Sweet & Spicy Baked Shrimp Tacos

Start the new year off right with a flavorful, though light, dinner of sweet & spicy shrimp tacos.  The holidays are over, and I’m ready for lighter dinners to recover from all the socializing I did.  I had never had fish or shrimp tacos until I moved to California in the late 1990’s.  At that time, they were truly a California thing!  My family and I truly love incorporating more fish in our diet.  Now that we live in a landlocked state–frozen cod, salmon, and shrimp are our new go-to for fish dinners.  This recipe can be adapted to your family’s taste, but I do recommend that you give it a try as written and then make adjustments.  It is pretty amazing.  I appreciate that the filling is fairly simple for 2 or more people as the shrimp bakes in the oven and all is ready at the same time.

If you decide that all the sugar is too much (as my family did) I encourage you to keep the brown sugar and limit the granulated sugar.  When the coating is heated in the oven the brown sugar gives a richer flavor and a crispier crust.  Most of us who are gluten-free learn very early that corn chips, guacamole, and salsa are usually available and approved for our diet.  I buy those 6-inch corn tortillas (soft tacos) that come in a stack of 30 or more and keep them as a staple in the refrigerator.  They are a good starting point for so many meals:  all kinds of tacos, chicken enchilada bake, individual quesadilla.  Having a large stack of these in the refrigerator is like have a head start on dinner!

I prefer recipes like this where I use my stash of spices for flavoring–no more wondering if the tacos are “really, really” gluten-free!  Also, as I’m trying to lighten up our meals, I find savory recipes especially filling.  I think the bold flavors are satisfying with less bulk.  I usually serve these with Spanish rice (also made and spiced by me).  A one pot side that makes a lot so I often serve leftovers along with scrambled eggs for a hearty breakfast or light lunch.  I find that continuing my gluten-free lifestyle is easier with all these recipes that my family truly enjoys.

So, happy, healthy and gluten-free new year!  I hope 2018 is good to you and yours.  Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think of it!

Baked Shrimp Tacos
Spice Mix
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Free gluten-free All Purpose Flour
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain, gluten-free breadcrumbs (I freeze crusts and ends of my homemade bread to have for this purpose--crumble while still frozen)
  • ⅓ cup white sugar (my family decided it was too sweet with this much, eliminate it or use less)
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper (I used less--a healthy pinch)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 16oz package uncooked thawed large shrimp (make sure shrimp are shelled and cleaned)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage)
  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  2. Combine spice mixture ingredients in a small bowl. Dip shrimp in butter and then in spice mix. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp are pink and the coating is bubbly.
  3. Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside
  4. To assemble, warm corn tortillas. Place 3-5 shrimp in corn tortillas, top with a generous amount of cabbage and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.