Make these Grilled Shrimp Tacos when you want a fabulous summer meal in less than 30 minutes with no stove top required. Pile juicy, spicy grilled shrimp into lightly charred, warm tortillas then top with a crunchy cabbage and radish slaw and creamy shrimp taco sauce. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and dinner is served!
This is a summertime version of our favorite shrimp tacos, swapping in grilled shrimp and warming the tortillas on the grill instead of a cast iron skillet. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a meal outside when sunshine is calling.
Ingredients You Need to Make Grilled SHrimp Tacos
- Radishes: Look for firm, brightly colored radishes.
- Jalapeño: Look for a firm, bright green jalapeño pepper.
- Cabbage: Look for a head of cabbage that’s firm and heavy for its size.
- Shrimp: I recommend medium shrimp for their flavor and texture, but large shrimp will also work well.
- Corn Tortillas: This recipe uses standard, 6-inch diameter corn tortillas.
- Cilantro: Look for perky, bright green leaves and tender stems.
- Lime: Look for a deeply green lime that’s heavy for its size.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil isn’t essential here, so use whatever variety you have on hand.
- Cayenne Pepper: Feel free to increase or reduce the amount to manage the heat level of the shrimp.
- Sour Cream: You can also use Mexican crema.
- Mayonnaise: Use your favorite brand or skip it if you prefer and double the sour cream.
- Sriracha: Ideally one without preservatives.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: If you don’t have kosher salt, use 1/2 the amount of fine sea salt.
Tips for Perfect Grilled Shrimp Tacos
To have your tacos ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, the order of your preparation matters. Here’s a game plan.
- If you’re using bamboo skewers for your shrimp, get them soaking in water before you make the simple shrimp marinade.
- Get your grill preheating and then toss the shrimp in marinade and string them onto skewers.
- Have your slaw, creamy taco sauce, chopped cilantro and lime wedges ready to go.
- Head out to the grill and you’ll be ready to assemble your tacos in about 10 minutes.
How to Grill Corn Tortillas
There are a couple of keys to grilling great corn tortillas. One, cook them over direct heat just until hot and lightly charred. Don’t leave them on until they harden or they won’t fold well. Two, once they’re hot, stack and wrap them in a foil where they will stay warm and continue to soften. (If you prefer flour tortillas, you can warm them the same way.)
What goes well with shrimp tacos?
Grilled shrimp tacos are hearty enough to make a meal on their own, but here are a few great choices to go alongside.
- Easy Corn Salad (The perfect pair to these tacos with fresh corn cut from the cob, juicy tomatoes, and buttery avocado)
- Tortilla Chips with Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and/or Mango Salsa
- Arugula Salad (Light and satisfying with peppery arugula, buttery pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.)
What is Mexican style sour cream?
Mexican crema, also called cream espesa, is a combination of buttermilk and heavy cream that may be prepared with lime juice and salt, with a tangier flavor and thinner texture than sour cream. It’s similar in consistency and flavor to French crème fraîche. Sour cream, Mexican crema, or crème fraîche work well in this recipe.
Though these Grilled Shrimp tacos are festive enough for a weekend get together, they’re easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. Try this taco recipe once and I bet you’ll be making it all summer long! And if you get a craving for these when it’s chilly outside, make them using a grill pan instead.
How to Make Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Step 1: Whisk together shrimp taco sauce ingredients.
Step 2: Toss shrimp in marinade and string onto soaked bamboo skewers.
Step 3: On a preheated grill, cook corn tortillas over direct heat until hot and lightly charred (30 to 45 seconds per side). Wrap in foil to keep warm.
Step 4: Grill shrimp until cooked through.
Step 5: Assemble tacos: fill each tortilla with grilled shrimp topped by chopped cabbage and radishes, shrimp taco sauce, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and sliced jalapeño, if desired. Serve.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Taco Sauce
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- 10 9-inch bamboo skewers soaked in water 15-30 minutes
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or more
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup finely chopped green cabbage or red cabbage
- 1/2 cup finely chopped radishes
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- jalapeño peppers thinly sliced, optional
Shrimp Taco Sauce
- Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream and sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Add water, a few drops at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Set aside.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne and olive oil. Add shrimp and gently toss to coat.
- Run one skewer through the fattest part of 7 or 8 shrimp (depending on shrimp size), nesting the shrimp so they are curved in the same direction. Run a second skewer through all of the shrimp near the tail. Adjust shrimp, giving each a little space, to help them cook evenly. Repeat with remaining shrimp and skewers.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place a large piece of aluminum foil near grill. Grill tortillas in a single layer for 30-45 seconds on each side until softened and lightly charred. Stack tortillas on aluminum foil and wrap. Place on grill off of direct heat to keep warm.
- Grill shrimp skewers 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Transfer to platter along with foil wrapped tortillas.
- Assemble tacos: top one warm corn tortilla with 3 or 4 shrimp and sprinkle with chopped cabbage, radishes and cilantro (if desired). Drizzle with desired amount of shrimp taco sauce. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with lime wedges and sliced jalapeño if desired.
- Mexican crema, also called cream espesa, has a tangier flavor and thinner texture than sour cream.