The Only Shrimp Taco Recipe You Need This Summer

Whenever I’m at the beach, I can feel my entire system reset. Our family’s schedule is cleared of most commitments, so the time allows us to downshift into a more relaxed state of mind. When we’re in Malibu, my favorite time of day is just before sunset, when everything’s dipped in golden light and you can find us gathered around the grill prepping ingredients from the farm stand, cold drink in hand. And this summer, our MVPs have been these grilled shrimp tacos with grapefruit-avocado salsa, also know as the best shrimp tacos on the planet. Call us obsessed.

Now, when I’m back in Austin, I’m committed to bringing that relaxed Cali vibe home. (Yes, even as I’m juggling the realities of a busy work schedule combined with carpooling our kids from one activity to another.) For me, the best way to lean into the summer spirit is to cook (and eat!) as many meals outside as possible. This shrimp taco recipe is the perfect excuse to enjoy an al fresco meal any night of the week. Let’s dive in—I’ll show you how easily they come together.

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa:

Camille’s Cooking Club July Recipe

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Ingredients for Grilled Shrimp Tacos

This is a short and sweet ingredient list—which I consider to be a baseline requirement for any great summer recipe. Here’s what to grab at the grocery:

  • limes
  • grapefruit
  • honey
  • garlic
  • chili Powder
  • mayo
  • shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • cabbage
  • corn Tortillas
  • avocados
  • cilantro
  • jalapeños

How to Make the Best Shrimp Taco Recipe

Marinate the shrimp

The key to keeping this recipe simple is letting our ingredients do double duty. The marinade is also used as the base for the creamy sauce, and the grapefruit salsa uses several of the ingredients in the marinade. Because again—I like a short grocery list.

To make the marinade, you’ll whisk together the zest and juice from your citrus with honey, garlic, chili powder and olive oil. Then you place the shrimp in a bowl and pour half the marinade over it. You only want this shrimp to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour at most—longer than that, and you’ll risk starting to “cook” the shrimp in the citrus. (We’re not making ceviche here.)

Make the quick crema

This sauce plays a major role in giving this shrimp taco recipe tons of flavor. All you need for the creamy sauce is your reserved marinade that gets combined with either mayo or sour cream. You’ll toss a bit of it with our shredded cabbage for a five-second slaw, then reserve the rest to drizzle over the top of the finished tacos.

Toss together your salsa

I made grapefruit the star ingredient in this addictive salsa. It’s incredibly easy and takes these tacos to the next level. Simply toss together chunks of avocado and grapefruit, then add cilantro and adjust the jalapeño to add as much heat as you like. Double the recipe and serve it as an appetizer alongside tortilla chips.

How to cook shrimp for tacos

Trust me on this: the key to the most delicious shrimp is getting that char, which means that a quick cooking method is the way to go. I like to cook shrimp on high heat in a cast-iron skillet set over the grill grates. It allows you to get that quick sear, while also ensuring that your shrimp don’t fall through the grates.

Once you’ve placed the shrimp into the pan and heard that sizzle, resist the temptation to move or flip the shrimp until the first side is nice and caramelized.

Assemble your tacos

To serve, top a charred corn tortilla with some of your cabbage slaw, grapefruit salsa, and then the grilled shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of crema, and serve with lime wedges. Voila—the best shrimp tacos you’ve ever had.

Tips for Shrimp Taco Success

Change up the toppings

If you want to skip the salsa, just add slices of creamy avocado, bits of fresh cilantro and a few squeezes of fresh lime. Pico de gallo is always welcome!

Switch up the protein

You could turn these into fish tacos, using the same marinade, sauce, and salsa. Cod or halibut filets work great for this recipe.

Make it easy

I rely on a few key shortcuts when I make this shrimp taco recipe:

  • Use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage.
  • Buy raw shrimp that’s already peeled and deveined.
  • Char the corn tortillas right on the grill, so you can keep all the cooking outdoors (with minimal clean-up!).


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These shrimp tacos are simply the best. With a citrus-honey marinade and zesty grapefruit salsa, it’s a quick summer dinner that’s prepared almost entirely on the grill—and perfect for entertaining.

  • Zest of 1 lime and 1 grapefruit

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan

  • 1/4 cup mayo or sour cream

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage

  • Corn tortillas, charred over grill

  • For serving: cilantro leaves and lime wedges

For the grapefruit salsa:

  • 1 grapefruit, peel and pith removed, and cut into segments

  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  1. Make the marinade: whisk together zest, juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. 

  2. Place shrimp in a bowl, then pour half the marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, mix ¼ cup of the reserved marinade with ¼ cup of mayo or sour cream. This is your quick & creamy sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  4. Make the grapefruit salsa: gently toss all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. Preheat grill to medium heat (375 F), and place a cast-iron skillet directly on the grates to preheat.

  6. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the skillet, then place shrimp in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Baste the shrimp with the reserved marinade, then turn and cook for another two minutes, until opaque.

  7. Remove from grill.

  8. Toss the shredded cabbage with a couple tablespoons of the creamy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

  9. Assemble tacos: top a charred corn tortilla with slaw, salsa, and then shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of sauce, and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Method: Grilling

Keywords: Best shrimp taco recipe

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