Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce

4.91 from 11 votes
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These shrimp taco bites with cilantro cream sauce are the perfect quick appetizer. Spicy and easy, these tasty little bites can be made in less than 15 minutes!  

Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Shrimp Taco Bites are the perfect appetizer because they work great for almost ANY type of gathering AND they are SO easy to make. Oh, and did I mention that they are DELICIOUS? If you are a shrimp taco lover like I am, these shrimp taco bites will quickly become one of your favorite appetizers. This is our most pinned recipe on Pinterest, so trust your fellow readers, they’re delicious!

Appetizers are some of our favorite things to make! From sweet to savory to spicy, there’s a little something for everyone. Try our easy Cowboy Caviar and scoop up with chips. Or go fancy with our Grilled Artichokes with Creamy Lemon Dip. Wow your guests with our sweet and savory Pineapple Pecan Cheeseball. So yummy!

Ingredients in Shrimp Taco Bites

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients you need for this shrimp appetizer. I promise it’s not as complicated as it seems. Just gathering up the ingredients takes most of the time! Here’s what you need:

  • Raw shrimp- for this recipe use small, uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • Taco seasoning – this is something I always have on hand. But if you don’t you can use a bit of chili powder, cumin and paprika.
  • Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil works great.
  • Tortilla “scoops” chips – If you can’t find tortilla chip scoops at the grocery store, see below for an alternative.
  • Cabbage – buy a head of cabbage and slice yourself or save some time and get a pre-shredded bag.
  • Diced avocado – pitted and diced into small pieces.
  • Cilantro – this is to taste, because some people love it and some people love to hate it.
  • Sriracha – if you want an extra kick to your shrimp appetizer, add a few dashes of this delicious condiment.
  • For the cilantro cream sauce, you’ll  need:
  • Sour cream – for a little added protein, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • A bunch of chopped cilantro – you can find it in the produce section of your grocery store, or grow it in your garden.
  • A tablespoon lime juice – use fresh lime juice or from a bottle. But you could sprinkle a teaspoon of lime zest to add even more flavor to the sauce mixture.
  • One tsp salt and pepper – to taste.

Additions/Substitutions

There are so many variations you can make with these easy little shrimp taco bites. 

  • Use guacamole instead of diced avocado.
  • Top each shrimp bite with a tsp of avocado mixture and a tsp of sour cream mixture to get all the flavors in a single bite.
  • If you want to skip the cilantro cream sauce or you are in a pinch for time, just use a little dollop of sour cream instead. 
  • Add a scoop of salsa fresca or your favorite salsa to the taco bite as well. My favorite thing to top them with is SRIRACHA.. but I like my fish tacos SPICY. I made this an “optional” ingredient in the recipe but if you like spicy food I highly recommend it. So good!
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon chili powder, a teaspoon lime zest and some lime juice on the shrimp to create chili lime shrimp.

How to Tell if the Shrimp is Done

Shrimp cooks fast, so here’s how to know if it’s done:

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then place shrimp in a single layer in the pan.
  • Cook on each side for just about two minutes until the shrimp no longer look opaque, but have a pink color. The tail will also curl up slightly.
  • You can also use olive oil spray or non stick cooking spray instead of vegetable oil. 
  • Place cooked shrimp on a plate or wire rack.

The Scoops

If you can’t find the tortilla scoops at a store near you, that is totally ok. You can always just make your own. There are a couple of different ways you can do this:

  • Cut some corn tortillas into quarters, place them in a muffin tin, and bake at 350-degrees for 5-7 minutes. If you want them to be more crispy, spray them with cooking spray before putting in the oven and then bake them a few minutes longer until crisp. If that seems like too much effort, you can also just layer them on regular tortilla chips too.
  • Use wonton wrappers or and place them in a muffin tin to create wonton cups. Follow the same baking method as the corn tortillas.

Gluten-Free

The only thing you need to watch for with these shrimp taco bites is the taco seasoning. If you have a gluten allergy, just be sure you are using GF taco seasoning and you will be good to go. Everything else is naturally gluten free!

More Delicious Shrimp Recipes

How to Make Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Scoop chips topped with shrimp on a plate

Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce

4.91 from 11 votes
These shrimp taco bites are the perfect appetizer for when you don’t have a lot of time. These can be made in less than 15 minutes! You will love the flavor of these tasty little bites!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 20

Video

Ingredients

  • 20 shrimp (small, uncooked, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 Tortilla “scoops”
  • 1 c. cabbage finely chopped
  • cilantro cream sauce (see below)
  • 1 avocado pitted and diced
  • cilantro (to taste)
  • Sriracha (optional, to taste)

Cilantro Cream Sauce

Instructions

  • Place shrimp and taco seasoning in a Ziploc bag and shake until shrimp is coated with seasoning.
    Shrimp in ziplock back with taco season
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place shrimp in pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until pink and cooked through.
    Shrimp cooked on the stove top
  • Remove shrimp and place on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
    Shrimp covered in foil to keep warm
  • Place tortilla scoops out on a tray and place a little bit of cabbage in each scoop.
    Scoop chips with cabbage inside
  • Spoon about 1 tsp of the cilantro cream sauce into each scoop over the cabbage.
    Scoop chips with cabbage and cilantro cream sauce on top
  • Place shrimp and a couple dices of avocado into each scoop.
    Scoop chips with cabbage, cilantro cream sauce, and shrimp on top
  • Drizzle a little Sriracha (optional) over shrimp and garnish with cilantro. 
    Red Sriracha on top
  • Serve immediately. 
    Plated shrimp taco bites with limes

For the Cilantro Cream Sauce:

  • Combine sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. 
    Ingredients for cilantro cream sauce
  • Stir well to combine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
    Cilantro, lime and sour cream mixed together.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 78mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 126IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. I am not a fan of cilantro. Any ideas of something I can use as a substitute, or just leave it out?

    1. You could use fresh parsley and lemon and lime to replace the bright flavor of the cilantro!

  2. 5 stars
    Delish ! I did take another commenters (if that’s a word ) advise and used lettuce in place of cabbage and also bought already cooked,cleaned shrimp…they went quickly and will definitely are again! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe…💜💜💜

  3. As others have asked, any idea how to go about handling these ahead of a party? I’d like to make them this weekend but I don’t have time to mess up my freshly cleaned kitchen & get it completely clean again before people start arriving. I supposed I could make the shrimp and the cilantro cream the night before & pipe it in the morning of? 🤷‍♀️

  4. I made these last night for a Christmas Eve appetizer. Delicious. I would definitely make again. They were a hit!

    1. Thank you for your comment! We are so happy you enjoyed them. We would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe for us, then other people will feel more confident in trying it as well. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    On my second attempt, I made one little adjustment. Instead of the cabbage (which lets the sauce seep down to the tort scoop), I placed a small piece of lettuce cut to fit inside the scoop. This prevents any sogginess…worked out perfectly! Thanks for sharing this wonderful appetizer with the rest of us!

    1. Any recommendations on how to keep them if I’m having a party and I need to keep them out for a couple hours? I have serving platters that you can put ice underneath. I’m wondering if the chip cups would get soggy..

      1. 5 stars
        Shrimp should never be left out for that many hours without it being chilled someone could get sick. The other suggestion about putting a small piece of lettuce the same size as the bottom of the chip is a great idea I tried it and it worked out perfectly.

  6. 5 stars
    I took these to our family’s New Year’s party and they were a HIT! Everyone kept saying, “I have to quite eating those, but I just can’t!” They were gone in a flash. And they were so easy! (hint: When I bought my shrimp, I bought the pre-cooked/peeled kind because you get quite a few more for the same price as the raw shrimp. I followed the same process to cook them, only I just seared the outside, long enough to warm through. They were perfect, not overcooked at all!) This is my new go-to party food! Thank you for sharing it!!!

    1. Great idea using precooked shrimp! I am so glad you liked this recipe! They look so fancy and no one has to know that are SO easy 😉

    2. I’m thinking about bringing these to a party tonight. How did they last through the trip to your party? I’m afraid they’ll get soggy. TIA!

  7. 4 stars
    This shrimp-taco-bites is too pretty to eat! It’s, just fabulous!!i am surely adding this one to my ‘must try’ recipe list!Thank you !!!

    1. They are so pretty but seriously, SO EASY to make! And they taste as good as they look 🙂 Hope you try them!