Spicy Shrimp Tacos & Emily’s Special Sauce

Spicy Shrimp Tacos & Emily’s Special Sauce

If you saw my previous recipe: Summer Seafood Pasta, then you may me noticing a mini-theme. Yes, for the last 6 weeks, I have been craving seafood, especially shrimp. And — um, shrimp has become SO expensive, which is why it hasn’t been on our menu for a long time. But, Whole Foods ran a good sale, taking 10 whole dollars off of the price per pound!


I am all over a good sale, so we snagged a few pounds and I promptly whipped up the Summer Seafood Pasta. It was so good and totally worth the multiple steps to prepare. I mean $45 dollars worth of scallops and shrimp ((3 lbs)) deserves a bit of laborious meal prep, I think.


But, with one pound of perfect Key West shrimp remaining, I was looking for an easier dinnertime solution 24 hours later. Then it came to me: Spicy Shrimp Tacos.


Now, I am in love with cooking shrimp in the oven ((see my favorite shrimp recipe HERE)), and, because shrimp are so perfectly tasty on their own, I have a hard time convincing myself to season shrimp with anything but a little sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. But, I imagined spicy shrimp tacos for dinner, so I needed to make the shrimp – well, SPICY.


To add spice, I simply sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of my favorite homemade taco seasoning blend over the raw shrimp, along with sea salt and cracked black pepper. I added a tablespoon of canola oil and tossed the shrimp to coat.


While the shrimp were roasting in the oven, I quickly sliced up some of my freshly picked heirloom tomatoes, onions and a lone cucumber. I tossed the veggies in a bowl and flashed pickled them ((YUM)). I happened to share that recipe HERE.


Flash pickling works on any veggies; carrots, peppers, tomatoes, celery, onions etc. So just use what you have on hand.  I love adding fresh herbs right before serving.  Today it was cilantro’s turn to go in the bowl!


While the veggies were flash-pickling and the shrimp were still roasting, I also whipped up my special sauce. Here is the short list of ingredients I use to make my “special sauce”:


  • local (made in Oklahoma) mustard, or whatever mustard is your favorite
  • sour cream, light or regular work great
  • steakhouse seasoning blend
  • ¼ teaspoon of sugar

Give it all a quick stir and it is ready to serve. 


Because the shrimp only take 8 to 9 minutes to reach shrimp perfection, dinner is literally ready in under 15 minutes!


I served warm corn tortillas, fresh salsa and some pico along with the flash-pickled veggies & my special sauce. And it was good, and by good — let me just say, it was as good as I think a spicy shrimp taco can possibly be!

My homemade taco seasoning adds just the right amount of flavor and heat. The flash-pickled veggies add a tangy, crisp freshness — LOVE. My “special sauce”? Well, it makes these tacos very special. Trust me.

Happy Summer! 

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Special Sauce
Serves 6
Spicy shrimp, perfectly cooked & topped with flash-pickled veggies and my tangy, sweet & creamy special sauce. Really, I think this is the perfect simple summer meal!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
377 calories
53 g
169 g
8 g
27 g
3 g
345 g
1074 g
2 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 377
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 169mg
Sodium 1074mg
Total Carbohydrates 53g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 2g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 lb 40 ct shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. 2 t homemade tace seasoning (link to recipe in this blog post)
  3. 1/2 t sea salt
  4. 1/4 t cracked black pepper
  5. 1 T canola oil
  6. *flash-pickled veggies
Special Sauce
  1. 1/2 c sour cream
  2. 2 heaping T of your favorite mustard
  3. 1 1/2 t granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 t McCormick's Montreal Steakhouse seasoning
  5. 12 corn tortillas
  6. pico de gallo, for garnish
  7. salsa, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place shrimp in an 8" x 11" baking dish in a single layer. Toss shrimp with taco seasoning, salt, pepper and oil to coat. Place in preheated oven and bake for 9 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  2. While shrimp is cooking, prepare flash-pickled veggies* and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine Special Sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to assemble tacos.
  4. Once shrimp is finished cooking, place 5 to 6 shrimp in each tortilla, top with flash-pickled veggies and a few dollops of the special sauce. Garnish with pico and salsa if desired.
  5. Makes 12
  1. *make flash-pickled veggies with your favorite veggies, according to the recipe linked in the body of this post. I like sweet onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, cucumber, carrots, cilantro etc.
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/