Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Chili seasoned shrimp, poblano peppers, onion and lots of cheese all stuffed inside corn tortillas and baked in the oven until crispy and gooey! These are the best crispy shrimp tacos!

4 crispy shrimp and poblano tacos sitting on a meatal baking sheet pan lined with parchment next to a small bowl of avocado cilantro sauce

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite taco recipe – CRISPY SHRIMP & POBLANO TACOS! (Aka 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, lots of gooey cheese and come out perfectly crispy and crunchy every single time! Pair them with my favorite avocado cilantro sauce for an easy weeknight meal your entire family won’t get enough of!

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

Ingredients For Your Crispy Shrimp Tacos

  • Raw shrimp: Use peeled and deveined shrimp and always take off the tail shell before cooking.
  • Poblano peppers: (Also called pasilla peppers in some grocery stores.) Look for peppers that have a smooth skin and are slightly firm for the best results.
  • Onions: White onions work the best for this tacos recipe but red onion can be substituted instead.
  • Monterrey jack cheese: We usually buy a block of Monterrey jack and shred it ourselves but pre-shredded Monterrey cheese will work too. (I like to say the cheese is the “glue” that holds these tacos together. That and it makes them so tasty too!😉)
  • Garlic: Shrimp and garlic just go together! You’ll need 1 clove for this recipe.
  • Cilantro: Use the leaves and stems for maximum flavor. (You’ll only need a small handful to mix into your shrimp filling.)
  • Spices: Chili powder, cayenne, salt and black pepper are all you need to flavor your shrimp taco filling! (These tacos have a subtle heat to them but they’re not overly spicy. You can leave out the cayenne if you don’t want any heat.)
  • Corn tortillas: A must for shrimp tacos!
A close up photo of baked tacos gobernador topped with mashed avocado

What are tacos gobernador?

Tacos gobernador literally translates to “Governor’s tacos“. These tasty little tacos are a dish out of Sinaloa that 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 almost like a quesadilla. There’s been several different variations over the years and everyone has their own personal favorite.

So how are mine different? First we’re baking these tacos instead of frying them so they still get super crispy without having to use too much oil. We’re also using Monterrey jack cheese instead of Oaxaca or Chihuahua because honestly, I just couldn’t find these cheeses at our local grocery store. (They still taste just as amazing with it though!)

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. If using frozen shrimp, thaw your shrimp completely, remove the shells and cut each shrimp into thirds.
  2. Cook your shrimp and poblano mixture. Next, heat a skillet over medium high heat and spray it with cooking spray. Once it’s hot, add your chopped poblano peppers and onion and saute them until just tender. (About 2 minutes.) Then add your shrimp, garlic, chili powder, cayenne and salt and saute 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 and poblano 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 made, 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 favorite toppings and enjoy!
A small wooden bowl filled with creamy avocado cilantro sauce sitting on a tray next to crispy shrimp tacos

Pair Them With The Best Avocado Cilantro Sauce!

This sauce is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to tacos! It’s bright, vibrant, tangy and so easy to make. Just toss all your ingredients in a food processor and you’re done! (You can find a similiar sauce paired with my chicken carnitas tacos recipe.) For these shrimp tacos, I tweaked my avocado sauce just bit and it came out fantastic once I slathered it over my tacos. All I did was reduce the amount of lime just slightly and replaced regular salt with garlic salt. They’re super simple changes but trust me, they make a huge difference! Here’s a few other ways you can top these shrimp tacos too:

  • Sour cream
  • Your favorite salsa!
  • Pico de gallo
  • Mashed avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped cilantro & a squeeze of lime!
A person's hand dipping an oven baked shrimp taco into a creamy avocado sauce

FAQ’s

  • What size shrimp do you use? We use medium shrimp (21-25 count per pound) and they’re the perfect size once cut into thirds. (Your shrimp will shrink in size after being cooked so you don’t want to cut them too small.)
  • Are poblano peppers spicy? No. Poblano peppers are very mild but they have amazing flavor! Cooking poblanos mellows them out even more gives them a sweet and smoky flavor.
  • 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!]

4 crispy shrimp and poblano tacos sitting on a meatal baking sheet pan lined with parchment next to a small bowl of avocado cilantro sauce
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5 from 2 votes

Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

This is best crispy shrimp & poblano taco recipe! Chili seasoned shrimp, poblano peppers, onion and lots of cheese all stuffed inside corn tortillas and baked in the oven until crispy and gooey! Paired them with my avocado cilantro sauce for an easy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado cilantro sauce, baked tacos, crispy tacos, poblanos, shrimp tacos, taco recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the crispy shrimp tacos:

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled & deviened (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 poblano pepper (or pasilla pepper)
  • ½ cup white onion (or ½ of a white onion)
  • 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 of your ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Then cover your sauce and keep it stored in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

To make your shrimp & poblano filling:

  • If using frozen shrimp, thaw your shrimp completely and remove the tail shells. Then cut each shrimp into thirds.
  • Next heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray it with cooking spray. Once it's hot, add your chopped poblano peppers and onion and saute them until just tender. (About 2 minutes.) Then add your shrimp, garlic, chili powder, cayenne and salt and saute 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 and poblano 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 made, 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 or favorite toppings!

Notes

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 come out of the oven but they’ll crisp up as they cool.

4 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!!!!!!!

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