Charred corn tortillas are stuffed with spicy chipotle seasoned shrimp, crisp & tangy cilantro lime “coleslaw” & drizzled with a smoky chipotle sauce! These chipotle lime shrimp tacos are just what you need for your next taco night!
Tacos are my love language! (Anyone else feel the same way?!😉) And these easy chipotle lime shrimp tacos are a MUST MAKE! They have just the right amount of spice, are loaded with a crisp & tangy cabbage “coleslaw” & have the best smoky chipotle lime sauce drizzled over the top! Top them with avocado, cotija cheese cheese, a little pico de gallo action…any way you serve them, they’re soo good! Perfect for a quick and easy taco night or anytime you’re craving some spicy shrimp tacos!
Ingredients For Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos
- Shrimp: We use extra large shrimp (21-25 count). You can leave them whole, cut them into thirds or chop them into bite sized pieces after they’ve been cooked.
- Spices: Chipotle chili powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt are all your need to spice up your shrimp!
- Garlic: One minced garlic clove is sautéed with your shrimp!
- Avocado: Every taco recipe needs some avocado! (We’ll be mashing our avocado to spread it over our tortillas.)
- Cabbage: The base for your “slaw.” We love using green cabbage but a mix of green and purple cabbage would work too!
- Green onion: Use the whole onion (green & white parts) for maximum flavor! We’ll be mixing this with our cabbage and cilantro for the cilantro lime “coleslaw”.
- Cilantro: Use as little or as much as you’d like for coleslaw! (I usually only use the leaves for this recipe.)
- Mayonnaise: The base for your chipotle lime sauce!
- Lime juice: Fresh lime juice works the best for this recipe! It can be replaced with bottled lime juice if needed. (Bottled lime juice tends to have additives in it which might make your chipotle lime sauce slightly sweet.)
- Cotija cheese: Optional but adds so much flavor to your shrimp tacos!
How To Make Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos
1. Make the sauce. Whisk your sauce ingredients together and keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
2. Make your cilantro lime “coleslaw.” Mix your sliced cabbage, cilantro and green onion together. Then squeeze some lime juice over the top and toss until it’s coated to your liking. (You can use as little or as much lime juice as you prefer here.)
3. Cook your shrimp. Take the tails off your shrimp & place them in a large bowl. Then add your minced garlic and spices to the shrimp and toss until their fully coated. Sauté your shrimp over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until they’re cooked all the way through. (You may need to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.) Transfer the shrimp to a bowl once done. (At this point, you can let them whole or cut them for your tacos.)
4. Assemble and serve! Warm your tortillas using your preferred method. Then layer each tortilla with mashed avocado, your cooked shrimp, chipotle lime sauce, cilantro lime “coleslaw” and cotija cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!
I use the term “coleslaw” vaguely because it’s just a mixture of cabbage, cilantro and green onion tossed in some lime juice for flavoring. It’s so good with your tacos though!
Topping Ideas For Your Shrimp Tacos
Think of these shrimp tacos as a “basic recipe” to play around with. There’s so many toppings you can add to really make them your own! Here are a few of our favorites to help get you started:
- Pico de gallo
- “Deconstructed coleslaw” – Leave your cabbage, cilantro and onion separate!
- Queso fresco (if you’re not a fan of cotija cheese)
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Believe it or not this tastes amazing with your shrimp!
- Shredded lettuce (to replace the cabbage)
- Diced red or white onion
- Guacamole or diced avocado
- Extra lime wedges (to squeeze over the top)
- Are shrimp tacos better with corn or flour tortillas? I personally love corn tortillas for shrimp tacos! They compliment your flavors much better than flour tortillas and give your tacos a more authentic feel.
- How do I know when my shrimp is cooked? Your shrimp will turn slightly opaque and resemble “C’s” once they’re cooked. A good way to check for doneness is to watch the crevice on the outside of the shrimp. When the flesh turns from gray to white (opaque) then your shrimp are done!
- Can I prep my shrimp taco ingredients before hand? Absolutely! You can make the sauce and prep your coleslaw beforehand. (Just don’t add your lime juice to the coleslaw until you’re ready to eat or it will become too soggy.)
- How do I store my leftover shrimp taco fixings? Store each ingredient in a separate container and keep them in the refrigerator.
- How long will my shrimp stay good in the fridge? Cooked shrimp will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator if stored properly.
- How long will my chipotle lime sauce stay good in the fridge? Your sauce should last for up to 4 days if stored properly.
Why you’ll love this shrimp taco recipe!
- Quick & easy dinner! Shrimp takes minutes to cook & the rest of your ingredients can easily be prepped beforehand! Dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
- Bold flavors & textures! Spicy chipotle shrimp, crisp cabbage “coleslaw” & a smoky chipotle lime sauce! You’re going to love everything about these shrimp tacos!
- Healthier shrimp tacos! Most shrimp tacos are breaded & fried – not these! Just a simple sauté with spices & garlic is all you need!
- Great way to switch up your taco night! Tired of the same old boring tacos? These spicy shrimp tacos are the perfect replacement!
Need them gluten free? Use corn tortillas in stead of flour tortillas.
Need them dairy free? Omit the cotija cheese!
More taco recipes you might like:
- Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos
- Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Jalapeno Crema
- Crispy Chicken Carnitas Tacos
- Crispy Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos
[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce
For the chipotle lime shrimp tacos:
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1-2 avocados, mashed
- Corn tortillas, charred
- Cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the chipotle lime sauce:
- ¾ cup mayo
- ¾ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 4-5 Tbsp lime juice (depending on the flavor & consistency you want)
For the cilantro lime "coleslaw":
- 2 cups green cabbage, sliced thin
- 2-3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped (leaves & stems are ok)
- 1-2 green onion stalks, sliced (green & white parts)
- Lime juice, (enough to coat the "coleslaw")
To make the sauce:
- Whisk your sauce ingredients together in bowl and keep it stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
To make the cilantro lime "coleslaw":
- Mix your cabbage, cilantro and green onion together and squeeze your desired amount of lime juice over the top. Toss until it's fully coated.
To make the shrimp:
- Add your shrimp, spices and garlic to a large bowl and toss until the shrimp are fully coated.
- Then heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once it's hot, spray it with cooking spray and add the shrimp. Cook your shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until the they're cooked all the way through. (You may need to do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.)
- Transfer your shrimp to a bowl once done. (At this point, you can leave them whole or cut them into pieces.)
To assemble your tacos:
- Warm your tortillas using your favorite method.
- Then layer each tortilla with mashed avocado, your cooked shrimp, chipotle lime sauce, cilantro lime "coleslaw", cotija cheese (if using) and any other desired toppings. Serve immediately.
The not-chipotle chili powder, is this like the blended type for making a pot of chili, or a dried chili pepper powder?
Hi Susan! It’s the type that you would use to make chili (the blended kind). Here’s a link to the one I use. I hope this helps!
McCormick Chili Powder
Really great and easy recipe.
Oh yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them Debbie! 🙂
do you thaw the shrimp before you cook it or do you cook it from frozen?
Hi Sara! We usually thaw the shrimp before cooking it. 🙂