I had half a pound of frozen shrimp (30/40 count) in my freezer leftover from making Blackened Shrimp Pasta, so I decided to try Blackened Shrimp a new way—Blacked Shrimp Tacos! Because tacos are always good, right??
The blackened shrimp is so simple and so extremely flavorful that they can pretty much carry the tacos themselves. I added a super simple slaw to bulk up the dish and to balance the spicy blackening seasoning. The slight sweetness of the slaw and its tangy Dijon mustard are absolutely perfect with the smoky heat of the blackened shrimp. And then I wanted the Blackened Shrimp Tacos to have just a little more pizzaz, so I whipped up a small batch of smoky garlic lime sauce to drizzle on top.
The flavor play between the blackened shrimp, slaw, and smoky garlic lime sauce is AMAZING.
Toast Your Tortillas For More Flavor
One tip that I always give for tacos is to always toast the corn tortillas first. It really magnifies their flavor and helps strengthen the tacos so that you can stuff ’em full without them ripping apart. I’ve included a photo of my favorite brand, which have proven to be quite sturdy, in the step-by-steps below.
How Many Does This Recipe Serve?
The batch below is fairly small because I only had a half pound of shrimp on hand. With 30/40 count shrimp that meant I had 18 individual shrimp. I put three shrimp in each taco, so that gave me six tacos. Whether you eat 2 or 3 tacos per “serving” is really subjective, so I just listed the price as per taco rather than a suggested servings size.
What to Serve with Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Are These Shrimp Tacos Spicy?
I would call these tacos “medium” spicy, but that will depend on your sensitivity to spicy foods. Because I used a homemade Cajun seasoning blend for the blackened shrimp, you can adjust the heat to your liking. To make the shrimp tacos less spicy, reduce the cayenne pepper by half. To make them more spicy, increase the amount of cayenne pepper.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise ($0.40)
- 1/2 Tbsp honey ($0.06)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard ($0.06)
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
- 1/2 bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) ($.75)
- 3 green onions, sliced ($0.28)
SMOKY GARLIC LIME SAUCE
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise ($0.40)
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika ($0.02)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
- 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice) ($0.39)
- 1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (30/40 count) ($4.00)
- 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 6 small corn tortillas ($0.30)
- 3 green onions, sliced ($0.28)
- To prepare the coleslaw dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, honey, Dijon, red wine vinegar, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl and add about 3/4 of the dressing. Stir until everything is coated in dressing, then add more dressing if desired. Refrigerate the slaw until ready to serve.
- To prepare the smoky garlic lime sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and the juice from half a lime (about 1 Tbsp) in a small bowl. Save the other half of the lime to serve as wedges with the finished tacos.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, toast the tortillas on each side until browned on the edges. Place the toasted tortillas on stacked on a plate and covered with a towel until ready to serve.
- Prepare the blackening seasoning by stirring together the smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Pour the seasoning over the shrimp and stir until the shrimp are coated.
- Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat for about one minute, or until the garlic is fragrant and slightly softened. Add the seasoned shrimp and sauté just until the shrimp is firm (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat to prevent over cooking the shrimp.
- To serve the tacos, place about 1/4 cup coleslaw in each tortilla, top with 3 shrimp, a drizzle of the smoky garlic lime sauce, and a few sliced green onions. Squeeze a wedge of fresh lime over top.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Blackened Shrimp Tacos – Step by Step Photos
Mix up the coleslaw dressing first by combining 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp Dijon, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.
Place one bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a large bowl, add 3 sliced green onions, and the dressing. I suggest starting with about half of the slaw dressing first and add more as desired.
Stir until everything is mixed and coated in dressing. Refrigerate until the tacos are ready to serve. The coleslaw will soften a bit with time in the fridge, so if you like a super crisp slaw, wait to add the dressing until just before you serve the tacos.
Next, mix up the small batch of smoky garlic lime sauce. In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup mayo, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt, and about 1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice (from half of a lime, save the other half to serve as wedges to squeeze over the finished tacos).
Pre-heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Once hot, toast the corn tortillas on each side until they are browned on the edges. Stack the toasted tortillas on a plate and cover with a towel until ready to serve.
Prepare the blackening seasoning by combining 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl.
Pour the seasoning mix over 1/2 lb. 30/40 count peeled and deveined shrimp and stir until they are coated.
Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for about one minute or until the garlic is fragrant and softened.
Add the seasoned shrimp and continue to sauté until the shrimp are firm and opaque (this is really fast, maybe 3-5 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat.
To build the Blackened Shrimp Tacos, place about 1/4 cup coleslaw on each tortilla, top with 3 shrimp, a drizzle of the smoky garlic lime sauce, and a few sliced green onions.