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Get the party started with this Copycat Chili’s Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema. This dish is packed with flavor, and the cilantro-lime crema takes it over the top.

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Your guests will be impressed with your cooking skills, and they’ll be asking for seconds. So, don’t forget to make a double batch!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

You can now have a delicious dinner without spending hours preparing it. Shrimp tacos are amongst the most delicious meals out there. 

They can be prepared using a few basic ingredients. Black pepper and paprika take their taste to the next level. The addition of Cilantro-Lime Crema brings the final, perfect touch to this Shrimp Taco recipe.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema Ingredients

For the Shrimp:

1 lb peeled shrimp – Being delicious and crunchy, shrimp can level up the taste of tacos. 

¾ teaspoon chili powder – Chili powder is an excellent ingredient that can add smokiness to the tacos and make them spicier.

¾ teaspoon cumin – The beautiful aroma, taste, and health benefits of cumin make it an essential part of any taco recipe. It brings nuttiness which makes it an excellent alternative to cinnamon.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos Ingredients

½ teaspoon onion powder – Onion powder spreads onion flavor throughout the tacos and is better than actual onions for seasoning. It has a strong aroma and offers some sweetness. 

½ teaspoon black pepper – Black pepper brings a touch of earthiness and depth to tacos, making them more delicious. It is pungent and can bring the best out of tacos when combined with salt.

½ teaspoon paprika – Paprika adds a touch of sweetness to tacos and can be used in large amounts because it is mild. Since paprika comes from red chilies, it also offers a peppery taste. 

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes – Cayenne pepper flakes make tacos extra spicy. It also has a hint of fruitiness.

1 tablespoon cooking oil

For the Crema:

2 tablespoon water

½ cup cilantro leaves – Cilantro is spicy and brings a citrusy flavor to tacos. Everyone doesn’t like it as some people find its taste soapy and too overwhelming.

2 garlic cloves – Garlic brings sweetness to tacos with its strong flavor. It is spicy but not tangy like other spices. It has a unique, earthy flavor that no other spice can match. 

Cilantro-Lime Crema

Pinch of salt

Juice of 2 limes – Lime juice adds a citrusy kick to tacos. It also has a touch of sweetness which slightly balances out the bitterness.

½ cup sour cream – Sour cream adds creaminess and makes tacos taste tart and tangy. It tastes similar to greek yogurt so it can be used interchangeably in tacos.

For the Tacos:

8.6″ tortillas – Tortillas are essential for wrapping the ingredients. Corn tortillas are usually considered the best for making tacos but flour tortilla is also a good choice. If corn tortilla is not available, go for the flour tortilla. 

2 cups shredded purple cabbage – Purple cabbage has an earthier and peppery flavor than regular cabbage. It is chewy when raw but develops a much softer texture after cooking.

Cabbage slaw develops a sweeter taste when cooked and counters the spiciness of other ingredients in tacos. 

Shrimp Taco Ingredients

1 large avocado – Avocados are buttery and nutty depending upon how ripe they are. They do not have an overwhelming taste and some find them to be earthy and grassy too.

Thanks to their creaminess, they can blend well with tacos. And you can also garnish with avocado.

½ diced red onion – Red onions are mildly spicy. Most people use them because of their bright color.

4 oz. cotija cheese – Cotija cheese is saltier than other types of cheese. The older the cotija cheese, the saltier it is. Queso fresco can be used if cotija cheese isn’t available, as it offers a similar taste. 

1 lime in wedges

Leaves from several cilantro stalks

Tools Needed for Making Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema 

Easy Shrimp Tacos recipe

Ingredient Additions/Substitutions When Cooking Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

What if you can’t have specific ingredients? We understand that some people have restrictions and we’ve got a few substitutes for these. You might not even notice any difference when it comes to taste!

Chili powder

Sour cream

Cotija cheese

How to Make The Best Copycat Chili’s Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Copycat Chili’s Spicy Shrimp Tacos - Shrimp Taco Ingredients

For the shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled, and deveined
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder (chipotle chilli powder)
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil

For the Crema:

  • 2 Tablepsoons water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full fat greek yogurt

For the tacos:

  • 8 6” tortillas (I used yellow corn)
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ a red onion, diced
  • 4 oz. cotija cheese (or queso fresco)
  • 1 lime, but into wedges
  • Leaves from several stalks of cilantro

Instructions:

STEP 1: Rinse shrimp under cold water and pat dry.

STEP 2: Toss shrimp with spices and sauté in oil 1-2 minutes on each side until just done. (shrimp will be white on the inside, with some pink on the outside).

chili's spicy shrimp tacos ingredients

STEP 3: While shrimp cooks, prepare the crema by mixing together the sour cream/greek yogurt, limes, garlic, cilantro leaves, salt, and water together.

Cilantro-Lime Crema Recipe - Shrimp Tacos

STEP 4: Next, transfer cooked shrimp to a serving bowl or platter, and set aside.

Why are tacos so good - Shrimp Tacos

Serve shrimp and crema together with hot tortillas and toppings (listed above).

What to Serve Spicy Shrimp Tacos Cilantro-Lime Crema Recipe With

  • Try mango salsa, green cabbage, feta cheese, and guacamole for some amazing taco toppings.
  • Jicama slaw and refried black beans can serve as delicious side dishes
  • Skinny margaritas go really well with spicy shrimp tacos too.

Although this copycat Chili’s spicy shrimp tacos offer a delicious twist on a classic dish, these chicken street tacos offer an authentic street-style flair.

If you’re looking for another tasty and authentic option, you should definitely take a look at this recipe for a mouthwatering carne asada marinade that will take your grilled meat to the next level.

Tips About Making The Spicy Shrimp Tacos With Cilantro-Lime Crema Recipe

  • Use frozen and thawed shrimp if fresh shrimp from the ocean isn’t available.  The grocery store shrimp is frozen and thawed, but there is no guarantee of its freshness. Most people do not cook shrimp right away, so they should thaw it themselves. This will also help reduce the prep time.
  • After thawing, shrimp loses some water weight, so always buy more than the frozen weight.
  • Do not overcook shrimps because they develop a bouncy, rubbery texture when overcooked.
how to make chili's spicy shrimp tacos

How to Store Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

The ingredients used in spicy shrimp tacos can be stored easily, but they must be separated.

Freeze the cooked shrimp by placing it on a baking sheet and putting it in a freezer.

Similarly, tortillas can also be frozen. To store the cilantro-lime crema, put it in a jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

However, some ingredients such as avocado should be used only when fresh.

What does shrimp taste like?

Shrimp has a creamy taste and hints of sweetness. It also has some saltiness which reminds one of the fresh ocean. 

If it is cooked properly, shrimp tastes soft and sweet with a unique aroma. It has a firm texture but melts in your mouth. 

What does shrimp taste like

How long to cook shrimp on the stove?

Shrimp shouldn’t be cooked for over 4 to 6 minutes. Overcooked shrimp turns rubbery and doesn’t taste as good. Cooking time also depends upon the size of the shrimp and the amount being cooked. 

How do you store shrimp tacos?

The best way of storing shrimp tacos is to freeze different elements of it separately. Frozen shrimp has a longer shelf life.

Keep the toppings like guacamole, salsa, slaw, and crema in the refrigerator. Storing lime in the refrigerator is optional. Store tortillas at room temperature and cover them properly.

How do you know when shrimp is bad?

Fresh shrimp is slightly translucent and whitish-gray. A bad shrimp usually has black spots and a slimy texture. Spoiled shrimp is also moldy and sticks to the fingers. 

how do you know when shrimps have gone bad - spicy chilis Shrimp Tacos

How are tacos made?

Tacos are made by putting all the ingredients such as shrimp, cream, etc inside a tortilla and folding it around the contents.

Corn tortillas are the best for wrapping as they are the most delicious. Tacos have a lot of variety, which makes adding one’s favorite ingredients to them much easier. 

What do tacos taste like?

Tacos usually have lots of spices and a delicious topping, so they taste spicy and creamy. Different spices and ingredients like avocado create a mouth-watering blend.

Warm corn tortillas are also crunchy, thanks to ingredients like shrimp. 

Why are tacos so good?

Tacos are good for multiple reasons. They are versatile so adding ingredients of one’s choice is no issue.

One can also make them as healthy as possible by adding green vegetables and protein-rich ingredients. Secondly, they are simple and do not require a lot of preparation time or effort. 

Copycat Chili's Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema - why are tacos so good

FAQ About This Copycat Chili’s Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

How many calories are in shrimp tacos?

A single shrimp taco contains around 200 calories.

What to pair with shrimp tacos?

Shrimp tacos can be paired with fresh lime juice, pickled jalapenos, charro beans, etc.

What side dish goes with shrimp tacos?

Several side dishes go well with shrimp tacos, such as mango salsa, coleslaw, Mexican corn salad, and Guacamole.

How to make spicy shrimp tacos?

A spicy shrimp taco requires loads of spices such as chili powder, cumin, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, etc.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Copycat Chili's Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Yield: 8 Tacos
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Get the party started with this Copycat Chili's Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema. This dish is packed with flavor, and the cilantro-lime crema takes it over the top. Your guests will be impressed with your cooking skills, and they'll be asking for seconds. So, don't forget to make a double batch!

Ingredients

For the shrimp:

For the Crema:

For the tacos:

  • 8 6" tortillas (I used yellow corn)
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ a red onion, diced
  • 4 oz. cotija cheese (or queso fresco)
  • 1 lime, but into wedges
  • Leaves from several stalks of cilantro

Instructions

  1. Rinse shrimp under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Toss shrimp with spices and sauté in oil 1-2 minutes on each side until just done. (shrimp will
  3. be white on the inside, with some pink on the outside).
  4. While shrimp cooks, prepare the crema by mixing together the sour cream/greek yogurt,
  5. limes, garlic, cilantro leaves, salt, and water together.
  6. Next, transfer cooked shrimp to a serving bowl or platter, and set aside.

Serve shrimp and crema together with hot tortillas and toppings (listed above)

Notes

  • The spiciness of the dish can be varied by using either chipotle chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon regular chili for those who don't like their food very spicy.
  • Remember that the weight of shrimp should be taken after they have thawed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 760Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 289mgSodium: 2177mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 9gSugar: 14gProtein: 45g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

Spicy tacos with cilantro-lime crema are easy to prepare and can brighten the night after a tiresome day. With lots of potential side dishes, spicy tacos can fill one’s appetite like nothing else.

Be it a gathering of friends or someone watching TV alone, spicy shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime cream are a great choice!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Crema recipe

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