Grilled Shrimp Tacos


Last Updated on by What’s Smoking

If you’re looking to add some heat and flavor to your summer gatherings, look no further than grilled shrimp tacos. Bursting with smoky charred flavors and zesty seasonings, these tacos are a crowd-pleasing dish that will transport you straight to the sunny shores of Mexico. Perfectly grilled shrimp nestled in warm tortillas, topped with vibrant coleslaw it’s a recipe that will make your taste buds dance with delight. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, expanding your Taco Tuesday menu, or simply craving a delicious seafood meal, this article will guide you through the steps of creating the ultimate grilled shrimp tacos that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Grilled Shrimp Taco Recipe

There are two parts to this recipe. The coleslaw and then the shrimp. We will get started with the coleslaw first. You can make this in advance, but I would suggest day of.

Coleslaw Recipe

We are going to start this recipe out with an awesome Mexican coleslaw which will give us that authentic flavor of Mexican shrimp tacos. For the coleslaw you will need the following:

  • coleslaw blend
  • red cabbage
  • cilantro
  • green onions
  • jalapenos
  • sugar
  • lime juice
  • olive oil

Looking for some more detail on making this coleslaw? You can check out the post, Mexican Coleslaw. We usually used bagged coleslaw blends and some sliced cabbage. Combined the coleslaw and red cabbage. Chop the cilantro and green onions, then add them both to the already combined coleslaw and cabbage. Take the jalapeno, remove the seeds, unless of course you prefer some more heat. After removing the seeds, dice the jalapeno and add it to the coleslaw. After having added the fresh ingredients, mix them together. At this point, add in the sugar, fresh lime juice and olive oil and continue mixing well.

The coleslaw will last about 2-3 days at most before its start to get too soggy. You can store it in an airtight container and it will be good definitely the next day if you have leftovers but after that it may start getting soggy and losing some of its crunch.

Grilled Shrimp Recipe

For this recipe we will use 2 pounds of shrimp. If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure they are defrosted before we start grilling them. You can get the grill up and running while we finish prepping the shrimp. We are going to grill these over a direct open flame. We are looking for a medium to high heat, around 375° but we will grill with the lid open so exact temperature is not crucial.

How you decide to grill the shrimp is up to you. I will grill shrimp a variety of ways, from directly on the grate, to using wooden skewers or in a grilling basket. For this cook, I am going to use the grilling basket. I find when it comes to grilling shrimp, a basket is the easiest way to go about it. The shrimp is not sticking to the grates, falling through them and you are not having to thread them onto the skewer.

While the grill is getting up to temperature you can prep the shrimp. This a super easy combination of spices but packs these shrimp with flavor. Gather the following as we prepare the shrimp for grilling, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and some olive oil. As I mentioned above, one more reminder, if you are using frozen make sure they are already defrosted. Place the shrimp in a large bowl, drizzle on the olive oil and ensure you get all the shrimp covered. I will usually mix the shrimp by hand, its much easier than using a spoon.

Prepped for shrimp grilled tacos

After you have done that, combined your dry ingredients and mix them together in a small bowl. Incrementally start adding the dry ingredients to the shrimp, also by hand, mix the shrimp and ingredients ensuring you get full coverage on the shrimp. When that is completed we can get these on the grill.

Easy Grilled Shrimp

Add the shrimp or the grilling basket, or whatever you preferred method would be for grilling shrimp. Once you have the shrimp on the grill we are going to cook over direct heat. Shrimp will cook fast and if left took long will also get dried out, without too much effort, so its important you stay close to the grill with these.

There is something about grilled shrimp that just tastes better than shrimp cook on a stove top regardless of how you cook them. Grilling shrimp brings out so much more flavor than steamed or boiled shrimp. These will be some of the best grilled shrimp tacos you have ever had.

I talked about it earlier, I like grilling shrimp in a basket when simply grilling the shrimp. Because we are going this over a medium to high heat they are going to cook fast, so its important we keep these shrimp moving in the basket. What you are looking to do is keep rotating the shrimp on the bottom of the basket. The olive oil we used earlier will also help not only with flavor but will assist in keeping the shrimp from sticking to the basket.

The grill time on this recipe is about 10 minutes but go by look of the shrimp. Once you see them turning pink, you they should be ready. Because we are doing this with the lid open, there are some variables as to how long this takes, wind, outdoor temperature to name two but it should be right in that 10 minute window.

Easy Shrimp Tacos

True to form there is not much else we need to do with this recipe. Once the shrimp are done, we can remove from the grill and start putting our tacos together. Since we usually use street tacos, I will slice the shrimp in half. If you are using larger tortillas, you may be able to get away not cutting the shrimp in half.

When making our tacos you can use flour or corn tortillas. Either one is a viable option. If you are going to use corn tortillas, you will want to warm them up on a skillet for a few minutes, this will keep them from falling apart.

If you are looking for some gluten free tacos then the corn tortillas are the way to go. Before warming give a quick spray with some cooking spray and warm for a minute or two on each side. A cast iron skillet is best for warming corn tortillas.

Besides that there is not much else you need to do. You can add some avocado to the tacos, a squirt of fresh lime juice or some hot sauce but beyond that these really just need the coleslaw and you are good to go. Some cilantro lime rice is great as a side dish with these grilled shrimp tacos.

Simple grilled shrimp tacos

Wrapping Up Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Grilled shrimp tacos are a delicious and versatile option for any meal. The combination of succulent grilled shrimp, flavorful marinades, and fresh toppings creates a mouthwatering dish that is sure to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, these tacos are an excellent choice. With endless possibilities for customization, you can truly make these tacos your own by adding your favorite ingredients and spices. So fire up the grill and indulge in the amazing flavors of grilled shrimp tacos – they’re guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!

Thanks for being here and checking out this grilled shrimp tacos recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

Looking for some other recipes for tacos or seafood? Here are some recipes we love in our house:

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Dive into the irresistible flavors of grilled shrimp tacos with this easy-to-follow recipe that will make your next taco night unforgettable.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes



  • 1 bag of shredded coleslaw
  • I bag or one head of purple cabbage
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped coarsely
  • 1 jalapeno, with seeds removed
  • 1 red onion, diced

Coleslaw Dressing

  • 1/2 cup of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar or agave
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 lbs. of shrimp
  • 20 flour street taco tortillas
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder


  1. Combined your coleslaw and red cabbage and mix well
  2. Add your chopped green onions, cilantro and jalapeno (seeds removed), mix together well
  3. Add in the lime juice, sugar and olive oil, mixing well together
  4. Set to the side, you can do this a day in advance but my recommendation is the day of.
  5. Prepare the shrimp with the olive oil and dried spices.
  6. Get the grill going at about 375°, we are going to grill the shrimp over direct heat
  7. After the shrimp is prepared and the grill is ready, place the shrimp in a grilling basket or your preferred method and being grilling the shrimp.
  8. Keep the shrimp moving to ensure even cooking and to also avoiding them from drying out. The grill time is about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Once the shrimp has turned pink you can remove and prepare the tacos.
  10. Add the coleslaw blend and shrimp to flour or corn tortillas.
  11. Garnish the tacos with some avocado, fresh lime juice, or hot sauce and serve and enjoy!


If you have a scenario where you are making this easy Mexican coleslaw in advance, my suggestion is to combine all the dry ingredients together first, minus the salt and sugar and right before serving add in the dressing ingredients of the lime juice, olive oil and sugar and salt. If you are making this to far in advance the coleslaw will get too soggy.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 1044mgCarbohydrates: 211gFiber: 10gSugar: 9gProtein: 50g

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