This easy shrimp tacos recipe with lime slaw is a delicious balance between creamy avocado, zesty and crunchy coleslaw, and protein-packed shrimp. It’s both beautifully colored and absolutely insanely good. Even better, it only takes about 30 minutes to make. So it’s perfect for weeknight dinners.
You may have heard of the taco diet. And yes, it is a thing. The taco diet basically consists of eating only tacos and nothing else in an effort to lose weight.
While there are testimonials to its’ success, they also aren’t just stuffing fast food tacos down their throats without regard for the ingredients. Tacos made with the right ingredients are actually quite healthy. So, fad or not, this recipe for healthy shrimp tacos is one you’ll want to add to your recipe file right now. Not only is it good for you, but it tastes amazing!
Why You Should Eat These Healthy Shrimp Tacos
Unlike tacos that contain ground beef, shrimp tacos provide protein without adding high calories to the mix. Yet swapping out proteins in your tacos does more than just benefit your waistline. It can also have a positive impact on your health.
Excessive consumption of red meat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and even type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the process involved in getting red meat to your table isn’t environmentally friendly either. And what harms the environment, can also harm your health.
The production, processing and distribution of red meat (beef, pork and lamb) in the United States creates large amounts of nitrous oxide. This greenhouse gas is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In all, the process to bring red meat to your table is responsible for up to 40 times the greenhouse gas emissions than common vegetables and grains grown for human consumption.
Additionally, raising cattle also generates 20% of all methane emissions in the U.S. Add to that the 167 lbs. of pesticides used making their way into our soil and groundwater and it starts to sound pretty scary.
By reducing the amount of red meat you consume, you can do your part to not only aid your health, but also reduce its impact on the environment. Shopping with local organic farmers also makes a difference (for instance, grass-fed beef makes a world of difference compared to commercially-produced beef).
And, of course, swapping out the protein in your tacos is another great way to make a small change with the benefits being two-fold.
This recipe for healthy shrimp tacos is kid-friendly and have just a hint of heat. However, if you or your family like that extra spiciness, you can easily turn up the heat by doubling (or tripling) the amount of canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce called for in the recipe.
Healthy Shrimp Tacos Recipe
- 1 lb fresh wild caught medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 lime
- 3 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas
- fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- lime wedges
- Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Combine in a resealable bag with the olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder and a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Turn the sealed bag until the shrimp is well coated, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (You can make this the night before to save time for an even quicker weeknight dinner!)
- Shred the peel from the lime using a microplane zester. Juice the lime.
- Make the lime slaw by combining the lime peel, lime juice, cabbage and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Mix well to combine then set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the chipotle pepper and the sour cream. Set aside.
- Prepare the corn tortillas as desired or according the directions on the package. Meanwhile, sauté or grill the shrimp as desired until cooked through.
- To serve your healthy shrimp tacos, spread the warm tortillas with the sour cream mixture. Then top with lime slaw, shrimp, avocado and cilantro. Squeeze lime wedges over your tacos if desired. Serves 6.
TIP: Want to create your own healthy tacos? Avoid gigantic tortilla wraps that are high in both calories and carbs. Instead opt for smaller corn tortillas. You’ll also want to choose fillings that offer a healthy balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Choose ingredients like nutrient-rich brown rice over white rice or add protein-rich beans like garbanzo, pinto, kidney or black beans.