Shrimp Tacos

5 from 2 votes

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These fun change-of-pace tacos feature plump bites of shrimp in a tangy, saucy tomato mixture. Warm up some tortillas and top as you wish!

Two Shrimp Tacos on a small plate.

This shrimp tacos recipe is just the best change of pace from more traditional tacos. It’s fun in that these feature shrimp instead of meat, and the firm texture of shrimp is so fantastic in a soft tortilla. And my family absolutely loves the tangy, saucy tomato mixture that binds the shrimp and chopped vegetables together.

The filling comes together on the stovetop quite quickly, which makes these a true weeknight solution. If you’re not thinking about tacos, this lusty shrimp sauté is also quite satisfying when served over a pile of hot rice or quinoa or tossed with freshly cooked hot pasta.

Do make sure to warm your tortillas for these — it makes a big difference (and there are three ways to do it…pick your favorite!)

Shrimp Tacos on a table with sour cream, avocado, and other toppings.

Shrimp Tacos: These fun change-of-pace tacos feature plump bites of shrimp in a tangy, saucy tomato mixture. Warm up some tortillas and top as you wish!

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Ingredients

  • Olive oil – The shrimp get sautéed lightly in olive oil at the start of the recipe.
  • Shrimp – Get your shrimp already peeled and deveined, or save a few bucks and do it yourself. Since the shrimp are diced, don’t spend money on the huge ones; large ones are fine.
  • Onion – Adds a nice aromatic sweetness to the recipe.
  • Bell pepper – Pick your favorite color.
  • Garlic – Mince the garlic finely so it can almost melt into the sauce.
  • Canned tomato sauce – Use any plain canned tomato sauce or puréed tomatoes.
  • Tomato paste – Brings a nice depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Dried oregano, chili powder, and red pepper flakes – All add terrific zesty flavor to the sauce.
  • Green olives – I love the brininess of these olives, but feel free to leave them out if you are anti-olive.
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley – Use fresh parsley for the pop of green and rich herby flavor.
  • Corn tortillas – Use the small, 6-inch tortillas for the perfect sized taco.
  • To serve – I like to serve these tacos with sour cream, diced avocado, and radishes or jicama on the side, but go with whichever taco toppings you and your family love.
Shrimp Taco topped with sour cream, avocado, and radishes.

How to Make Shrimp Tacos

  1. Sauté the shrimp.
Shrimp sauteing in pan on the stove.
  1. Cook the vegetables: In the same pan, cook the onion and bell pepper until they soften. Throw in the garlic, then the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes, and then stir in the olives, parsley, and cooked shrimp.
Filling for Shrimp Tacos in pan with spoon.
  1. Warm the tortillas.
Tortilla in a skillet on a stovetop.
  1. Serve – I like to serve these in a do-it-yourself style, so everyone can assemble their own tacos with their preferred toppings.
Piling avocado, sour cream and other topping on Shrimp Tacos.

FAQs

How do you know when shrimp is finished cooking?

Shrimp gives you an easy indicator of when it is done by turning pink all over. If you’re really concerned, you can cut a piece open and make sure it is opaque all the way to the center rather than shiny and translucent. But be careful not to overcook the shrimp. As soon as they turn pink, remove them from the heat, as they go from perfect to rubbery fairly quickly.

What are the best toppings for shrimp tacos?

I like to serve shrimp tacos with sour cream to balance out the slightly spicy sauce, as well as some fresh vegetables like radishes or jicama for crunch. I also love to top them with salsa; try spicy salsa verde for a tangy kick, pico de gallo for freshness, or tropical fruit salsa for a little sweetness that pairs perfectly with shrimp.

Make Ahead Shrimp Tacos

The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead, refrigerated, and heated gently over low heat. Heat the tortillas just before serving.

What to Serve with Shrimp Tacos

Two Shrimp Tacos on a small plate.

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5 from 2 votes

Shrimp Tacos

These fun change-of-pace tacos feature plump bites of shrimp in a tangy, saucy tomato mixture. Warm up some tortillas and top as you wish!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds large (31 to 35 per pound) shrimp (peeled and deveined, or use jumbo shrimp and cut them into three pieces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large bell pepper any color (stemmed, seeded, and chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped green olives (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches in diameter)

To Serve

  • Sour cream
  • Diced avocado
  • Radishes or jicama (or both; sliced into thin matchsticks)

Instructions 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté just until they start to turn pink, 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
  • Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until they start to soften, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until you can smell it, 1 minute more. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, chili powder, and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, to blend the flavors, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the olives if using, the parsley, and the reserved shrimp and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, another 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, warm the tortillas.
  • Serve the shrimp mixture with the tortillas and pass the sour cream and avocado on the side.

Notes

If you’re not thinking about tacos, this is also quite lusty, served over a pile of hot rice or quinoa or tossed with freshly cooked hot pasta.
There are several ways to warm your tortillas. Don’t forget; it makes a big difference.

Nutrition

Calories: 371kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 381mg, Sodium: 2017mg, Potassium: 722mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1392IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 293mg, Iron: 5mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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