Don’t like waiting on water to boil? Then this is the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe for you! Build bigger, better flavor faster by using quick-cooking pan-seared shrimp, dressed in a vibrant cocktail sauce, with creamy avocado, and the perfect blend of crunchy vegetables.
Mexican shrimp cocktail is a perfect party dish and one you’ll most certainly be highly regarded for. Because, c’mon…who doesn’t love the lady that showed up with the shrimp dish? Loaded with flavorful shrimp, avocado, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers and more, this appetizer packs a serious punch of flavor.
If you’re on the hunt for more Mexican-themed party foods, be sure to add this savory Mexican Corn Dip to the lineup!
WHAT IS MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL
If you’ve never had this appetizer before, it’s high time you treated yourself. It’s where shrimp cocktail meets Bloody Mary, and it is one heck of an introduction.
In your typical Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe, the shrimp is cooked via boiling. However, with this recipe, we are going to both cut back on time and up the flavor by pan-searing the shrimp.
Pan-seared shrimp takes a bare minimum of 5 minutes to cook over medium-high heat, meaning less cook time and no more waiting on watched pots to boil. A step anyone would gladly omit.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL
- Chop the vegetables.
- Prepare the shrimp.
- Make the sauce.
- Mix it all together.
1. THE VEGETABLES
This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe is easy to make, and the majority of the time you’ll spend crafting this dish is in the vegetable preparations. The vegetables in this dish are as follows:
- Roma Tomatoes
- English Cucumber
- Red Onion
I would suggest getting all of your chopping out of the way before you begin cooking your shrimp. This way, we’ve got shellfish sitting out at room temperature for less time. And, in this particular case, less is more.
2. PREPARE THE SHRIMP
Let me preface with this: You can use store-bought cooked shrimp for this dish, and it will still be flavorful and completely delicious. But, if you’d like to add even more flavor to your Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe, tossing the shrimp in a simple mix of smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper before taking it to the pan for a quick sear will set this dish over the top.
PAN-SEARED SHRIMP IS QUICK AND EASY
Pan-seared shrimp begins on the stovetop with a hot pan and a little oil.
To prepare the shrimp, you’ll first peel and devein it. Click the following link for Tips on Working with Shrimp, if needed. Then, you’ll pat it dry to help the oil to adhere, which in turn, helps the seasoning to stick.
The shrimp goes in a bowl, along with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of spices, and it is tossed to coat. Then, it’s off the pan to sear for about 2 minutes on each side. You’ll likely have to cook to the shrimp in two batches to keep the pan from over-crowding, but the entire cooking process should take less than 10 minutes. Now that is fast.
Allow your shrimp to cool slightly, and chop it up. If you’d like, keep some whole for presentation purposes. Then, it’s on to the sauce.
3. ABOUT MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL SAUCE
Now, this might be my absolute favorite part…well, besides the shrimp, that is…obviously. The sauce for this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is, hands-down, the best.
Homemade Mexican Shrimp Cocktail sauce is fairly similar to a standard cocktail sauce: Ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, and citrus remain, but new players like hot sauce and Clamato juice are added as well.
To make the sauce, all you have to do is combine your measured ingredients into a bowl or pitcher and stir or whisk to combine.
WHY CLAMATO JUICE?
The Clamato juice is what gives the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe that yummy Bloody Mary vibe. Clamato juice, much like a standard Bloody Mary mix, is tomato-based, only with fewer ingredients and the inclusion of clam juice. But, don’t let that whole clam juice thing turn you off — it pairs perfectly with the shrimp. Promise.
4. STIRRING AND SERVING
Once vegetables are chopped, your shrimp is ready, and the sauce has been prepared, you simply combine all the goodness in one big bowl, and transfer to the refrigerator. Mexican shrimp cocktail is best served cold and after the flavors have had a moment to marinate.
If you plan to serve within hours, you can get away with adding the avocado with the rest of the vegetables. However, if you are preparing your Mexican Shrimp Cocktail a day in advance, save the avocado work for the day-of, and stir in just before serving.
It’s an easy appetizer with all the goods — a savory sauce that coats perfectly cooked, flavorful shrimp, a mix of crunchy vegetables and that creamy avocado — yes, please. When it all comes together, it is truly a masterpiece of flavor for parties and entertaining.
You can serve this dish as casual or as fancy as you’d like, as it works beautifully for so many occasions.
The start of football season is typically still a little warm for my liking, so I particularly like this dip for its cool, crisp, and light quality! Serve casual in a big bowl alongside a bag of tortilla chips on game day, and maybe even with a few other football favorites like:
For a fancier presentation, serve in a martini glass, topped with a whole shrimp and mini fork by its side, or even in a great big margarita glass on Cinco de Mayo!
And let us not forget, everybody loves the lady that showed up with shrimp. Please, enjoy!
Build bigger, better flavor faster by using quick-cooking pan-seared shrimp, dressed in a vibrant cocktail sauce, creamy avocado, and the perfect blend of crunchy vegetables.
- 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3/4 cup diced avocado
- 3/4 cup diced English cucumber, peeled
- 1/3 cup finely dice celery
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced jalapeno
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 pound 15/20 wild-caught shrimp
- 1/4 cup canola or avocado oil, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup Clamato juice
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and transfer to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to coat.
Add 3 tablespoon of oil to the heated pan, and allow to come to temperature. Add shrimp to the pan in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 1-2 minute, turn and cook for 1 minute more (or until cooked through). Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Once the shrimp is cool enough to handle, chop into 1/2" pieces, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Add the prepared vegetables, cilantro, and shrimp, and stir to combine. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill, 2-3 hours or up to overnight. See notes if chilling overnight.
If you plan to make your Mexican shrimp cocktail a day in advance, reserve chopping the avocados and adding them in until just before serving.