Skip to content
Home » Blog » Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos (Gluten-Free)

Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos (Gluten-Free)

Bold, fresh flavors and juicy grilled shrimp come together to make these summer-inspired Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos. These tacos are easily made in just 30 minutes and are perfect for a quick, flavorful weeknight dinner.

Three tequila lime shrimp tacos garnished with cilantro, avocado, and cilantro garlic sauce are served on a white plate.

I love a recipe that takes only minutes to prepare, but is so flavorful and delicious that it wows everybody at the dinner table.

That, my friends, is what these tequila lime shrimp tacos are all about. The tequila lime marinade packs a bold and flavorful punch. The shrimp are quickly grilled at high heat to achieve a nice char, while leaving them perfectly juicy.

I serve mine in corn tortillas because I love the flavor. Corn tortillas are also gluten-free, meaning this recipe is gluten-free. Pair these tacos with my cilantro garlic sauce and some avocado and you have yourself a quick weeknight dinner. This recipe would also be perfect for a taco bar at any backyard barbecue.

Some links throughout this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you’re willing to use them, it helps fund this site and allows me to continue to provide content. I appreciate your support!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • 30-Minute Meal- Need to get dinner on the table fast? These shrimp tacos are perfect for that! Shrimp marinates and cooks quickly so they’re ready in just 30 minutes.
  • Bold Flavors- The marinade here packs quite the flavorful punch, which is perfect for a blank canvas like shrimp. Tequila, lime, garlic, and cilantro all sing of sunny beach days and warm summer nights.
  • Easy to Make- If being quick wasn’t enough, being super simple is sure to win you over. The hardest part is making the marinade, which is actually quite easy. Then, just wait a bit, fire up the grill, and you’ll be impressing all of your friends in no time.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.

  • Shrimp- I wrote this recipe for jumbo shrimp. However, I recommend you use whichever option works best for you. I actually used “broken” shrimp while testing this recipe because that was the only sustainable option I could find at my local store.
  • Tequila- If you’ve never cooked with tequila before, you should definitely try it. The tequila adds a nice depth and a lovely flavor to this dish, pairing well with the lime. And don’t worry about the alcohol, it cooks off on the grill.
  • Lime Juice & Zest- I like to use fresh lime juice as well as some lime zest to really make the lime flavor pop. The acidity of the lime juice tenderizes the shrimp, leading to a juicy, flavorful shrimp taco.
  • Cilantro- Fresh and herbaceous with mild citrus notes, cilantro pairs well with the lime and tequila flavor profile.
  • Garlic- Is any marinade really complete without garlic? One clove is plenty as to not overwhelm the tequila, lime, or cilantro.
  • Honey- Any good marinade has a hint of sweetness to round out the acid and salt. I chose to use honey here because I often have it on hand. However, agave would also work well in this recipe.
  • Seasonings- To bring a bit of spice to the marinade, I added some chili powder and freshly ground black pepper. And of course, salt is an essential seasoning – add to taste.
The ingredients to make tequila lime shrimp tacos are displayed on a butcher block countertop.

Tips for Buying Shrimp

With shrimp being the most popular seafood in the United States, it’s no wonder that we have so many options to choose from. The variety of species, preparations, and sizes means there are a lot of decisions to make at the seafood counter. And if you take sustainability into account, it gets even more confusing.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing shrimp at the grocery store:

  • Fresh vs. Frozen- While instinct may tell you fresh is always better, in the case of shrimp, that’s not always true! If you can find local wild-caught fresh shrimp, this is a good choice. However, for those that don’t live in an area where shrimp are caught locally, the frozen options are usually fresher.
  • Size- Shrimp come in a variety of sizes, from small to colossal. You can even buy “broken” shrimp as I did for my recipe testing. Usually, the size you want depends on what you plan to use it for. Keep in mind, that shrimp is often sold by the pound and the number of shrimp per pound will vary with size.
  • Shell-On- I recommend buying shell-on shrimp for two reasons. For one, it’s usually less expensive. Second, the shells hold a lot of that delicious shrimp flavor. Peeling the shrimp just before cooking means more flavorful shrimp.

Is Shrimp a Sustainable Seafood Choice?

It depends. Shrimp runs the gamut in terms of sustainability and quality. According to FishWatch.gov, U.S. wild-caught shrimp is a sustainable choice. However, wild-caught shrimp is hard to come by unless you live on the coast.

Most of the shrimp available for purchase at your local grocery store is farmed, which can be sustainable if the farm follows best practices. A few resources to help you find sustainable shrimp and other seafood include: SeafoodWatch.org and FishWatch.gov.

Additionally, look for the Marine Stewardship Council, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, or the Best Aquaculture Practices logo to identify sustainable seafood products.

Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make these tequila lime shrimp tacos.

Step 1: Make the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, tequila, olive oil, honey, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Step 2: Marinate the shrimp. Clean shrimp and pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Add the shrimp to the bowl of marinade and stir to coat. Marinate for about 20 minutes while the grill preheats.

A clear bowl with tequila lime marinade.
A bowl of shrimp marinating in tequila lime marinade.

Step 3: Skewer and cook the shrimp. Once the shrimp have marinated, thread 4-5 shrimp onto each skewer. With the lid open and the heat on high, place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, basting with additional marinade as they cook. Transfer to a plate when done.

Raw, marinated shrimp on bamboo skewers on a white plate.
Shrimp skewers being cooked on the grill.

Step 4: Assemble the tacos. Warm corn tortillas in the microwave (wrapped in a damp paper towel) or over a low flame on the grill. To assemble the tacos, place 4-5 shrimp in each corn tortilla and top with some diced avocado, cilantro garlic sauce, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

The filling of a tequila lime shrimp taco, which includes marinated and grilled shrimp, cilantro garlic sauce, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro.

Variations and Substitutions

Variations

Here are a few ways you can make these tequila lime shrimp tacos fit your diet.

  • Gluten-Free- If you use corn tortillas as suggested in the recipe, these tacos are naturally gluten free. Just be sure to double check all ingredient labels to be certain.
  • Dairy-Free- To make these shrimp tacos dairy-free, either leave off the Cilantro Garlic Sauce or substitute the yogurt in that recipe with dairy-free sour cream or yogurt.
  • Spice it Up- Want to kick the heat up a notch? Add a little cayenne pepper to the marinade or top the tacos with a few pickled or fresh jalapeño slices.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Shrimp- If you’d prefer not to or cannot eat shrimp, haddock, cod, halibut, or even chicken work well with this marinade.
  • Tequila- To replace the tequila, add an additional 2 tablespoons of lime juice in its place.
  • Fresh Lime Juice- I recommend freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor, but you can use bottled lime juice in a pinch.
  • Cilantro- Think cilantro tastes like soap? Parsley or green onions can work as substitutes here.
  • Honey- Since this is a tequila-based recipe, agave would be a natural substitute for the honey. You could also use granulated sugar. I wouldn’t use maple syrup or brown sugar since those have too strong of a flavor.
  • Chili Powder- Don’t have chili powder? Use a bit of cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika for a similar flavor profile.
  • Corn Tortilla- You can swap out the corn tortillas for flour tortillas if you’re not worried about keeping this recipe gluten-free. If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet, lettuce or cabbage leaves also work as tortilla substitutes.

What to Serve with Shrimp Tacos

Here are a few suggestions of what to serve with tequila lime shrimp tacos.

  • Avocado- One of my favorite taco toppings, avocado adds a creamy element that pairs well with the crunchy shrimp.
  • Cilantro Garlic Sauce– I use this sauce on absolutely everything. It’s so flavorful and goes well with pretty much any type of taco you can think of.
  • Coleslaw or Broccoli Slaw- Both crunchy and refreshing, either would be perfect as a side or as a taco filling.
  • Tortilla Chips with Salsa What goes better with tacos than a side or chips and salsa (or queso or guacamole)? Honestly, not much.
  • Other Ideas Include- Guacamole, roasted sweet potatoes, Spanish-style rice, Elote (Mexican street corn), seasoned black beans, bean and corn salad.

Storage and Reheating

Refrigerator

  • Cooked Shrimp- For best results, store the shrimp filling separately from any other taco fillings and from the tortillas. Cooked shrimp will stay good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Marinade- You can make the marinated ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for 3 days without the shrimp.
  • Raw Shrimp + Marinade- Since this is an acidic marinade and shrimp are a delicate protein, I do not recommend marinating the shrimp for longer than 2 hours. The lime will begin to break the shrimp down too much beyond this point, degrading the texture.

Freezer

  • Cooked Shrimp- Freeze cooked shrimp in a heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 6 months.
  • Marinade- You can freeze unused marinade in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Doubling your marinade and freezing it is a great meal prep hack.
  • Raw Shrimp + Marinade- In a heavy-duty freezer bag, combine the raw shrimp with the marinade and freeze immediately for up to 1 month. Shell-on shrimp may hold their texture better than peeled shrimp.

How to Reheat

  • From Refrigerator- For best results, reheat cooked shrimp in a skillet or steamer basket with a bit of water. You can add a little oil or butter for flavor as well. Reheat for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp reach an internal temperature of 145°F. For convenience, you can also reheat the shrimp in a covered container in the microwave.
  • From Freezer- The best way to reheat cooked shrimp from the freezer is to thaw it first. Otherwise, you can steam or sauté frozen shrimp, keeping in mind that they may release extra liquid during cooking.
Three prepared tequila lime shrimp tacos on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pan fry or bake the shrimp instead of cooking it on the grill?

Yes, definitely! For pan-frying, just heat a bit of oil or butter over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side. For baking, spread marinated shrimp out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes. You can also broil the shrimp in your oven.

How can I tell when shrimp are fully cooked?

The safest way to tell when shrimp are done cooking is to check their internal temperature. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the shrimp should read 145°F. You can also tell the shrimp are cooked when the back of the shrimp turns from translucent to opaque.

Why is it recommended to soak bamboo skewers before grilling?

Soaking the bamboo or wooden skewers for at least 20 minutes prior to grilling helps to prevent them from burning too quickly. Alternatively, you can buy reusable metal skewers for grilling.

You May Also Like

Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos

Bold, fresh flavors and juicy grilled shrimp come together to make these summer-inspired Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos. These tacos are easily made in just 30 minutes and are perfect for a quick, flavorful weeknight dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Marinate Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings (2 tacos per serving)
Calories 393kcal
Author Ashley Petrie

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • Zest from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes) freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove grated or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro roughly chopped
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

For the Tacos

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 10 small corn tortillas warmed
  • 1 avocado cubed (optional)
  • ¼-½ cup Cilantro Garlic Sauce optional
  • ½ cup cilantro roughly chopped (optional for garnish)

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, tequila, olive oil, honey, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
    Zest from 1 lime, ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes), 2 tablespoons tequila, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ tablespoon honey, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons cilantro, ½ tablespoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Preheat the grill over high heat. Clean shrimp and pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Add the shrimp to the bowl of marinade and stir to coat. Marinate for about 20 minutes while the grill preheats.
    2 pounds jumbo shrimp
  • Once the shrimp have marinated, thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer. If you're using jumbo shrimp, this should give you approximately 10 skewers with 4 shrimp each. With the lid open and the heat on high, place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, basting with additional marinade. Transfer to a plate when done.
  • Warm corn tortillas in the microwave (wrapped in a damp paper towel) or over a low flame on the grill. To assemble the tacos: place 4 shrimp in each corn tortilla and top with some diced avocado, cilantro garlic sauce, and fresh cilantro.
    10 small corn tortillas, 1 avocado, ¼-½ cup Cilantro Garlic Sauce, ½ cup cilantro

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 37.5g | Fat: 12.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.8g | Cholesterol: 274mg | Sodium: 1250mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3.2g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Did you try this recipe?Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.
A white plate with three tequila lime shrimp tacos.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating