Whether you make them indoors on a grill pan or fire up the outdoor grill, these grilled shrimp tacos put you in a beach state of mind no matter the weather.
We can all agree that tacos are amazing, right? The possibilities for fillings are endless, they’re perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, and you almost always have the ingredients to make some kind of taco in the house at any given time. For the past few months, I’ve been very into making tacos with more unique fillings than the classic beef or chicken. Actually, I’ve been into filling them with grilled anything – vegetables and shrimp being the front runners. And these grilled shrimp tacos totally stole the show and have been heavy on the taco night menu.
What I like about grilling shrimp is that – due to the quick cook time – they’re easy to grill indoors or out. This is a huge reason we basically make grilled shrimp tacos year round. While the Godfather is committed to grilling and barbecue in all weather, I’m not about the cold. I’ll stay happily indoors, with my grill pan, easy cleanup, AND dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. It takes a bit longer when we have to prepare the coals. If you don’t have a grill pan, use a skillet. The grill marks will be missing, but the flavor is still there and you have tacos.
Everybody wins with tacos…
My favorite order for preparing the grilled shrimp tacos is to make the slaw and sauce first and let that sit in the refrigerator while I chop the other vegetables, warm the tortillas, and grill the shrimp. Shrimp have a very short cooking time and the last thing you want to do is cook them too early and have them sitting around. They’re best when cooked and served fresh. That being said, no one ever complains about leftover shrimp tacos for lunch the next day…
A few tips for grilling shrimp outdoors…
You can definitely grill shrimp right on the grates of your gas or charcoal grill, as long as you skewer them. The risk of losing shrimp to your grill if you try and grill them loose is high. They’re just the perfect size and off-center shape to slip through the grates, leaving you with more cleanup and less shrimp. So if you are grilling shrimp directly on the grates, skewer the shrimp first using metal or wooden kebab skewers. Soak the wooden ones in water to prevent burning.
Or, if you think cooking “easy to lose” foods is something you’ll do regularly, pick up a grill basket. We use ours for vegetables too, and the Godfather’s chocolate porter grilled chicken wings. If you will use it, it’s a very handy tool to have in your grilling arsenal.
And now the grilled shrimp tacos recipe!
Finally, right? Let’s stop talking about how amazing grilled shrimp tacos are and get to it! I hope you enjoy the recipe and that it transports you to a taco stand by the beach at first bite. <3
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup sour cream, Mexican crema, or creme fraiche
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce seeds removed
- salt to taste
- 1 pound raw shrimp tails removed
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder can also use chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8 tortillas
- lime wedges optional
- queso fresco cheese for topping optional
- avocado, sliced or made into guacamole optional
Mix together the slaw ingredients in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until needed. May be made up to 1 day in advance.
In a blender or food processor, combine the sour cream (or base you are using) and the chilies. Pulse until fine. Adjust salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Make up to 2 days in advance.
When you are ready to prepare the tacos, combine the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings. Set aside while you preheat your grill to 350 F or warm your grill pan over medium heat. If using a grill basket, warm it on the grates to help with even heat distribution.
Grill the shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until pink and just cooked through. Remove from the heat. Warm the tortillas on the grill while the shrimp are cooking.
Assemble your tacos as desired, and enjoy immediately!