Yeah, I know that’s a pretty big claim to make. But this shrimp taco recipe is SCRUMPTIOUS.

Taco Tuesday is about to get even better…woohoo!

I always keep a couple bags of frozen shrimp on hand for when I have nothing planned for dinner (which, *ahem* is often). I just thaw the shrimp under running water, and they’re ready to go.

These shrimp tacos have no special ingredients (except for the shrimp) – they’re basically a collection of pantry staples that most of you probably already have in your kitchen. They come together quickly, and can be topped however you like. 

For shrimp, I try to buy the biggest ones I can find, which is usually the ‘jumbo’ variety. The smaller the shrimp, the more of a risk you have of overcooking them and turning them into rubber. Peel the shrimp before cooking – some recipes are better with unpeeled shrimp, but this isn’t one of them. 

I’m linking to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch site at the bottom of this post, in case you’re wondering about the environmental impact of different shrimp varieties.

As far as tortillas go, we all have our favorites. I personally prefer small flour ones to corn, which tend to be brittle. They always break when I bite into them, dumping the taco contents into my lap. But use whichever ones you want, and if you prefer burritos or even a taco/burrito bowl, you can adapt this recipe for those things, too. 


Shrimp taco recipe

This shrimp taco recipe uses a couple different kinds of spices to increase the complexity. Not only does it have American chili powder, but also ancho chili powder, cinnamon, and smoked paprika. I have these in my spice drawer at all times, and I use them a LOT. 

The recipe also contains chipotle chilies in adobo, which are boiling spicy, so you can leave them out if you want. 

Fun fact: ancho chilis are dried poblanos, and chipotle chilis are dried jalapenos. I never knew that until recently!

Shrimp taco recipe

The World's Best Shrimp Taco Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins

It's a lofty claim, but these shrimp tacos are the best I've ever had.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: shrimp tacos, tacos
Servings: 4
  • 1.5 pounds shrimp, peeled and cleaned, patted dry
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 chilis in adobo, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 8 tortillas
  • Garnishes - avocado, fresh cheese, cilantro, red onion, etc.
  1. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium-high

  2. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft

  3. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn

  4. Add tomato paste and spices to the pan, mixing to coat the onion and garlic mixture

  5. Add shrimp to the pan, stirring to ensure that shrimp is coated with the sauce

  6. Cook shrimp until just opaque on both sides

  7. Serve in tacos with garnishes


Monterey Bay Seafood Watch site.