Shrimp tacos are a refreshing taste of the tropics thanks to the zesty avocado, mango and pineapple salsa. They’re easy to make and are a hit for any party or taco night.
Why you’ll love it: Shrimp tacos are easy to make, delicious to eat, and healthy, too.
How long it takes: 20 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large skillet, colander, mixing bowl
Servings: 4 (2 tacos each)
Just because it’s cold, wet, and snowy outside doesn’t mean that we have to eat stew 24/7. In fact, let’s make a deal NOT to do that, okay? Let’s enjoy pretty, fresh, and bright food and pretend the weather matches the food we’re creating and consuming.
Shrimp tacos loaded with tangy bits of fresh tropical fruit, creamy avocado, and citrusy cilantro fit the bill. They are colorful, tangy, and light. They feel like a special occasion.
After I made these shrimp tacos, I became completely obsessed with the mango avocado salsa, so much that I had to write an entire post about the salsa recipe alone. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, be sure to hop over there and try it ASAP! Mango avocado salsa makes any meal superb. It goes perfectly with fish tacos, too.
About These Shrimp Tacos
- Taco boats easily contain the filling so you can load them up. You probably noticed that the tacos are served in mini tortilla boats. Shrimp, boats, fishing, tropical, there’s a theme, right? While I admit that I love the little boats, there’s a practical purpose, too. The boats hold the filling very capably, much better than a normal tortilla. Don’t you hate it when you take that first bite of your taco and literally everything falls off? I know you do! Taco boats solve that problem. Can you serve the shrimp tacos in a regular tortilla? Of course!
- Shrimp tacos are healthy eating. Shrimp is a good source of lean protein; red cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse with lots of antioxidants and good fiber. Avocado, pineapple, and mango have loads of nutritional benefits.
- This recipe is easy to make. It really doesn’t take much time to throw together the tacos. Most of the prep work can be done ahead of time.
How To Make These Shrimp Tacos
Marinate the shrimp. The shrimp is marinated in a mixture of olive oil and pantry spices (garlic powder, chili powder, and ground cumin). You can marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes or even overnight.
Can you use frozen shrimp for tacos? Since I live in Michigan, frozen shrimp is usually the best choice. Shrimp doesn’t take long to thaw; simply put it into a colander and run cold water over it until it’s thawed. Any size will work for the shrimp tacos but bite-sized shrimp are easier to eat in a taco.
Prep the salsa. Peel (use a vegetable peeler) and dice up a mango. Cut a fresh pineapple into small pieces; you’ll need about a cup so you won’t be using the whole pineapple. Add a minced jalapeño pepper (remove the ribs and seeds first) and a quarter cup of minced red onions. Add a handful of fresh cilantro and a good squeeze of lime juice. Add diced avocados.
Make ahead tip: If you’re not planning on serving the salsa right away, put the pause button on the avocado. The salsa will keep well for a couple of days in the refrigerator without the avocado. The avocado can be added right before serving the salsa.
Shred red cabbage. The red cabbage makes a little nest for the shrimp and salsa. Why red cabbage? I love the color it provides and it’s also very nutritious. If you’re not a fan, substitute green cabbage or lettuce.
Sauté the shrimp. Once you have everything ready, heat up a skillet and give the shrimp a quick sauté. They only take a few minutes to cook.
Assemble the tacos. This recipe makes 8 tacos. Put a good pinch of red cabbage into each tortilla boat. Divide the shrimp evenly between each taco and top with salsa. That’s it! Your shrimp taco boats are ready to be devoured! Enjoy!
Change It Up
- Sub in corn or flour tortillas. If you can’t find the taco boats, lightly charred corn tortillas or small flour tortillas work just fine. Be sure to try my easy shrimp tacos recipe, too.
- Try a different kind of salsa. There are loads of choices. Try my citrus salsa made with grapefruit, oranges, and lime segments. Another one we love is black bean corn salsa.
- Wanna get outside? These shrimp tacos are fantastic with grilled shrimp, too. Or try grilled shrimp kabobs with pineapple. You’ll love the teriyaki marinade/glaze!
- Make shrimp fajitas. These sheet pan shrimp fajitas are also a great game day idea. Completely hands off once you get them in the oven, and only one pan to wash! Have everyone assemble their own fajitas once the pan comes out of the oven. Mango avocado salsa is fantastic with the fajitas, too.
Make Ahead Ideas
- Marinate the shrimp up to a day in advance. When you’re ready to serve the tacos, the shrimp can be cooked in less than 10 minutes.
- Prep the salsa up to a day ahead. Omit the avocado until you’re ready to serve the salsa so it doesn’t lose its texture.
- Shred the cabbage. It can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days.
side dishes To Serve With Tacos
- Mexican Corn Dip
- Mexicali Dip
- 7 – Layer Dip — always popular!
- Jalapeño Ranch Dip
- White Queso in the Slow Cooker
- Healthy Queso Dip (with butternut squash!)
- Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes (southwestern style)
- Easy Sautéed Fresh Corn
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this shrimp taco recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #40. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 oz. large shrimp (21/30 count), peeled, deveined and thawed
- 1 pkg. (6.7 oz.) flour tortilla taco boats (see note)
- 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage (or lettuce)
- mango avocado salsa
- In a medium-size bowl, mix together olive oil, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic powder. Toss shrimp in this mixture until all shrimp are coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat a skillet or a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. If you don’t have a nonstick skillet, you may wish to add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan before adding shrimp. Remove shrimp from marinade and cook on the hot pan until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping once.
- Place a small amount of red cabbage in the bottom of an Old El Paso Flour Tortilla Taco Boat. Top with shrimp and avocado salsa. Repeat until all the shrimp has been used.
- Corn tortillas (lightly charred) or small flour tortillas can be substituted for the taco boats.
- Nutrition information does not include salsa.
- Optional garnishes: Cotija cheese, cilantro leaves, squeeze of lime juice, thinly sliced radishes.
- Any extra salsa can be served with tortilla chips on the side.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.