Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce

Shrimp Tacos with chipotle cream

My husband and I have different ideas about what it means to have a stocked pantry. He sees an empty fridge. I see a chicken carcass and a couple of wobbly carrots to turn into soup. He sees nothing to snack on. I see the fixings for guacamole to go with the half bag of tortilla chips hiding behind the granola. That said, there are a few pantry basics from which we can both pull together supper seemingly out of thin air. One of them is the bag of shrimp we almost always have in the freezer. And these Shrimp Tacos are a favorite way to put that shrimp to good use.

Baja-style shrimp tacos

Shrimp is a “go to” healthy convenience food. Here’s why:

  1. When frozen, it’s quick to defrost.
  2. Cooks in a few quick minutes (and is pretty hard to mess up).
  3. Has just 84 calories in a three-ounce serving along with 20 grams of protein, very little fat, and vitamin B-12.
  4. Meets one of the two recommended weekly servings of seafood, something most of us are falling well short of getting
  5. Is a versatile ingredient that can be spun in any direction, whether that’s in a stir fry or summer rolls.
Baja-style shrimp tacos

Inspired by Baja-Style Tacos

Case in point are these tacos, which are quick and easy to make. They’re inspired by fish tacos I’ve eaten in seaside towns along the Baja peninsula of Mexico. The standard fixings are fried pieces of white fish, a creamy, chipotle-spiced sauce, and shredded cabbage. They’re a mastery of texture and are ridiculously delicious. In this version, I’ve swapped in sautéed shrimp for fried fish and use yogurt in lieu of sour cream for the sauce. The result is a Baja-style taco that will have you asking for seconds.  Feel free to double up on the slaw if you want more on the side.

And…if you’re looking for more healthy convenience food inspiration, head here.

If you like these Shrimp Tacos, check out:

Shrimp Skewers with Glossy Green Sauce

Paprika-Spiced Shrimp and Corn Skillet

Lighter New England-Style Shrimp Rolls

Shrimp, Tomato, and Chick Pea Stew

Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce

The key to these scrumptious tacos is the mega-flavorful chipotle sauce, which is nothing more than yogurt, light mayo, and chipotle pepper. Paired with griddled shrimp and a nutritious, crunchy slaw on warm corn tortillas? What’s not to love? Feel free to sub in your favorite grilled fish for the shrimp if the mood strikes.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 tacos, 4 servings
Calories 375 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 limes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup lowfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • ½-1 chipotle pepper en adobo, minced into a puree*
  • ½ medium green cabbage, finely shredded (see notes)
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the shrimp, juice of 1 lime, and chili powder. Set aside to prepare the sauce and slaw.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and chipotle pepper (use more or less chipotle depending on your desire for spice). Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro, the juice of the remaining lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the salt. Dribble a little of the sauce from the can of chipotles into the salad. Toss well.

  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Use tongs to transfer the shrimp to the skillet (leaving the marinating juices behind) and cook on one side until lightly brown, a minute or 2. Turn and cook on the second side until done, another minute or 2. The shrimp are done when they turn pinkish and opaque in color.

  5. Warm the tortillas using your preferred method (I like to lightly blister them over an open flame on the stove top).

  6. To assemble, lay several shrimp across the tortilla. Spoon chipotle sauceover the shrimp. Top with a generous pile of the cabbage slaw. Add avocado, if desired. Serve additional slaw as a side salad.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to substitute a 10-12-oz bag of shredded cabbage mix for the cabbage and carrots. Chipotle peppers en adobo are sold in small cans in the Mexican food section of most supermarkets. One minced chipotle pepper measures about 1 tablespoon.

This recipe was developed for the National Fisheries Institute.


11.16.2016 at4:08 AM #


Looks so good and easy! Can you give the measurement for the mayo?

11.16.2016 at4:08 AM #

Katie Morford

whoops. will do. thank you for catching that.

11.17.2016 at4:24 PM #


Oh, I can totally relate! “There is nothing to eat.” Is what I hear while i see a whole lot of possibilities in my kitchen.

11.17.2016 at4:24 PM #

Katie Morford

Exactly! My kids say that as well.

11.18.2016 at8:16 AM #


I am looking forward to trying this! It will be a nice break from turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Maybe your next book should be about how to foraging as you describe above? That is a great skills to have.

11.18.2016 at8:16 AM #

Katie Morford

Oh…I like that idea 🙂

08.07.2019 at2:52 PM #

Karen State

Making these this evening for my college friends from the 90’s! It’s 90210 Reboot Party Night here. Thanks for the fantastic recipe. Cheers!

08.07.2019 at2:52 PM #

Katie Morford

How fun! Enjoy.

07.21.2020 at6:29 PM #


My daughter & son-in-law made this and used coconut milk yogurt to keep it non-dairy. So delicious!! Going to be a go-to for company too!

07.21.2020 at6:29 PM #

Katie Morford

That’s great. Nice to hear it can be adapted for folks who don’t do dairy!

06.01.2024 at12:44 PM #


We had these for dinner last night, and they are so good!
Followed your recipe exactly. Heated tortillas in the toaster oven.
3 of us finished it all, and they’re requesting the meal be repeated. Thank you.

06.01.2024 at12:44 PM #

Katie Morford

That sounds like a win! Thank you for sharing.

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