These Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos are what weeknight dinners should always be—fresh, healthy and incredibly easy to throw together!
Table of contents
Why I Love This Recipe
First off, shrimp is a weeknight warrior. It’s quick-thawing, quick-cooking, and a delicious, versatile protein. This recipe celebrates all that, and then some!
The shrimp get tossed with chili powder and coriander and are cooked up in less than 5 minutes. They then get piled into charred tortillas with a dreamy avocado crema and a simple cilantro-lime slaw. Creamy, crunchy, spiced and satisfying!
Grocery List for These Tacos
- ½ medium green cabbage
- ½ red onion
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 limes
- 1 serrano, optional (jalapeño also works)
- 1 avocado
- 1 clove garlic
Protein + Dairy
- 1 small container whole milk plain regular yogurt
- 1 pound 26/30 shrimp (labeled extra-large)
- olive oil and avocado oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ground coriander
- chili powder
- 6-inch corn tortillas or flour tortillas
How to Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos
- For the cilantro lime slaw, whisk together the lime vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add the shredded cabbage, red onion, cilantro and serrano and toss to coat; season with salt.
- For the avocado crema, blend the avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic, coriander, salt and pepper in a mini food processor or blender until smooth.
- For the shrimp, combine chili powder, coriander, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering, add the shrimp in an even layer and cook, without moving for 2 minutes. Flip, continue to cook 1 minute then remove from heat and sprinkle lime zest over top.
- Serve the shrimp, avocado cream and slaw in charred tortillas.
How to Quickly Thaw Shrimp
Stocking your freezer with frozen shrimp is one of the best things you can do to ease the daily dinner woe. If you’re a planner and tend to think ahead, pop the frozen bag of shrimp into the fridge the day prior to when you plan to use them—the shrimp will thaw overnight in the fridge.
For those of us who rarely think ahead, thawing shrimp in a snap is possible and very easy. Here’s how to quickly thaw shrimp: dump the frozen shrimp into a bowl and cover the shrimp with cold water. Let the shrimp sit in the water for 10–20 minutes (depending on size) until thawed. I recommend draining and refilling the water a few times—this will speed up the process.
Be sure to use cold water—warm water will change the texture of the shrimp and, not surprisingly, hot water will start to cook the shrimp.
You’ll know the shrimp are thawed when no ice layer remains on the exterior of the shrimp and the shrimp are tender when lightly squeezed.
Before cooking the shrimp, arrange them on a paper-towel-lined plate or baking sheet and pat dry. This step is especially important if you plan to sear or sauté the shrimp—if you don’t dry them, they’ll just steam in the pan.
Variations the Recipe:
- Skip the avocado crema and instead top the tacos with sour cream and hot sauce.
- Thread the spiced shrimp onto a skewer and grill the shrimp instead of searing on the stove top.
- Simply season the shrimp with salt and lime zest.
What to Serve With Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Chips and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- ZK’s Secret Ingredient Guacamole
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8 small tacos (2–4 servings) 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Mediterranean-American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Spiced shrimp served in charred tortillas with garlic lime avocado crema and cilantro lime slaw.
- ½ medium head green cabbage, shredded (6 cups/or 1 lb.)
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (1 cup)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 limes, zested and juiced, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 serrano, thinly sliced, optional
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 medium avocado, peeled and pitted
- ¼ cup whole milk plain regular yogurt
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 pound 26/30 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 6-inch corn or flour tortillas, for serving
- For slaw, whisk together 3 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Add shredded cabbage, cilantro, red onion, and serrano, if using, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- For avocado sauce, combine avocado, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a mini food processor.
- Process until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Set aside.
- For shrimp, combine chili powder, remaining 1 teaspoon coriander, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels then add to bowl with spices and toss to coat.
- Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering.
- Add shrimp in an even layer and cook, without moving, until bottom sides of shrimp are browned and starting to curl, 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and sprinkle 1 teaspoon lime zest over top.
- To warm tortillas, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high, place tortillas in skillet and warm until starting to become toasty, 15–30 seconds each side. Or, for a quicker option, place tortillas over medium-low open flame on stove top and warm, flipping occasionally, until warmed and starting to char.
- To assemble, spread avocado sauce on one half of each tortilla, scoop slaw onto other half, then nestle three shrimp right in middle. Sprinkle lime zest over top and serve with additional slaw on side.
Gluten-free: serve in corn tortillas.
Dairy-free: use dairy-free yogurt to make the avocado crema.
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 399
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 918mg
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 32g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 29g
- Cholesterol: 225mg
Keywords: cilantro lime shrimp tacos