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Grilled Shrimp Tacos are a 15-minute meal that’s perfect for your next cookout! Juicy marinated shrimp loaded into soft corn tortillas and topped with a colorful, creamy cabbage slaw.

For a true Mexican fiesta, round out the meal with some Elote (Mexican Street Corn), Authentic Mexican Rice, and Slow Cooker Mexican Beans.

Shrimp tacos with slaw and lime crema in a platter.
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Why We Love These Grilled Shrimp Tacos

These Grilled Shrimp Tacos are my favorite quick and easy summer grilling recipe. The shrimp are tossed with a flavorful marinade then threaded onto skewers and grilled for just a few minutes.

You can grill the tortillas if you want, or just microwave them so they are soft. Use flour or corn, your choice. Then load up your taco shells and you’re in business.

The cabbage slaw adds a nice hearty crunch and base to the tacos, and a creamy cilantro lime crema brings it all together. With a Classic Margarita in hand, this grilled shrimp taco recipe is going to be the highlight of the summer!

How To Make Shrimp Tacos

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Bowls of creamy sauce and cabbage, showing how to make cabbage slaw.

Step 1: Make the Toppings. Shred the cabbage and chop some fresh cilantro. Mix the cilantro lime dressing together. Set everything aside to let the flavors blend while you pre and grill the shrimp

Step 2: Preheat the Grill. You want a medium-high heat. If you have an indoor grill, you can make these tacos year round. Shrimp cooks very fast, so high heat is necessary to get that smoky char.

Bowl of marinade and a bowl of shrimp.

Step 3: Prepare the Shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp and remove the tails. Whisk vegetable oil and spices together and toss with the shrimp.

Step 4: Thread Onto Skewers. Carefully thread the shrimp on skewers. If using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20-30 minutes prior to grilling so they won’t burn.

Step 5: Grill. Place the skewers onto your preheated grill and cook for a couple of minutes per side. Use grilling tongs and a spatula to keep the shrimp from spinning when you flip them over.

Plate with a tortilla filled with cabbage, shrimp and a creamy sauce.

Step 6: Assemble Tacos and Serve. Grill tortillas if you like, or just throw them on the grill for a few seconds to soften them. Fill with cabbage slaw, shrimp, and top with the creamy cilantro lime sauce.

Key Ingredients

  • Shrimp – I like to use medium-sized shrimp for most shrimp recipes. They are the perfect size for stuffing into tacos and topping Shrimp Alfredo. Fresh shrimp will taste the best; if you’re lucky, the butcher already deveined them. Otherwise, you’ll have to do that yourself. While you’re at it, remove any shells and the tails.
  • Shrimp Taco Marinade – Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil, dried oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. You’re welcome to switch up these seasonings based on what you have on hand or use a tablespoon of taco seasoning.
  • Cabbage Slaw – Red and green cabbage, shredded very thin. Read all about how to shred cabbage in my Simple Cabbage Salad post. Then chop up some cilantro, and mix it up with the cabbage.
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing – For the dressing I just used sour cream and mayo combined with fresh lime juice, cilantro, and minced garlic.

FAQs

What is the best method for grilling shrimp?

Skewers! Threading the shrimp onto skewers ensure that they won’t fall through the grates and be lost forever. They also will cook at the same time, since they cook so fast.

Should you grill shrimp with the shells on or off?

You can grill shrimp with the shells on or off, but the preference is to remove the shells. Cold shrimp are easy to peel, but when they are hot they are a little more difficult. Plus when you are threading onto the skewers, the shells would just get in the wary.

How do you keep the tortillas warm?

Ideally, you can keep your tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer. If you don’t have one, you can wrap a stack of tortillas in a clean dish towel.

What do you do with leftover shrimp?

Leftover shrimp can be finicky, so I highly recommend making what you think you’ll eat. Leftovers will stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of days. They can become tough when reheated so I would recommend adding them to salads or just eating them on their own.

Taco Tips

  • I love the cabbage slaw for these shrimp tacos because it adds a much needed crunch. You could opt for lettuce if you prefer, or go with a sweet Mango Salsa instead.
  • If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20-30 minutes before grilling to keep them from burning to a crisp. To save yourself the trouble, get a set of these metal skewers for grilling and you’re set!
  • If you don’t have an outdoor grill, a grill pan on the stove works great.
  • Do not add lime juice to the marinade. The acid will start to “cook” the shrimp and they could become rubbery.
  • Other toppings could include fresh mango, diced avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, Pico de Gallo, or fresh limes to squeeze over the tacos.
  • Serve as a big spread with rice and beans, or as a lighter lunch with some tortilla chips and salsa or queso.
Couple of shrimp tacos.

More Mexican Recipes

Recipe

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

5 from 2 votes
Grilled Shrimp Tacos are a 15-minute meal that's perfect for your next cookout! Juicy marinated shrimp with a colorful, creamy cabbage slaw.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4 servings (2 tacos)

Ingredients
  

Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove finely, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Shrimp

  • 1 pound raw medium shrimp peeled, deveined & tails removed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Tacos

  • 8 6-inch flour or corn tortillas
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Instructions
 

Cabbage Slaw and Sauce

  • Whisk together sour cream, mayo, ¼ cup of cilantro, lime juice and minced garlic until well combined. Taste and add salt and pepper or more lime juice as needed. Set aside.
  • Combine cabbage and ¼ cup of cilantro in a medium bowl. Spoon some of the sauce over the cabbage and stir to coat. Add as little or as much as desired, and save the rest of the sauce to use as a taco topping.

Grilled Shrimp

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat (375-400℉). Keep the lid closed while it's heating.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and seasonings. Add shrimp and stir with a spatula until completely coated. Skewer shrimp, about 6-7 per skewer depending on size.
  • Grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Watch closely – if the tail begins curing inward, the shrimp will be overcooked. Remove from the grill and transfer to a platter.
  • Optional – Place tortillas on the grill, working in batches, and grill for 30 seconds per side or until lightly browned and beginning to puff up a bit. Transfer to a covered plate or a tortilla warmer.
  • Assemble tacos: Grab a single tortilla and add some cabbage slaw. Top with shrimp then spoon any remaining sauce over the top.
  • Serve immediately with lime wedges and additional sauce, chopped cilantro.

Notes

I used 31/40 sized shrimp so I could make a good amount of tacos. You can go bigger if you like, but I wouldn’t use a smaller shrimp.
Keyword shrimp, taco

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacosCalories: 451kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 6gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 836mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 432IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Julie Espy

Food nerd. Cocktail enthusiast. Carboholic. Bacon addict. Basset nuzzler. Boy mom. Come eat something delicious with me at Bread Booze Bacon!

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