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Grilled Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Makes 12 tacos
In this Recipe

Grilled Shrimp Tacos are a summer time delight and a fun change of pace from meat based tacos! You’ll see these on a Mexican restaurant menu as Tacos de Camaron, but these are also some of the quickest and easiest tacos to make at home.

Our Grilled Shrimp Taco recipe is made with large, raw shrimp tossed in a simple marinade, then grilled and paired with a sour cream and cabbage coleslaw. The grilled shrimp with the creamy and crunchy slaw make for a delightful taco.

Here are answers to questions you may have about cooking these tacos, or you can scroll down to the ingredients to get cooking!

What type of shrimp should we use for Grilled Shrimp Tacos?

You definitely want to use raw shrimp that has been deveined with the tails removed for this recipe, and we like using a 15 – 20 count size. They’re not so big that they’re hard to fit in a shell, but they’re big enough to stand up to the heat of a grill.

You can use smaller shrimp if you like. Using smaller shrimp can be fun to really load your taco up with lots of shrimp, or works well if you’re using street taco sized tortillas. However, they can be harder to cook on the grill because of their small size.

You can buy frozen or fresh shrimp for this recipe, just make sure you buy a good quality. Wild caught American Gulf Shrimp can be hard to find depending on the season, although we usually have it at LGCM, but there are also very good farm raised products from around the world.

There is nothing wrong with using frozen shrimp for your grilled shrimp tacos, in fact, unless you’re on a coast, even “fresh” shrimp will probably have been previously frozen. Just make sure you safely defrost your shrimp prior to cooking!

Can I cook these tacos without a grill?

Yes, if you don’t want to grill these shrimp tacos, you can cook the shrimp in a cast iron skillet on a stove top over high heat for the same 3 minutes per side.

Cooking these not grilled shrimp tacos in a pan works particularly well if you decide to go with a smaller size of shrimp.

Tell me about this slaw you’re using…

We didn’t want to use a ton of ingredients in these grilled shrimp tacos, instead we wanted the shrimp to be the star. We did want to add just a bit more texture and flavor, so we settled on whipping up a quick creamy and crunchy coleslaw to add to the tacos.

This simple slaw starts with the crunch and flavor of shredded cabbage, and you can shred your own or buy already shredded cabbage. We used a mix of green and red cabbage for a little bit of interest, but you can use whatever you like. We then mixed it with sour cream, lime juice, minced jalapeño pepper, and cilantro.

It’s simple and fast to make, and it brings the flavor, crunch and creaminess to these grilled shrimp tacos that perfectly complement the shrimp.

You can add more ingredients like sliced red onion (fresh or quick pickled), sliced carrot, or sliced radish to the slaw if you like as well!

Are these grilled shrimp tacos spicy?

The minced jalapeño in the creamy slaw does bring a touch of spice to the taco, but it is balanced by the richness of the sour cream. We do think a touch of spice is important to this taco, but if you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the minced jalapeño.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a little more spice in these tacos, you can add a touch of cayenne pepper to either the shrimp marinade or the slaw, or both. No need to use a bunch of fancy peppers, just a touch of cayenne will do the trick!

Do you have any other suggestions for toppings?

These grilled shrimp tacos would be really good with avocado slices, but we didn’t have any ripe avocados when we cooked them. Oops!

Other toppings that would be nice additions include:

  • A fresh pico de gallo
  • Quick pickled red onions
  • Cotija cheese

Of course, these are your tacos, so feel free to top them however you like!

I really love tacos – do you have more taco recipes?

That’s what we like to hear, we love tacos too! Visit this link to see what we have.

I hope we’ve answered all of your questions about this grilled shrimp tacos recipe, but if you have more, please leave us a note or a rating down below. We appreciate the feedback!


  • 2 lb Raw Shrimp (15/20 ct. size – tails removed and deveined)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Lime Juice (divided)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 cup Shredded Cabbage (red, green, or a mix)
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Jalapeño Pepper (minced – seeded and deveined)
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
  • Tortillas (warmed – for serving)
  • Lime Wedges (for serving)


  1. Combine vegetable oil, 2 tbsp. lime juice, salt, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Put the shrimp in a sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the shrimp. Toss the shrimp in the marinade and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.

    You can let the shrimp sit in the marinade for as little as five minutes or up to overnight.

  2. Next, combine the shredded cabbage, sour cream, remaining 2 tbsp. of lime juice, jalapeño, and cilantro in a bowl. Mix together and set the creamy coleslaw aside.

  3. When you are ready to cook your shrimp, heat a grill to high heat. Thread your shrimp onto metal grill skewers (or wood skewers that were soaked in water). We recommend using two skewers, one near the head, and one near the tail, to keep your shrimp on the skewers while you’re grilling.

  4. Once your grill is hot, place the skewers on the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side. Once the shrimp are cooked through, remove from the grill, and remove from the skewers.

  5. Assemble your tacos on warmed tortillas by placing a generous helping of the creamy coleslaw on the bottom of the tortilla and then placing shrimp on top. Squeeze a lime wedge on top and enjoy your grilled shrimp tacos!

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