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How to Make Shrimp Tacos: My Own Tex-Mex Recipe

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Soft corn tortillas brimming with shrimp, caramelized onions, diced tomatoes, and cilantro; especially delicious with guacamole. Served with rice and black beans on the side.

Soft corn tortillas brimming with shrimp, caramelized onions, diced tomatoes, and cilantro; especially delicious with guacamole. Served with rice and black beans on the side.

Shrimp Tacos for Dinner Tonight!

Having lived in Texas all my life, I am a big fan of Tex-Mex cuisine. However, in the past several years, the "Baja" style of Mexican cooking has become more and more popular here in Texas. The Baja-style tacos served in restaurants here typically contain either grilled or lightly breaded and fried shrimp, plus a bit of shredded cabbage and some dressing.

My Tex-Mex version (the recipe here), however, features sauteed shrimp, caramelized onions, Rotel tomatoes, and pepper jack cheese. This recipe works for me because dropping shrimp into a saute pan is much quicker than grilling or frying shrimp. The recipe also works better for my family, because while I love Baja-style shrimp tacos, my kids are not big fans of cabbage.

As far as the shrimp is concerned, my part of Texas is landlocked and quite far from the coast. I typically purchase frozen shrimp because there is just not too much fresh seafood available in my area. Frozen seafood also is convenient—I can keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer to pull out when the mood for shrimp tacos strikes.

Also for convenience, I purchase shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined. When the mundane tasks of peeling and deveining have already been completed, this dinner comes together in a hurry. Peeled and deveined shrimp costs a bit more. If you'd like to save a little money and peel and devein them yourself, I've included a short video tutorial if you need some help with that task.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 pound of peeled and deveined medium-size shrimp
  • Juice of one-half of a lime, or about 1–2 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Pepperjack cheese


  1. In a large saute pan, cook the onions in olive oil over medium-low heat. Saute the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized.
  2. Drain the Rotel tomatoes. Add tomatoes to onions. Cook several minutes or until remaining liquid evaporates.
  3. If shrimp was previously frozen and is now thawed, drain any liquid from the package. Add lime juice and shrimp to the onions and tomatoes in the saute pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shrimp is pink. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving.
  4. While shrimp is cooking, place 4 corn tortillas in a single layer on a nonstick griddle or shallow pan. Place a slice of pepper jack cheese, about one inch by four inches, across the middle of each tortilla. Turn the heat on medium and allow the cheese to melt. I like to leave the tortillas on the griddle several minutes, to let them crisp up a bit. They are still soft enough to fold into tacos, but have a slight crunch around the edges. You may prefer yours softer. The longer you leave them on the griddle, the more crispness they'll take on.
  5. Fill each tortilla with a spoonful or two of the shrimp mixture. Top with salsa and guacamole, if desired. Fold over and enjoy. While my family is eating round one of the tortillas, I throw round two on the griddle so that the cheese can be melting and they have another hot, fresh tortilla ready to fill by the time they've finished taco number one.
  6. These are great with Mexican rice, black beans and sliced cantaloupe on the side.

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

How did you like these shrimp tacos? Please rate this recipe!


Jelena from Florida on June 21, 2015:

Sounds like a good recipe. I might try it out.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on April 06, 2012:

Thanks Purple Perl! I never win anything, so it was exciting for me even to win a random drawing. I hope you like the tacos if you get a chance to make them!

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on April 06, 2012:

A great recipe. Mouthwatering photo! The video was a great guide.Congrats on winning!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 27, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! I was surprised about the contest! I never win anything, much less a random drawing! Thanks!

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on March 26, 2012:

Oh yeah, cantaloupe does sound terrific with that. And that first picture, dang, my mouth is still watering. Gotta save this page and try it out. Congratulations on the contest!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 22, 2012:

You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I have been taking a look at some of your hubs and enjoying them!

cardelean from Michigan on March 22, 2012:

These sound delicious! I think that they would be a hit in our house. Definitely a must try. Thanks for the recipe!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 22, 2012:

Thanks, Steph! Hope you love it!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 21, 2012:

Awesome! That first photograph of yours is simply mouth-watering! I love fish tacos, but have not tried making them with shrimp. Bookmarking the hub, then making a list for the grocery store... :)

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 21, 2012:

Thanks everyone! If you make them I hope you like them! They really are easy. I think the thing that takes the longest is caramelizing the onions (and in my case, making homemade guacamole also).

Arlene V. Poma on March 21, 2012:

This recipe for shrimp tacos is one of the major reasons why I am already missing that BOOKMARK button. This recipe of yours looks so delicious, and I like the way it is written, illustrated, and the video as well. Voted up and everything else. Thanks for sharing your recipe. YUM!

Liz Rayen from California on March 21, 2012:

ok.. now I'm drooling. I love shrimp tacos as much as fish tacos. This recipe looks great. I love avacado as well.. so I'm sneaking in a gollup of guacamole :)

Voted up and shared!


Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 21, 2012:

This recipe looks yummy! I plan to try it, although with fish as shrimp isn't readily available here. Thank you so much for sharing.

Natasha from Hawaii on March 21, 2012:

Awesome! I love shrimp and tacos. I have already bookmarked this recipe to try it out soon. Voted up and awesome.

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