Chipotle Shrimp Tacos


Smoky chipotle powder adds intense flavor to these shrimp tacos, but it's balanced by a creamy, cool slaw.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins

Don't reserve these weeknight tacos for just Tuesdays. This recipe turns the frozen shrimp hanging out in the freezer into a satisfying dinner in 15 minutes. Another clever shortcut is using grocery store coleslaw mix to create a crunchy topping. A little sliced red onion, cilantro, and lime-mayonnaise dressing bring freshness to the pre-packaged salad mix while still saving you most of the chopping.

The key to this easy recipe is using paper towels to thoroughly pat the thawed shrimp dry so they sear and not steam in the pan. Garnish with more cilantro and serve with your favorite hot sauce for a little extra heat.


  • 1 lb. frozen cooked salad-size shrimp, thawed  

  • 1 tsp. chipotle chile powder 

  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder 

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided 

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil 

  • 3 cups shredded coleslaw mix 

  • ½ small (8-oz.) red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup) 

  • cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish 

  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 2 limes) 

  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise 

  • ½ tsp. granulated sugar 

  • 8 (6 1/2-in.) flour tortillas, toasted 

  • Lime wedges, for serving 

  • Hot sauce, for serving 


  1. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Mix together shrimp, chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl until combined.

  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 minute.

  3. Stir together coleslaw mix, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

  4. Top each toasted tortilla with about 1/2 cup coleslaw mixture and 1/3 cup cooked shrimp. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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