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How to Season Shrimp for Tacos (12 Ways)

What’s better than tacos?

Tacos with seasoned shrimp, that’s what!

See Also: 20 Sauces for Shrimp Tacos We Can’t Resist

How to Season Shrimp for Tacos

But if you’ve ever tried to cook shrimp in your kitchen, you know that it can be a little intimidating.

  • How do you season the shrimp?
  • Do you even need to season it?
  • What spices go best with shrimp?

I’m here to help!

In this post, I’ll walk you through the different ways to season your shrimp for tacos.

So grab your favorite taco shells and get ready for some deliciousness!

How to Season Shrimp for Tacos

shrimp tacos

Tacos are one of the most beloved foods in the world, but they’re not always easy to make.

One of the most common complaints is that tacos aren’t seasoned enough.

The solution?

Add spices to your shrimp before you cook it!

But how?

Seasoning shrimp for tacos is easy and can be done in a few short steps. First, make sure to use fresh shrimp that has not been frozen. Frozen shrimp tends to have a very rubbery texture and will not cook evenly. Next, add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add garlic powder, paprika, or your favorite spice blend.

Then cook the shrimp on medium-high heat in a pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Allow the shrimp to cook until it turns pink or white (depending on what type of spice blend you used).

Here are some more easy ways to season your shrimp for tacos:

1. Garlic Salt

Garlic Salt

You can’t make tacos without garlic salt, so be sure to have some on hand.

You can find it in most grocery stores, but it’s also pretty easy to make your own by mixing salt and garlic powder in equal parts.

2. Onion Powder

Onion powder

Onion powder is the perfect choice if you want a subtle flavor in your tacos.

The best part?

It’s cheap and easy to find at any grocery store!

Just sprinkle some on top of your cooked shrimp and voila!

You’re ready to go!

3. Seasoned Salt and Pepper

If you’re looking for something more bold, try seasoned salt and pepper!

Just mix equal parts of both into a bowl and sprinkle over your cooked shrimp before serving!

This will give your tacos that extra kick that makes them stand out from the rest.

4. Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning

Shrimp is a great way to start your taco night, but you can’t just toss them in hot oil and hope for the best—you’ll end up with rubbery, chewy shrimp that will make your taste buds cry.

Instead, try seasoning your shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning before cooking them.

It’s got a little bit of everything: paprika, garlic powder and celery salt are all present in this tasty seasoning blend.

You can find it at most grocery stores or buy it online!

5. Paprika


If you’re looking for a little more heat in your shrimp tacos, then paprika should be your next stop on the spice rack.

This versatile spice can be used in almost every type of cuisine imaginable because of its distinct smoky flavor.

If you’re not sure where to start with paprika, we recommend going with ancho chili powder—it has just enough heat without overpowering your dish!

6. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is another great option for getting more flavor out of your shrimp without adding too much spice or heat (both of which can overwhelm the delicate taste of seafood).

Sprinkle some onto each piece of shrimp before cooking for a bolder, more flavorful taste that won’t overpower other flavors in your tacos!

7. Chili Powder

Chili Powder

Chili powder is probably the most popular seasoning for tacos because it has such a strong flavor profile—it’s spicy and smoky, which is perfect for shrimp tacos that have some sweetness to them (like pineapple).

If you like things super spicy, use chili powder sparingly; otherwise, try adding some cumin or paprika for an extra kick!

8. Dried Oregano


Dried oregano is a must-have for any home chef who wants to make tacos.

This herb brings a lot of flavor to the dish and will make it taste just like the ones from your favorite restaurant!

9. Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Powder

Cayenne pepper

You almost can’t have tacos without some kick!

Cayenne pepper and chipotle powder are two favorites among chefs because they add just enough heat without overpowering the other flavors in the dish.

10. Cumin

Ground Cumin

Cumin is another one of those spices that seems like it belongs in everything, but it really does add a lot of flavor to shrimp tacos.

If you’re feeling ambitious, try making your own cumin spice mix using coriander seeds and whole cloves!

11. Lime Juice

Lime juice

Limes are an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking, so they’re definitely worth keeping around the house even if you’re not planning on making shrimp tacos anytime soon—just keep them in the fridge so they don’t go bad before you use them all up!

You can also freeze lime juice for later use if you want to save some cash (and freezer space).

12. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice

This ingredient adds brightness and freshness to any dish—and tacos are no exception!

The citrusy tang of lemon juice helps cut through the richness of fried shrimp and cheese sauce so that every bite is full of flavor without being too heavy.

3 Tips for Seasoning Shrimp for Tacos


Tacos are the best food ever.

But have you ever tried to cook shrimp for tacos?

It can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not sure how to season the shrimp so that it tastes good.

But with these tips, you’ll be able to make your own seasoned shrimp in no time—and impress everyone with your taco skills!

1. Get the Right Shrimp

The most important thing you can do to make sure your shrimp taste good is to get quality shrimp.

The best way to do this is to go to your local fishmonger and ask them for their recommendations based on what you’re planning on cooking.

If you’re going to be frying them, they’ll probably recommend precooking them so that they don’t end up overcooking in the pan.

But if you’re going for sautéed or grilled, then it’s okay if they’re frozen—just thaw them out before cooking!

2. Clean Your Shrimp

You’ll need to clean your shrimp before cooking it, or else your dish will end up tasting unpleasantly fishy.

You can do this by simply running them under cold water while peeling off their shells and removing their heads (if applicable).

You can also use a toothbrush or scrubber to clean them more thoroughly if necessary—just make sure not to use soap!

3. Use a Baking Sheet

You don’t want to crowd your pan with too much seafood, so use a baking sheet that’s large enough to fit all of your shrimp in one layer (or two layers if necessary).

If you don’t have an oven-safe wire rack, you can use aluminum foil instead.

This will help keep your shrimp from sticking together while cooking and ensure even heat distribution throughout each piece.


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shrimp tacos

How to Season Shrimp for Tacos (12 Ways)

If you're planning on making tacos with shrimp, you should consider seasoning your shrimp before adding them to your tacos.
The reason for this is that seasoning your shrimp will help the flavor of your taco be more consistent throughout. The seasoning you add to your shrimp will also act as a binder, which means that it will help hold together all of the ingredients in your taco and make them easier to eat.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 40 kcal


  • Garlic Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Seasoned Salt and Pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Powder
  • Cumin
  • Lime Juice
  • Lemon Juice


  • Pick your favorite seasonings from this list to use on your shrimp.
  • Prepare the rest of your taco meal.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword How to Season Shrimp for Tacos
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.