Authentic, Garlicky and Easy Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp tacos Familia Kitchen

These garlicky shrimp tacos are your guaranteed-to-please comida solution when you want to serve a hungry crowd—fast. That’s why they’re a go-to weeknight dinner at the home of one of our favorite Mexican-food cocinera abuelas Anjie Villalobos.

Plus, shrimp tacos are one of those meals that make people happy (unless someone has a seafood allergy, like one of her daughters,” says Anjie, joking, “it’s a travesty.”). Otherwise, you’re good to go, she promises: “Everybody loves shrimp tacos.”

Best of all: these tacos come together quickly. In just about 30 minutes, dinner is on the table. “It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s healthy and it’s delicious. I make these at least once a week.”

Here’s her stock-up trick, Anjie says. “I always try to make sure I have frozen shrimp in my freezer. The rest of the ingredients are things I usually have around: cilantro, serrano chiles, onion, garlic.”

If you don’t have all the garnishes on hand, no problem, she adds. These tacos are endlessly adaptable. ”My shrimp tacos recipe varies from day to day, depending on what I have in the fridge.”

Key to their deliciousness: mucho ajo. “Oh, yeah,” Anjie smiles. “Garlic is key. I use lots and lots of garlic in these. I also do half butter, half olive oil. That’s something I do a lot in my cooking. I used to use one or the other, but I found that it really adds a nice flavor when you mix them. Using the half-and-half combination makes the shrimp absolutely delicious—with lots and lots of garlic, of course!”

And if you have the extra 15 minutes, she recommends serving them on homemade corn tortillas (see Anjie’s step-by-step corn tortillas how-to, here). ”Traditionally, they are served on corn, but I know plenty of people who like their shrimp tacos with flour tortillas. I definitely like mine better on corn, though.”

To try more of Anjie’s Mexican and southwestern U.S. family-famous recipes, check out her green chile chicken pozole, avocado salsaMexican frijoles de olla or refried beans, and her family-famous guacamole.

Ready to Make Anjie’s Garlicky Shrimp Tacos?

Authentic, Garlicky and Easy Shrimp Tacos

Recipe by Anjie Villalobos
5.0 from 2 votes
Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 40 to 48 shrimp, large, peeled and deveined, tail off

  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to your taste (Anjie loves salt)

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 3 to 4 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

  • 8 yellow corn tortillas, store-bought or fresh

  • The Garnishes
  • cabbage, finely shredded

  • avocado, thinly sliced

  • Mexican crema, drizzled

  • cilantro, finely chopped

  • onion, finely chopped

  • lime wedges, squeezed

  • salsa verde


  • Make the Shrimp
  • In a large skillet set to medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  • Mix in the olive oil and garlic.
  • Add the salt, paprika, chili flakes and lime juice. Stir.
  • Add the shrimp and let them sizzle until fully cooked and the garlic has caramelized.
  • Turn down the stove-top heat. Add the chopped cilantro and toss.
  • Fill Tacos, Garnish & Serve
  • Heat handmade or store-bought corn tortillas (preferably directly on a gas stove top, if you have one). If not, use a hot griddle to heat both sides for about 1 minute per side.
  • Fill each tortilla with 5 to 6 shrimp and drizzle a spoonful or two of the garlicky pan liquid over them.
  • Garnish generously with finely shredded cabbage, Mexican crema, salsa, sliced avocados, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime.


shrimp tacos anjie
Cook the shimp in your mixture of lots of garlic, serrano chiles, lime, salt and cilantro.
shrimp tacos anjie
Layer four to five pieces of shrimp (beautifully browned in the olive oil-butter-garlic sauce) onto each corn tortilla.
shrimp tacos anjie
Last step: garnish with thinly sliced cabbage, avocado, onion, Mexican crema and a big squeeze of lime.

Photo top: Michelle Ezratty Murphy

Photos below: Anjie Villalobos

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