These Cajun Shrimp Tacos with cilantro lime crema are bursting with amazing flavor and are a great way to change up Taco Tuesday. Pan seared shrimp seasoned with Cajun spices are nestled in a warm tortilla with a cool and refreshing homemade crema creating one delicious meal!
Take taco night to a whole new level with this spicy shrimp taco recipe. They’re super quick and easy to make and because they’re so customizable, they’ll be a huge hit with everyone in the family, even with your picky eaters.
When I have a choice of quick and easy meals, shrimp is almost always my go-to option. They cook up in a matter of minutes and you can prepare them in so many ways. This Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta and this Asian Grilled Shrimp Bowls are two of my other favorite shrimp recipes you should check out!
But back to these yummy Cajun shrimp tacos! Instead of salsa these tacos are dressed with an amazing homemade crema that has the perfect balance of flavors. It’s a little zesty from the lime, a little tangy from the sour cream and it gets a nice fresh hint of flavor from the cilantro. The sauce pairs so well with the spice from the shrimp and the crunch from the purple cabbage mixture that you’ll may want to make extra sauce for dipping!
Table of Contents
💓Why We Love This Recipe
- Less than a 30-minute meal, these spicy shrimp tacos are super quick to prepare for a busy weeknight meal.
- These tacos are bursting with incredible flavor and are super satisfying but won’t leave you feeling overly stuffed.
- Because these tacos use all fresh ingredients, they taste even better than the ones you can get from any restaurant.
What You’ll Need to Make Shrimp Tacos with Crema
For the Shrimp:
- Shrimp, peeled, and deveined
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper flakes
- Olive oil-or other light cooking oil
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Cloves garlic
- Fresh lime juice
- Sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt
For the Tacos:
- 6” yellow corn tortillas
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Red onion
- Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges
- Leaves for celery stalks
How to Make the Best Shrimp Tacos
Step One: Cook the Shrimp
In a large bowl, toss raw shrimp with spices. Add the shrimp in a single layer to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes on each side until just done. The shrimp cooks quickly, so you don’t want to walk away during this step. (Shrimp will be white on the inside, with some pink on the outside).
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and set aside.
Step Two: Make the Crema
In a medium bowl, blend crema ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Step Three: Assemble the Tacos and Serve
Nestle the cooked seasoned shrimp into the warm tortillas and top with some of the crema with a little bit of all the toppings listed.
Store leftover shrimp tacos in an airtight container for a day or two.
Cajun Shrimp Tacos Recipe Variations and Add-ins
- Tortillas: We prefer yellow corn tortillas, but you can use flour tortillas or even the low carb style tortillas.
- Taco toppings: The toppings included in this recipe are just suggestions. Other great options for toppings are fresh mango salsa, a cabbage slaw, cooked black beans, sliced jalapeno pepper or pico de gallo.
- Adjust the heat level: If you are feeding little kiddos, you can easily adjust the amount of spice by dialing back or omitting the cayenne and red pepper flakes. If you like them really spicy, you can add a little siracha sauce along with the other spices to the crema.
- Seasonings: There are so many ways you can season the shrimp. For blackened shrimp tacos, you can use your favorite blackening seasoning blend. This recipe uses a homemade Cajun seasoning, but you can also buy a store-bought spice blend. Lemon pepper is another awesome seasoning blend that works great in these tacos.
Tips for Buying and Cooking Shrimp
- If you’re buying fresh shrimp, look for domestic, wild-caught shrimp if you have the option.
- If buying frozen shrimp, take a look at the list of ingredients. You don’t want shrimp that have been pumped full of preservatives. The only two ingredients that should be listed is ‘shrimp and water.”
- Don’t be afraid the give shrimp from the grocery store a sniff. If they smell really fishy or have an ammonia like smell, that’s an indicator that shrimp may not be their freshest and should probably be avoided.
- One thing to consider when buying shrimp is size. Large or jumbo shrimp are great for grilling or other forms of medium-high heat cooking like these pan seared shrimp tacos. Smaller shrimp are better for low temp cooking for shrimp salads or casseroles.
- To make food prep super easy, look for easy-peel shrimp. They are split down the back and make peeling them a breeze.
Shrimp Taco FAQs
My grocery store doesn’t have cotija. What’s a good substitute? Though the flavor will differ, feta or queso fresco are good substitutes.
If I don’t like cilantro, what could I use instead? The seems to be two camps when it comes to cilantro. Either you love it or hate it! No worries, you can still make this crème recipe but swapping out the cilantro with some fresh flat leaf parsley.
Can I freeze leftover shrimp tacos? You sure can! The best way to do that is to lay out the cooked shrimp on a sheet pan that you’ve lined with parchment paper. Place them in the freezer for about an hour, then transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. Label the date on the out side of the package, and store in the freezer for up to a couple of months. You can also freezer any leftover tortillas you can, but the crema and other toppings are best when made fresh.
More Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes
- Fajita Burgers
- Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad
- Easy Beef and Broccoli
- Taco Bake with Crescent Rolls
Cajun Shrimp Tacos
For the shrimp:
- 1 lb shrimp peeled, and deveined
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
For the Crema:
- 2 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 cup sour cream or full fat greek yogurt
For the tacos:
- 8 6” tortillas I used yellow corn
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 large avocado
- ½ a red onion diced
- 4 oz. cotija cheese
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Leaves from several stalks of cilantro
- Toss shrimp with spices and sauté in oil 1-2 minutes on each side until just done. (shrimp will be white on the inside, with some pink on the outside).
- Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, blend crema ingredients together.
- Serve shrimp and crema together with tortillas and toppings (listed above)
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