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Blackened Shrimp Tacos merge the smoky heat of the American South with the zest of Mexican cuisine, delivering an exciting and delectable fusion. These tacos are the answer when you crave a dish that packs both a punch in flavor and a whirlwind of textures. Made in just over 30 minutes, they’re perfect for a weekend gathering or a laid-back evening with family.

Blackened Shrimp Tacos photographed from the top.

Succulent shrimp coated in classic Southern Blackened Seasoning are seared to perfection, cradled in slightly charred corn tortillas and topped with a crisp, refreshing slaw and silky cilantro lime crema. Every bite is a tantalizing blend of bold flavors and contrasting textures, celebrating the union of these two culinary traditions.

Ingredients for Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Blackened Shrimp Tacos Ingredients on a granite surface.

For the Tacos

  • Medium Shrimp: Whether you’re opting for fresh or frozen shrimp, be sure they have a clean, slightly salty or “ocean-like” aroma. Fresh shrimp should be firm to the touch and translucent. If you’re using frozen shrimp, make sure they’re properly thawed before cooking.
  • Olive Oil: Use the same extra-virgin olive oil as above.
  • Blackened Seasoning: You can choose a store-bought version or make your own blend at home.
  • Tortillas: Choose fresh corn tortillas that are pliable without any cracks.
  • Butter: If the blackened seasoning you’re using is already salty, you may want to use unsalted butter to strike the right flavor balance.
  • Jalapeño: Look for firm jalapeños with smooth skin.
  • Lime: Essential for that fresh citrusy finish.

The Slaw

  • Cabbage: Choose a cabbage head that feels heavy for its size with crisp, tightly packed leaves.
  • Radishes: Look for firm radishes with smooth skin and a bright color.
  • Green Onion: Opt for green onions with vibrant green tops and firm white bulbs.
  • Olive Oil: Pick a good-quality extra virgin olive oil with a fresh aroma.
  • Lime: Look for limes with smooth skin and a slight give when lightly pressed.
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cilantro Lime Crema

  • Sour Cream or Mexican Crema: Choose a full-fat version for a rich and creamy texture.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Look for bright green leaves without any yellowing or wilting.
  • Lime: Use fresh limes for the best zest and juice.
  • Garlic: Choose plump bulbs with taut, unbroken outer skins.
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Blackened Shrimp Tacos photographed from the top with slaw and garnishes visible.

Recipe Tips

  • Shrimp Prep: Buying shrimp that are already peeled and deveined can save you time. If you do it yourself,  be sure to remove the vein running along the back of the shrimp for the best texture and flavor.
  • Variable Seasonings: The potency of store-bought blackened seasoning can vary a lot. Taste it first, and adjust the amount you use based on your preference. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
  • Tortilla Toasting: Charring your tortillas slightly adds a layer of smoky flavor. Don’t skip this step; it makes a big difference in the overall taste of your tacos.
  • Crema Consistency: If your crema or sour cream is too thick to drizzle, consider thinning it slightly with a dash of milk. 
  • Slaw Mix: Try to prepare the slaw a bit in advance. Letting it sit allows the flavors to meld together for a more balanced taste.
  • Heat Level: If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, remove the seeds from the jalapeños. Conversely, if you love a kick, slice the jalapeños thicker or add more.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos photographed from the top.

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How to Make Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Mix cabbage, radish, green onion, olive oil, and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, mix, and chill.

Stir sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, zest, and garlic together in a bowl. Adjust salt and pepper; chill.

Coat shrimp in olive oil and blackened seasoning in a bowl. Warm each tortilla in a hot skillet until lightly charred, then wrap in foil to keep warm. In the same skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Sear shrimp for about 2 minutes each side. Fill tortillas with shrimp, top with slaw, cilantro lime crema, and optional jalapeño and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe Video

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Southern
Calories: 192
Servings: 12 tacos
Tacos that fuse Southern smokiness with Mexican zest, for a tantalizing blend of bold flavors and contrasting textures.

Ingredients  

For the Slaw

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice from about 1/2 a lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Cilantro Lime Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema (thinned with milk as needed for drizzling)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving
  • 1 medium lime juice and zest
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Tacos

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning store bought or homemade (recipe note #1)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • thinly sliced fresh jalapeño optional
  • fresh lime wedges for serving

Instructions 

To Make Slaw

  • Combine cabbage, radish, green onion, olive oil and lime juice in a medium bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Make the Cilantro Lime Crema

  • In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and garlic; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Tacos

  • Add shrimp to a large bowl; drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with blackened seasoning. Toss well to coat; set aside.
  • Place a large piece of aluminum foil near cooktop. Heat a large, dry, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add one corn tortilla; cook 30 seconds on each side until softened and lightly charred. Transfer to aluminum foil and fold around tortilla to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Leave skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add remaining olive oil and butter to skillet and stir until sizzling. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes; flip with a thin spatula and cook about 2 minutes more, until shrimp is just cooked through. Remove from heat.

Assemble Blackened Shrimp Tacos

  • Divide shrimp among warm corn tortillas and top with slaw and drizzle with cilantro lime crema; garnish with cilantro and fresh jalapeño slices (if desired). Serve with lime wedges.

Notes

  1. It’s easy to make homemade Blackened Seasoning in about 5 minutes with spices you may have on hand!

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. Valentina says:

    Is it weird that I want blackened shrimp tacos for breakfast!? 😉 Seriously, these look/sound so amazing. I love your seasoning mix. That, I need to make and have on hand for sure. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      haha…not weird at all! Thanks so much, Valentina.

  2. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    I love blackened anything, and I also love tacos – so I know these blackened shrimp tacos would be a huge hit here in our house!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      haha, perfect! I love to hear that, David.

  3. Chef mimi says:

    Fabulous! I love everything about these. Salmon would work really well with your seasoning mixture also. Salmon tacos are really good, too.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thank you, Mimi! I agree about the salmon!