Best Shrimp Taco Recipe

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

healthy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado on a wood cutting board


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.

easy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado lined in a row on a brown cutting board

Best Shrimp Taco Recipe ingredients

  • Shrimp: Use large shrimp, 21-30 count (which means there are 21-30 shrimp in a pound). Large shrimp stay super juicy and boast a more appealing texture.
  • Olive oil: Use quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Limes: Please use fresh lime juice for this recipe because you will also need the zest. I like to freeze extra lime juice by the 1 tablespoon ice cubes so it’s always handy.
  • Garlic: Use four minced garlic cloves or you may substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder in a bind.
  • Seasonings: The shrimp is seasoned with chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper and optional cayenne pepper.
  • Cilantro: Mince the cilantro and then measure the 2 tablespoons.
  • Mango Salsa: Fresh sweet mangos are combined with a red bell pepper and cucumber for crunch, red onion for a balancing sharpness, jalapenos for heat, cilantro for a zesty punch, lime juice for brightness, and a few spices for dimension.
  • Avocado Crema: 1 avocado is combined with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), mayonnaise, lime juice, and spices for a dynamic fresh, bright, tangy, crema that marries all the ingredients together. Best of all, it only takes 5 minutes to make!

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.

showing how to make shrimp tacos by adding raw shrimp to a bowl with onion powder, garlic, paprika, ground cumin, for healthy Shrimp Tacos

How to Thaw 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 thawed then it will cook up in minutes – literally.

  • There are two options for thawing your shrimp. To quickly thaw, 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 thawed.
  • The easier way to thaw your shrimp (if you remember in advance) is to remove your frozen shrimp to a covered bowl and let them thaw 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.
showing how to make shrimp tacos by making mango salsa

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:

  1. Grease grill (I use a  wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil).
  2. Heat grill to medium heat.
  3. Place shrimp on the grill in a single layer.
  4. Cook shrimp just until opaque, about 1-½ – 2 minutes per side.
  5. Toss with cilantro and fresh lime juice according to recipe.

Can I make this Shrimp Tacos Recipe 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.

showing how to make Shrimp Tacos by tossing raw shrimp with lime zest, garlic and seasonings in a glass bowl

What Should I serve with Shrimp Tacos?

Any  of the following would be fabulous!

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!

showing how to make Shrimp Tacos by chopping mangos, red bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, lime on a wood cutting board

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.

showing how to make easy Shrimp Tacos by adding Mango Salsa to a white bowl

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.

best Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado lined in a row on a brown cutting board

How to store Cilantro Lime 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.

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.

up close of Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado being grabbed by a hand to eat

Looking for more shrimp recipes?

top view of easy shrimp tacos recipe lined in a row on a brown cutting board

You might also like these Mexican recipes:


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©Carlsbad Cravings by

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado lined in a row on a brown cutting board

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Cilantro lime shrimp tacos EXPLODING with tangy, punchy flavor complimented by sweet refreshing Mango Salsa and silky Avocado Crema! Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos are the BEST light, flavorful and fillings 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.
Servings: 8 -10 tacos
Total Time: 27 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp

  • 1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp (21-30 count per pound) 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

Add later:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Mango Salsa

Avocado Crema

  • 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



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.*

Mango Salsa

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.


*You can half the Mango Salsa Recipe if you don’t want any leftovers.

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  1. Lynn says

    I love all your taco recipes so much! Looking forward to making this recipe tomorrow!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lynn! I am so happy you are making these so soon. I hope you love them!

  2. Ali says

    Wow! Your recipes always make me drool! I have been making at least two new recipes of yours every since I found your site two months ago and we are hooked! Your recipes are so flavorful and truly restaurant quality. Thank you for sharing your talent and for all your hard work!

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness Ali, thank you for your incredibly kind, thoughtful comment – you made my day! I am so honored and flattered your family is loving my recipes and that you are trying so many! It is an absolute privilege to share them with wonderful, appreciative people like you! I hope you continue to have fun cooking my recipes and find many new family favorites!

  3. Lora says

    I made these for dinner tonight and they are fantastic! I don’t know how you so consistently have great recipes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy you made them already Lora and loved them! Thank you! and thank you for your kind words! I just love good food and only share what I love 🙂

  4. Shelley says

    Having a week of house guests. We will eat in so we can spend quality time together. With the variety of your marvelous taco recipes, we will be offering as much as any restaurant, and it will taste much better!

    • Jen says

      Eating is my favorite way to spend quality time together too – so many memories around food! Thank you for your kind words – I am sure your guests will enjoy the feast!

  5. laura says

    Another fantastic recipe! These were so full of flavor and looked so beautiful, we absolutely loved them. I have been trying a new recipe from your blog at least once a week and I can’t even pick a favorite because they are all so darn good. As you get older you sometimes get stuck making the same old things and you have helped me get out of my rut and introduce some exciting new flavors and ideas to our dinner table. I love all of the extra tips you share.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Laura! I am so happy you loved these tacos so much and am thrilled and honored you have been loving all my recipes! To hear my recipes have helped introduce you to new flavors and gotten you out of the cooking rut means so much to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and make my day!

  6. Lindsay says

    I made this last night!!! It was hands down amazing!!! There are no other words!!! Every recipe I have made from your website has been amazing!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for making me feel AMAZING! I’m so happy you loved this recipe so much! Thank you for trying my recipes and for taking the time to make my day!

  7. Ashley says

    I follow many food bloggers and have ordered numerous cookbooks. Nothing compares to your recipes!!!! They are simply the most delicious, crowd-pleasing ones out there. Everything has been amazing. Thank you for sharing with us and many prayers for you on your health journey. There’s nothing better than sharing delicious food with loved ones and I’m always excited to bring your recipes to life in my home.!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO much for your kind, flattering, uplifting comment Ashley, you absolutely made my day, my week! I am honored and humbled you are loving my recipes so much and they are coming to life in your home! Thank you also for your prayers, I know they make a difference. All the best to you and yours as well! xo

  8. Rosalva Arredondo says

    Hello. I’ve made so many of your recipes, especially love your chili lime chicken. Best ever!! Quick question. In your description of the avocado Crema, you mentioned cilantro but the actual recipe itself doesn’t say it has cilantro. Inwas planning to add. Making these tacos tonight. Yum! Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Rosalva, I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes! The recipe for the crema is correct without cilantro – sorry about that! Would you mind sharing where you see it in the description so I can correct it? Thanks!

  9. Danielle says

    My husband said these were the best shrimp tacos he’s ever had! The seasoning on the shrimp was delicious and went perfect with the mango salsa and avocado creme. The only item I left out was the jalapenos.

    • Jen says

      I’m sorry I’m just now responding to your comment but THANK YOU for making my day! I’m thrilled these shrimp tacos are the best your husband’s ever had! You guys have great taste 😉

  10. Mary says

    This looks delicious and looking forward to making it! Just wondering – how did you cook or heat your tortillas? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, it is super easy! To char my tortillas, I place them directly over the flame of my gas stovetop for a few seconds and flip using tongs.

  11. Dana says

    Hi Jen, I am totally obsessed with these tacos. The avo crema is EXACTLY what my shrimp/mango tacos were missing. Wondering if you know how many calories in this recipe? Thanks!

  12. Sara says

    I am obsessed with the Strawberry/Pineapple salsa on the Mahi Mahi fish tacos. Do you think that would work with the shrimp as prepared in this recipe?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely, that would be delicious!

      • Sara says

        Thanks! I made the shrimp tacos with the pineapple/strawberry slaw for Cinco de Mayo and it was a huge hit! Still licking my lips!

        • Jen says

          I love hearing that, thanks so much Sara!

  13. AF says

    Loved this Delicious shrimp recipe!
    One thing I may have mis-read was

    The spices, garlic & Lime juice & when to add them?

    I ended up adding the dry spices just before plating shrimp, then Fresh lime & lime zested.

    Re-read but I m a step by step type of cook, & think Recipe may not have said to add (the spices) when in pan?‍♀️

    Thank for recipe…

    • Jen says

      Hi Allie, I’m sorry it wasn’t more clear. You add the garlic and spices with the shrimp in step 1 where it reads:
      “Add all of the Shrimp Ingredients (except the “Add Later” ingredients) to a bowl…” Hope that helps!

  14. Dianne says

    I can’t say enough about this recipe. It is Fabulous!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Dianne, I’m so pleased you loved it!

  15. GiGi says

    Thanks for sharing so many good recipes! I am new to your website & I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes. I made these shrimp tacos tonight & impressed my man big time! I also made a version of the mango salsa but used pineapple instead of mango & it was great! I can’t wait to look thru more recipes to make for the upcoming holidays!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Gigi! I’m so pleased you loved this recipe and your pineapple salsa sounds perfect! I hope you continue to enjoy trying new recipes!

  16. Nesha says

    Super simple. So delicious. Very flavorful!!