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These Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Crema and marinated cabbage slaw have perfectly spiced juicy shrimp, crunchy cabbage slaw and creamy chipotle sauce. Serve these any night of the week for an easy and healthy dinner!

Close up of blackened shrimp tacos with cabbage slaw and microgreens

I recently was inspired to make these blackened shrimp tacos after eating a version of them at a restaurant a few weeks ago. They were so full of flavor and I loved the combination of the slightly spicy shrimp, cool crunchy cabbage and creamy chipotle sauce. Tacos are one of my favorite weeknight dinners because they are so easy to throw together. And shrimp is one of the easiest proteins to prepare in a short amount of time. All together that makes these shrimp tacos a total win in the dinner department.

What is Blackened Seasoning?

Blackened seasoning is a spice combination used in a method of cooking called blackening. “Blackened” doesn’t mean burnt, but the food might appear to be black or dark brown due to the seasoning and cooking process. It’s roots are in New Orleans and takes it’s inspiration from Cajun and Creole cooking.

Although you can buy premixed blackened seasoning in the store, I prefer to make my own spice blend. This blackened seasoning contains:

  • Chili Powder
  • smoked paprika
  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • salt
spices for blackened seasoning on a white plate

Which Shrimp are best for blackened shrimp tacos?

For these shrimp tacos I used frozen Argentinian Red Shrimp. They are large, juicy and tender, and taste almost like lobster. You can also use another variety of large shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. If using frozen shrimp, thaw them first. The Argentinian Red Shrimp I used were jumbo sized, but I usually use large shrimp (31-40). The numbers you see on the bag indicate how large the shrimp are – how many shrimp are in a pound. So for large shrimp, there are between 31 and 40 shrimp per pound. A larger number means smaller shrimp, a smaller number means larger shrimp.

How to make Cabbage slaw for shrimp tacos

Making the cabbage slaw for these blackened shrimp tacos couldn’t be easier. Simply thinly slice some red cabbage, toss it in lime juice and salt and let it sit for about 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.

How to make chipotle crema for tacos

Making homemade chipotle crema is easy. Combine sour cream, mayo, one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, garlic, salt and lime juice in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

How to make blackened Shrimp Tacos

Below I have the entire recipe with information and measurements, but here is an overview.

  1. First, combine spices for blackened seasoning and add it to a medium bowl with the thawed shrimp, olive oil and garlic. Toss to fully coat and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare the cabbage slaw, set aside to marinate.
  3. Prepare the chipotle crema.
  4. Chop cilantro if using, or rinse micro greens and set aside.
  5. Mash avocado and add a dash of lime juice and salt, set aside.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. When hot, spray with a little cooking spray, add a layer of tortillas (I can fit 3 at a time in my large skillet), then spray the tops of the tortillas with a little more cooking spray (the cooking spray is optional but I like the way to tortillas brown with it). After allowing to brown on one side, flip and brown the other side. Repeat until you have browned as many tortillas as you need.
  8. When tortillas are finished remove from pan and return empty pan to the heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until no longer opaque.
  9. To assemble tacos, spread some mashed avocado onto a tortilla. Top with shrimp and cabbage slaw, drizzle on some chipotle crema and sprinkle on a little of the chopped cilantro or microgreens.
Blackened shrimp cooking in a black skillet

What to serve with shrimp tacos

I personally love that tacos make a complete meal and don’t really need sides.. However, you can serve these with a side of rice and/or beans, extra slices of lime, tortilla chips and my easy 4 ingredient guacamole!

Blackened shrimp tacos in a plate with a dish of chipotle crema

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Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Servings 12 Tacos

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined. Thaw if previously frozen.
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 TBSPS olive oil

Blackened seasoning

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • tsp cayanne

Chipotle crema

  • 2 TBSP mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cabbage Slaw

  • 10 ounces shredded purple cabbage about half one head
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Mashed avocado

  • 1 large Avocado ripe
  • 1 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For Garnish

  • 4 TBSP Chopped cilantro or microgreens

For the tacos

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • cooking spray I use avocado oil spray

Instructions 

  • Combine spices for blackened seasoning and add it to a medium bowl with the thawed shrimp, olive oil and garlic. Toss to fully coat and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the cabbage slaw by adding the finely shredded cabbage to a bowl with lime juice and salt. Toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
  • Prepare the chipotle crema. Add all ingredients for chipotle crema to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside until reddy to eat.
  • Chop cilantro if using, or rinse micro greens and set aside.
  • Mash the avocado and stir in the lime juice and salt, set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When hot, spray with a little cooking spray, add a layer of tortillas (I can fit 3 at a time in my large skillet), then spray the tops of the tortillas with a little more cooking spray (the cooking spray is optional but I like the way to tortillas brown with it). After allowing to brown on one side, flip and brown the other side. Repeat until you have browned as many tortillas as you need.
  • When tortillas are finished remove them from pan and return the empty pan to the heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until no longer opaque. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
  • To assemble tacos, spread some mashed avocado onto a tortilla. Top with shrimp and cabbage slaw, drizzle on some chipotle crema and sprinkle on a little of the chopped cilantro or microgreens.

Notes

Leftovers – store components of the taco in separate containers  with tightly fitting lids for best results. Shrimp will keep up to two days in the fridge.  Crema will keep up to one week. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1taco | Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 640IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinners, Sandwiches/Burgers/Tacos
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!
Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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