Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw

It’s almost hard to talk about these tacos, that’s how much I love them.

Spicy shrimp tacos with sauce.

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What we have going on here is delicious spice-loaded shrimp tucked in between smashed avocado and a cabbage slaw that is heavy with a homemade creamy lime sauce. Question: topped with crumbly, salty Cotija cheese, and wrapped in a corn tortilla with a wedge of lime squeezed over the top? Answer: Yes.

More cilantro. More lime. More avocado and spicy shrimp.

The world just seems so right.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Spicy Shrimp Tacos

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Garlic cilantro lime slaw in a bowl with forks.

Ingredients For Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce

Let’s talk more about the sauce for these shrimp tacos.

All you need is sour cream, lime juice, garlic, some herbs, and olive oil. Blitz it all up together and you’re in business.

We’re gonna toss it with some shredded cabbage (see above) and ALSO give these tacos a good shower on top. Because there is no such thing as too much sauce. Especially when it comes to tacos.

Spoon drizzling sauce to shrimp tacos.

How To Cook Shrimp For Tacos

How to Prepare the Shrimp

It might give you the scaries but I’d recommend getting tail-on shrimp (fresh or frozen) and peel and devein them yourself. Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think.

Ways to Cook the Shrimp

These are made in a skillet, but if the sun is shining and the beer is cold and the grill is hot, then you do you and grill those shrimp! Might be best to get them on some skewers* for a much less frustrating grilling experience.

Beer-Battered Shrimp Tacos (YUM)

For those with extra time on their hands and a heart set on fried shrimp: the beer batter instructions in this recipe work for shrimp, too! 

Shrimp tacos with sauce.

What To Serve with These Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Make it a feast! Here are some of our favorite recipes to make alongside these delicious little pockets of goodness.

These shrimp tacos are fast, easy, and give me something to look forward to at the end of the day.

For example: TV and tacos! Late-night work and tacos! Friends and tacos! Hanging out on the deck with the dog and tacos!

Everything is better with tacos.

Cheers to many warm-weather nights with tons and tons of shrimp tacos in your future!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos: Frequently Asked Questions

Any subs for cilantro? I really don’t like the taste.

You could use parsley, but it would definitely lend a different flavor.

How long will the sauce last in the fridge?

3-4 days is ideal in a sealed container!

I can’t find cotija cheese. What should I use instead?

Feta cheese should work in its place.

Shrimp tacos with slaw.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (2 small tacos each)


The BEST Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw – ready in about 30 minutes and loaded with flavor and texture. SO YUM!



Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt

Shrimp Taco Spice Mix:

  • 2 teaspoons each chili powder and cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Stuff for the Shrimp Tacos:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 23 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 8 small tortillas (corn or flour)
  • avocados, Cotija cheese, and lime wedges for serving


  1. Sauce: Pulse all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth.
  2. Slaw: Toss some of the sauce (not all) with the cabbage. We’ll use the leftover sauce to top the tacos.
  3. Shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Toss the shrimp in a small bowl with the spice mix to get it coated. Heat a drizzle of oil a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and sauté for 5-8 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  4. Assembly: For the prettiest and easiest-to-eat assembly, go in this order: smashed avocado, slaw, and shrimp. Finish with Cotjia cheese, lime wedges, and extra sauce.


  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: spicy shrimp tacos, shrimp taco recipe, garlic lime slaw

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