Blackened Garlic Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Blackened Garlic Shrimp Tacos
Blackened Garlic Shrimp Tacos

Who doesn’t love tacos? If you are a taco lover like us, well then we have a treat for you! These Blackened Garlic Shrimp tacos are packed with flavor and topped off with a Spicy Slaw and a refreshing Cilantro Cream. Be warned, you will not be able to stop eating these!

What is blackened seasoning?

Although it seems like the term “blackened” would refer to food that has extra char, blackened actually refers to the type of seasoning used. This seasoning blend typically includes a combo of paprika, cayenne, black pepper, garlic and onion powders, as well as a combo of dried herbs. It is popular in the South and is similar to a creole or cajun seasoning with slight differences.

Although you can find this seasoning blend at the store, it is super easy to make at home.

Make our version of Blackened Seasoning

Mix together the following spices to make our version of blackened seasoning for the Blackened Shrimp Taco recipe here:

  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Hot Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove
  • bay leaf

We typically make a fairly large batch of this and store it in a jar to have whenever we want it. It’s great on a variety of proteins and vegetables.

What type of shrimp is best for these tacos?

Blackened Shrimp Tacos
You will love these delicious shrimp tacos!

You can pretty much use any shrimp in this recipe. We prefer the taste of Gulf Shrimp, but choose whatever you can find. It is important that you peel, devein and remove the tails from the shrimp for this recipe.

No one wants to worry about peeling a shrimp before they eat their taco! So, buy shrimp that is already peeled, or make sure you do this before seasoning and cooking the shrimp.

How to make these Blackened Garlic Shrimp tacos?

This recipe is really quite easy to make. You will spend the most time cutting the vegetables for the slaw, but otherwise, this recipe is easy to make within an hour any night of the week!

For the Spicy Slaw

The slaw consists of chopped Napa cabbage and matchstick (julienne) cut carrots, a jalapeño, daikon, jicama, and a bunch of cilantro. This combo results in a nice variety of textures with a great crunch. To achieve the spice in this, we combine lime juice with our favorite Mexican hot sauce (Tapatio), but you can pretty much use any hot sauce you want.

For the Cilantro Cream

This is another quick recipe for a sauce that can be used on a variety of foods, so we love to make extra and have it in our fridge whenever we want.

In a food processor, mix together the following:

  • ¼ cup créme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 handfuls cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking the Shrimp

Shrimp tacos
Blackened seasoning gives these shrimp tacos a ton of flavor!

For this recipe, we simply season the shrimp with the blackened seasoning and sautée in a frying pan. Shrimp cook pretty quickly and no one likes an overcooked shrimp, so watch these closely. If your shrimp are medium to large, this should take about 2-3 minutes a side. Cook less for small shrimp.

Look for the signs they are done by noticing that they curl, but not too tightly. The cooked shrimp should be opaque (pinkish-white) throughout and should not look gray or translucent. If you are concerned, you can always cut the shrimp open and check for doneness.

What tortillas are best for Shrimp Tacos?

We prefer to eat these tacos with flour tortillas. If you are a sourdough junkie, we have a recipe for Sourdough Tortillas that you can try out. Otherwise, any ol’ flour tortilla will be great with these.


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Blackened Garlic Shrimp Tacos. If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.

Blackened Shrimp tacos
Tag us in your posts on Instagram is you give this recipe a try!

If you like this recipe, check out a few of our other favorites below:

Blackened Garlic Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Cream Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by Angela and Mark Course: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


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  • For the Shrimp
  • 6 tbsp 6 extra virgin olive oil

  • 6 6 cloves of garlic – peeled and left whole

  • 1 lb 1 large shrimp – peeled and deveined, tails removed

  • 3 tbsp 3 Blackened Seasoning

  • For the Slaw
  • 1/2 head 1/2 of Napa cabbage – julienne cut (thin)

  • 1 1 large jalapeño – julienne cut

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 carrot – julienne cut

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 daikon – julienne cut

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 jicama – julienne cut

  • 1 1 cilantro – roughly chopped

  • 3 tbsp 3 Mexican hot sauce (such as Tapatio)

  • 4 tbsp 4 fresh lime juice

  • For the Cilantro Cream
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 créme fraiche or sour cream

  • 2 2 handfuls cilantro leaves

  • 2 tsp 2 lemon juice

  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

  • For Serving
  • Flour tortillas

  • Cotija (or some crumbly fresh cheese)

  • Hot sauce – Mexican and/or Louisiana

  • Extra lime juice

  • Extra cilantro


  • Combine all ingredients well, ensuring to coat all of the vegetables with the liquids. Add the slaw to an airtight container or bowl tightly covered in plastic wrap. Let rest, refrigerated, for 30 minutes or up to a few hours.
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Put the oil and garlic in a large sautée pan or skillet. Heat the oil on low to medium low and cook the garlic gently until it just starts to turn light brown. This will take more than 10 minutes and will infuse the oil with garlic flavor. When the garlic is done, pour off about half of the oil – keeping just enough to sautée the shrimp (about 1-2 tbsp) – and remove the garlic. Reserve the garlic and extra garlic oil for a different use such as garlic bread or other dishes if desired.
  • Thoroughly coat the shrimp with the blackened seasoning. Turn the heat with the garlic oil up in the skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are done – just curling and opaque (pinkish-white) throughout.
  • Remove and serve with the slaw, cilantro cream, cheese and any hot sauces you want on either corn or flour tortillas (or both).

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