This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with Summer Vegetables is part shrimp cocktail, part gazpacho, and part kicked up salsa. It’s literally bursting with flavor, texture, color, and freshness. Make this the next time you need an easy appetizer for a small group or a light dinner for two.
I was watching PBS the other night (it’s always my favorite channel when there’s nothing on TV) and I caught America’s Test Kitchen making this recipe. It looked so easy and tasty. And I knew I had shrimp in the freezer. So I adapted their recipe a bit to make it my own.
I am in LOVE with this recipe!
Of course, my version of this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe has a lot more vegetables in it. That makes it a bit heartier, so if you don’t need an appetizer, you really can make a meal out of it. With a mix of sweet peppers, grilled corn, cucumber, red onion, avocado, and shrimp, it’s like a light, refreshing summer soup.
But if you DO need a quick and easy appetizer, this one is calling your name. You’ll probably get about six servings as an appetizer, or two generous servings as dinner.
Apparently, it’s traditional to serve it with saltine crackers. But I added a side of tortilla chips and they were perfect to scoop up the saucy, tomato-y goodness.
And speaking of that tomato-y, saucy goodness… The original recipe calls for a mixture of V-8 juice and ketchup. It might sound crazy, but DON’T even think about changing it. Because it totally works.
I am a Sriracha fan, so I used that instead of regular hot sauce.
And even though I included the instructions for starting with raw shrimp, you could make this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail even easier by using precooked shrimp. Just make sure your shrimp is deveined. Because there’s nothing nastier (in my opinion) than those shrimp veins.
If you wanted to kick this recipe up even more, you could add some black beans, or stir in some of my Mexican-Style Pickled Vegetables. Serve this with lots of chips and sangria, or Margaritas for lots of happy people!
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with Summer Vegetables
- 1 pound large shrimp (26-30 per pound) peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup chilled regular or low sodium V-8 juice
- 1 English cucumber peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice from 1 lime
- 1 cup minced red onion
- 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper seeds and core removed, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large ear corn on the cob grilled, and corn cut from the cob (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro minced
- 1 medium avocado seeded, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- To cook the shrimp, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt, and remove the pot from the heat once it's boiling.
- Add the shrimp, cover, and let the shrimp sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes. Stir them once or twice.
- After 5 minutes, check to make sure the shrimp are opaque. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Drain the shrimp and place them in the bowl to chill quickly.
- Alternatively, you can use precooked, peeled shrimp.
- While the shrimp chill, combine the V-8, ketchup, Sriracha, and lime juice in a small mixing bowl or large measuring cup. Stir well. Set aside.
- Drain the shrimp well and spill out the ice and water. Cut the cooled shrimp into thirds, crosswise.
- Return the shrimp to the bowl. Add the cucumber, sweet pepper, onion, corn, and cilantro to the shrimp. Toss lightly.
- Pour the cocktail sauce over the shrimp and vegetables. Toss to combine. Add the avocado chunks and fold gently.
- Serve in small bowls or martini glasses with chips or crackers if desired.
Have you ever had Mexican Shrimp Cocktail? Let me know if you like this version!