Blackened Shrimp Tacos.

Jumbo shrimp tossed in blackening seasoning, then pan-fried in butter and stuffed into flour tortillas, along with sliced red cabbage, chunks of avocado, quick pickled onions, cilantro and a cumin sour cream. Easy, quick and bursting with freshness.

An image of 3 shrimp tacos

We just came back from visiting my parents in the Florida Keys for a week of fun in the sun (and watching coronavirus coverage … and hoping things weren’t getting as bad as we thought). We love getting out of the cold of New England and visiting our Mimi and PopPop. Aside from the family time, each year, I look forward to some amazing seafood, specifically blackened fish. As you know, we get amazing seafood here on the Cape. But those restaurants down in the Keys know how to do blackened fish and seafood unlike any place up here. So, now I am on a mission to make some really good blackened seafood. Starting with this blackened shrimp.

An image of blackened shrimp on a white plate.

How do you make blackening seasoning?

Don’t let this long(ish) list of ingredients scare you. You probably have all of the spices in your spice drawer. Blackening blends can vary, but this is a combination that we really like. Combine the spices with butter and magic happens. Feel free to tweak according to your taste. I don’t like a lot of heat, so if you prefer something spicier, add some cayenne pepper to the mix.

  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Aside from shrimp, this blackening seasoning would also be great on salmon and any white fish.

What are the health benefits of shrimp?

If you love shrimp, you’re not alone. Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the US. It’s quick to prepare, tasty and good for you. What are its top health benefits?

  • Rich in protein – essential for bone and muscle health
  • Rich in selenium – important for heart, immune system and thyroid health
  • Provides a good or excellent source of: Vitamin B12, phosophous, choline, copper, iron and iodine

To make sure you’re buying sustainably grown and harvested shrimp, check out seafoodwatch.org. You can also look for the MSC and BAP certifications.

An image of blackened shrimp

Are these Blackened Shrimp Tacos easy and quick enough for a weeknight meal?

Yes! They’re ready in 20 minutes, as long as your shrimp are thawed. Thaw your shrimp overnight in the fridge (do not thaw at room temperature) or run them under cold water for 5-10 minutes until thawed. And, these shrimp tacos utilize many fridge and pantry staples – so you likely have most of the ingredients on hand. The only items I had to purchase for this recipe were: cilantro and sour cream. We always keep:

  • frozen shrimp
  • spices
  • tortillas (my kids eat tortillas at EVERY meal, no joke)
  • cabbage (red or green)
  • red onion
  • lime
  • ‘cado aka avocado

Any tweaks I can make to the recipe to make it even quicker?

Yep! You can skip the quick pickled onions and just use diced red onion. You can also just use plain sour cream vs stirring in the garlic power and cumin. But honestly, both those steps are so quick and they make the tacos extra special – so, if you can spare the extra 2 minutes, do it.

An overhead image of blackened shrimp tacos with a table spread of taco fillings.

Are frozen shrimp a staple in your freezer? If not (and you love shrimp), they should be. Unlike most other seafood/meat/poultry, they thaw very quickly, so even if you haven’t planned ahead for dinner, dinner can still be ready in less than 30 minutes. And they cook in less than 5 minutes … how can you beat that?! We love using frozen shrimp for: stir-fries, grilling, salads, fresh spring rolls, pasta … and yep, tacos!

Here’s how to make these Blackened Shrimp Tacos:

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Jumbo shrimp tossed in blackening seasoning, then pan fried in butter and stuffed into flour tortillas, along with sliced red cabbage, chunks of avocado, quick pickled onions, cilantro and a cumin sour cream. Easy, quick and bursting with freshness.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 24 ounces peeled and deveined tail-on frozen shrimp (21-25), thawed and patted dry we use two 12 ounce bags
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the tacos

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream use light, if preferred
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 street-sized flour tortillas heated (either wrapped in a kitchen towel and heated for 30 seconds in the microwave or heated individually in a dry grill pan or skillet)
  • 4 ounces shredded red cabbage we used half of an 8 ounce bag
  • 1 avocado cut into chunks
  • 1 ounce cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lime washed and cut into wedges

Instructions

For the shrimp

  • In a small bowl, mix together cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Place shrimp in a large mixing bowl, add seasoning mixture and toss when to combine. 
  • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add shrimp, flipping after about 1 minute (once underside is lightly browned). Cook another 1-2 minutes until shrimp is just opaque and cooked through (don’t overcook!). Remove from heat.

For the tacos

  • In a small bowl, red onion and seasoned rice vinegar. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, combine sour cream, garlic powder and cumin.
  • Spread each warmed tortilla with sour cream mixture. Top with red cabbage, blackened shrimp, avocado chunks, red onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and more sour cream.

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If you love these tacos, you may also like these Blackened Salmon Tacos.