Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

These are the best crispy shrimp & poblano tacos! Chili seasoned shrimp are sautéed with poblano peppers, onions & garlic then stuffed inside corn tortillas with lots of cheese & baked until crispy! Pair them with my avocado cilantro sauce for an easy weeknight dinner!

A large metal sheet pan filled with crispy shrimp & poblano tacos baked in the oven and topped with an avocado cilantro lime sauce

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite taco recipe – CRISPY SHRIMP & POBLANO TACOS! (Aka our non-authentic version of Tacos Gobernador.) I’ve always loved shrimp tacos and after making my crispy chicken carnitas tacos in the oven, I knew I had to make a crispy shrimp version too.

These baked tacos are loaded with succulent shrimp, smoky poblano peppers, onions, garlic, lots of melty cheese and have the perfect crispy bite! They’re so simple to make and are one of our favorite easy weeknight meals!

Ingredients used to make crispy shrimp and poblano tacos (tacos gobernador)

Ingredients For Your Crispy Shrimp and Poblano Tacos

  • Raw shrimp: We use medium shrimp (21-25 count per pound) for ours! Always buy peeled and deveined shrimp for the best results!
  • Poblano peppers: You’ll need one firm poblano pepper for this recipe! (Some grocery stores also call them pasilla peppers.)
  • Onions: Use white onions for the best results! You’ll need about ½ an onion.
  • Monterrey jack cheese: Buy a block of Monterrey jack cheese and shred it yourself for the best flavor!
  • Garlic: You’ll need one minced garlic clove for your filling!
  • Cilantro: Use the leaves and stems for maximum flavor! (You’ll need 2 tablespoons for your shrimp filling and a ⅓ cup of cilantro if making the avocado cilantro sauce.)
  • Spices: Chili powder, cayenne and salt are all you need to season your shrimp taco filling! (These tacos are not overly spicy but they have subtle heat. You can leave out the cayenne if you don’t want any spice.)
  • Corn tortillas: Use larger corn tortillas for the best results! (Plus you can stuff them with more filling!😉)
A close up photo of crispy shrimp & poblano tacos

What Are Tacos Gobernador?

Tacos gobernador literally translates to “Governor’s tacos“. These tasty little tacos originated in Sinaloa where legend has it, they were originally created to impress the Sinaloa governor at the time. Traditionally they’re made with shrimp, some type of pepper, onions, tomatoes, lots of cheese (usually Oaxaca or Chihuahua) and then fried in a skillet until cripsy. (Very similiar to quesadillas!)

How are mine different? First we’re baking these tacos instead of frying them so they’re still super crispy without needing to use too much oil. There’s also no tomatoes (which can make your tacos soggy while baking) and we’re using Monterrey jack cheese instead! (It’s hard to find Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese at our local grocery store. BUT if you’re able to, I defintiely reccomend trying them!)

A large black skillet filled with sauteed seasoned shrimp, chopped poblano peppers and onions surrounded by fresh lime wedges, cilantro and a small bowl of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
3 tacos sitting on a large sheet pan at various stages in the process of making crispy shrimp and poblano tacos

How To Make Crispy Shrimp Tacos In The Oven

1. Prep your shrimp. Remove the tail shells from each shrimp then cut them into thirds or fourths. (If using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw your shrimp completely before cutting.)

2. Make your shrimp and poblano filling. Next heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a splashh of olive oil. Once it’s hot, add your chopped poblano peppers and onion and sauté them until just tender (about 2 minutes). Then add your shrimp, garlic, chili powder, salt and cayenne (if using) and sauté until the shrimp are cooked through (about 2-3 more minutes). Stir in your cilantro and transfer the shrimp mixture to a bowl once done.

3. Assemble your tacos. Next turn your oven on to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay your tortillas out on the pan and spray them with cooking spray. Then flip them over and bake them for 2-3 minutes. (We need them just soft enough to fold over your filling.) Then take the pan out of the oven and layer each tortilla on one side with cheese, your shrimp mixture and a little more cheese on top. Fold the other side of the tortilla over your filling and press down gently to make it “stick.”

4. Bake. Once all of your tacos are assembled, place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cheese has melted and your tortillas are crispy.

5. Serve! Serve immediately with your avocado cilantro sauce and favorite toppings and enjoy!

Avocado cilantro lime sauce used for crispy shrimp tacos

Topping Ideas

My avocado cilantro sauce is one of my favorites when it comes to tacos! It’s bright, zesty, vibrant and so easy to make! Just toss all your ingredients in a food processor and you’re done! (It’s also delicious with my chicken carnitas tacos and chipotle shredded beef tacos!) Here’s a few other toppings ideas you might want to try too:

  • Sour cream
  • Your favorite salsa!
  • Pico de gallo
  • Mashed avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped cilantro & a squeeze of lime!
3 shrimp & poblano tacos sitting next to a small bowl of zesty avocado sauce

FAQ’s

  • What size shrimp should I use for my tacos? We use medium shrimp (21-25 count per pound) and they’re the perfect size! (Shrimp tends to shrink after it’s cooked so I wouldn’t suggest using small or bay shrimp.)
  • Are poblano peppers spicy? No. Poblano peppers are very mild but they have amazing flavor! Cooking your poblanos helps to give them a sweet and smoky flavor that’s perfect for your tacos!
  • I don’t like poblano peppers. Can I replace them with anything? Yes! Green bell peppers are a great replacement for your poblanos.
  • How do I know when my tacos are done baking? They should be slightly golden brown with the edges just starting to turn dark brown. (It’s ok if they’re not completely firm when you pull them out of the oven. They’ll continue to crisp up as they cool.)

Why you’ll love this oven baked shrimp taco recipe!

  • So much flavor! Chili seasoned shrimp, smoky poblanos, lots of cheese, a creamy tangy avocado sauce – they’ve got it all!
  • Great for a crowd! Making these tacos for a large group? Simply double or triple the recipe and bake these tacos in bulk! They’re so easy!
  • Baked instead of fried! No greasy oily mess here! These tacos come out perfectly crisp every time while using a minimum amount of oil so they’re better for you too!

Need them gluten free? Great news, they already are!

Need the dairy free? Replace the Monterrey jack with your favorite dairy free mozzarella cheese.

More taco recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]

A large metal sheet pan filled with crispy shrimp & poblano tacos baked in the oven and topped with an avocado cilantro lime sauce
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5 from 9 votes

Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

These are the best crispy shrimp & poblano tacos! Chili seasoned shrimp are sautéed with poblano peppers & onions then stuffed inside corn tortillas with lots of cheese & baked until crispy! Pair them with my avocado cilantro sauce for an easy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado cilantro sauce, baked tacos, crispy tacos, poblano, shrimp and poblano tacos, shrimp tacos, taco recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the crispy shrimp tacos:

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled & deviened (tail shells removed)
  • 1 poblano pepper, deseeded & diced*
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 6 Corn tortillas

For the avocado cilantro sauce (optional):

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cup cilantro, chopped (leaves & stems)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

Instructions

To make the avocado cilantro sauce:

  • Add all your ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Then cover your sauce and keep it stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

To make your shrimp & poblano filling:

  • Cut each shrimp into thirds or fourths then set them aside.
  • Next heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of oil to the pan.
  • Once it's hot, add your chopped poblano peppers and onion and sauté them until just tender (about 2 minutes). Then add your shrimp, garlic, chili powder, salt and cayenne (if using) and sauté again until the shrimp are cooked through (about 2-3 more minutes).
    Stir in your cilantro and transfer the shrimp mixture to a bowl once done.

To make your tacos:

  • Turn your oven on to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Then lay your tortillas out on the pan and spray them with cooking spray. Flip them over and bake them for 2-3 minutes. (You need them just soft enough to fold over your filling.) Then take the pan out of the oven and layer each tortilla on one side with cheese, your shrimp mixture and a little more cheese on top. Fold the other side of the tortilla over your filling and press down gently to make it “stick.”
  • Once all of your tacos are assembled, place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cheese has melted and your tortillas are crispy.
  •  Serve immediately with your avocado cilantro sauce!

Notes

*Some grocery stores also call them pasilla peppers.
Every oven is different so I would start checking your tacos around 10 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning.
Your tacos may look “soft” when they first come out of the oven but they’ll crisp up as they cool.

22 Comments

  1. This is the second recipe I’ve made of yours (first was the shrimp cocktail) and both were fantastic! I had never cooked shrimp up to this point and can’t believe how easy it is to make something so delicious. I followed the recipe fairly closely with the exception of a few things: I didn’t have paprika so used a combination of chili powder, paprika and cumin which brought a great level of heat and was recommended a 3 chili pepper gouda at WF which is to die for. Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

    • Hi Alex! Yayyy, that makes me so happy! (Honestly I love cooking shrimp. They’re so easy and there’s soo many things you can do with them!) I love the sound of that gouda too! I’ll have to try that next time. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

  2. This is the third time making these and they are amazing!!!!!!!

  3. Sooo good!! Will be making this again.

  4. Hi- I made this the other night and they were delicious! Love the technique of the crispy corn tortillas and all the different textures it creates. I will be trying this with other fillings as well! Thank you!

  5. These were delicious. We like our food spicy so I added a chopped jalapeno and +/- 1/2 t of cayenne. The spouse loved them. I will probably try them in the future with chicken since neither of my adult children like seafood. I have plenty of leftover avocado lime crema which I think will be divine on turkey burgers. I served with some cilantro lime rice.

  6. Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

    • Hi Vanessa! These tacos are best when served fresh. (They tend to loose their crispiness if stored for later.) However I would suggest only keeping them 1-2 days at the most if you’re wanting leftovers.

  7. I can’t even tell you how good this is!! 10 STARS!! You never disappoint and you’re my go to for recipes!! I cannot wait to try your mango shrimp salad. This is so good and has just the right amount of spice! I had some Spanish arroz con gandules with shrimp in it and I just couldn’t figure out what to do with it so I made your tacos and avocado dip. Threw so sweet plantains in the oven and bam!!! Thank you for sharing

    • Aww Jazz, you just made my day!😊 Thank you so much! This is one of my favorite recipes on the blog which makes me over-the-moon happy that you’re enjoying it! 🙂 I hope you’re having the BEST day!

  8. Absolutely Yummy!! I’ll be making them again for sure. Thanks for the Friday dinner inspiration!

  9. Looks so good! How many calories are in one serving? Hoping to use this recipe in my meal preps!

    • Hi Sage! Unfortunately I don’t have the nutrition facts for these tacos. (I’m in the process of getting them for my recipes though!) There are a few nutrition calculators online you can use. Most of them will ask you for the URL of the recipe and will give you a fairly accurate count. I hope this helps!

  10. I thought the first time I made these that the recipe called for Cojito cheese? Was I mistaken?

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