These Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps are refreshing with Lime Dressing are glorious in flavor. A simple dressing splashed over poached shrimp and crunchy vegetables creates a light meal or a shrimp appetizer that’s so healthy and tasty, you’ll want to make it over and over again. You’ll love this make ahead shrimp recipe for entertaining. And it’s versatile as a shrimp taco or shrimp lettuce wraps.
Nothing says Summer like seafood and fresh, crispy vegetables.
This recipe utilizes fine diced tomato, radishes, red onion and it wouldn’t be a taco without cilantro and jalapeno.
Just toss the cooked and cooled shrimp together in a bowl and stir them together with the chopped vegetables. Arrange the bright green inner leaves of Romaine lettuce and pile the shrimp and vegetable mixture towards the stem end of the leaves.
Right before serving, drizzle the lime dressing over the shrimp mixture.
You can eat them by rolling up the romaine leaves and making shrimp taco lettuce wraps. I trimmed the tough ends of the romaine leaves to make them easier to roll.
Or you can have warmed white corn tortillas and a big spoon nearby to scoop the mixture to make shrimp tacos.
These healthy shrimp taco lettuce wraps are perfect for a casual fun light dinner or as an appetizer. And what makes this recipe even more appealing is that you can make this ahead of time and serve cold or at room temperature.
Tips On Buying Shrimp
High in protein, low in calories, and sweet with flavor, shrimp becomes an irresistible choice for dinner.
- Unless you live near the ocean, and can enjoy fresh caught shrimp, as with all of my shrimp recipes, I recommend purchasing it from the freezer section. Labeled “easy peel” means the shell has been split and the shrimp should be deveined.
- Most shrimp are flash frozen shortly after being caught and then packaged for transport and sale. I feel more comfortable buying frozen than those at the seafood counter since usually they’re just frozen shrimp that have been thawed, just like you will do.
- When poaching shrimp, I like to cook them with the shell on. I learned in Culinary School that it preserves more flavor and they’re easier to peel after cooked.
- And as always, look for the label indicating that it’s wild caught American shrimp and not imported farmed. You’ll be amazed that American wild caught shrimp actually tastes like shrimp.
Tips on Cooking Shrimp
- Cook the Shrimp with shell on for more flavor and an easier peel.
- Season the water with black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves and one juiced lime to flavor the shrimp.
- Don’t throw that juiced lime in the trash, add it to the poaching water for even more flavor.
- To know if shrimp are cooked properly: straight shrimp are undercooked, shrimp curled into a “C” are done, shrimp closed in a tight curl are overcooked.
- After removing shrimp from the cooking liquid, place them in an ice bath to prevent them from further cooking.
Make Ahead and Versatile
I made this early afternoon last Sunday, refrigerated the shrimp and then brought it to room temperature before serving. I served this as an appetizer for a party of four with warmed tortillas on the side.
Half used the tortillas and half simply rolled them into easy shrimp wraps using the lettuce as the shell.
Recipe for Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps
This recipe was inspired and adapted by Rick Bayless, the king of fresh and authentic Mexican cuisine.
More Light and Healthy Taco Recipes
Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps with Lime Dressing and Crunchy Vegetables
- 1 lime halved
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns very coarsely ground
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice berries very coarsely ground
- 3 bay leaves
- 12 ounces medium shrimp in their shells
- COMPLETING THE DISH
- 1/2 small red onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium-small tomato cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 5 radishes finely diced
- 1 small jalapeno deveined, seeds removed and fine diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro fine chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil preferably half olive oil and half vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce for garnish
- sprigs of cilantro for garnish
- 12 warm corn tortillas for serving
- Squeeze the two lime halves into a medium saucepan, then add the two squeezed rinds, the black pepper, allspice, bay leaves and 1 quart water. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Raise the heat to high, add the shrimp, and let the liquid return just barely to a simmer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and using a colander, drain the shrimp. Return shrimp to hot pan re-cover tightly, set aside for 5 to 8 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through, then rinse the shrimp under cold water, or use an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Peel the shrimp. If the shrimp need deveined then deveined run a knife down the back to expose the dark intestinal track and scrape it out. If the shrimp are medium or larger, cut them into 1/2 -inch bits; place in a bowl.
- Add the red onion, tomato, radish, jalapeno and cilantro to the shrimp.
- In a small bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the lime juice, oil and salt.
- Shortly before serving, mix the dressing ingredients thoroughly, then pour over the shrimp mixture. Toss to coat everything well, cover and refrigerate or set aside at room temperature.
- Line a shallow bowl with the lettuce leaves. Taste the shrimp mixture for salt, scoop it into the prepared bowl and serve, garnished with sprigs of cilantro. Serve with warmed white corn tortillas and a big spoon to make tacos. Guests have a choice of Shrimp Lettuce Wraps or Shrimp Tacos.
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Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps … They’re what’s for dinner.
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.