Southwest Shrimp Tacos

These Southwest Shrimp Tacos are easy and loaded with flavor… perfect for a fun summer dinner!

Southwest Shrimp Tacos: These grilled tacos are a delicious and fun summer dinner!

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like shrimp.  Actually, I can’t truthfully say that I didn’t like shrimp because I didn’t really know what they tasted like.  I just knew that my little sister loved shrimp, and if she liked it, then that meant there was something wrong with it.  Looking back on it, there may have been some flawed logic in that thought process.  (For those of you with brothers, sisters or kids, you know this thought process all too well!)  Don’t worry…my sister and I are now good friends, and I’ve been making up for those years that I missed out on shrimp.  This recipe for Southwestern Shrimp Tacos is one of my favorite shrimp recipes…and it also involves the grill (which just happens to be another one of my addictions)!

Southwest Shrimp Tacos: These grilled tacos are a delicious and fun summer dinner!

Back when my wife and I lived in Atlanta, we’d head out to the Dekalb International Farmer’s Market almost every weekend to stock up on fruits and veggies for the week.  Just to clarify, the International Farmer’s Market isn’t just a farmer’s market.  It’s a gigantic indoor market with fruit, spices, vegetables, herbs, meats, etc from pretty much everywhere in the world.  Gigantic barely does it justice either.  I’m talking multiple football fields in length.  I’m talking you can get lost in there and not be found for days.  Ah, but I digress.  One weekend in particular, we stumbled across some crazy cheap cilantro.  I seriously think it was like 25¢ for a huge bunch of cilantro.  So we grabbed a couple of bunches and headed home.  Lucky for me, these Southwest Shrimp Tacos feature cilantro…so we invited some friends over and made a party out of it!

Southwest Shrimp Tacos: These grilled tacos are a delicious and fun summer dinner!

These Southwestern Shrimp Tacos are one of our favorite summer recipes!  In fact, I think my wife was asking me to make these while there was still snow on our grill this past winter.  Here’s a couple of tips I’ve picked up after making this recipe many, many times:

(1) Don’t overmarinate the shrimp.  The lime juice in the shrimp marinade can actually cook the shrimp (think ceviche), so you only want to leave the shrimp in the marinade for about 15 minutes or so.
(2) The Southwestern Sauce tastes great on Day 1, but it tastes even better on Day 2.  I’ve actually started making the sauce the day before I make the tacos.
(3) Shrimp cook very quickly on the grill.  Even though I don’t serve these shrimp on skewers, I use skewers to help flip the shrimp while they’re on the grill.  It makes the grilling part much, much easier!  (Just remember to soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.)

Southwest Shrimp Tacos: These grilled tacos are a delicious and fun summer dinner!

Southwest Shrimp Tacos

These Southwest Shrimp Tacos are easy and loaded with flavor… perfect for a fun summer dinner!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 444kcal


  • 3 ears corn husks removed
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted
  • 2 pounds shrimp large enough to grill easily, peeled and deveined
  • 5-6 long wooden skewers soaked in water for about 30 minutes (to prevent burning)

For the Marinade

  • ½ Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Southwest Sauce

  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 2 tbsp red onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp lime juice

For the Tacos

  • 10-12 small flour tortillas
  • Iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • Lime juice


  • Using a large bowl, whisk together all of the Marinade ingredients. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add all of the Southwest Sauce ingredients; whisk together until well blended. Set aside. (Note: If possible, make this sauce the day before and store covered in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors will meld together and the sauce will taste even better on the 2nd day!)
  • Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  • Brush the corn lightly with melted butter and grill until grill marks form, about 10-12 minutes. Remove corn from grill. Once cooled slightly, cut the corn off of the cob with a sharp knife. Set aside.
  • Once the shrimp have marinated for about 15 minutes, remove from the Marinade and place on wooden skewers. Discard Marinade.
  • Grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until fully cooked.
  • Place the grilled shrimp into the flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and grilled corn. Finish with a generous amount of the Southwest Sauce and an extra dash of lime juice.

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    1. I can’t tell you how much I miss the Dekalb Farmers Market!! That place is magically delicious…and in the delicious fruits and vegetables kind-of way. Not in the Lucky Charms kind-of way.

  1. LOVING the sound of that marinade David – coriander, cumin, lime and lemon …mmm mmm mmm they are 4 of my favs! And they are cheaper than dirt at The Dekalb Farmers Market!!! That’s one of the main reasons I love the DFM – true, they have a ton of stuff – but their prices cannot be beat!

    Oh I have a younger sis too – and do know the feeling you speak of (it never deterred me from trying food though) – but, I think it was stronger on her part – she even had our parents transfer her to another school as she was tired of being referred to as “Shashi’s sister” Hehe!!!

    1. Haha! I think my sister would have transferred in a second if she could have! She was always “David’s little sister.” Funny how when we grow up (whatever that means) we all of a sudden embrace the relation! I’m quite happy to be Courtney’s older brother now!! 🙂

      And yes, the DFM has dirt cheap prices…we have nothing like that here in upstate NY. I had no idea how spoiled I was living down there…haha!

  2. Shrimp tacos are definitely one of my favourite kind of tacos. The southwest sauce sounds so good too. I would put that on everything.

    1. Haha! Yes! But actually, I bet this would taste great with blackened chicken. Make chicken for him and shrimp for you…that way, everyone is happy! 🙂

  3. You probably can’t believe that I’m not into shrimps that much. I mean, I don’t hate them, but I don’t love ’em either.
    Still, I would gladly accept one of those tacos, a cold beer and watch a football game on TV. That’s how the wolfpack rolls
    #WolfPackEats #WolfPackRolls

    1. Now you’re speaking my language, Mike! Tacos, beers and football…does life get much better than that? Oh, and I’m going to need you to check your Instagram.

    1. Haha! Isn’t it funny how siblings are the same everywhere? Now I love my little sis, but man when we were kids, we fought like cats and dogs!

  4. Hello! You are the fellow that challenged (ALS ice bucket) Lindsey from American Heritage Cooking. Awesome she made a donation, but darn….I would’ve loved to have seen her dump a bucket of ice water on herself too. Your bucket dump totally looked refreshing, especially for a hot summer day! Nice job.
    And these tacos look sooo yummy! I LOVE avocado and corn. They make everything taste better. Awesome!

    1. Hey Kim! Yes, I admit to bring the one who challenged Lindsay. I was trying to convince her to dump the water on her head. A donation is probably even more awesome, but it sure would’ve been fun to see the the water instead! I was surprised at how much fun I had dumping a bucket of ice water on my head. Haha!

      Thank you so much for stopping by! These tacos are one of my all-time favorites. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ninj! I totally had a bourbon drink this weekend, and I thought about you living over there in the middle of bourbon-ville. Can you make me a bourbon pumpkin pie? Or perhaps a bourbon apple cronut?

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