Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Crunchy Slaw

Blackened Shrimp Tacos with a crunchy coleslaw are the BEST meal to make for dinner tonight or at a tailgate (or an at-home tailgate party)! These Blackened Shrimp Tacos, seasoned with homemade blackening seasoning, are topped with a sweet-crunchy slaw and are easy to make on the go if you want to serve them at a tailgate. Makes 10 tacos, but the recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

Love tacos? Don’t miss Ground Beef Tacos, Skirt Steak Tacos and Soy Seared Cod Tacos with Spicy Slaw.

A platter of Blackened Shrimp Tacos is served with beer

Last week, I miiiiiiiight have taught our daughter the LSU fight song, and we miiiiiiiight have danced around the house singing it for the rest of the day.

We’re a little bit excited about football season and all that comes with it–and that includes the Saints, too!

I want to talk tailgating today, what with the season about to begin, and I’ve teamed up with 63 of my food blogger friends to bring y’all 64 new tailgating recipes.

As a football fan whose teams hail from South Louisiana, I wanted to make a rendition of one of my favorite dishes that I always eat when I visit New Orleans: the Blackened Shrimp Poboy.

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    I took that favorite dish, did my food blogger thing and transformed it into a taco. I also added a slightly sweet, slaw, just because.

    Why are tacos great for tailgating?

    These Blackened Shrimp Tacos are not something you would see at a traditional tailgate… but I like to think they still belong on the tailgate scene, too!

    I’ve eaten my fair share of tacos at tailgates, and I adore them. Also, tacos might be my love language, and I’m totally OK with that.

    • Tacos are portable.
    • They’re also delicious.
    • Added bonus: They’re super easy to make for a crowd.
    • You can put literally anything on them, and they’re good to go. (I’m sure some combinations are ill-advised, but I’m not gonna lead y’all astray right here.)
    Close up of Blackened Shrimp Tacos from above on a white platter

    What you’ll need to make this recipe

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    In addition to these tools, you’re obviously going to need some ingredients for the tacos, as well.

    • Shrimpwe love Gulf shrimp, but get what’s available to you. Before you bring your shrimp to the tailgate, peel and devein them. Nobody wants to do that at the actual tailgate.
    • Homemade blackening seasoning ingredients—use sweet paprika (or a smoked paprika), chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, cayenne pepper and kosher salt (medium grain) in this recipe. In a pinch, use store-bought Cajun or Creole seasoning. Salt-Free Tony’s is our favorite.
    • Fresh tortillas—you may use corn tortillas or flour tortillas with this recipe!
    • Green cabbage—this is the base for our homemade coleslaw. You can shred your cabbage with a knife or in the food processor if it has the attachment.
    • Almonds—toasted and roughly chopped, please and thank you
    • Ramen noodles—yes, the pack you’d get at the store. These are adding some crunch to our slaw! We will toast them with some butter. Just don’t add the flavor packet to them because that’ll muddle the taste of the slaw.
    • Extra virgin olive oil—or any other unflavored oil, like avocado oil. We use this with the shrimp, as well as in the slaw dressing.
    • Apple cider vinegar—this adds the tartness to our coleslaw dressing. I love apple cider vinegar with slaw and do not recommend making a substitution.
    • Honey—this gives a little hint of sweetness
    Close up of two blackened shrimp on tortillas

    How to make Blackened Shrimp Tacos

    Make the Crunchy Coleslaw

    Prep the ingredients. Slice the cabbage thin. Toast the almonds. Toast the ramen noodles.

    Make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, pepper and salt in a mason jar. Shake until well mixed, then set aside.

    Toss together. In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw in the dressing. Sprinkle the toasted ramen noodles on top.

    Make the Blackened Shrimp

    Peel and devein the shrimp. This takes a bit of time and effort and will likely be the portion of this recipe that takes the longest. Place the shrimp peels in a plastic bag and take them to an outdoor garbage can immediately once done.

    Make the blackening seasoning. Combine the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, basil, cayenne and salt in a small bowl to make the spice blend. Stir until mixed, then set aside.

    If you don’t have the ingredients to make the blackening seasoning, consider using a store-bought Cajun or Creole seasoning. They should be very similar to this!

    Season the shrimp. Place the shrimp. Sprinkle on the homemade blackening seasoning. Toss until all shrimp are coated.

    Please note that the seasoning will be thick. Don’t worry that this will be too much—it makes the shrimp delicious!

    Cook the shrimp. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then cook the shrimp until pink and flip. Cook until cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

    Heat the tortillas. Use the same skillet (or your grill OR stovetop, if it’s gas) to heat the tortillas until warmed through.

    Make the Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Slaw

    Layer a helping of the prepared coleslaw into the warmed tortilla

    Top with the blackened shrimp. Serve with lime wedges.

    Enjoy immediately!

    Blackened Shrimp Tacos are served on a white platter

    How to make Blackened Shrimp Tacos at a tailgate

    Prep the shrimp taco ingredients. This means deveining and peeling the shrimp, as well as making the homemade blackening seasoning. Place the seasoning in a small to-go container so it can easily be brought along. Store the shrimp in a storage container in the fridge, and make sure it stays cold during transport.

    Prep and make the coleslaw ingredients. Shred the cabbage. Toast the almonds and ramen noodles. Make the dressing.

    • Package the cabbage and almonds together in a to-go container.
    • Store the ramen noodles in a separate container or bag.
    • Bring the dressing in the mason jar.

    Plan to mix the ingredients just before serving.

    How to cook shrimp at a tailgate: Cook the shrimp directly onto the grill, similar to these Grilled Shrimp Skewers. If your shrimp are too small, bring along a skillet and cook them in the skillet on the grill to prevent them from falling through the grates!

    If you want to add lime juice, give the shrimp a spritz of it before making the tacos so guests don’t have to worry about lime wedges.

    Warm the tortillas directly on the grill.

    Serve the shrimp tacos. Layer on the slaw, then top with the shrimp. Wrap in foil or parchment paper so guests can bring the tacos on-the-go or serve on small appetizer plates so they are easily held in hand.

    Several tacos line a white platter, before eating

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you make blackened seasoning stick?

    The seasoning should stick to the shrimp because it will be slightly wet after peeling. If you have a had time getting it to stick, add a drizzle of oil or melted butter, then toss until coated.

    What do I serve with blackened shrimp?

    There are so many things you can pair with blackened shrimp! You could put it on Cajun Chicken Alfredo (but leave off the chicken) or even serve it on a salad, like this Grilled Shrimp Salad with Homemade Lime Vinaigrette.

    Can you cook frozen shrimp?

    I do not recommend cooking frozen shrimp in this method. The shrimp needs to be defrosted before you cook it.

    Blackened Shrimp Tacos on a platter, with lime wedges

    Tips and Tricks for Making the BEST Easy Blackened Shrimp Tacos

    • Follow the directions of the recipe below!
    • Make the coleslaw at home and keep it on ice until it’s time to eat.
    • Make the homemade blackening seasoning at your house, then bring it along to the tailgate. (This is easier than toting all the spices with you.)
    • Cook the shrimp in a skillet or on the grill at the tailgate.
    • Warm the corn or flour tortillas when it’s time to eat in the skillet or on the grill.

    Love all kinds of tacos?

    I recommend trying out these Andouille Sausage Breakfast Tacos and Mashed Potato Chorizo Breakfast Tacos.

    Wanna make these? Scroll on down to learn how you can make Blackened Shrimp Tacos for your next tailgate… or dinner!

    blackened shrimp tacos on a white plate with limes

    Blackened Shrimp Tacos

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    Blackened Shrimp Tacos with a crunchy coleslaw are the BEST entree to make at your football tailgate! Shrimp are liberally sprinkled with homemade blackening seasoning, then cooked. Flour (or corn!) tortillas are warmed on the grill. When the elements of the dish are ready, the shrimp are served atop a (made-at-home) Asian-inspired coleslaw that features green cabbage, toasted almonds, toasted Ramen noodles and a honey vinaigrette. These Blackened Shrimp Tacos go great with beer and are easily transported as you peruse your team’s tailgate scene!
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 10 tacos
    Calories 366 kcal
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes


    Shrimp Tacos

    • 1 lb. peeled & deveined shrimp
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 10 fresh tortillas warmed over the flame for a few seconds on both sides (corn or flour work)


    • 1 small head green cabbage sliced into ribbons (around 5 cups)
    • ½ cup almonds toasted and roughly chopped
    • 1 package ramen noodles toasted in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter WITHOUT the flavor packet
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

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    Make the Slaw

    • In a large bowl, combine the sliced cabbage and almonds.
    • In a mason jar, mix the dressing: olive oil, vinegar, honey, pepper and salt. Shake until well mixed.
    • If eating immediately: Toss the coleslaw in the dressing. Sprinkle the toasted ramen noodles on top.
    • If preparing in advance: Package the cabbage and almonds together. Store the ramen noodles in a separate container or plastic bag. Bring the mason jar of dressing along, and mix all the ingredients just before serving.

    Prepare the Shrimp

    • In a small bowl, mix the blackening seasoning ingredients: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, basil, cayenne and salt. Stir until mixed. Set aside.
    • Place shelled and deveined shrimp into a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle with the blackening seasoning, and toss until all shrimp are coated. (The seasoning will be thick. Don't fear that this will be too much — it makes it delicious!)
    • Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. (If doing this at a tailgate, you can throw the shrimp directly onto the grill! Or you can cook them on a skillet on the grill, if you so desire.)
    • When the oil is hot, add the shrimp.
    • Cook until pink and completely cooked through. This will take about 4-5 minutes, depending on the heat.
    • Remove from the skillet, and set aside.
    • In the same skillet (or directly on the grill OR stovetop), heat the tortillas until just warmed.

    Prepare the Tacos

    • In the warm tortillas, layer a helping of the prepared coleslaw. Top with the blackened shrimp.
    • Enjoy immediately!


    For this dish to work at a tailgate, prepare the coleslaw at home. Bring in a portable container, and keep in the cooler until time to serve. Also mix up the seasoning mixture for the shrimp at home.
    This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if your tailgate party is hosting more folks.


    Serving: 1tacoCalories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 17gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 976mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
    Keyword blackened shrimp recipe, Cinco de Mayo recipe, entree, pan fried shrimp tacos, shrimp taco recipe, shrimp tacos with slaw, taco recipe, taco tuesday recipe, tacos, tailgate recipe, unique taco recipe
    Course Entrees
    Cuisine TexMex
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. Those are some killer tailgating tacos, girlfriend! I’m totally digging the blackened flavors in here!

      1. Thanks so much, Rachelle! We love tacos in this house, so why not make ’em a tailgate food? The blackening seasoning is SO good, too. I hope you enjoy them!

    2. These look great! And that blackened seasoning will work on so many things! We’re pretty excited for College football too! Go Big Red! Cant wait until the Huskers get their season started! I’ll definitely be trying your tacos for a game day celebration!

      1. Thanks so much, Michele! You’re right about the blackening seasoning working on so many things, too.

        Hooray for college football and getting the season started for them, as well as the pros. I think these tacos would be perfect for a college or professional tailgate! 😀

    3. I love shrimp tacos! Your blackened ones look simply delicious! Looking forward to more tailgating recipes!

    4. I love these cute little blackened shrimps. They look amazing in these tacos. Plus great round up!

    5. Excellent recipe… I guess I’m late to the party as usual but, I’ve never crisped up ramen noodles… Brilliant idea which I can see many uses for…
      Thank you… :O)

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