These Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tacos are incredibly delicious and simple to make! The shrimp gets sautéed and then tossed in a bright green cilantro pesto which is super flavorful! The shrimp are then served in charred tortillas with red cabbage, cotija cheese, avocado, lime wedges, sour cream and extra cilantro!
I have no idea how I haven’t thought to make cilantro pesto before. I absolutely LOVE cilantro, and I am such a pesto freak too. So combining the two was one of the best ideas I’ve had in awhile! These tacos are to die for. And perfect for Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend!
Speaking of Cinco de Mayo, I’ll be sharing Mexican inspired recipes allll week. I had such a hard time narrowing down what to share with you guys because I am such a Mexican food lover, but the lineup I’ve got planned is pretty darn delicious.
I can’t wait to share!
So this cilantro pesto. It’s insanely delicious and super easy. It’s just cilantro, pumpkin seeds, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, salt, and olive oil. It makes a bunch so you can use the extras for anything and everything.
Some of my faves have been: stirring it into rice or cauliflower rice, spooning it on my eggs, on roasted sweet potatoes, and mixed with more lime juice and olive oil to make a cilantro pesto dressing for salads!
The possibilities are endless with this beautiful green stuff.
And when it gets mixed with juicy shrimp…oh my goodness.
I tried to make the rest of these tacos super simple, because the cilantro pesto and shrimp have so much flavor.
So I just topped them with some shredded red cabbage, crumbled cotija cheese (UGH too good), sour cream thinned out with a little lime juice, extra cilantro, and lime wedges.
To die for.
Oh and avocado! How could I forget my most favorite ingredient? It’s slightly disturbing how many avocados I go through in a week. From avocado toast, to my daily salads, to guac, to creamy sauces, to straight up eating it with a spoon, this girl loves her avocado.
These would be delicious with some sliced jalapeño and/or hot sauce too. You can totally cater them to your taste! Also. I used cotija cheese in these, which is a little sharper and more similar to parmesan, but if you like creamier, milder cheeses, go for queso fresco. I love them both equally, it just depends on my mood!
And if you love tacos (of course you do), here are a few of my other favorites!
Happy week of Cinco de Mayo!
Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tacos
These Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tacos are incredibly delicious and simple to make! The shrimp gets sautéed and then tossed in a bright green cilantro pesto which is super flavorful! The shrimp are then served in charred tortillas with red cabbage, cotija cheese, lime wedges, sour cream and extra cilantro!
For the cilantro pesto
- 1 cup cilantro, packed (a good handful)
- zest of 1/2 a lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 of a jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup pepitas, toasted*
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the tacos
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- drizzle of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- finely shredded red cabbage
- sour cream*
- 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
- chopped cilantro
- the other half of the jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, finely chopped, optional
- lime wedges
- your favorite tortillas for serving*
Make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, pepitas, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a little drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are pink and opaque. Add a few spoonfuls of the pesto, stir to coat, and remove from the heat.
To assemble the tacos, place a small handful of cabbage on the tortilla, then a few shrimp, then a drizzle of sour cream, sliced avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, chopped jalapeño if using, and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately!
*To toast my pepitas, I put them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, and I toast them for several minutes until they start to pop and turn golden.
*I like to thin out my sour cream with lime juice and/or half and half until it's pourable and drizzle-able. This is totally optional!
*I like to char my tortillas over an open flame on my gas stove (very carefully I might add). It adds a smoky/grilled flavor which I love, but again, totally optional!
*I love to use the leftover pesto on eggs, roasted potatoes, avocado toast, mixed into rice or cauliflower rice, or mixed with more lime juice and olive oil for a salad dressing!