in partnership with Head Country BBQ Sauces
Big tender shrimp are cooked hot and fast on the Traeger grill and then doused in a jalapeno-infused BBQ sauce. When ladled on warm flour tortillas with creamy coleslaw, they create the perfect bite– Spicy Texas BBQ Shirmp Tacos!
SPICY SHRIMP ON THE GRILL
As you probably know about me by now, there aren’t many foods that I would consider to be more delicious than tacos. A soft flour tortilla is the perfect vessel for food– just enough to hold it all together but not overwhelming and filling like pasta or bread. And when paired with some amazing protein right off the Traeger grill, a humble tortilla becomes a delicious fusion taco.
For this recipe, I wanted to make my own spin on Texas BBQ shrimp. While I know that traditionally this kind of recipe is more cajun than BBQ, I decided to deviate from the norm and really make it a BBQ-focused dish. I used Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ sauce as the base for my sauce, and bumped it up a few notches with some simple additions of spice and citrus.
First, though, these shrimp were marinated quickly in a dash of oil and a generous coating of seasoning. I let the shrimp sit in the seasoning while the grill and pan heated up, and whipped together a simple slaw and sauce to complete the dish. Because it’s shrimp, things will cook quickly and dinner will come together in a flash, so it’s important to have all your other ingredients and sides ready to go before you start cooking the shrimp.
Using the Traeger Ranger
For this cook, I used my Traeger Ranger grill with a cast iron pan inside. You could grill the shrimp directly on the grates and then transfer it to a pan for saucing, but in the interest of time and sauciness, we did it all in the same pan. We also used a little cast iron sauce pot to make our BBQ sauce blend. This also cooked on the Traeger, so it was an easy and quick dinner all around.
For the sauce, we took an already-spicy BBQ sauce– Head Country’s Apple Habanero sauce– and made it a little spicier for this dish. To the small sauce pan, we added a blob of butter (technical term), and some finely minced onion and jalapeno. Sauteed these till soft and translucent, then added a splash of orange juice and a big dose of BBQ sauce. We then cooked it for about 10 minutes until it thickened up a bit. The extra spice is delicious and the extra citrus compliments the shrimp really well.
There was one more addition to this dish that we can’t recommend enough… hot and sweet jalapenos. We found them at a specialty grocer, but you can definitely just use canned jalapeno slices if that’s what you can find. Maybe add a teaspoon of sugar to the jalapenos before you put them in the dish. We promise, they add that extra something-something that takes this spicy Texas BBQ shrimp dish to new heights!
- Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ Sauce
- White onion
- Fresh jalapeno
- Orange juice
- Shrimp- shelled and tails removed (we forgot to remove the tails)
- Seasoning of your choice
- Hot & sweet jalapenos (or canned jalapenos and a spoonful of sugar)
- Warm flour tortillas
- Coleslaw (cabbage, onion, jalapeno, lime juice and a little mayo)
- Sauce (sour cream or crema and hot sauce mixed)
WHY COOKING THESE SPICY TEXAS BBQ SHRIMP TACOS ON THE TRAEGER WORKS
As with everything we cook, doing so on the Traeger is fun, easy, tidy, and flavorful. We cook this dish at a high heat because shrimp cook quickly and we use a cast iron pan to make Spicy Texas BBQ Shrimp because it allows us to cook and sauce the shrimp all in the same pan.
Often, we cook on the Traeger in order to get some of that amazing wood-fired flavor in the food. However, in this case, we cooked at a high enough temp (400*) that the wood-fired flavor doesn’t really happen. Just good, consistent and predictable heat brought about by Traeger wood pellets.
If we wanted more wood-fired flavor, we could have started by smoking the shrimp on the Traeger at a low temperature (225*) for 10-15 minutes before cooking at high heat. But in the interest of time, we just went hot and fast.
- Preheat your Traeger grill to 400* and include a cast iron pan and the cast iron saucepan in the grill while it heats.
- As the grill preheats, ensure your shrimp are defrosted. Toss them in a coating of oil and then season generously with the rub of your choice.
- Chop the onion and jalapeno into fine dice. Smash the garlic clove.
- Make the slaw and the crema sauce. Set aside.
- When the grill is hot, put a bit of butter in the saucepan and then add the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Stir and saute until translucent and soft.
- To the onions in the pan, add the orange juice and allow to come to a boil.
- Then add the BBQ sauce and allow to cook for 10 minutes or so to begin to thicken.
- To the hot pan, add a bit of oil and then cook the shrimp in batches. Do not crowd the shrimp in the pan- you want it to have some space to sear while it cooks, and not steam.
- When the shrimp is nearly cooked, put all the shrimp back in the pan and stir in the sweet and hot jalapenos.
- Then add the BBQ sauce mixture to the pan and cook quickly until the shrimp is cooked through.
- Heat up the tortillas while the shrimp are finishing in the sauce.
- Assemble the tacos with some of the slaw, several Spicy Texas BBQ Shrimp and a drizzle of sauce.
RECIPES SIMILAR TO SPICY TEXAS BBQ SHIRMP
I love cooking shrimp on our Traeger grill. It’s super easy, clean and takes only a few minutes.
Here are two other recipes using shrimp that work great on the grill, which have similarities to Spicy Texas BBQ shrimp:
There is also a great shrimp scampi recipe in my cookbook, which you can pick up here.
Products used in this cook:
For this cook, we used our favorite BBQ sauce as the starting point. Of course, the one we picked was Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ sauce, which has the perfect blend of sweet and heat. When we amped it up with some more jalapeno and some citrus, it really took it to the next level.
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Spicy Texas BBQ Shrimp Tacos
- Traeger Ranger grill
- Cast iron skillet
- Cast iron saucepan
- 1 cup Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 white onion finely diced
- 1/2 a fresh jalapeno finely diced
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- 1/4 cup orrange juice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pound shrimp- shelled and tails removed we forgot to remove the tails
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup seasoning of your choice
- 1/4 cup Hot & sweet jalapenos or canned jalapenos and a spoonful of sugar
- Warm flour tortillas
- Coleslaw cabbage, onion, jalapeno, lime juice and a little mayo
- Sauce sour cream or crema and hot sauce mixed
- Preheat Traeger grill to 400*
- Place a cast iron skillet and a cast-iron saucepan in the grill to preheat
- While the grill heats, season the shrimp with a coating of oil and rub of your choice
- Chop the onion and jalapeno into fine dice and mash the garlic clove
- Make the slaw and the crema sauce and set aside for serving
- In the hot saucepan, saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno with a bit of butter until transulcent and soft
- Then add the orange juice and bring to a boil
- Stir in the BBQ sauce and then let the sauce reduce slightly
- To the hot skillet, add a bit of oil and cook the shrimp in batches until nearly cooked through
- After the last batch, add the shrimp back to the pan and stir in the jalapenos
- Stir in the BBQ sauce and turn the shrimp to coat, continuing to cook until just done
- Warm the tortillas as the shrimp are finishing in the sauce
- Assemble tacos with some of the slaw, several Spicy Texas BBQ Shrimp and a drizzle of sauce