Surf and Turf Smashburger Tacos combine zesty flavors, grilled beef, and spicy shrimp into the most portable flavor vehicle for your mouth. Fold the irresistible tacos up and take a big bite. These fully loaded tacos will have you coming back for more and more.

A Surf and Turf Smashburger Taco being held up close to the camera so you can see it's different ingredients.

If you thought the smashburger tacos were good, these Surf and Turf tacos just raised the bar. Don’t forget to also try the Chorizo Smash Tacos though!

Shrimp skewers are paired with smashburger tacos that are grilled, adding a delicious wood-fired flavor to lightly toast the tortilla and sear the beef directly. Combined with the spicy Smoked Chipotle Mezcal seasonings and chipotle mayo, you won’t be able to put these down.

A plate of surf and turf smashburger tacos

Smashburger Tacos on the Grill?

Yes, these ground beef tacos are grilled rather than seared in a skillet. Originally, the smashburger tacos by Chiles and Smoke were seared on a flattop griddle. Through testing, the cooking process works very well on the grill, directly over the coals.

The ground beef smashed into a tortilla and grilling over the coals.

There’s definitely a chance for them to burn or overcook, so it’s critical to have a 2-zone setup for the grill. This means the lit coals are on one side of the grill and the other side of the grill is cool. Sear the tacos and then move them to the cool side of the grill to finish cooking without the direct heat.

Prepare the Surf and Turf Smashburger Tacos

This recipe requires you to smash the beef into the tortillas before they hit the grill, rather than using a burger press. That would make a huge mess on the grill grates!

Don’t worry, this is a safe process. High heat from the coals will fully cook the ground beef from both sides, and the beef steams to the tortilla to create a bond.

The raw smashed burger tacos.

Smash the meat into the tortillas. Then season the ground beef with the Smoked Chipotle Mezcal. It helps if the beef is pushed out to the edges of the tortilla, which also minimizes the risk of them burning.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Large shrimp are the perfect pairing in these surf and turf smashburger tacos. We recommend using the same rub to keep it simple, but feel free to get creative with combinations of spices such as the Jalapeno Lime Pilsner, or the Honey Mustard IPA.

The seasoned shrimp assembled on their skewers.

To keep the grilling process simple, I reccomend using grill skewers. If you’re planning to use wooden skewers, make sure they soak for about 15 minutes prior to grilling. I prefer the thin, metal skewers because they’re easy to clean and don’t run the risk of burning.

Cook the shrimp for a few minutes on each side, turning only once. The ideal internal temperature is about 120°F because it will keep the shrimp nice and tender without turning tough and rubbery.

The shrimp cooking on the grill.

Chipotle Mayo Binds The Surf and Turf Smashburger Tacos

Every taco needs a great sauce, and this quick recipe for homemade chipotle mayo really ties in all of the flavors. The crunchy cabbage, the briney pickled jalapenos, and the smoky shrimp and beef come alive with this creamy sauce.

A shot of the surf and turf smash burger assembled and topped with a drizzle of the mayo.

Mix up a bit of mayo, canned chipotles in adobo, and lime juice in a bowl. Then add some salt to taste and you’ll have a magic sauce to top the smashburger tacos with.

Try this sauce on Smoked Birria Burgers, Mini Crunchwrap Supreme, or even Bacon-Wrapped Chorizo Dogs!

Important Tips

  • Watch the burgers as they are grilling. Don’t be afraid to flip them to the cool side if they are searing too quickly.
  • You don’t need a HIGH heat for the coals, medium is plenty. Too high and the tortillas will char.
  • Clean the grill grates before adding the shrimp. This will help to prevent them from sticking.
Brad topping a taco with some lime juice.

Have fun with toppings! You could also top these with some Smoked Chorizo Queso for an over the top Surf and Turf Smashburger Taco!

Get The Cookbooks!

Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire

By Derek Wolf

All the major tastes—salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami—are explored in depth, along with an investigation of other components you should consider when it comes to flavor, such as aroma, heat, and texture.

Needing more spice in your life? My spice line can help with that. Check them out here.

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A Surf and Turf Smashburger Taco being held up close to the camera so you can see it's different ingredients.

Surf and Turf Smashburger Tacos

Surf and Turf Smashburger Tacos for the best of the land and sea in a taco.
Author:Brad Prose
4.31 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp deveined and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Chipotle Mezcal
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • Pickled jalapenos

Chipotle Mayo

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


  • Fire up the grill. Light the coals and set up the grill for 2-zone cooking, placing the hot coals on one side only. Spread the coals evenly when ready and allow the grill to preheat.
  • Mix the ingredients for the chipotle mayo, taste and adjust.
  • Portion the beef and prepare the tacos. Make sure the beef is about a golf-ball size, roughly 2 ounces. Using wax paper, press them into the tortillas. Push the beef to the edge of the tortillas and season the meat with the spices as needed.
  • Prepare the shrimp skewers. Place the shrimp in a bowl, making sure they are cleaned and shelled. Pour in the oil and add enough spices to coat the shrimp. Mix them around to spread the seasoning, and add them to small skewers. If using wood skewers, make sure they soak in water prior to grilling.
  • Grill the smashburger tacos. Place the tacos on the grill over the coals, 2 at a time. They cook pretty quickly, so watch them closely. Flip them to the cool side of the grill after about 2-3 minutes and allow them to rest. The ambient heat will continue to cook the backside without charring the tortillas. Repeat the process for the rest of the tacos.
  • Grill the skewers next. Clean the grill grates and place the shrimp skewers on the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until they are charred and about 120°F.
  • Build the tacos. Place the shrimp on the tacos and fill with your favorite toppings, such as the chipotle mayo, chopped cabbage, and pickled jalapenos.


Serving: 8Tacos | Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 1431mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 298mg | Iron: 8mg

Brad Prose

Brad Prose is a professional recipe developer, food writer, and culinary photographer - the force behind Chiles and Smoke. His kitchen spotlights unusual and incredible flavors through a blend of fine dining and BBQ. Brad strives to inspire home cooks to use higher-end techniques and new ideas, applying them to the everyday food we know and love.

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