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These easy shrimp tacos are a fast dinner recipe for weeknights or entertaining. They taste stunning drizzled in a creamy cilantro sauce!

Shrimp tacos with cilantro sauce

What’s better than shrimp tacos? Their carefree vibe makes any dinner more festive, even if it’s just any old Tuesday. Combine these tacos with chips, salsa, and a classic margarita and we can’t think of much better. (Except please also add bean dip. Please and thank you!) What we love about this easy shrimp taco recipe is that it’s both fast family dinner recipe for weeknights and entertaining: making it a double whammy.

Want to fire up the grill instead? Go to Grilled Shrimp Tacos.

How to make shrimp tacos

Why these are the best easy shrimp tacos?

There are a hundred ways to make a shrimp taco recipe. For this one, Alex and I wanted to create the quickest way to get from 0 to shrimp tacos. So it turned out to be a triple threat: quick and easy to make, delicious, and healthy!

The shrimp is juicy and savory, spiced with Old Bay and cumin, the cabbage is crunchy and tangy. The creamy cilantro sauce brings it all together: it’s almost like a ranch dressing with cilantro, and you might want to bathe in it. Honestly, I might want to change my answer to the question “What’s the last meal you want to eat” to this recipe. And it all comes together into an easy weeknight dinner.

Notes on how to make shrimp tacos!

Here are a few notes on making this shrimp taco recipe:

  1. Saute the shrimp on the stove with minced garlic and a few spices. Sauteing shrimp is super fast: it takes only 2 to 4 minutes to cook! This method of how to cook shrimp is customizable and even works outside of tacos too. Though the flavors are Mexican-style, they’d work for serving with rice or couscous, or over a salad.
  2. The taco sauce takes only 5 minutes and doesn’t even dirty a blender! Many shrimp tacos recipes call for a sauce with lots of ingredients, or one that leaves your kitchen a mess. This one is quick and simple!
  3. The “coleslaw” is made using a shortcut. To make this recipe speedier, we’ve cut out the traditional coleslaw, which can involve lots of chopping and mixing. Instead, thinly slice some cabbage and red onion, and then just spritz it with a lime wedge when serving. It’s a shortcut we use again and again in tacos!
Shrimp taco sauce

How to char tortillas

One more taco trick for these easy shrimp tacos! Charring your tortillas warms them and adds a delicious charred flavor. You can do this if you have a gas range. (If you don’t have a gas stove, here are a few other ways to warm your tortillas.) Here’s what to do:

  • Place a tortilla on the grates above an open gas flame on medium heat.
  • Let it cook a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until the edges are slightly blackened and the tortilla is warm.
Shrimp in pan

How to buy sustainable shrimp

Finally, a little note on how to buy sustainable shrimp. Alex and I try to buy sustainable seafood where possible. In researching how to buy sustainable seafood, Alex and I have learned to look for wild-caught fish if possible. Also if you live in the US, look for US caught if you can. 90% of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.

Also, how your fish is caught matters. Look for hook and line as one example of a sustainable gear type. Bottom trawling is considered the most destructive and least sustainable method.

Easy shrimp tacos recipe

And that’s it: how to make shrimp tacos!

This recipe was a huge hit in our house (especially with our 2 year old!) Dress it up with frozen margaritas, jalapeno margaritas or skinny margaritas and it’s simply sublime. Even better, try it with micheladas. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Shrimp tacos recipe

Want a meal plan?

This recipe is included in our Pescatarian Meal Plan! Check it out for recipes for 1 month, including a meal planning spreadsheet download.

This shrimp taco recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Shrimp tacos with cilantro sauce

Quick Shrimp Tacos! (Fast & Easy Dinner)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x


These easy shrimp tacos are a fast dinner recipe for weeknights or entertaining. They taste stunning drizzled in a creamy cilantro sauce!


  • 1 recipe Creamy Shrimp Taco Sauce
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 pound large shrimp, thawed and deveined (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, divided
  • 8 tortillas
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. Make the Creamy Shrimp Taco Sauce.
  2. Thinly slice the green cabbage. Thinly slice the red onion and place it in a bowl with cold water (this removes a bit of the strong onion flavor); drain before serving.
  3. Mince the garlic. Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the Old Bay seasoning, cumin, salt, and garlic.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Spritz with juice of the two lime wedges.
  5. If desired, char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  6. To serve, place the cabbage and red onion in a tortilla, then top with shrimp. Squeeze with the juice of 2 lime wedges, then top with the taco sauce. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?

Outside of these shrimp tacos, here are a few more shrimp recipes, seafood recipes and fish recipes:

Last updated: December 2019

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Brent Ray says:

    So good!

  2. Hoi Polloi Boy says:

    We just used Ranch dressing. Stupendous! Definitely this will go into the Yummm! file. I love quick, easy, & tasty dinners and this is one.

  3. Judy postiglione says:

    We mad the shrimp tacos! So tasty and we will make them again!

  4. Carole Morris says:

    I made these for one of the meals for a weekend guest, and they are SO good. I also made the Hearty Hash Brown casserole for breakfast, and we had a Gin Basil Smash somewhere along the way from your cocktail recipes. Everything was made just as laid out in the recipe, and all were BIG hits. So now I MUST buy your cookbook. I think a cocktail recipe book should be next!

  5. Jenna McMahan says:

    So good!! I did a quick pickle of the red onions with a distilled/apple cider mix and sugar and it was a wonderful addition!

  6. Robin Lancaster says:

    First, you two are adorable!
    Second, I’ve recently had to go wheat free, but not necessarily gluten free (which is in barley, rye and one other I can’t remember) I’ve learned gluten free is usually ok, but flour tortillas have gluten in them. Do you know of a brand of gluten free tortillas that doesn’t taste … um, nasty? I’d rather not eat it than eat something that tastes terrible just because it won’t give me pain.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! We haven’t tried any gluten free flour tortillas. We usually just serve corn tortillas for GF.

  7. Kristina says:

    My husband and I love this recipe! I am making it for the 5th time tonight. We both grew up on the Gulf coast and look for seafood recipes we can use here in Colorado. I follow the recipe as is, as it doesn’t need any updates. Thanks so much for posting!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you love them! Thanks for commenting :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    This article only mentioned a taco sauce, but didn’t specify how to actually create the sauce.