Roasted Habanero and Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos

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Tangy, spicy, smoky, and fresh- these habanero and tomatillo shrimp tacos are simple, full of delicious ingredients, and crazy healthy! 

These roasted tomatillo and habanero shrimp tacos are so easy and delicious!
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Fresh Shrimp Tacos

Roasted Habanero and Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos offer a perfect blend of spicy, tangy, and savory flavors, making them an exciting and delicious option for any taco night. The dish begins with the key component: a vibrant, homemade sauce made from roasted habaneros and tomatillos. This sauce is the heart of the dish, with the roasting process deepening the flavors of the tomatillos and habaneros, creating a complex and smoky taste with an unmistakable kick. The habaneros, known for their intense heat, are balanced by the tangy and slightly sweet tomatillos, creating a sauce that is both fiery and refreshing. The sauce is further enhanced with the addition of fresh cilantro, garlic, and a splash of lime juice, adding layers of freshness and zest.

The shrimp, the star protein of the dish, are seasoned and cooked to perfection, offering a tender and juicy contrast to the robust sauce. Marinating the shrimp in a mix of lime juice and spices before cooking infuses them with a citrusy brightness that complements the smokiness of the sauce. Serving these succulent shrimp on warm, slightly charred tortillas adds a rustic touch, and the dish is typically garnished with fresh toppings like creamy avocado, crisp red onions, and a sprinkle of cilantro. These toppings not only add a variety of textures but also help to temper the heat of the habaneros, making each bite a harmonious blend of flavors and sensations. Roasted Habanero and Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos are more than just a meal; they’re a lively and flavorful experience, perfect for those who love a little adventure on their plate.

Thes shrimp tacos are SO good! Roasted tomatillos and habaneros for tons of delicious tangy, spicy flavor!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Habanero Shrimp Tacos

Choose Fresh Ingredients: Fresh shrimp, tomatillos, and habaneros will significantly enhance the flavor of your tacos.

Roasting Technique: Roast the habaneros and tomatillos until they are charred. This process deepens their flavor and adds a smoky element to the sauce.

Handling Habaneros: Wear gloves when handling habaneros to avoid skin irritation. Remember, they are very spicy, so adjust the quantity according to your heat tolerance.

Balance the Heat: If you find the sauce too spicy, add a bit of honey or sugar to balance the heat.

Shrimp Preparation: Don’t overcook the shrimp. Cook until just pink and opaque to ensure they are juicy and tender.

Marinate Shrimp: Marinate the shrimp in lime juice, garlic, and spices for at least 15 minutes before cooking to enhance their flavor.

Warm the Tortillas: Warm tortillas in a dry skillet or over an open flame for a few seconds on each side. This makes them more pliable and adds a slight char.

Customize Your Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced red onions, and crumbled cheese to allow everyone to customize their taco.

Sauce Consistency: If the sauce is too thick after blending, thin it with a little water or lime juice.

Acidic Component: Adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the assembled taco can brighten up the flavors.

Prepare in Batches: If serving a crowd, prepare the shrimp in batches to ensure they are evenly cooked and not overcrowded in the pan.

Safety First: When blending hot ingredients like the roasted tomatillos and habaneros, be sure to vent the blender to prevent pressure buildup.

Leftovers Storage: Store leftover shrimp and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Serving Sides: Serve with sides like cilantro lime rice or a simple bean salad to complement the flavors of the tacos.

These habanero shrimp tacos are so delicious, spicy, and perfect!


Is this dish very spicy?

Yes, habanero peppers are quite spicy. You can reduce the heat by using fewer habaneros or removing their seeds.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

The habanero and tomatillo sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. However, shrimp is best cooked fresh just before serving.

What are some good side dishes to serve with these tacos?

Cilantro lime rice, black beans, or a simple Mexican slaw would complement these tacos well.

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, just make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before cooking.

How can I make this dish less spicy?

Use fewer habanero peppers or substitute with a milder pepper like jalapeño. Removing the seeds and veins from the peppers also reduces the heat.

Are there any vegetarian alternatives to shrimp in this recipe?

Grilled vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms can be a great substitute for shrimp.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, just ensure that your tortillas and any other additional ingredients are gluten-free.

How do I store leftovers?

Store the shrimp and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 2 days.

Roasted habaneros and tomatillos - this delicious taco is perfect and so amazing!

What to Enjoy with your Tacos

Shrimp tacos are a delicious and versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides and accompaniments. Here’s a list of items that you can enjoy with shrimp tacos:

Fresh Salsa: A tangy and fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice can add a vibrant flavor to your shrimp tacos.

Guacamole: Creamy and rich, guacamole is a perfect complement to the lightness of shrimp tacos.

Cilantro Lime Rice: Fluffy rice flavored with cilantro and lime can be a refreshing and filling side dish.

Black Beans: Seasoned black beans can add a hearty and nutritious element to your meal.

Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob, seasoned with butter, salt, and chili powder, can be a sweet and savory side.

Mexican Coleslaw: A coleslaw with a Mexican twist, incorporating ingredients like jalapeños and cilantro, can add a crunchy texture to your meal.

Margaritas: A classic margarita or a flavored version like mango or strawberry can be a refreshing beverage to pair with your tacos.

Mexican Street Corn Salad: This salad, made with charred corn, mayo, cheese, and spices, is a flavorful accompaniment.

Queso Dip: A warm, cheesy queso dip can be a delightful addition, especially if you love cheese with your tacos.

Chips and Salsa Verde: Tortilla chips served with a tangy salsa verde can be a great starter or side.

Pickled Red Onions: These add a sharp, tangy contrast to the shrimp tacos and can be a colorful garnish.

Churros for Dessert: End your meal with a sweet note with some crispy, sugary churros.

Refreshing Aguas Frescas: Beverages like hibiscus tea or tamarind water can be wonderfully refreshing.

Try these other Taco recipes next:

These habanero tomatillo tacos are so delicious and easy!

Roasted Habanero and Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos Recipe

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These habanero shrimp tacos are so delicious and easy- tons of flavor with roasted tomatillos and fresh veggies!

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Roasted habanero tomatillo shrimp tacos on a wooden cutting board.

Roasted Habanero and Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos

Tangy, spicy, smoky, and fresh- these habanero and tomatillo shrimp tacos are simple, full of delicious ingredients, and crazy healthy!
Course Tacos
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword hispanic, mexican, seafiid, shrimp, taco
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 260kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 6 to matillos cut into 1/4ths, with husk removed and rinsed well.
  • 4 habanero peppers
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 1 zucchini quartered lengthwise then cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 can black beans preferably with lime
  • 1 lb shrimp deveined with shell and tail removed
  • ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • ¼ cup diced green onion
  • 8 corn tortillas


  • In a large, heavy pan, heat tomatillos and habaneros until lightly scorched on all sides, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove tomatillos and peppers, and dice (habaneros might burn skin, use gloves).
  • Add grapeseed oil to pan, and heat until shimmery.
  • Add diced tomatillos and habaneros back to pan with diced onion.
  • Let brown and reduce until sauce is a warm caramel color.
  • Add peppers to pan, let brown and soften.
  • Add spices and mix well.
  • In hot griddle pan, add tortillas one by one to soften.
  • Add shrimp to taco mix with beans, cook until shrimp is pink and opaque.
  • Remove from heat, and fill warm tortillas wish taco mix.
  • Garnish with shredded cabbage and diced green onion.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 788mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. K. Ann Guinn says:

    Hi Courtney. This looks like a fabulous recipe! I found you through Foodie with Family.

    I don’t know if it’s just me or my computer, but I cannot find the actual recipe for the tacos. I can see the photos and the story, but no recipe. I seem to be able to click on other recipes and the instructions show up just fine. Hoping to figure this out, or perhaps there’s something you need to do on your end.


    1. Courtney ODell says:

      My recipe widget must have been malfunctioning – its there now 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Is there a recipe for these yummy looking tacos? thanks.

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      My recipe widget must have been malfunctioning – its there now 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    I can’t seem o get the printable recipe for the tacos.

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      My recipe widget must have been malfunctioning – its there now 🙂