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The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos

The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I’m sure you’re wondering why I call these The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos. My best explanation? They’re prepared with so many delicious flavors, I promise you’ll be licking your plate when they’re gone. Or at least scooping up the remaining ingredients with your tortilla. 

I’ve been making these tacos for at least ten years now and I never get tired of them. Shrimp alone doesn’t have much flavor. But when it’s paired with butter, garlic, spices and a fresh cabbage, cilantro and pineapples slaw, the shrimp are transformed into delicious morsels of palate contentment.

This taco recipe was posted back in 2011, along with a story about flying around the Pacific Northwest and landing our single engine plane on a stretch of sandy beach. Which nearly had me panicked. I cannot remember why I chose to post this recipe along with the story, but alas, those were the days of learning how to write a good post and take a decent picture of my food. My learning curves are always somewhat lengthy. 😉

I kept thinking I need to take a new photo of these tacos and although this photo looks good, it’s still not what I envisioned. For one, Ranger Craig was hungry and wasn’t exactly thrilled about being the hand model for the photo. But I made him anyway. Ha! So I was trying to quickly snap the photo so we could get on to dinner. Ahhh… the culinary life. This is what happens when both your previous hand models have gone off to college.

I usually layer the shrimp on the bottom of the corn tortilla and then layer with a salsa, lime crema or just a squeeze of lime and then top with the slaw and Cotija cheese. But for the photo, I set them on top. You can certainly assemble The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos however it fancy’s you. 

I’m out and about the next two weeks, enjoying summer visitors and our glorious Oregon weather. I’ll post all the fun and delicious shenanigans on my FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM, just in case you’re interested.

Here are a few snaps from the last month. We end up spending most our free-time outdoors during the summer months. Oregon is such a beautiful place in the world. And… we’re training Gus to kayak! He reminds me of George Washington crossing the Delaware in the photo below. I wanted to train him to sit in the back of the kayak but he would have none of that. So now he sits up front and commands the ship.

The Best Shrimp Tacos / Kayaking on Hosmer Lake Oregon

The photo above was taken on Hosmer Lake in central Oregon. This is one of many alpine lakes in the East Cascade Mountains in central Oregon. The photo below is the Metolious River.

The Best Shrimp Tacos / Metolious River Oregon

The photo below was taken on Sparks Lake in central Oregon. This was our first kayak training day with the Gus Gus.

The Best Shrimp Tacos / Sparks Lake Oregon

The photo below is another view around 4pm of Sparks Lake in Oregon

The Best Shrimp Tacos / Sparks Lake Oregon

Until I get back to the blog, sending you warm hugs and wishing you loads of summer fun!



The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos
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Serving Size: 4

The Best Grilled Shrimp Tacos


    For the Shrimp
  • 1 1/2 pounds large fresh Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 shrimp per pound)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • Metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
    For the Slaw
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage or salad greens or a mixture of both
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup diced pineapple
    For the Tacos
  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija, Ranchero or Panela cheese
  • Sliced fresh avocados (optional, but super yummy with these tacos)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Sour Cream with a squeeze of lime (optional)


    To prepare the Shrimp
  1. 1. Pre-heat the grill to 400F.
  2. 2. Toss the shrimp with the one tablespoon of oil. Mix together the salt, pepper and smoked paprika and then toss with the shrimp to coat.
  3. 3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Just when the butter is melted and frothy, add the garlic, cilantro, pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then take the butter off the heat and let it sit. You don't want the garlic to brown so be sure to set the pan in a cool spot.
  4. 4. The best way to grill shrimp is to skewer them. Once they are skewered, grill the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on each side, just until they’ve turned color. Cooking them too long will make them rubbery and tough.
  5. 5. Remove the shrimp from the grill and the skewers, and place them in a bowl. Toss the shrimp with the warm cilantro garlic butter and then squeeze with half a lime.
  6. 6. Let the shrimp sit in the cilantro butter while you prepare the tortillas and the slaw.
    To prepare the Tortillas
  1. 1. I like these tacos served with steamed tortillas. I steam my tortillas in the top rack of my rice cooker on the steam function. Or steam them in a stove top steamer. And if I’m feeling super lazy, I just put them in my handy dandy microwave steam bowl and there ya go. Once steamed, wrap the tortillas in a warm towel.
    To prepare the Slaw
  1. 1. Whisk together the lime juice, mayonnaise, sugar and hot sauce. Then toss the dressing with the cabbage, cilantro and pineapple. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    To assemble the Tacos
  1. I like to serve this dish as a “make your own taco” dinner. Serve the bowl of shrimp with the steamed tortillas, crumbled cheese, pineapple cilantro slaw and sliced avocados. Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired. Enjoy!
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  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 10:52 am

    You had me with shrimp tacos in the grip of Ranger Craig the reluctant hand model and sealed the deal with Captain Gus on the kayak bow. Will try this great recipe as intended and maybe even make a salad with grilled shrimp, greens, avocado and tomatillo soaked and grilled tortilla strips for the taco-challenged. Greetings and have a great rest of the summer from Eastern Oregon, which melts right into Central Oregon, especially in the hot weather we are finally having.

    • Reply
      July 17, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Hahaha! I’m so glad my shrimp taco post was so persuasive. 🙂 Your salad version sounds divine! Oregon is so beautifully diverse in it’s landscape. From the coast, to the valley, to central Oregon and then the Eastern part of the state, which I’ve yet to discover. It’s on my list of places to visit this summer. I hear it’s majestic. Enjoy your summer and thanks for stopping by! Karista

  • Reply
    July 31, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I made your shrimp tacos tonight and they were delish! May use the left overs to make that salad tomorrow!

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Wonderful! So happy you enjoyed the tacos. 🙂 They’re a family favorite. Thanks for letting me know and have a lovely week. Karista

  • Reply
    3 Recipes for Cinco de Mayo - Karista's Kitchen
    May 1, 2019 at 10:12 am

    […] know I don’t have to tell you how much I love these Grilled Shrimp Tacos. I’ve made them forever and I often post them on my social media. Probably because they show […]

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