Habanero Shrimp Tacos

Recipe by Demi

Recipe by Demi

The habanero in this taco comes from the habanero crema, it really is the star of this dish. I LOVE this crema. I make enough to have for a few days after and I put it on everything, eggs, sandwiches, you name it. I like to make my cremas with greek yogurt for its tang as well as the health benefits that go along with it (I also use greek yogurt on its own as a sour cream substitute, its amazing stuff). I prefer to use full fat greek yogurt but if the market is out I’ll grab 5%. The higher the fat content the more of cooling effect you’ll get from it while simultaneously being deliciously spicy. You can adjust the spice level of the crema to your liking; I like mine HOT. I always start out using a small amount then add to it just to be sure it isn’t too much. When I buy habaneros from the grocery store I throw in 2-3 but when I use habaneros from my garden I usually only need 1 small one, you never know how much of a punch they’re packing until you taste. I recommend starting out with 1 small pepper, or even 1/2 of a small pepper, to start and then up the spice level after that if needed.

For this recipe I like to use our southwest lime and cilantro tortillas. This tortilla echoes the flavor profile of the whole taco and it all works really well together.

Mango salsa is a great addition to this taco, the sweetness of it pairs really well with the heat of the habanero. Queso fresco is great crumbled on top as well. Both these items are optional, the taco already is so delicious they aren’t needed, but if you’re feeling adventurous go ahead and throw them on top.


  • 1 lb small-medium shrimp

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1 cup full fat greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup cilantro

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 small habanero pepper

  • 1 avocado

  • NM cilantro lime tortillas

  • mango salsa (optional)

  • queso fresco (optional)

  1. If necessary, peel, devein and remove the tails of the shrimp. In a large bowl mix the peeled shrimp with olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper and cumin. Set aside.

  2. In a food processor or blender mix the yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, salt and habanero pepper. Blend until smooth.

  3. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium-high and throw in the shrimp. Cook until done, about 2 minutes.

  4. Warm the tortillas either on a flattop or over the open flame from the stove and set aside in either a tortilla warmer or wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm.

  5. Cut the avocado into long, thin slices cutting lengthwise.

  6. To build the taco place two slices of avocado on the tortilla, place the shrimp on top then drizzle the crema. If adding mango salsa do this after the crema. Top with a few fresh cilantro leaves and queso fresco if using. Enjoy!

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