I grew up in Texas, and if that means anything, it’s that tacos are basically a food group for me. You can put just about anything inside a tortilla, put a little hot sauce on it, and call it a day. And I do. Chicken, steak, sausage, potatoes, seafood… you name it, it makes for a great taco.
As the summer is winding down, and we’re taking advantage of the time we have left to hang out by the water, I’m trying to eat all the fresh seafood I can get lately. So I’m absolutely loving Spicy Shrimp Tacos right now. Especially because they’re loaded up with spices that I know and love from a lifetime of loving Tex-mex food.
Of course, every taco needs the perfect topping to feel complete, whether it’s hot sauce, a salsa, slaw, even just some fresh herbs and lime. For these spicy shrimp tacos, I made a sweet and tangy mango salsa. It’s a match made in heaven. The juicy, sweet flavor of the mango, the bite of acidity from the lime and red onion, and a kick of fresh spicyness from the jalapeño. It pairs so well with the smoky, spicy and savory flavors of the shrimp.
Throw it all in a warm tortilla, add some avocado and crema, and there you have it. Add an ice cold margarita on the side, and it truly doesn’t get better than that. Whether you’re looking to make Friday night a little more festive, throwing an actual fiesta, or just looking to liven up a weeknight dinner, these Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa are sure to be the life of the party.
Making Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa…
This recipe comes together in just a few simple steps, all geared at bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients.
The first step is to prepare the mango salsa. That way all the delicious and fresh ingredients inside have some time to marry together and blend their flavors.
Chop up and toss together some fresh mango, red onion, radishes, jalapeño and cilantro. Add a generous pinch of salt and the juice of a lime, and that’s pretty much it! Stir it all together, throw it in the fridge, and let the ingredients work their magic. The salt will help draw out the unique flavors of each individual ingredient. The lime will help break down the onion, jalapeño and radishes, almost creating a quick-pickling effect. All together, it makes for one yummy salsa. And one that you could use to liven up a variety of different dishes, from fresh grilled salmon, to pulled pork, jerk chicken… so many possibilities, but I digress.
Spicy Shrimp Made Simple…
Once the salsa is ready and in the fridge, then it’s time to start on the shrimp. Before getting started, make sure all your shrimp are peeled and deveined with their tails removed. You can usually find bags of shrimp at the grocery store that are already prepped like this, which will save you some time.
PRO TIP: Make sure you rinse and dry your shrimp really well before grilling them. The shrimp will naturally release some of their liquid during the cooking process. So if they aren’t super dry to begin with, then you won’t get the gorgeous color or grill marks on them that you want when you sear them.
Next, add your dry shrimp to a mixing bowl and drizzle some olive oil all over them. This will help all the spices stick to your shrimp, while making sure the shrimp itself doesn’t stick to your grill or skillet.
Then it’s time to spice things up. We’re talking garlic powder, chili powder, smoky paprika, warm cumin, coriander, and some crushed red pepper flakes for a nice kick. Get ready for things to start smelling amazing as you mix everything together until your shrimp are all totally coated in the spices.
Now you’re ready to grill these babies up! I absolutely love making these shrimp on the grill because I live for the grill marks. And my Chefman Electric Smokeless Indoor Grill makes it so simple. You can literally grill anything on it, and it couldn’t be easier to clean up afterwards. It’s less than $100 on Amazon, and I’d say it’s one of the best investments I’ve made in my kitchen.
If you don’t have a grill though, not to worry. You can easily cook up these spicy shrimp on a grill pan on the stove, or even just a regular skillet, which will still allow you to get some really nice color on your shrimp as they sear.
It’s really important to make sure your grill or skillet is really hot before you add the shrimp. They won’t take much time at all to cook, maybe 3-4 minutes per side. So that super cooking surface is key to getting that yummy smoky char on your shrimp.
Bringing it all together…
The finally step is most definitely the best part of the whole process – building your tacos! Start with a few pieces of shrimp inside a warm tortilla. I used street taco sized flour tortillas for this recipe, and they worked great. They created the perfect sized bite, and didn’t break as I was piling them up. But any tortilla you love or have on hand is totally fine.
Next, I like to add some shredded cabbage and avocado slices to these tacos, before piling on the juicy mango salsa. I also like to drizzle a little crema on these tacos, just to add some creaminess. Simply mix together about a cup of sour cream, with the juice of a whole lime, plus a handful of finely chopped cilantro, along with a generous pinch of salt.
Finally, I sprinkle a little more cilantro and squeeze some lime juice over everything. All that’s left to do is grab another round of margaritas and let the party begin!
Let me know if you give these Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
For the Mango Salsa
- 1 Mango Peeled and diced
- 1 Jalapeño Seeded (optional) and diced
- 1/2 Red Onion Diced
- 2 Radishes Quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro Chopped
- 1 Lime
- Salt & Pepper To taste
For the Spicy Shrimp
- 1 Pound Raw shrimp Peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tsp Garlic powder
- 2 Tsp Chili powder
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Coriander
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper To taste
For Assembly (optional)
- 8-10 Tortillas*
- Avocado Sliced
- Green Cabbage Chopped
- Limes Sliced
- Cilantro Lime Crema*
Make the Salsa
- Combine the chopped mango, jalapeño, red onion, radishes and cilantro.
- Squeeze the juice of the whole lime into the salsa, and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine all the ingredients. Put in the fridge to chill, and let the flavors mix, until ready to serve.
Make the Shrimp
- Rinse and thoroughly dry all the shrimp.
- Add to a mixing bowl, along with the olive oil and all the spices. Toss everything together until all the shrimp are totally coated in the spice mixture.
- Warm up your grill, grill pan, or skillet over medium high heat*. Once hot, add the shrimp in a single layer.
- Cook shrimp for about 4 minutes per side until they are pink (and have grill marks if you’re using a grill or grill pan).
Assemble the Tacos
- Place 3-4 shrimp inside each tortilla. Add toppings, such as cabbage and avocado, if desired. Top with Mango Salsa. Drizzle crema over everything, if desired.
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