Spice Up Your Weeknight! Blackened Shrimp Tacos with a Creamy Garlic Aioli!

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Turn up the heat in your kitchen with blackened shrimp tacos – a meal that will bring a sizzle to your dinner table with minimal effort. The shrimp cooks in no time, getting perfectly tender, crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside.

A quick garlicky aioli adds a touch of creamy coolness. Add warm tortillas and all your favorite taco toppings for a flavor fiesta in every bite. The best part? This recipe is shockingly simple.

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With minimal ingredients and easy-to-follow directions, you can have these delicious shrimp tacos on the table in minutes. You’ll serve these for weeknight dinners regularly, whether it is Taco Tuesday or not! Keep reading, and I’ll explain the easy steps to blacken shrimp, along with all my tips and tricks.

Love tacos? Try slow-cooker chicken tacos, instant pot fish tacos, or air-fried carnitas for more ways to make your taco night special.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Shrimp: I use medium or large shrimp. You want shrimp big enough to get a large blackened crust without getting rubbery.
  • Blackened seasoning: I made a homemade blackened seasoning from paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. You can use a store-bought mix if you prefer.
  • Olive oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Garlic
  • Lime juice
Ingredients for a recipe arranged on a counter: shrimp in a bowl, garlic, mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, and a bowl of blackened seasoning.

🥣How to Make Blackened Shrimp with Garlic Aioli

  1. Toss your shrimp in a bowl with olive oil and all the spices until they’re well coated.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, making sure not to overcrowd them. Give them space to sear and develop that beautiful blackened exterior. The shrimp should only take 2 minutes per side to cook.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and lime juice to make the garlic aioli.
  4. Then it’s taco assembly time. Lay down a warm tortilla, pile on the shrimp, and then go to town with your favorite toppings and drizzle with aioli sauce.
A bowl of ground spices with a spoon on a gray surface.
Combine all spices.
A bowl of aioli sauce with a spoon, resting on a textured grey surface. the bowl has a rustic, multicolored design.
Make the aioli sauce.
Pan-seared shrimp with seasoning and char marks in a skillet, ready to be served.
Cook the shrimp.
Cooked shrimp in a skillet, being turned with tongs, seasoned with herbs and spices.
Serve with tacos.

🍴Serving Ideas

I love shrimp tacos, but if you prefer, add them to a rice bowl, serve them in lettuce wraps, or dip them in garlic aioli sauce.

Complement your blackened shrimp tacos with sides that add a fresh zing. Think a tangy mango salsa or a crisp jicama slaw. These vibrant sides can balance the bold spices of the shrimp and add a delightful crunch to your meal.

A batch of homemade guacamole is always a welcome addition to a taco spread. The coolness of the avocado is a perfect match for the heat of the blackened seasoning.

For a heartier meal, serve your tacos alongside a warm bowl of Mexican rice or savory black beans. These classic pairings will round out the meal and keep the family full and happy.

Shrimp tacos with purple cabbage and lettuce on corn tortillas, served on a white plate with a side of sauce.

💭How to Store

If you have leftover shrimp, let them cool down before popping them in an airtight container. They’ll keep in the fridge for up to two days, ready to be revived for a quick snack or round two of taco night.

Store any unused tortillas in their original packaging, sealed tightly. If you’ve already warmed them up, wrap them in foil or place them in a zip-top bag to maintain their softness.

When it’s time to reheat, gently warm the shrimp in a skillet over low heat to prevent them from becoming tough. Remember, shrimp are easy to overcook, so keep the heat gentle and the time short.

Three shrimp tacos with cabbage on flour tortillas, served on a white plate with a grey background.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • A scorching hot pan is critical for achieving that coveted blackened crust on your shrimp. Just make sure to have your kitchen fan on to handle the smoke. That’s part of the process. And remember, a little char is a good thing; it brings out the bold flavors!
  • Before seasoning, pat your shrimp dry with paper towels. This helps the spices stick better and ensures that your shrimp will sear rather than steam when they hit the pan. 
  • For pliable yet slightly crispy tortillas, heat them directly over a low flame on your gas stove for a few seconds on each side. No gas stove? A dry, hot skillet will do the trick. Wrap the warmed tortillas in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft until you’re ready to serve.
  • When it comes to toppings, think balance. A little creaminess from avocado or sour cream can soften the spice, while some lime adds brightness. And don’t forget the crunch – cabbage, radishes, or even a sprinkle of pepitas can add texture to each bite.

📝Reader Questions

What’s the best way to avoid overcooking the shrimp?

Shrimp cook quickly, so keep an eye on them! They’re done as soon as they turn pink and opaque. Depending on their size, it usually takes just 2 minutes per side.

How can I adjust the spice level?

The beauty of making your own seasoning is that you have control over the spice. Feel free to dial back on the chili powder for a milder flavor or add some cayenne pepper if you’re after some serious heat.

Are there any alternative cooking methods for the shrimp?

If you’re not up for pan-searing, grill the shrimp for a smoky flavor. Just thread them onto skewers and cook over high heat on each side for a couple of minutes. The grill marks add an extra touch of authenticity to your taco night! 

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Shrimp tacos with purple cabbage and lettuce on corn tortillas, served on a white plate with a side of sauce.
5 from 1 vote

Blackened Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Published By Anne
Conquer weeknights with these Blackened Shrimp Tacos! Tender, juicy shrimp seasoned to perfection and a creamy garlic aioli make this a flavor explosion in under 15 minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined

Blackening Spices

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Garlic Aioli Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Serve with

  • corn tortilla or flour tortillas
  • cilantro chopped
  • Lime
  • Vegetables

Instructions

  • Add shrimp to a medium bowl.
    1 pound shrimp
  • In another bowl, combine all spices. Add to the shrimp and toss gently to coat.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook on both sides for 2 minutes.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • To make the aioli sauce, stir the mayonnaise, lime juice, and garlic in a small bowl.
    ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Serve blackened shrimp with rice or tacos and veggies. Garnish with cilantro and lime, and drizzle with the sauce.
    corn tortilla or flour tortillas, cilantro, Lime, Vegetables

Notes

  • You can use store-bought blackening seasoning if you prefer.
  • Before seasoning, pat your shrimp dry with paper towels. This helps the spices stick better and ensures that your shrimp will sear rather than steam when they hit the pan. 
  • A scorching hot pan is critical for achieving that coveted blackened crust on your shrimp. Just make sure to have your kitchen fan on to handle the smoke.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 525mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 422IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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A fork holding a cooked shrimp over a bowl of white sauce, with a skillet of more shrimp in the background.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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