Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

By Christina Collins

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. Mexican shrimp cocktail on the other hand 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 make this dish a few hours ahead, but not too many. I recommend letting it chill for about an hour before serving if possible. 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 making a Mexican themed night which is great for group gatherings. I will 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.

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:

Grilled Shrimp
One of my favorite things to grill is shrimp and every single time I make these simple, grilled shrimp I get the same reaction- “WOW! Why are these so good?!”
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Good Shrimp Cocktail should be meaty, dry, and slightly briny. It should have tons of flavor all on its own.
Big bowl of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Fresh shrimp, tomato juice, hot sauce, cucumber & avocado are combined with seasonings to deliver a refreshing and exciting appetizer. The perfect starter for a summer gathering.


  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh excellent quality, large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus salt for cooking shrimp
  • 1 cup V8 juice chilled
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice 2 limes, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (Franks hot sauce recommended.)
  • ½ English cucumber seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 large avocado halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Set aside.
  • Bring 3 cups water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and turn off the heat until the shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes, shaking saucepan every few minutes.
  • Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cool, cut each shrimp crosswise into about 1/2 pieces. (larger shrimp 3 pieces, smaller shrimp in half.)
  • Combine V8 juice, ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce, and salt in mixing bowl. Add cucumber, onion, and shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Gently fold in avocado and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedges, chips and extra hot sauce on the side.


Serve with tortilla chips, sturdy potato chips or cassava chips.
*You can prepare this a few hours in advance, but no more. If you are making ahead make the full recipe omitting the avocado & cilantro. When ready to serve, gently fold in the avocado & cilantro. 

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