step 2 – Marinate: Let sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature OR cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Either way, I like to use this time to prepare the Mango Salsa and Avocado Crema.
- Step 3 – Cook Shrimp: Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and let cook 1 minute without touching then continue to cook and stir for approximately 3-4 minutes or just until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Scrape shrimp and garlic/juices to a plate.
- Step 4 – Add Cilantro: Once the shrimp is cooked, toss it with cilantro and fresh lime juice to achieve a fresh, zesty, citrusy cilantro shrimp with just the right amount of kick.
- Step 5 – Assemble: Add shrimp to a tortilla followed by Mango Salsa, Cotija Cheese then Avocado Crema. Add additional lime juice and hot sauce if desired.
How do I grill Shrimp Tacos?
Instead of cooking shrimp for Shrimp Tacos on the stove top, you are welcome to grill your shrimp:
- Grease grill (I use a wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil).
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Place shrimp on the grill in a single layer.
- Cook shrimp just until opaque, about 1-½ – 2 minutes per side.
- Toss with cilantro and fresh lime juice according to recipe.
What is the Best Salsa for Shrimp Tacos?
My favorite salsa for Shrimp Tacos is Mango Salsa. Although Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa and Salsa Verde are fabulous, there comes a time and a place for sweet and refreshing salsa recipes. And that time is now. The time for juicy sweetness to cut through and compliment the tangy, earthy, garlicky, kicking cilantro lime shrimp.
This simple, colorful, juicy Mango Salsa is super easy to make and the. If you are intimidated by cutting mangos – do’t be! I just posted How to Cut A Mango that teaches everything you could ever want to know about mangos!
Can I make Mango Salsa Ahead of Time?
Your Mango Salsa can be made up to 24 hours ahead of serving your Shrimp Tacos and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Although the Mango Salsa is just a quick chopping of fresh mangos, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and a splash of lime juice, sometimes it’s nice not to have any chopping at all come dinner time. I also like making Mango Salsa in advance because I think the flavors get better over time.
Shrimp Taco Sauce
I am 1000% convinced this Avocado Crema is the best sauce ever for Shrimp Tacos.
If you’ve been following me for long at all, you know my love for Avocado Crema. I use it in practically every taco recipe and both Patrick and I prefer it hands down to guacamole or just avocados. It’s soooo creamy with just the right hint of lime, cumin, garlic and cilantro. Its coolness balances out the robust Mexican seasonings of the Shrimp Tacos and its silky texture marries all the components together.
Your Avocado Crema can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can make it earlier and store it for longer but you might notice a little discoloration.
Can I make Shrimp Tacos in Advance?
The most time consuming part of this easy Shrimp Tacos recipe is not the shrimp but rather the other components. To cut down prep work you can: 1) Defrost your Shrimp 2) Toss you Shrimp with Spices and 3) Make Mango Salsa all in advance so your shrimp tacos come together lighting fast at dinner time
Can I reheat Shrimp Tacos?
These Shrimp Tacos reheat beautifully. You can reheat the shrimp in the microwave for approximately one minute or until warmed through or in a skillet for about 2 minutes or until warmed through. Top Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Crema.
How Long Can I Store Shrimp Tacos?
These Shrimp Tacos don’t last long a our house but if you need to store them, your leftover Shrimp Tacos will store well in the refrigerator in airtight containers for 2-3 days. Make sure you store your shrimp, crema and Mango Salsa separately.
The Avocado Crema will keep for 1-2 days but be aware that it will darken in color due to the avocado but still be good. As in all leftovers, however, use common sense and toss it if it smells funny.
What Should I serve with Shrimp Tacos?
Any of the following would be fabulous!
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
- Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing
- Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
- Pina Colada Fruit Salad
- Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar Orange Glaze
- Mexican Street Fries with Salsa Ketchup
- and top it all of with Churros!
Looking for more shrimp recipes?
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Asparagus
- Thai Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Teriyaki Shrimp, Pineapple and Snap Peas
- Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta
- Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Avocado Shrimp Salad with Caribbean Dressing
You might also like these Mexican recipes:
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad
- Baja Fish Tacos
- Blackened Fish Tacos with Pineapple Cucumber Salsa
- Chili Lime chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- Customizable Wet Burritos
- Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Tacos
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Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
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Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- 1 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Lime zest
- 1/2 tsp EACH McCormick® chili powder, ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® salt, pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon McCormick® cayenne pepper optional for a kick
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 1 recipe Mango Salsa
- 1 medium avocado
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- Milk as needed to reach desired consistency
- 8 corn or flour tortillas
- Cotija cheese optional
- hot sauce optional
- shredded cabbage optional
Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Add all of the Shrimp Ingredients (except the “Add Later” ingredients) to a bowl and stir to combine. Let sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature. You can use this time to prepare your Mango Salsa and Avocado Crema. Instructions Below.
- To cook shrimp, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and let cook 1 minute without touching then continue to cook and stir for approximately 3-4 minutes or just until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Scrape shrimp and garlic/juices to a plate. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons lime juice and cilantro. Once cool enough to handle, you can chop off shrimp tails.*
- Add all of the Mango Salsa ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate.
Avocado Crema (optional)
- Add all the Crema ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. May make 4 hours ahead of time and refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Add shrimp followed by Mango Salsa, Cotija Cheese then Avocado Crema. Add additional lime juice and hot sauce if desired.
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