Home Appetizers 20 Best Shrimp Appetizers

20 Best Shrimp Appetizers

Shrimp appetizers are ideal for parties, as they’re small enough to be finger food and work well hot or cold. 

Whether you opt for giant king prawns or tiny shrimps in a tasty sauce, their sweet-salty flavor and firm texture will be a sure-fire hit. 

Crispy Fried Coconut Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
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I like to serve them warm with bacon or something crunchy, like in a wonton. But I can also see the appeal of a creamy, cheesy shrimp dip.

If you plan on cooking them, I recommend buying them raw. But if you want to serve them cold, go ahead and buy them pre-cooked to save time!

1. Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Shrimp has such a lovely, lightly sweet flavor, and the meaty texture makes them super satisfying in any form. 

They also look fantastic when they’re beautiful and pink, and you can see that little tail on the end. 

Of course, there are few things bacon doesn’t enhance.

In this case, the salty taste enhances the shrimp’s juicy sweetness, and the crispy texture complements the tender filling.

I think these look great with the tail attached, and it gives you something to hold onto as you eat. That said, you can remove them if you prefer.  

2. Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers

Perfectly seasoned shrimp with guacamole and crunchy cucumbers will quickly become your new favorite appetizer. 

Using cucumber as a base is such a clever way to add texture without making these super high in calories. 

That crunchiness is ideal against the creamy and zesty guacamole. 

Finally, you’ll top the whole thing off with spiced cajun shrimp. After a few minutes in a hot pan, these are ready to go.

3. Shrimp Dip

This recipe calls for canned tiny shrimp, which usually come in 4-ounce cans. However, I’ve had some hit-or-miss experiences using canned shrimp. 

Since you’ll be chopping the shrimp anyway for this dish, you might as well opt for larger shrimp.

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That way, you know they’re big and plump rather than mushy (as I’ve experienced with canned shrimp in the past).

I like to grab a bag of cooked, frozen shrimp.

Let them thaw in the fridge overnight and pat dry before rough chopping and adding to the cream cheese mixture, 

4. Shrimp Surprise Spread

If you like shrimp cocktail, you’ll love this quick and easy shrimp dip. 

Not only does it include a dreamy layer of cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo, but it also includes your favorite cocktail sauce for a lovely tangy flavor.

I like Trader Joe’s cocktail sauce, but more often than not, I’ll just make my own. That way, I can control just how spicy it is.

Again, the recipe calls for canned shrimp, which is totally fine if you like that.

But I used some leftover grilled shrimp, which gave this a pleasant smoky taste. 

5. Easy Shrimp Cocktail

Did you know you can make a last-minute cocktail sauce with just ketchup, lemon juice, and horseradish?

It won’t be as bold and the flavor will be pretty tangy, but it’s a terrific little trick when you’re running behind. 

That said, you could mellow it out a little by adding mayo like they do in the UK. That should take some of that acidity away.

Needless to say, king prawns are the best option here because they’re big and juicy and perfect for dipping.

6. Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce

These taste just like mini-shrimp tacos, and if you’ve ever tried a shrimp taco, you’ll understand the need to double the batch.  

Between the meaty shrimp, crunchy shell, and cool cilantro cream sauce, people will be fighting over these babies.

I love that these use Scoops, which are ready-made cups just dying to be filled with taco seasoned shrimp, crunchy cabbage, and a creamy avocado sauce. 

The only missing is a sprinkling on jalapeños over the top!

7. Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Since shrimp are so light and fresh, it doesn’t take a lot to boost their flavor.

You won’t want to overdo it with sauces or seasonings that can overpower the meat’s sweetness. 

Though the ingredient list here may look long, that coating of spices is just right and works so well against the lime and natural shrimp taste. 

But then again, I’ll make anything that includes a margarita as a side!

8. Shrimp and Cream Cheese Firecrackers

These shrimp parcels are pretty perfect for serving as appetizers.

Not only are they bursting with flavor and great texture, but they’re self-contained and super easy to serve up on a platter. 

Wonton wrappers are your best friend when it comes to making tasty apps because they’re crunchy and work well with sweet and savory fillings. 

In this case, you’ll mix cream cheese with chopped shrimp, sriracha, sugar, garlic powder, and red pepper.

I like to pipe this inside to keep it neat, but you can use a spoon. Just be careful not to go too close to the edges, or it will seep out. 

9. Shrimp Scampi Dip

This hot and cheesy dip will be a total crowd-pleaser at your next party.

It’s salty, gooey, and great with crackers, crostini, or even grilled jumbo shrimp if you want extra flavor. 

The blend of cream cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella makes this creamy but very tasty and gives you that pizza-like pull of cheese we all love so much. 

It also includes sour cream, onions, garlic, shrimp, lemon juice, and parsley, making it kind of like shrimp scampi pizza. 

Fried Coconut Shrimp

10. Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to buy an air fryer, just keep in mind that you can make this terrific crunchy “fried” shrimp in just 10 minutes. 

Baking these in the oven works ok, though one side is almost always a little softer than the other, no matter how often you turn them!

But in the Air fryer, the hot air gets all the way around, crisping up that coating perfectly. 

11. Firecracker Shrimp Wonton Tacos

Just look at how colorful these little wonton tacos are!

Between the pink shrimp, bright, sweet chili sauce, and vibrant mango, these will be the most Instagrammed thing on the table.

Since you’ll cook the shrimp in the sauce, you don’t need to worry about adding seasonings.

Just be sure you have a decent sweet chili sauce that’s thick and fresh. 

It will turn into a sticky glaze in the pan as the shrimps cook.

I like to toss them with the slaw and mango before filling the wonton shells, so everything gets kissed by that sweet heat.

12. Garlic Shrimp Crostini with Avocado

If you read that avocado and cucumber recipe from above and thought, “it needs more carbs,” then this one’s for you!

Just like the recipe up top, you’ll make creamy guacamole and fry the shrimp until they’re pink and slightly charred. 

The spice blend of paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper gives it a touch of heat. If you want it stronger, try adding some chili flakes, too.

But instead of a healthy slice of cucumber, this recipe calls for garlicky crostini. I like the flavor of sourdough, but French bread works just as well. 

13. Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

Shrimp cocktail is one of those retro starters that never seems to go out of style.

The icy shrimp with that tangy, slightly spicy sauce and salad is fresh, clean, and nice and light. 

What better way to start a meal?

But how about getting all those flavors into one single mouthful? I tend to overfill mine, so maybe it’s two mouthfuls. 

You’ll need frozen phyllo cups for this, which you can find in most supermarkets.

I don’t recommend using puff pastry or shortcrust tart cases because they will go soggy as they sit. 

Start with a dreamy and smooth blend of cream cheese, mayo, black pepper, Old Bay, and lemon zest.

Cover that with as much cocktail sauce as you feel is appropriate. 

For the topping, you can use either chopped shrimp or go ahead and add a whole one right on top.

It will look better that way, especially if you grill them first.

14. Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Jalapeno Poppers Recipe with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce

That’s a long title, but these shrimp appetizers are easier to make than they sound. 

You’ll start by cleaning and partially butterflying the shrimp. Then, into that line, add thin strips of jalapeño and wrap the whole thing in bacon. 

Since these aren’t enclosed, like jalapeños are, you can’t really add a cheesy element without making a mess. 

So, to go with these, you’ll make a quick creamy sauce using Greek yogurt, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt, ground cumin, and black pepper.

Or, you could make a batch of jalapeño and cheese hot dip to serve on the side!

15. Skinny Shrimp Salsa

Why have boring tomato salsa when you can have tasty shrimp salsa with cilantro, red onion, and lime juice?

Although this is cooked (the shrimp at least), this is more of a pico de gallo. Salsas are typically heated to make them thicker and juicer. 

In contrast, pico de gallo is raw veggies and tomatoes served as a fresh and crunchy side. 

This dish is low-fat and gluten-free, and it travels really well. In fact, the longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will marry.

16. Shrimp Tostada Bites

Scoops were invented for those of us who like to pile dips high.

I can’t tell you how many chips I’ve lost inside a hot-dip bowl because my eyes are bigger than my belly.

I’m so grateful someone thought to create a chip shaped like a tiny bowl so you can get more filling inside. 

But using them for appetizers is just so smart.

It doesn’t cost a lot to buy a big bag, and even though some will be broken, it’s still cheaper than frozen phyllo cups. 

Plus, they’re the perfect little bite-sized pieces, and they’re seasoned to boot. You can even buy them in multigrain if you want something healthier. 

17. Pesto and Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta, in all its variations, is pretty close to a perfect bite of food. 

Whether you top it with tomatoes, shrimp, hummus, or cheese, you can never go wrong with this crunchy, fresh, tasty appetizer. 

As you’ve guessed from the title, this version includes plenty of nutty pesto sauce and pan-fried shrimp.

But it also calls for sun-dried tomatoes, capers, feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

18. Cheesy Baked Shrimp and Spinach Dip

Spinach dip is a pretty popular dip already, but just imagine how fast it will disappear when you throw in some juicy shrimp!

When using frozen spinach, you must spend the extra time to thaw and drain it properly.

It will have a lot more moisture than you think, and that will ruin this dish if you leave it in there. 

I like to thaw it overnight in a colander so that the juices can drip away. Then, squeeze it out as hard as you can before pressing it down with paper towels. 

Once that’s done, mix it with creamed spinach, onion, garlic, butter, shrimp, and a mixture of Havarti, cream cheese, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

19. Cucumber Mousse And Dill Shrimp Bites

If you’ve ever been to Scandinavia or the Baltics, you’ll know that they like to put dill on everything. At least, it can feel that way, given how strong it is. 

But in this recipe, the flavor is relatively mild and pleasant, thanks to the cream cheese and sour cream mousse. 

This would go really well with smoked salmon, but I think it looks fantastic with the shrimp perched on top. 

20. Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

I enjoy deviled eggs to a point, but I feel like they’re missing a bit of texture after one or two. So that’s why I usually serve them with scallions or bacon bits. 

Now, though, I’ll definitely be serving them with shrimp! 

Not only does it give them some meaty, firm texture, but the color makes the plate pop.

I especially love the Old Bay flavor sprinkled over the whole thing. 

20 Best Shrimp Appetizers


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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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