Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Individual portions of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Everyone loves shrimp cocktail! But let’s face the facts- it’s overly popular and most of the time, not very flavorful. On the other hand, Mexican shrimp cocktail is jam packed with flavor! It’s cold, crisp and damn delicious!

This is such a great dish to serve in the summer when everyone really appreciates a cold, refreshing seafood dish. The tomato sauce is tangy, the cucumbers are crisp and crunchy and the shrimp are briny and meaty. It may just be the perfect combination of flavors and textures of any dish. Every bite is unique and equally as delicious.

I like to serve this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail as an appetizer, along with fresh guacamole and a pitcher of cold margaritas. Seriously, who wouldn’t love to kick off an afternoon BBQ with that?!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

About sourcing Shrimp

The quality of shrimp that is most readily available mostly comes from shrimp farms in Asia or Latin America. I encourage you to read the back of the bags most frozen shrimp come in to see the list of chemical solutions the shrimp are preserved in. Personally, I cannot pronounce most of them. In addition to being raised in overcrowded pens, the shrimp are fed poor quality feed and antibiotics. All of which end up in our food supply.

It is very important to understand that these farmed shrimp are what you commonly are sold by your fish shop or food store behind the counter, and almost always what you are served in restaurants. The source of shrimp are rarely advertised to the buyer or diner. Be sure to ask if the shrimp are farmed or wild. Additionally, never ever be fooled by the term “sustainably sourced” as it means absolutely nothing beneficial to the consumer. I recommend doing some independent research and trying to source quality, wild shrimp whenever possible.

Feaster’s Tips:

  • You can assemble this dish 1-24 hours advance. However, don’t add the avocado or cilantro until right before serving.
  • This dish is low calorie, low fat, low carb and Gluten free! (Winning!)

Serving Suggestions for Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

This is a fabulous dish to serve in a big bowl and let everyone help themselves, or serve as individual portions. (I love anything that can be served individually.) I make this shrimp appetizer when we are enjoying a Mexican themed night which is great for group gatherings. I like to set out individual portions of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Guacamole & Chips, and serve Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. All of which can be pre-made so you can enjoy the company and the food.

Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Slow cooker chicken is shredded and stuffed into tortillas, smothered with homemade enchilada sauce and cheese and baked until melted and delicious.

About the Avocado

The avocado is an optional ingredient in this dish. I encourage it, but Avocados can be tricky to buy. They are pricey and when you slice into an under or over ripe one, its so frustrating! Here is a helpful article on how to select the perfect Avocado.

Explore More Shrimp Appetizers:

Individual portions of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Fresh shrimp, tomato juice, cucumber, jalapeños & avocado are combined with seasonings to deliver a refreshing and exciting appetizer. The perfect starter for a summer gathering.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-mex
Servings 12 people


For the Shrimp

  • 2 pounds medium size shrimp (Approx 31-35 per pound) deveined, tail shells removed. (Thawed if frozen) (+ extras if you want to garnish each serving with extra poached shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the Cocktail Mixture

  • 2 cup chilled tomato juice (Sacramento brand if you can find it)
  • 1 cup chilled Clamato Juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • .5 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (Frank's hot sauce recommended.)
  • 2 cups English cucumber- seeded, 1/8-1/4 inch dice
  • 4 tbsp jalapeños – seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup red onion – very finely diced
  • 2-3 large avocados – halved, pitted, and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Prepare the Shrimp

  • Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Set aside.
  • In a medium pot, combine the salt, sugar, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp to the boiling water mixture and poach for about 2 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and opaque. (Note: The water will not fully return to a boil once you add the shrimp.) If you are nervous about the shrimp not being cooked, pull one and slice to make sure they are cooked through.
  • Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cool, pay dry and cut each shrimp into 3 bite size pieces. (I often remove the end part of the tail and discard.)
  • **If garnishing with one shrimp per serving, be sure to set these shrimp aside!

Assemble the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine tomato juice, clamato juice, ketchup, lime juice and hot sauce. Mix well. Add the cooked, chopped shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño & red onion and gently stir until evenly coated.
  • Cover and chill in the fridge for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. Taste for seasoning once all the flavors have married. Add salt, pepper hot sauce, and/or lime juice to taste.
  • Right before serving, gently fold in avocado and cilantro.
  • To serve, portion into individual cups, and optionally garnish with one cooked shrimp. Serve with a bowl of lime wedges, chips and extra hot sauce on the side.
Keyword individual appetizer, shrimp

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