Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa

5 stars based on 2 votes

shrimp-tacos

These shrimp tacos are perfect for a casual and fun summer dinner party. You can prepare most of the recipe ahead of time, then just fire up the grill and lay out all of the components for everyone help themselves. It’s one of those recipes with a long list of ingredients but please don’t let that discourage you; they are truly very quick and easy to make!

As with all of my shrimp recipes, I recommend buying frozen shrimp labeled “shell split and deveined.” Most shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so the “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket is typically thawed frozen shrimp. Who knows how long it’s been sitting there, so you’re better off buying frozen and defrosting it yourself. Come dinnertime, all you have to do is run it under warm water to defrost, then peel.

Begin by making the avocado salsa. Combine the garlic, shallot and jalapeño pepper in a food processor and process until finely minced. For the jalapeño pepper, I like to cut the flesh off the seeds and stem, leaving the spiciest part of the pepper behind.  Of course, if you like more heat, throw in some of the seeds. (If you touch the seeds, just be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes.)

Next, seed and chop the tomato and add it to the jalapeño mixture.

Cut a grid into the avocado, then use a soup spoon to scoop out the chunks.

Add the avocado to the jalapeño mixture, along with the salt, fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine. When you taste it, you might worry it’s too spicy but, rest assured, it’ll be perfect combined with the shrimp and fixins in the tortilla. It’s not intended to be eaten on its own like guacamole.

Next, toss the shrimp with olive oil, chili powder, salt and a hint of cayenne pepper.

Grill the shrimp over medium heat. The reason I use large shrimp for this recipe is so that they don’t fall through the grates. If you’re worried your shrimp will slip through, you can always thread them on skewers or just cook them indoors in a saute pan. Either way, be careful not to overcook them — they only need a minute or two per side.

Finally, heat the tortillas on the grill or in the microwave, and assemble the tacos with all the fixins. Serve with Margaritas and enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Salsa

  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, quartered and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from half a lime
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • -

For the Shrimp

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds large or extra large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • -

For Assembling

  • 8 - 10 six-inch corn or flour tortillas
  • Approximately 2 cups chopped red cabbage, for garnish (I buy it pre-chopped in a bag)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • Approximately 1 cup sour cream, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the Salsa: Put the shallot, jalapeno and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped (a mini food processor is best, but large will work too). Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, avocado, salt, lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Set aside. (If not using right away, place a piece of saran wrap inside the bowl and directly over salsa to prevent discoloration and refrigerate.)
  2. Make the Shrimp: Heat grill to medium. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, chili powder, salt, cayenne pepper and shrimp in a large bowl. Stir until shrimp are evenly coated with seasoning. Grease grill with a wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil or non-flammable cooking spray. Place shrimp on grill and cook until just opaque, about 1-1/2 - 2 minutes per side. Cover to keep shrimp warm.
  3. Grill the tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, heat tortillas in microwave according to package instructions.)
  4. Spoon avocado salsa generously over warm tortillas, then top with 3 shrimp, red cabbage and dollops of sour cream. Serve tacos with lime wedges on the side.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    These were the BEST shrimp tacos! Not only was the shrimp super tasty but mild enough for my two young boys. But the avocado salsa was the show-stealer. It was a perfect balance of lime, salt, and veggies. Healthy and TASTY. We also grilled the flour tortillas, which we’ve never done, and it really added a new dimension to not only the taste but the overall experience. You must try this recipe.

    - Kelly McIvor on July 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We had the shrimp portion last night and it was super quick and really good. The shrimp were mild enough for our children to eat as well. This was a last minute dinner idea, so we did not have the ingredients on hand to make the salsa. Rather, I took the cabbage I had in the fridge and made a quick slaw out of a tablespoon or so of mayo, lime juice, sliced green onion, and some salt and pepper. I added that to my tortilla with the shrimp. Made some quick black beans…opened can and rinse beans. Heated beans in a pot with some chicken stock, a clove of garlic, half of a peeled carrot, a bit of celery and 1/4 of an onion (nothing needs to be chopped). Simmer for 15 minutes and you’ll have some pretty tasty canned black beans.

    - Jaime on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • Definitely a family dish for me! It brings everyone together every time! Whole Foods corn tortilla (the yellow one) delivers even a better texture.

    Along with your Baja FIsh Tacos, this has been my go-to dish whenever I have good friends over!

    - H on October 27, 2013 Reply
    • Great tip on the corn tortillas. Thank you!

      - Jenn on October 27, 2013 Reply
  • I made these last night for my family and they were soooo delicious! My family loved them and ate every bite! The salsa is delicious with the shrimp! Def going to make these again!

    - steph on June 12, 2013 Reply
  • These are the best shrimp tacos!! Kids love them! try it!

    - Samar on April 27, 2013 Reply
  • My husband and I just made this about a week ago when we had our parents over for a pool party. It was so, so yummy and fun to make. We had Spanish rice on the side and the avocado salsa was so good that I mixed them together. Everyone had fun wrapping their own and the shrimp was tender and moist. Thank you so much Jennifer for such wonderful recipes!

    - Aylin on March 14, 2013 Reply
  • Just another of my “go to” meals from this site! My only modification is to substitute red pepper flakes for the jalapenos and to eat the avacado salsa & shrimp in a bowl separate from the tortillas. I like mine crispy, so it’s alot less messy that way and still tastes srumptious!

    - Lisa Ballantyne on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This was delicious. The avocado salsa stole the show! I bet that salsa would be great with other things, too (like dipping chips in it!)

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • GREAT receipe!!! Have made it several times. Loved the combination of flavor with avocado,
    tomatoes, red cabbage with the shrimp.

    - Sharon on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This is the best shrimp taco recipe! Kids and hubby love them!

    - Samar on October 14, 2012 Reply
  • Made these for company along with chicken enchiladas and Mexican rice. Awesome tacos and the salsa ~ to die for. Had some left over and the avocado did not brown at all. Thank you ~ fun to try new recipes. Will make again soon.

    - Cindy on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • Made them again to rave reviews. I doubled up the avocado salsa — it went fast!

    - Karen on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I made these tacos for my family the other night and they were amazing! I would not change a thing!

    - deana c on June 26, 2012 Reply
  • A delicious summer treat. I substituted greek yogurt for the sour cream for a lighter version.

    - Elisa on June 24, 2012 Reply
  • These shrimp were delicious! I ended up broiling them in the oven for just a few minutes per side and they were super sweet. The avocado salsa had a nice kick to it!

    - Nicole on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • My husband and I just made this about a week ago when we had our parents over for a pool party. It was so, so yummy and fun to make. We had Spanish rice on the side and the avocado salsa was so good that I mixed them together. Everyone had fun wrapping their own and the shrimp was tender and moist. Thank you so much Jennifer for such wonderful recipes!

    - Aylin on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • I enjoyed this dish. Pan sauteed the shrimp instead of grilling, so maybe that changed the flavor profile a bit. The avocado salsa was great though, hard to keep from just eating it with chips!

    - Andrew on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Wow! We’re getting ready to head home to Seattle and I will definitely plan to make these upon landing!

    - Shelly Donahue on June 5, 2012 Reply
  • this is the first time ive ever commented on a blog, but i felt absolutely compelled to after making these because this was hands down the best meal i have ever prepared. my whole family was raving about them, i felt like a rockstar at dinner. thank you!

    - CAC1 on May 27, 2012 Reply
  • Jenn — made these Friday night along with your quinoa, corn, tomato, and avocado salad and your margaritas!! Everything was delicious — there was not a morsel left. Thanks so much for these great recipes!!

    - Karen on May 27, 2012 Reply
  • I made these for dinner tonight; they were delicious! Can’t wait to enjoy them again soon. Great summer recipe.

    - Bonnie on May 24, 2012 Reply
  • Thank you for all the recipes. Tonight I made the shrimp tacos w/ avocado salsa, it was fabulous, LOVE it! I am a huge fan for a long time. Do you have some recipes for sack lunches for kids too? Thank you again.

    - Liz on May 23, 2012 Reply
  • These look and sound amazing – can’t wait to try them! :)

    - Michelle on May 23, 2012 Reply
  • Made these last night and they were amazing!! Very easy to make too. I was wondering if you have a good recipe for fish tacos?

    - Laura on May 23, 2012 Reply
  • These look fab! I can’t wait to try them out!

    - Kristen price on May 22, 2012 Reply
  • Jen, thank you for all the recipes. Tonight I made the shrimp tacos w/ avocado salsa, it was fabulous, LOVE it! I am a huge fan for a long time. Do you have some recipes for sack lunches for kids too? Thank you again.

    - Liz on May 19, 2012 Reply
  • When I showed the picture of these to my husband his exact response was. “Yes, Yes, Yes!!” We are very excited to try this recipe :)

    - Renee E on May 19, 2012 Reply
  • Just finished dinner and these tacos were fantastic!

    - Dorothy on May 19, 2012 Reply
  • Georges at the Cove in La Jolla….one of my all time favorite places to be !!!! This recipe is “spot” on! So good that I can almost believe I’m back at that rooftop table enjoying the blue sea, sunshine and delicious shrimp tacos at Georges. Thank you so much for an incredible recipe that brings back so many wonderful vacation memories.

    - EileenC on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • I was wondering if you knew how many calories each one has

    - Morgan on May 17, 2012 Reply
    • Sorry, Morgan, I don’t have nutritional info. for my recipes.

      - Jenn on May 18, 2012 Reply
    • There are several websites that allow you to enter ingredients to calculate the nutritional content. I’ve tried this one and it works fairly well. http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

      - Sally on May 18, 2012 Reply
      • Thank you, Sally!

        - Jenn on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • I know what I’m making this weekend! Thanks for the wonderful recipe

    - Eileen on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Saw this recipe while at work wondering what to make for dinner! So simple and so good! Another hit – thank you!

    - Belinda on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • You’ve done it once again…..another delicious recipe! I just finished these and they are truly wonderful. I look forward to new posts to see what is on our menu for the day! Never a disappointment!

    - LindaK on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • I love shrimp tacos I will be trying these this weekend

    - Marcia on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Can’t wait to try these – with a few easy adaptations, they are totally okay for the Paleo diet. Bonus!!

    - Debi on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • love shrimp tacos, can’t wait to try these !

    - Darnell Bennett on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Love shrimp tacos, can’t wait to try this recipe !!

    - Darnell Bennett on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Just a quick FYI: I would find comments from people who have actually made your recipies much more helpful than people just saying YUM, sounds good, think I’ll try it, etc. Just my opinion.

    - Linda on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Can’t wait to try these – I love George’s!!

    - Molly on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • The salsa looks delicious – a great addition to summer recipes!

    - mek on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Looks amazing!

    - Susan on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Shrimp and fish tacos are my favorites. Can’t wait to try this!

    - Jane on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • This looks delicious and perfect for “grilling weather”. I can’t wait to try it!

    - Tami on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Sounds wonderful, much like my recipe for Pico de Gallo. Love the heat, and eat it with tortilla chips. I like the idea of shallots rather than onions. I will rry that the next time.

    - Debbie G on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Ooooh, I have just about everything to make these except the shrimp. Never tried shrimp tacos, but these do look amazing!!

    - Shannon on May 17, 2012 Reply
    • To follow up my own reply, I DID try this last week and it was amazingly good! I had some chicken breast in the fridge, so I used that in place of shrimp and pan grilled them on the stove. Very yummy, very moist, great for tacos.

      - Shannon on May 22, 2012 Reply
  • YUM this looks SO GOOD can’t wait to try!

    - Meg at Peaches and Cake on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Looks fabulous!

    - Debby Poe on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Never had shrimp tacos, but I will soon add them to my menu! Yum!

    - Cathy on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Yummy! This looks so good. I think I’ll try it for dinner next week!

    - Angela on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve never had shrimp tacos, but these look incredible – I will need to remedy this situation very soon!

    - atoastandtea on May 16, 2012 Reply

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