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Healthy shrimp tacos on a serving board.
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Healthy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Pesto

Adapted from The Food Processor Family Cookbook (Sonoma Press, 2016), by Nicki Sizemore
These healthy shrimp tacos feature sautéed (or grilled!) shrimp, a vibrant cilantro lime pesto (which you’ll want to slather on everything), creamy avocados and crunchy cabbage. It’s a quick and easy weeknight meal that feels damn special. The pumpkin seeds for the pesto need to soak for 6-10 hours (see the recipe below), so start them in the morning or the night before. You can either sauté the shrimp in a skillet, or you can grill them. To grill the shrimp, toss them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Thread the shrimp onto skewers (you can see how I do this this post), or cook them directly in a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy shrimp tacos recipe, healthy shrimp tacos recipe, shrimp tacos recipe
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp (tails discarded), patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Cilantro Lime Pesto (see recipe below)

For serving

  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Avocado slices
  • Thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Hot sauce (optional)


  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and arrange them out in a single layer. Cook until pink on bottom, about 1 ½-2 minutes. Turn and cook until pink on other side and cooked through (they should be white throughout), about 1 ½-2 minutes longer. Transfer to large bowl and add ⅓ cup of the Cilantro Lime Pesto (reserve the leftover pesto for serving). Toss well to coat.
  • To assemble the tacos, spread a bit of the pesto over warm tortillas and top with the shrimp, avocado slices and cabbage. Drizzle the tacos with Mexican crema or sour cream and serve with hot sauce, if desired. Enjoy!


  • You’ll need a food processor for the pesto, or you can use a high speed blender such as Vitamix
  • Soaking the pumpkin seeds softens them, allowing them to incorporate better into the pesto. If you’re using a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) you can skip this step (if using a blender, add a splash of water to help the pesto circulate around the blade). 
  • To toast corn tortillas, cook them directly over the flame of a gas burner (or in a hot cast iron skillet) until slightly charred, then immediately wrap them in a kitchen towel to steam. (Alternatively, wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels and heat them in the microwave until pliable.) 
  • You can serve the tacos with Mexican crema or sour cream. If you’d like, thin sour cream with a splash of water until it drizzles easily off a spoon.  
  • For even more flavor, top the tacos with Quick Pickled Red Onions.
  • The recipe is adapted from my first book, The Food Processor Family Cookbook. You can get a slew of other no-cook sauce recipes in my second book, Build-a-Bowl!