Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Why wait for a trip to your favorite taco stand when you can make delicious spice-rubbed shrimp tacos at home? With a few ingredients and a bit of culinary magic, we're going to recreate this flavorful Mexican staple right in your kitchen. This recipe is a balance of warmth from spices, the oceanic notes of the shrimp, and the zest of fresh lime, all encased in a soft tortilla.

Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Photos of Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Most ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples, but a few might need a special trip to the supermarket. You will need to source good-quality shrimp, often found in the seafood section of your local market. Remember, the fresher the shrimp, the better the taste of your tacos. Also, flour tortillas can sometimes be found in the international aisle or near the bread aisle in your grocery store.

Ingredients for Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

mccormick ground cumin: Adds a warm, earthy flavor and aroma to the shrimp.

garlic powder: Gives a robust, savory flavor to the spice rub.

paprika: Adds a sweet-peppery flavor to the shrimp and a lovely red color to the rub.

chili powder: Brings some heat to the dish, increasing its complexity and depth.

dried oregano: Imparts an aromatic, slightly bitter note that complements the other spices.

kosher salt: Enhances all the other flavors in the dish.

vegetable oil: Used for cooking the shrimp, it helps in evenly distributing the heat.

shrimp: The star of the recipe, brings a delightful seafood flavor to the dish.

sour cream: Adds a tangy creaminess to the tacos that balances the spice.

limes: Provides a zesty tang that brightens up the whole dish.

flour tortillas: The vessel for our taco filling, these soft, warm wraps bring everything together.

red cabbage: Adds crunch and color to the tacos.

scallion: Gives a mild, sweet onion flavor and a pop of green color.

cilantro: Offers a fresh, citrusy flavor that pairs wonderfully with the zesty shrimp.

One reader, Eugene Guthrie says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This spice-rubbed shrimp tacos recipe is a game-changer! The blend of spices creates a burst of flavor that's simply irresistible. The shrimp cooks to perfection, and the lime sour cream adds a zesty kick. It's a must-try for taco lovers!

Eugene Guthrie

Techniques Required for Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

How to prepare the spice rub: Mix together ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

How to cook the shrimp: Heat vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the spice-coated shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side until slightly blackened and fully cooked through.

How to make lime sour cream: Whisk together sour cream, lime juice, and salt until well combined.

How to assemble the tacos: Place the cooked shrimp on tortillas, drizzle with lime sour cream, and top with red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro. Fold the tortillas and serve.

How To Make Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

These shrimp tacos are flavored with a mix of paprika, chili, oregano, and cumin, and loaded with crisp veggies, for a hearty and deliciously spiced meal!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 4 minutes
Total: 19 minutes



  • 2tspMcCormick ® Ground Cumin
  • 2tspgarlic powder
  • 2tsppaprika
  • 2tspchili powder
  • 2tspdried oregano
  • 2tspkosher salt,plus ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½tsppepper
  • 1lbshrimp,peeled, deveined
  • 1tbspvegetable oil
  • ½cupsour cream
  • limes,juiced
  • 8flour tortillas,warmed
  • red cabbage,shredded
  • scallion,sliced
  • cilantro,minced


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together McCormick Cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, 2 teaspoons of salt, and pepper. Add in the shrimp and toss to coat evenly with the spices.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add in the shrimp.

  3. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly blackened. Flip and cook on the other side, another 2 minutes, until fully cooked through. Remove shrimp from pan.

  4. Whisk together the sour cream, lime juice, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt.

  5. Place the shrimp on tortillas. Drizzle with lime sour cream, then top with red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro.

  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 242.26kcal
  • Fat: 9.22g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.56g
  • Trans Fat: 0.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.07g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.77g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.18g
  • Fiber: 2.28g
  • Sugar: 2.09g
  • Protein: 12.49g
  • Cholesterol: 78.92mg
  • Sodium: 713.33mg
  • Calcium: 145.21mg
  • Potassium: 220.01mg
  • Iron: 2.61mg
  • Vitamin A: 85.61µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.22mg

Technique Tip for Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

When cooking the shrimp, ensure that your pan is really hot before adding them in. This will help to sear the shrimp quickly, locking in the juices and creating a nice crust from the spice rub. Also, avoid overcooking the shrimp as they can become tough and rubbery. They're done as soon as they turn pink and opaque.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, marinate the shrimp, and mix the spices the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-cooked shrimp: Opt for pre-cooked shrimp to cut down on cooking time and simplify the process.

Organize ingredients: Arrange all the ingredients and utensils in an orderly manner before starting to cook for a more efficient process.

Multi-task: While the shrimp is cooking, prepare the lime sour cream and warm the tortillas to save time and streamline the cooking process.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp, quality knife can make chopping and prepping ingredients quicker and more efficient.

Clean as you go: Wash and put away utensils and ingredients as you cook to minimize clutter and save time during cleanup.

Substitute Ingredients For Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

  • ground cumin - Substitute with ground coriander: Ground coriander has a similar warm, citrusy flavor to cumin, making it a suitable substitute in spice rubs.

  • garlic powder - Substitute with minced garlic: Fresh minced garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic powder, providing a more intense and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • paprika - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika adds a rich, smoky flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste of the spice-rubbed shrimp tacos.

  • chili powder - Substitute with cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper can be used as a substitute for chili powder to add heat and spice to the shrimp tacos.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for oregano, providing a similar earthy and slightly floral flavor to the dish.

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt, providing a similar level of salinity to the spice rub.

  • pepper - Substitute with cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper can be used to replace black pepper, adding a spicy kick to the spice rub for the shrimp tacos.

  • shrimp - Substitute with fish fillets: Fish fillets, such as tilapia or cod, can be used as a substitute for shrimp to create delicious fish tacos.

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a substitute for vegetable oil, adding a fruity and rich flavor to the spice-rubbed shrimp tacos.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to sour cream, providing a creamy and tangy element to the tacos.

  • flour tortillas - Substitute with corn tortillas: Corn tortillas can be used as a gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas for the shrimp tacos.

  • red cabbage - Substitute with green cabbage: Green cabbage can be used as a substitute for red cabbage, providing a crunchy and slightly sweet texture to the tacos.

  • scallion - Substitute with chopped chives: Chopped chives can be used as a substitute for scallions, adding a mild onion flavor to the dish.

  • cilantro - Substitute with flat-leaf parsley: Flat-leaf parsley can be used as a substitute for cilantro, providing a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the tacos.

Presenting Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the tacos, ensure that the placement of each component is deliberate and visually appealing. Arrange the tacos in a way that showcases the vibrant colors of the ingredients and the textures of the dish.

  2. Incorporate microgreens: Add a touch of elegance and freshness to the dish by sprinkling microgreens on top of the tacos. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a subtle hint of flavor.

  3. Utilize edible flowers: Introduce a touch of sophistication by incorporating edible flowers into the presentation. Choose flowers that complement the colors of the dish and delicately place them on the plate for an exquisite touch.

  4. Create a colorful garnish: Enhance the visual appeal by creating a colorful garnish using thinly sliced radishes, bell peppers, or other vibrant vegetables. This adds a pop of color and texture to the overall presentation.

  5. Incorporate a lime twist: Before serving, add a delicate twist of lime on the edge of the plate. This not only adds a burst of citrus aroma but also serves as a visually appealing element.

  6. Use elegant serving ware: Select elegant serving ware that complements the dish. Consider using artisanal ceramic plates or sleek, modern plating to elevate the overall presentation.

  7. Add a drizzle of sauce: Create an artistic drizzle of the lime sour cream sauce on the plate before placing the tacos. This adds a touch of finesse and ties the elements of the dish together.

  8. Garnish with cilantro leaves: Sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves strategically around the plate to add a pop of green and a hint of herbal aroma to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

  • Medium bowl: A bowl used for mixing and combining ingredients.
  • Cast-iron skillet: A heavy-duty skillet made of cast iron, known for its excellent heat retention and distribution.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending and mixing ingredients together.
  • Tongs: A utensil with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting the shrimp while cooking.
  • Knife: A sharp tool used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing ingredients.

Storing and Freezing Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

  • To store leftover shrimp tacos, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • If you have leftover cooked shrimp, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can be used in salads, pasta dishes, or as a topping for tacos or nachos.
  • To freeze the shrimp, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • The lime sour cream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can also be used as a dip for vegetables or as a topping for burritos or enchiladas.
  • The spice rub can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months. It can also be used as a rub for chicken, pork, or beef.
  • To reheat the shrimp tacos, wrap them in foil and place them in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave them for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
  • If you have leftover tortillas, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm and pliable.

How To Reheat Leftover Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

  • To reheat leftover spice-rubbed shrimp tacos, start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature will ensure that the tacos are heated through without drying out the shrimp or making the tortillas too crispy.

  • Wrap the tacos loosely in aluminum foil, making sure to leave some space for steam to circulate. This will help to keep the tortillas soft and prevent them from becoming soggy.

  • Place the wrapped tacos on a baking sheet and heat them in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through. The exact time will depend on the number of tacos you are reheating and how cold they were to begin with.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the tacos in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in the skillet over medium heat, then add the tacos and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are heated through and the tortillas are slightly crispy.

  • If you have leftover lime sour cream, red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro, you can reheat these toppings separately in the microwave or on the stovetop, then add them to the reheated tacos just before serving.

  • For best results, consume the reheated tacos immediately after heating. This will ensure that the shrimp remain juicy and the tortillas stay soft and pliable.

Random Fact About Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp tacos are a popular dish in Mexico and the southern United States, particularly in coastal regions. They are often made with fresh seafood and a variety of spices, creating a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Is Making Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos at Home Economical?

This spice-rubbed shrimp tacos recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The key ingredients, such as shrimp, cumin, and paprika, are reasonably priced and can be used for multiple dishes. The versatility of the spices allows for various culinary creations, making it a worthwhile investment. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25, making it a budget-friendly and delicious option for a family meal.

Are Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spice-rubbed shrimp tacos recipe is a relatively healthy dish, but there are a few aspects that could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Shrimp is a lean protein source, low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium.
  • The spice blend used to season the shrimp is packed with antioxidant-rich herbs and spices, such as cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and oregano, which offer potential health benefits.
  • The recipe includes fresh vegetables like red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro, providing additional vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

However, there are a few elements that could be modified to enhance the nutritional value of the dish:

  • The flour tortillas are a source of refined carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar spikes and provide fewer nutrients compared to whole-grain alternatives.
  • The sour cream, while adding a tangy flavor, is high in saturated fat and calories.
  • The recipe lacks a significant source of healthy fats, such as avocado or nuts, which could help balance the macronutrient profile.

To make the spice-rubbed shrimp tacos even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap the flour tortillas for whole-grain or corn tortillas to increase the fiber content and reduce the glycemic impact
  • Replace the sour cream with a healthier alternative, such as plain Greek yogurt or a homemade avocado crema, to reduce the saturated fat content and add beneficial probiotics or healthy fats
  • Include additional vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, or shredded lettuce, to boost the vitamin and mineral content of the dish
  • Add a source of healthy fats, like sliced avocado or a sprinkle of chopped nuts, to improve the overall nutrient balance and promote feelings of satiety
  • Reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe, especially if using salted tortillas or other high-sodium ingredients, to help manage sodium intake

Editor's Opinion on Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe

The spice-rubbed shrimp tacos recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The blend of cumin, garlic, paprika, and chili powder infuses the shrimp with a rich, smoky essence, while the lime sour cream adds a refreshing zing. The combination of tender shrimp, crisp red cabbage, and fragrant cilantro nestled in warm flour tortillas creates a harmonious balance of savory and fresh elements. This recipe offers a tantalizing experience for the palate, making it a perfect choice for a vibrant and satisfying meal.

Enhance Your Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty and creamy guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, red onions, and a splash of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
Mango Salsa: Whip up a vibrant and fruity mango salsa with diced mangoes, red bell peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro for a sweet and spicy accompaniment to the spice-rubbed shrimp tacos.
Corn and Black Bean Salad: Mix together sweet corn, black beans, red onions, and bell peppers with a tangy lime vinaigrette for a colorful and flavorful salad to serve alongside the shrimp tacos.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and your favorite herbs. Skewer the vegetables and grill until they are tender and slightly charred.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Grill or bake the chicken and top it with a refreshing salsa made with diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.
Coconut Curry Soup: Simmer vegetables, chicken, or tofu in a flavorful coconut curry broth. Serve with a side of rice or naan bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delectable appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a savory mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Whip up a tropical-inspired appetizer by coating shrimp in a crispy coconut breading and frying until golden brown. Serve with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce for a delightful flavor combination.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the luscious and creamy strawberry cheesecake, with a buttery graham cracker crust and a sweet strawberry topping. Each bite is a delightful combination of tangy and sweet flavors that will leave you wanting another slice.

Why trust this Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a flavorful experience with spice-rubbed shrimp that's perfectly seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and more. The combination of these spices creates a rich and aromatic flavor profile that will elevate your taco game. The addition of zesty lime sour cream and crunchy red cabbage provides a refreshing and satisfying balance. Trust in the quality of this recipe, as it has been carefully crafted to deliver a delightful taco experience that will surely impress your taste buds.

Want to share your own twists on this Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos Recipe or discuss grilling techniques? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the conversation!
What type of shrimp is best for this recipe?
I recommend using large or jumbo shrimp for this recipe. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp that has been peeled and deveined for convenience.
Can I use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas?
Absolutely! Corn tortillas can be used as a delicious gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas for this recipe.
How can I adjust the spice level to my preference?
You can easily adjust the spice level by reducing or increasing the amount of chili powder in the spice rub. Feel free to customize it to suit your taste.
Can I substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt?
Yes, you can substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative without compromising the flavor.
What are some optional toppings for these shrimp tacos?
You can get creative with toppings! Some popular options include avocado slices, diced tomatoes, pickled onions, or a drizzle of hot sauce for an extra kick.

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