Weeknight Shorts: Chili Shrimp & Lime Slaw Tacos

As warmer weather finds us, thoughts of cuisine from warmer locales bleed into the menu planning around my house. This recipe is great because it's super quick and if I happen to make it on a slightly chillier day than I'd hoped for, I can warm the slaw before tucking it into flour tortillas with the spicy shrimp. If it's extra warm out that day, I don't warm the slaw and might even have dinner on the patio. Flexibility is key when you are menu-planning in Wisconsin in April!

Speaking of flexible, you can opt to add other/more vegetables to the slaw as you see fit. This is a super simple, super fast version, but chopped pepper, shredded radish, or even diced jalapeño can be excellent in it. If you want your shrimp less spicy, you can omit the cayenne. If you want it spicier still, add a pinch or three of chili flakes. You get the idea.

I like having chips and salsa and guacamole with this dish. It's simple and fits with the theme. Oh - and a chilled beer or glass of white wine. After all, this meal feels like a celebration of warmer weather yet to come!

Chili Shrimp & Lime Slaw Tacos

  • 2 c. shredded cabbage (green, red, or a combination)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime (reserve 1 tsp. for adding to the shrimp)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Warm flour tortillas, for serving

To make the slaw, combine the shredded cabbage, green onion, mayonnaise, lime juice (reserve 1 tsp. for the shrimp), salt and pepper. Mix until lightly coated; set aside.

In another bowl, season the shrimp with the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well to coat all sides.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the shrimp. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes until they curl and become opaque. While the shrimp are still in it, deglaze the pan with about a teaspoon of fresh squeezed lime juice and mix well. You can serve the slaw cold or toss it in the pan with the shrimp after you've removed it from the heat to warm the slaw. Serve the shrimp and slaw tucked inside warm flour tortillas.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes