Blackened Shrimp Tacos

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Whip up these Blackened Shrimp Tacos for a speedy dinner fix. Seasoned with our homemade Bold Blackened Seasoning and cooked to perfection, these tacos are ready in a flash. Customize them with your preferred taco toppings for an extra layer of flavor. 

Close up of Blackened Shrimp on a soft tortilla.

Don’t overlook our mouthwatering sauces, each bringing its own flavor punch! Personally, I adore the zesty kick of the Cilantro Garlic Sauce, while the creamy twist of the Roasted Salsa Verde promises a flavor journey like no other!

Cilantro Garlic Sauce being poured over freshly sliced avocado.
Cilantro Garlic Sauce
Tortilla chip being dipped in warm Roasted Salsa Verde.
Roasted Salsa Verde

When selecting shrimp, look for firm, translucent flesh with a mild aroma of the sea. Opt for shrimp that have a slightly sweet smell, indicating freshness. Avoid shrimp with a strong ammonia odor or those that appear slimy or discolored. If possible, purchase shrimp with their shells intact, as this helps retain freshness. Additionally, buying shrimp from reputable seafood markets or suppliers known for their quality products can ensure you’re getting the freshest options available.

Note: If shrimp smell funky, such as having an ammonia-like or iodine odor, or feel slimy and/or soft and mushy are bad. Return them to the store ASAP or toss them! You shouldn’t have this issue with frozen shrimp that have been defrosted correctly.

Brining Shrimp: Enhancing Texture and Flavor

Tip: Brining is a game-changer for shrimp, elevating both their texture and flavor. Start by boiling 2-cups of water and dissolve 1/2 cup of Kosher sea salt (120 grams) and 1/4 cup (60 grams) of sugar in it. Once dissolved, pour the brine into a large bowl filled with ice water. Add 1 pound of shrimp to the brine and let them soak for about 2 hours in the fridge, adding ice as needed to keep it cold. After brining, rinse the shrimp thoroughly before cooking them according to your recipe.

A glass jar with a clasp lid containing layers of colorful spices for making Badass Blackened Seasoning, including red, orange, and green, against a light, minimalist background.
Badass Blackened Seasoning

Preparing Shrimp for Cooking: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Peel and Devein: Start by removing the shell from the shrimp. If desired, leave the tail intact for presentation. Using a small paring knife, make a shallow incision along the back of each shrimp to expose the vein. Use the tip of the knife or a deveining tool to lift and remove the vein.

  2. Rinse: Once peeled and deveined, rinse the shrimp under cold running water to remove any remaining shell fragments or debris.

  3. Brine (Optional): Consider brining the shrimp for improved texture and flavor. Prepare a brine solution by dissolving Kosher sea salt and sugar in boiling water. Submerge the shrimp in the brine and refrigerate for 2 hours before rinsing and cooking.

  4. Pat Dry: Use paper towels to gently pat the shrimp dry before cooking. Removing excess moisture helps ensure a crispy exterior when sautéing or frying.

  5. Season: Season the shrimp according to your recipe or personal preference. Common seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or Old Bay seasoning.

  6. Marinate (Optional): If desired, marinate the shrimp in a mixture of oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), and herbs or spices for added flavor. Marinate for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking.

  7. Cook: Once prepared, cook the shrimp using your preferred method, such as sautéing, grilling, boiling, or baking. Be mindful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery if cooked for too long.

Tip: Shrimp shells are a great addition to a seafood base. After peeling rinse them place in an airtight container and toss into the freezer to make seafood stock at a later date.

Please Pin to Make & Share!📌

Close up of Blackened Shrimp on a soft tortilla.

How to Make Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Overhead photo of blackened shrimp taco on a soft tortilla.

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Blackened Shrimp Tacos are ideal for a quick dinner option. Prepared with fresh ingredients and our own Badass Blackened Seasoning finish them off with your favorite taco toppings!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Tacos

  • 1 ½ pounds shrimp, shelled + deveined + rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Badass Blackened Seasoning, see recipe link above
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 soft flour tortillas, sub desired shell

Toppings

  • 1 lime, quartered for finishing
  • 2 cups spinach, washed + dried
  • ½ cup Cotija Mexican Cheese, sub any cheese you desire
  • ½ cup Cilantro Garlic Sauce, see recipe link above
  • ½ cup Roasted Salsa Verde, see recipe link above

Instructions

  • Combine the deveined shrimp and Badass Blackened Seasoning into a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly, add more or less seasoning as desired.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, once hot add the olive oil and reheat about 30 seconds. Add your shrimp in an even layer and cook 1-2 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp.
    Blackened Shrimp cooking in a cast iron skillet.
  • Serve on soft tortillas with Cilantro Garlic Sauce and Roasted Salsa Verde and/or your favorite taco toppings!
    Close up of Blackened Shrimp on a soft tortilla.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate; if making sauce(s) time is increased.
  • Cook and serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Indulge in a burst of flavor with our Blackened Chicken and Mango Salsa. Succulent chicken breasts, seared to perfection with a spicy blackening seasoning, harmonize beautifully with the refreshing sweetness of ripe mangoes, creating a tantalizing dish that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Indulge in the rich flavors of the Gulf with our tantalizing Gulfside Blackened Grouper. Each succulent bite of tender grouper is seared to perfection with our signature blend of spices, creating a crispy, blackened crust that gives way to the delicate, flaky fish. Served alongside your favorite sides, this dish is a true celebration of Gulf Coast cuisine.

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    Join the Conversation

    1. I bet we could use this seasoning on our tofu or beans too! These tacos sound incredible 🙂

      1. Hi, Malia 🙂 this goes great on tofu just use the firm and not the silken (but you probably already know that)! Thanks so much for checking it out 🙂

    2. These look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

      1. Thanks so much, Robin, thank you for checking out our recipe! 🙂

    3. Yum! What a perfect recipe, especially for those nights you need a quick meal that tastes delicious!! Thank you again!!

      1. Thank you, Holly, I’m so happy that you enjoy our recipes! We appreciate you being a part of our kitchen 🤗

    4. Looks delicious ! I have to try this recipe

      1. Thank you, Anisa, please be sure to share some photos and tag us @meangreenchef! Can’t wait to see how they turn out for you 🙂

    5. Saved this to my pinterest board for later! Thanks for the great recipe!

      1. Awesome, thanks so much for the save to Pinterest too Lauren! Much appreciated 🙂

    6. Brittany says:

      My goodness, I love your post each week! A shrimp taco is hands down my favorite food! These pictures are making my stomach growl at my desk! Again wonderful job and another recipe of yours I am saving!

      1. Awww thanks so much, Brittany, shrimp tacos really are the best and they’re so easy to make too! We really appreciate you taking the time to visit 🤗

    7. I love shrimp tacos! The blackened seasoning looks like it would be great on other seafood for tacos.

      1. Yes for sure, Angela! we use it on a variety of seafood it shines on Salmon every time. Thanks for checking out our recipe 🤗

    8. I love shrimp, but I still need to learn how to prep them! 😅 If I had to live off of salmon and shrimp, I would still be a-ok!

      1. Agreed, Kyndall! I LOVE salmon too, well pretty much all seafood…and food in general as long as it’s fresh!LOL There is a link at the bottom of the post that directs you to Fine Cooking for cleaning shrimp, it’s super easy. Had other pressing issues but will get a shrimp prep post done here too 🙂

    9. These pictures are AMAZING!!! I love how you blur out the background and focus on the main food. Great! Makes the recipe look even better!!

      1. Thank you, Charlene! Love hearing this I LOVE shooting food as much as cooking, so it’s much appreciated! 🙂

    10. Tricia Snow says:

      Even though I no longer eat shellfish I agree about the frozen shrimp. Getting flash frozen seafood within hours after it is caught is delish! These tacos do look amazing too! As always you are on point!

      1. Thank you for such a nice compliment, Tricia, I do love ALL things food! Making sure folks know how to source the freshest and best ingredients possible is really gratifying. 🤗

    11. Looks great, Angela! My hubby loves shrimps. I think he is really going to love this recipe. Thank you for sharing

      1. Wonderful, Anna, I really hope he loves our seasoning blend as much as we all do! You can use it on veg and tofu too 🤗

    12. This sounds so good. I subscribed to your blog. You have the best recipes!

      1. YES! We’re so happy that you subscribed Heather, thank you so much for the great compliment and for being a part of our kitchen! 🤗

    13. Shrimp is not something I’ve ever really been into eating. But I did want to say how amazing all of your photos are!

      1. Thank you so much for the compliment on my photography Kristi, I love shooting! We have a ton of non-shrimp recipes 🙂 thank you for visiting, hope to see you again!

    14. good lord you’ve done it again. Where do you live.. more importantly, can I can over for dinner? I mean, you probably should have taste tests by readers… LOL

      1. LOL, Jen 🤗 everyone’s welcome for dinner! Thank you for the tremendous compliment really made my day and my head a little bigger!🤩😀

    15. Hi Angela! These look absolutely delicious! You develop he most amazing recipes! I’m saving this one for when Steve gets back, as we both love shrimp and enjoy wraps and tacos. I will let you know when we do!

      1. Hi, Ramae!🤗 Thank you so much I really hope that you and Steve love these tacos as much as we do, look forward to hearing and please share pics with us on our FB Page! 🤗

    16. Look so good! I will put this on my list for summer!

      1. Perfect summer dinner, Brittany! Thanks so much for visiting 🙂

    17. I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, but the seasoning sounds like it could be good on other ingredients too! Looks beautiful! As always, your photos are fantastic!

      1. Hi, Meagan, it’s the perfect seasoning for so many ingredients even grilled veg benefits from a sprinkle! Thank you so much for the compliments on my photography 🤗🤗🤗

    18. Once again, an amazing recipe!!!! I love shrimp tacos, but you have definitely elevated them to another level.

      1. Hi, Jennifer! 🙂 Thank you so much for the great compliments, it makes me so happy to hear that you are enjoying our creations! We appreciate you taking the time out of your day to visit 🤗

    19. Leigh Ann says:

      Such great tips for choosing and cooking shrimp. It’s good to know if they smell at all bad to take them back. I love all your recipes!

      1. Thanks so much, Leigh Ann! Bad seafood is not something you want to mess with I hate to waste but it’s better to toss it or take it back for sure.🤗

    20. Looks amazing! I especially love your tips on how to prep shrimp.

      1. Thank you, Lina, so glad that you found our tips helpful too!🙌

    21. Another beautiful dish (no surprise there)! And your photos are always amazing! Can’t wait to give these a try….

      1. Thank you so much, Michele!🤗

    22. Shrimp tacos are my favorite and these looks delicious.

      1. Thanks so much, Carolina! 🙂

    23. Oh, I so wish I could have shrimp!!!! This looks so yummy!

      1. Thanks so much, T.M! You can always use the blackened seasoning on other ingredients, meat, seafood, veg, and tofu! 🙂

    24. Pauline Reynolds says:

      I love all the little tips you provide. This looks amazing and I’ll have to try it. I absolutely agree that frozen is best unless you can get it fresh off the boat.

      1. Thanks so much, Pauline! So glad that you find our tips helpful 🤗

    25. I love your recipes. I think the seasonings would work great for bean or lentil tacos too!

      1. Hi, Cindy, yes absolutely the seasoning would work beautifully in bean and lentil tacos! Great idea, thank you so much for visiting 🙌

    26. Yum! These tacos look amazing! I’ve never blackened anything, so I’ll have to try these!

      1. Hey, Shanna! 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting, please share your results when you whip some up!🙌

    27. Katie Mitchell says:

      Looks so delicious!! I agree. We ALWAYS buy shrimp frozen and use the running water defrost method. I’ve never thought to brine shrimp, though. Pinning this recipe for later!

      1. Thanks so much, Katie, we appreciate the pin too! 🙌

    28. This looks absolutely awesome!!! Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love shrimp!! I’m more interested in trying the Badass Blackened Seasoning!!! I’m originally from Maryland, so I put Old Bay on everything. I need a change!!! I’m wondering if this seasoning would be good on my eggs!!! Thanks for the recipe!!

      1. That Badass Blackened Seasoning is good on just about everything Kymberly, I haven’t tried it on eggs but I’m sure a little sprinkle would spark some great flavor! I like Old Bay on Popcorn! So good 😛 Thanks so much for stopping by to check out our recipe.

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