Southwest Shrimp Tacos + Avocado Cream Sauce

Southwest Shrimp Tacos

Tacos are a favorite in my house, and for good reason. They’re super simple to make, they’re versatile and they make great leftovers. When it comes to tacos you can really please any palate, too. From taco salads, to taco lettuce wraps, to actual tacos, anyone is sure to love them!

Because many pre-made taco seasonings contain too many questionable ingredients including MSG, anti-caking agents and preservatives, I highly recommend you get in the habit of making your own taco seasoning. For me, I just make sure I have all the right seasoning on hand and I’ll throw together my seasoning every time I cook, however, if it works best for you to make a big batch to have on hand, here’s my bulk recipe:

BULK TACO SEASONING RECIPE

  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp cumin
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1½ Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes [optional for extra spice]

 

My veggies of choice when it comes to tacos are usually bell pepper and onions. They’ll give your tacos a fajita type vibe. Feel free to choose any color of bell pepper. Whichever is your favorite. Or if you like other veggies like mushrooms, garlic, spinach, etc., use those instead.

Julienned Onion and Bell Pepper

Next come the aromatics. I LOVE cilantro and will usually find an excuse to put it on anything, but with tacos cilantro is almost a given. I also add a little green onion for some extra crunch and flavor. Both the cilantro and green onions get sprinkled over your tacos as a finishing touch, so feel free to go as light or as heavy as you’d like with these flavors.

Cilantro and Green Onion

Another reason I love tacos is that there’s typically minimal cooking involved which can be a big plus for busy people looking to squeeze healthy foods into their diet. The only real cooking in this recipe is the bell pepper + onion mixture which gets sautéed up for a few minutes and then the shrimp which take 5-10 minutes to fully cook. Everything else is fresh, raw ingredients that your body will love!

Southwest Shrimp Taco Condiments

If you’re not a big fan of shrimp, you can swap any protein source here: try organic chicken, ground turkey, grass-fed beef, or for a vegetarian/vegan version, season up some of your favorite beans or some organic tofu. Again, see how versatile tacos can be? Okay, back to the shrimp. The shrimp get a liberal amount of homemade taco seasoning and then are tossed into a hot pan with melted butter. Yum! [Don’t do dairy? Swap the butter with olive oil or coconut oil for a super simple alternative]. Within 5-10 minutes, or when there is no longer any pink left in the shrimp, they’re done and your tacos are ready to build!

[raw shrimp ready for the sauté pan.]

Southwest Shrimp

[cooked up and ready to eat.]

Southwest Seasoned Shrimp

For the avocado cream sauce you’ll need the following:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup plain yogurt*
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of sea salt

Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. If you don’t have a hand or immersion blender, simply add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

*for a dairy free version, swap out plain yogurt for about ½ cup soaked cashews + 1-2 Tbsp water. Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain and blend with 1-2 Tbsp water + other avocado cream sauce ingredients. You may need to add more water to get the consistency you want.

[dish up.]

Southwest Shrimp Tacos

Southwest Shrimp Tacos + Avocado Cream Sauce

servings: about 4

INGREDIENTS [Southwest Shrimp Tacos]

  • 1 pound wild-caught shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 2-3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning [recipe below]
  • 1 Tbsp organic, grass-fed butter [or olive or coconut oil]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced thinly
  • large handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • about 5 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 lime [optional, to squeeze on tacos once assembled]
  • avocado cream sauce [recipe below]
  • fresh salsa
  • for serving: corn tortillas, lettuce wraps [romaine or butter lettuce work great here!] or salad greens

DIRECTIONS [Southwest Shrimp Tacos]

Start recipe by getting all veggies and herbs chopped. You can also make the avocado cream sauce up to 1 day ahead.

Season shrimp with 2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add julienned bell pepper and onion. Sauté for 5-8 minutes until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp butter and seasoned shrimp. Cook for 8-10 minutes until all shrimp are no longer pink and have become firm to the touch. Remove from heat.

To assemble taco or lettuce wrap: Spread avocado cream sauce onto tortilla or lettuce wrap and top with shrimp, romaine lettuce, bell pepper + onion mixture, cilantro, green onion, salsa and a squeeze of lime juice.

To assemble salad: Top generous amount of mixed salad greens with all taco ingredients. Mix to coat lettuce leaves.


 

INGREDIENTS [Taco Seasoning]

  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp cumin
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1½ Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes [optional for extra spice]

Combine all ingredients. This will make a bulk seasoning mix.

For one-time use, try this seasoning mix:
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes [optional for extra spice]

 

INGREDIENTS [Avocado Cream Sauce]

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup plain yogurt* [or ½ cup soaked cashews]
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of sea salt

Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. If you don’t have a hand or immersion blender, simply add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

*for a dairy free version, swap out plain yogurt for about ½ cup soaked cashews + 1-2 Tbsp water. Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain and blend with 1-2 Tbsp water + other avocado cream sauce ingredients. You may need to add more water to get the consistency you want.

 

Southwest Shrimp Tacos + Avocado Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS [Southwest Shrimp Tacos]
  • 1 pound wild-caught shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 2-3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp organic, grass-fed butter [or olive or coconut oil]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced thinly
  • large handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • about 5 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 lime [optional, to squeeze on tacos once assembled]
  • avocado cream sauce [recipe below]
  • fresh salsa
  • for serving: corn tortillas, lettuce wraps [romaine or butter lettuce work great here!] or salad greens
  • INGREDIENTS [Avocado Cream Sauce]
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup plain yogurt* [or ½ cup soaked cashews]
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. DIRECTIONS [Southwest Shrimp Tacos]
  2. Start recipe by getting all veggies and herbs chopped. You can also make the avocado cream sauce up to 1 day ahead.
  3. Season shrimp with 2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add julienned bell pepper and onion. Sauté for 5-8 minutes until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp butter and seasoned shrimp. Cook for 8-10 minutes until all shrimp are no longer pink and have become firm to the touch. Remove from heat.
  4. To assemble taco or lettuce wrap: Spread avocado cream sauce onto tortilla or lettuce wrap and top with shrimp, romaine lettuce, bell pepper + onion mixture, cilantro, green onion, salsa and a squeeze of lime juice.
  5. To assemble salad: Top generous amount of mixed salad greens with all taco ingredients. Mix to coat lettuce leaves.
  6. DIRECTIONS [Avocado Cream Sauce]
  7. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. If you don't have a hand or immersion blender, simply add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  8. *for a dairy free version, swap out plain yogurt for about ½ cup soaked cashews + 1-2 Tbsp water. Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain and blend with 1-2 Tbsp water + other avocado cream sauce ingredients. You may need to add more water to get the consistency you want.

 

Did you try this recipe? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share the love on Facebook ♥

 

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Angela Freed

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