When it comes to cooking dinner, spice up your summer with a twist on traditional, beef tacos – homemade, fried spicy shrimp or spicy shredded chicken tacos, two recipes that are both a refreshing change of pace, and also really easy to make too.

These mini-tacos taste flavorful, fresh, and are like a fiery fiesta for your mouth. Plus, you don't need a whole lot of ingredients to whip up either kind – you'll probably have to get a few things from the store, but I used a lot of what was already sitting around in the fridge and cupboards. These recipes can be cooked as a light dinner for two, or double the ingredients and serve them up family-style.


 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Shrimp
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1-2 Cups Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • Dry bread crumbs or a seafood breading mix like Zatarain's 
  • Soft, Small Flour Tortillas (Fajita-Style)
  • Ranch
  • Hot Sauce of Your Choice
  • Extra Topping Suggestions: Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Sriracha Mayo, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Black Beans, Hot Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes, Avocado

To Prepare Fried Shrimp:

  • Thaw shrimp and make sure tails are removed
  • Beat an egg in one bowl and in another bowl pour some dry bread crumbs or the seafood breading mix - whichever you decide to use will produce similar results
  • Begin heating a few cups of oil in a deep skillet on the stove over medium-low, you'll want enough oil to cover the shrimp
  • First, you'll dip the pieces of shrimp into the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs so they get fully coated
  • Doing a few at a time, drop them into the skillet and fry until they are crispy and golden brown
  • Once cooked, place shrimp on a plate with paper towels to drain excess oil
  • In a bowl, pour the spicy ranch sauce over shrimp until fully coated
  • Fill flour tortillas with shrimp and top with shredded cheese, then place under the broiler for just a few minutes until cheese melts and tortilla begins to crisp up (Keep an eye on them - they heat REALLY fast and will burn quickly!)
  • Remove from oven and add the rest of the toppings (I drizzled on Sriracha mayo and hot sauce, plus salsa and lettuce)

Spicy Ranch Sauce:

  • In a bowl, mix together ranch and your favorite kind of hot sauce
  • Or, you could just use a pre-made bottled wing sauce from the store

To Prepare Shredded Chicken: 

  • Place pieces of chicken in a saucepan and cover with water
  • Cook over medium heat, bringing to a boil, and then simmering until chicken is no longer pink (about 10 minutes)
  • Transfer chicken to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes, then shred using two forks or your fingers
  • It's not necessary, but for more flavor, you could coat the shredded chicken with a dry rub at this time, using a taco seasoning packet or whatever spices you randomly have in the cupboard (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, creole seasoning, and chili powder)
  • In the same bowl as the chicken is already in, or in a pan kept on low heat on the stove, pour on the spicy ranch sauce, mixing it in with the meat until completely coated
  • Fill flour tortillas with chicken and top with shredded cheese, then place under the broiler for just a few minutes, until cheese melts and tortilla begins to crisp up (Keep an eye on them - they heat REALLY fast and will burn quickly!)
  • Remove from oven and add the rest of the toppings (I drizzled on ranch and hot sauce, plus salsa and lettuce)