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Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Avocado and Pineapple Salsa

These blackened shrimp tacos are wonderfully punchy, and the spice is balanced out with the cool and refreshing flavors of the avocado and pineapple salsa.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pescatarian, Pescetarian
Keyword easy, shrimp, tacos
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 8 Tacos
Author Dana Sandonato


  • 24 large shrimp; cleaned, shelled, and deveined
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • blackened seasoning (about 2 TBSP) Use recipe below, or use a good quality blend from the store.
  • 8 tortilla shells See notes* for my homemade flour tortillas!

Blackened Seasoning.

  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne; more if you'd like more heat
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Avocado and Pineapple Salsa.

  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple Most canned pineapple is flavorless, so stick with fresh!
  • 1/2 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper You can also use red or yellow; green is less sweet.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 TBSP Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro


  • Cast Iron Skillet See notes* if you don't have a cast iron skillet.
  • Paper towels


Blackened Shrimp.

  • Mix all of the Blackened Seasoning together in a small bowl until combined; set aside. (If you're using a store-bought blend, skip this step.)
  • If you need to shell and devein your shrimp, do that now. If your shrimp has come shelled, deveined, and without tails, simply rinse under cold water and set them on some paper towels. Pat the shrimp dry with more paper towels to remove excess water.
  • Place the shrimp into a marinating bag or a container with a lid. Pour the 2 TBSP of melted butter over the shrimp followed by the blackened seasoning. Shake and mix the contents of the container so that the shrimp is evenly coated with butter and seasoning. Place the shrimp in the fridge while you prepare the salsa.

Avocado and Pineapple Salsa.

  • Transfer the pineapple, avocado, bell pepper, red onion, black beans, and fresh herbs (cilantro or parsley) into a large bowl. Toss the ingredients until they're all mixed up; set aside. (Since the blackened seasoning is salty and spicy, you don't have to season the salsa at all. Adding salt or seasoning to this salsa would offer up way too much saltiness.)

Cooking the shrimp.

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, transfer the marinated shrimp into the cast iron skillet. Simmer the shrimp for about 2 minutes each side (four minutes total), or until the shrimp is opaque. You'll notice the "blackening" effect happening with the butter and seasoning.
  • When done, remove the skillet from the heat. Top tortillas with a spoonful of salsa, three shrimp, and serve immediately.


*Want to try this recipe with homemade flour tortillas? Check out my recipe here!
*If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use a regular skillet. Just keep the heat to medium instead of medium-high and keep a close eye on the shrimp to make sure they don't stick to the pan. The butter should act as a lubricant, but if the shrimp start to stick, add a bit more.