These healthy 15-minute Baja shrimp tacos are perfectly spiced and topped with a simple cabbage slaw and cilantro lime crema made from greek yogurt. Serve them on flour, corn, or almond flour tortillas for an easy gluten-free weeknight meal!
The best Baja shrimp tacos
I love shrimp tacos! They are light, tangy, protein-rich, and easy to make. Shrimp is a perfect low-fat, low-calorie source of protein. It is actually one of my favorites! My readers also love these al pastor shrimp tacos, but I have to admit I love these Baja shrimp tacos more.
This is the best Baja shrimp taco recipe! It’s easy to make in under 15 minutes and healthy and gluten-free. My favorite part about this recipe is that the shrimp is nice and crispy without adding flour or breading. The perfect healthy meal!
These shrimp tacos are topped with a simple carrot cabbage slaw made with yogurt, lime, and a few spices. Don’t worry it’s made without mayo or sour cream. Instead, we dress the slaw with a healthy, high-protein cilantro lime crema made from Greek yogurt. You are going to love these tacos!
Feel free to serve these healthy shrimp tacos on corn, whole wheat, almond flour, chickpea flour, or cassava flour tortillas. They are so customizable and make for the perfect 15-minute weeknight dinner.
Why you’ll love this healthy recipe:
- Perfectly spiced shrimp with crispy edges.
- Ready in 15 minutes.
- Fresh carrot and cabbage slaw made without mayo or sour cream!
- Homemade healthy cilantro lime crema made from Greek yogurt.
- These tacos are high in protein.
- 26 grams of protein per serving.
- They are gluten-free.
- Shrimp is a great lean protein.
- A keto and low-carb option by serving them in lettuce shells.
- Perfect for dinner parties and family dinners.
- No breading or flour.
- Try these tangy al pastor shrimp tacos or my famous roasted cauliflower tacos next!
Ingredients and substitutions
These 15-minute Baja shrimp tacos call for simple and healthy ingredients. I broke the ingredients into three sections: (1) the shrimp and taco toppings, (2) the simple carrot cabbage slaw, and (3) the homemade greek yogurt lime crema. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
Baja Shrimp Tacos:
- Raw Shrimp: You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. If you use frozen, make sure to defrost them before cooking (I left instructions below). I also recommend buying deveined and peeled shrimp, so you don’t have to spend extra time cleaning them.
- Seasonings: Grab chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt & pepper to season the shrimp. They are so flavorful.
- Olive Oil: To pan-sear the shrimp and make them crispy without breading. You can also use avocado oil.
- Tortillas: You can use flour or corn tortillas. I love both. You can even use whole wheat, almond flour, or chickpea flour tortillas. If you are gluten-free, use corn, chickpea, or almond flour tortillas.
- Toppings: I love using sliced red onion, sprinkle of cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro.
Simple No-Mayo Slaw:
- Cabbage: I love using a mix of both green and red cabbage for this slaw. If needed, you can just pick one of them. You can even use an undressed cole-slaw mix.
- Carrots: For crunch and a slight sweetness. You need shredded carrots, or you can shred them yourself.
Cilantro Yogurt Crema:
- Greek Yogurt: Feel free to use 0%, 2%, or 5% plain Greek yogurt. This is the base of our healthy cilantro lime crema. There is NO mayo or sour cream in this recipe.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic is best! If needed, use pre-minced garlic or 1 tsp of garlic powder.
- Limes: You’ll need lime zest and lime juice to flavor this easy and healthy cilantro lime crema.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds the best flavor to the crema.
- Spices: Finally, you need chili powder, paprika, and ground cumin to flavor the crema.
Kitchen tools required
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make these easy and healthy Baja shrimp tacos.
- Large Saute Pan
- Cutting Board & Knife
- 3 Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1/4 cup, and 1/3 cup.
How to make easy Baja shrimp tacos
These are the best-ever Baja shrimp tacos. They are easy to make in under 15 minutes and topped with a no-mayo, no-sour-cream crema, and simple cabbage slaw. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make them. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
Step 1: prep the shrimp
First, let’s get the shrimp ready. If they are frozen, thaw them by running them under cold water. Make sure you peel them and remove the tails. Then, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place them in a medium bowl. Add seasonings (not the olive oil) and stir to combine.
Step 2: make the crema
Then, make the healthy cilantro lime yogurt crema. Meanwhile, mix all the crema ingredients together and place it to the side.
Step 3: make the slaw
Then, make the slaw. Mix cabbages and shredded match-stick carrots in a medium-sized mixing bowl with about ½ to ⅔ of the cilantro yogurt crema. Then, set aside.
Step 4: cook the shrimp
Now, let’s cook the shrimp. Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the seasoned shrimp to a single layer across the pan when hot. If your pan is too small, do this in batches, or the shrimp will not get crispy. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set it on a plate to rest.
Step 5: toast the tortillas
Warm or toast your tortillas in a pay or over an open gas stovetop flame. Turn the heat to medium/low and allow the tortillas to “toast” for about 10 seconds per side until they are lightly charred on the edges. If you use a pan, heat to medium-hot and “toast” for 30 seconds per side until browned in some spots.
Step 6: assemble the Baja shrimp tacos
Finally, let’s assemble the tacos. Layer each toasted tortilla with the slaw, cooked shrimp, chopped red onion, cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and an extra drizzle of crema. I love finishing mine off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. You can even add guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Enjoy!
Recipe tips and variations
- Pat your shrimp dry before seasoning and cooking: this is very important to ensure your shrimp is seasoned properly and get crispy when you saute them. Adding wet shrimp to a hot-oiled pan will result in chewy and rubbery shrimp… gross!
- Make sure the oil is hot: make sure the oil is hot, or else the shrimp won’t sear, and they can get rubbery.
- Don’t overcook your shrimp: shrimp cook super fast – less than 3 minutes, to be exact! They will be tough and rubbery if you overcook them. So keep an eye on your pan.
- Make them gluten-free: I used flour tortillas in this recipe, but you can also use corn, almond flour, chickpea flour, or cassava flour tortillas if you prefer.
- Make them low-carb & keto: serve these Baja shrimp tacos in romaine or butter lettuce taco shells to make them low-carb and keto.
- Warm your tortillas: I highly recommend serving these healthy shrimp tacos in warmed tortillas. It just tastes better (trust me!). I left instructions on the recipe card below.
- Garnish them with extra toppings: I love this simple Habanero Mango Salsa and this easy 4 Ingredient Guacamole. You can even add sliced avocado, jalapeños, or hot sauce.
Best sides for shrimp tacos:
The options are endless! You can serve these healthy Baja shrimp tacos with so many sides. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Salads: Watermelon Basil Salad, Orzo Pesto Salad, Kale Crunch Salad, or Summer Corn & Arugula Salad
- Salsa & Guacamole: 4 Ingredient Guacamole Recipe or this Habanero Mango Salsa Recipe
- Fries & Potatoes: Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges, Air Fryer Fingerling Potatoes, or these Air Fryer Home Fries
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, I love using frozen shrimp since it is cheaper, easier, and has the same nutritional value. Simply let the shrimp thaw in the fridge for 6+ hours (or overnight). If you are in a rush, you can thaw frozen shrimp in the sink by adding them to an airtight bag and letting them run under cold water.
Can I grill the shrimp instead?
Yes, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. You can also use an indoor grill pan. Make sure to lightly grease your grill by spraying or dipping paper towels in oil and spreading them across the grill. Then, thread 5 to 6 seasoned shrimps onto each grilling skewer. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes so they do not burn on the grill. Grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes on the first side. Flip and grill the second side for an additional 2 – 3 minutes. Check these grilled BBQ shrimp out next – so good!
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, these Baja shrimp tacos are 100% gluten-free since we don’t use breadcrumbs, and the shrimp isn’t breaded. Just make sure to use corn tortillas.
Is the cilantro lime crema healthy?
Yes! We use Greek yogurt as the base (not sour cream), making this cilantro lime crema low in fat and protein.
Can I add mango salad on top?
Yes! I love adding mango salsa on top of my Baja shrimp tacos.
Can I serve them in lettuce tacos?
Make these Baja shrimp tacos low-carb and kept by serving them in lettuce tacos. I love using romaine or butter lettuce.
Can you refreeze shrimp?
You can refreeze thawed raw shrimp if you thawed it in the fridge. However, you cannot refreeze raw shrimp that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 1 hour, thawed in the microwave, or under cold water.
How to store and reheat leftovers:
Storing: Store leftover Baja shrimp in one sizeable airtight container or individual airtight containers in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Store extra slaw and toppings in a separate container to maximize freshness.
Reheating: For the best results, reheat the shrimp and tortillas in the microwave for 30 – 60 seconds or until warm; you can also reheat them on the stovetop in a clean pan. Keep the slaw and crema cold when serving.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Al Pastor Shrimp Tacos
- Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Crema
- Chicken Fajita Tacos
- Shrimp Poke Bowl
- Grilled BBQ Shrimp
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Baja Shrimp Tacos
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp, thawed & peeled
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
- ⅔ cup shredded green cabbage
- ⅔ cup shredded red cabbage
- ⅔ cup shredded carrots
Cilantro Yogurt Crema:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 0%, 2% or 5%
- 1 – 2 large garlic clove, minced
- ¾ tsp lime zest, (zest from ½ a lime)
- 1 – 2 tbsp 1 – 2 tbsp of lime juice, start with 1 and add more if desired
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely diced
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 8 small flour or corn tortillas, you can also use whole-wheat, almond, chickpea, or cassava flour tortillas
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup cotija cheese
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- Optional toppings: guacamole, pico de gallo, or mango salsa,
- Prep the shrimp. If they are frozen, thaw them by running them under cold water. Make sure you peel them and remove the tails. Then, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place them in a medium bowl. Add seasonings (not the olive oil) and stir to combine.
- Make the crema. Meanwhile, mix all the crema ingredients together and place it to the side.
- Make the slaw. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix both cabbages and shredded match-stick carrots with about ½ to ⅔ of the cilantro yogurt crema. Then, set aside.
- Cook the shrimp. Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the seasoned shrimp in a single layer across the pan. If your pan is too small, do this in batches, or else the shrimp will not get crispy. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set it on a plate to rest.
- Toast the tortillas. You can warm or toast your tortillas in a pay or over an open gas stovetop flame. Turn the heat to medium/low and allow the tortillas to “toast” for about 10 seconds per side until they are lightly charred on the edges. If you are using a pan, heat to medium-hot and “toast” for 30 seconds per side until browned in some spots.
- Assemble the tacos. Layer each of the toasted tortillas with the slaw, cooked shrimp, chopped red onion, cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and an extra drizzle of crema. I love finishing mine off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. You can even add guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Enjoy!
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