Every once in a while, I have a hankering for a good paleo shrimp taco.
And while I love making my grain-free and gluten-free Simple Paleo Tortillas, I’ve gotta admit that sometimes I’m super lazy. That means I’d rather toss all the fillings in a bowl and call it a day.
Enter my Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowl with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice! It may not be 100% authentic, but it’s my riff on a shrimp taco and all my favorite toppings. Oh, and did I mention it can be made in one pan?
Yep, you’ll only have to wash one skillet when you’re done. Heck, I served this paleo shrimp taco bowl recipe right in the skillet (this is the cast iron skillet I’m obsessed with) for a dramatic family-style meal where everyone gets to make their own. Of course, you could also serve these as individual bowls or pack them in glass-lock containers (I use these) for work lunches.
And what I probably love most about this Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowls recipe is the flexibility. You can totally carb it up or down depending on your needs. Add your favorite toppings. Vary the kind of greens. Swap out the full-fat yogurt for guacamole. Hell, if you can’t live without paleo tortillas, serve it with those too!
I’m always looking for ways to cram more veggies into our meals, so these Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowls start with a generous helping of plants. (And if you do it right, paleo is plant-based because about half your plate should be vegetables. Don’t even get me started.) For this recipe, I used kale, but feel free to sub any greens you’d like. Spinach would be nice if you’re a kale-hater.
Then I added a yummy Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. I usually rice my own cauliflower in the food processor (this is the one I’ve been using for years), but honestly, sometimes I can’t be bothered. When that mood strikes I pick up pre-riced cauliflower from the store. Either way, when you dress it up with garlic, the zest and juice of a lime, and some herbaceous cilantro, it’s most excellent.
If you don’t like cilantro, you can totally switch it for fresh parsley. And if you’d like to carb your Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowl up, then you could always swap the cauliflower rice for steamed white or brown rice. See, totally up to you. This is your boat to steer, my friend.
Now let’s chat about the shrimp itself. I dusted it with some smokey spices like ancho chile powder and smoked paprika, but kept the heat level low. These spices add a really nice layer of flavor without making it too spicy. If you do love spicy and want to melt your taste buds, you an always amp up the amount of chipotle powder in the recipe. (Chipotle powder is made from grinding up dried, smoked jalapeño peppers, so it’s really spicy.)
If you don’t do shrimp, you could sub in cubed chicken breasts or thighs though they may need a few extra minutes to cook fully through.
And lastly, the toppings for these Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowls. Because let’s be honest, y’all…that’s where the fun comes in. I added a creamy chipotle lime sauce made with full-fat sheep yogurt. Depending on what you can tolerate, you could swap that for goat yogurt or regular ol’ Greek-style yogurt (full-fat, please). If that won’t work, sub in my Chipotle Lime Mayo or some guacamole.
For garnishes, I used my Quick Pickled Red Onions, thinly sliced red cabbage and radishes, sliced avocado, and lots of extra lime and cilantro. You could even toss on some broccoli sprouts. Like I said, feel free to use your creativity and customize this bowl however you’d like.
For the shrimp
- 1.5 lb shrimp, any size, peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp + 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
For the veggies
- 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- Garnishes: limes, cilantro, pickled red onions
For the Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce
- 4 to 6 oz full-fat sheep/goat/Greek yogurt
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- Dash of hot sauce, optional
- Sea salt, to taste
Cook the greens. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the kale and about 1/2 cup water. Put a lid on it, and steam the kale for 5 to 7 minutes until it's tender. Remove to a bowl and dump out any water, then dry the pan with a paper towel.
Make the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. (See other recipe card below.) Remove to a bowl, then cook the shrimp.
Cook the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, then drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the avocado oil. Toss with your hands or a spoon so it's well-coated. Then, sprinkle on the ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, and chipotle powder. Toss again until the shrimp are well-coated. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Lay the shrimp in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes a side, depending on how big they are. You may need to do this in two batches so the shrimp don't get crowded in the skillet and get soggy.
Make the Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lime zest, chipotle powder, and optional hot sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings with sea salt.
Assemble your bowls. To each bowl, add some kale, cauliflower rice, and shrimp. Top with red cabbage, radishes, and avocado, a drizzle of the Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce, plus any garnishes you'd like. I suggest lime wedges, cilantro, and pickled red onions. Or, serve this family style in the skillet you cooked it in by adding everything back into the pan and letting everyone create their own.
- To make this 100% dairy-free and Whole30, swap the yogurt out for a healthy mayo or omit the Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce and use guacamole instead.
- To carb this up, swap the cauliflower rice for white or brown rice.
- If you don't like shrimp, use chicken instead.
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 lb head cauliflower, cored and riced in a food processor or blender
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Zest & juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil. Then add the riced cauliflower, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and chopped cilantro.
- If subbing pre-riced cauliflower, you might want to use two 16 oz bags.
- If you don't like cilantro, sub with flat leaf parsley.
Have a question about this Paleo Shrimp Taco Bowl recipe? Let me know in the comments below.
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