As party season approaches, the hunt for crowd-pleasing appetizers begins. Among the countless options, shrimp appetizers stand out as elegant and flavorful bites that are quick-cooking and can be cost effective.
Whether you're hosting a casual get-together or a formal soirée, these 20 easy shrimp appetizers for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party of the year will add flavor and sophistication to your festivities.
Adding a shrimp recipe to your appetizer lineup opens a world of options for you. Whether serving chilled shrimp with delicious sauces, grilled shrimp or a crispy fried prawn platter, your holiday season can be made simpler and more delicious by adding more shrimp to the menu!
Here's 20 of my favorite shrimp appetizer ideas to make for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, Easter, summer party season or any old day of the week!
20 Best Shrimp Appetizers for Your Party
Garlic Butter Baked Colossal Shrimp
When it comes to easy recipes that make a huge impression, these baked Garlic Butter Shrimp are a great way to hit a holiday home run. Fresh shrimp (or frozen and thawed) are baked simply in butter, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve this easy shrimp appetizer with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Jumbo shrimp or large shrimp work just as well, and they'll require even less cooking time.
Hot shrimp appetizers are always a good bet for party season. And these sweet and spicy shrimp will be a huge hit at your next party. Serve them on skewers, pile them into phyllo cups for tasty Shrimp Taco Bites. Serve with pickled red onions and jalapeno ranch sauce for the perfect bite for your holiday parties.
Make these shrimp as spicy or mild as you like, then serve with a bottle of hot sauce to let your guests customize their own spice level.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp Skewers with Pistachio Chimichurri create an amazing main course for your holiday party, or use mini-skewers for appetizer-sized portions. The chimichurri adds huge flavor and freshness to this delicious shrimp appetizer. And it can pull double duty as a dipping sauce for veggies, bread, crackers and other protein options. Make it ahead and have plenty of time to party!
When you're looking for an impressive but easy shrimp appetizer recipe, chilled Shrimp Cocktail will always hit the spot. It's sophisticated and simple, but full of options for customizing sauces and flavor combinations. Serve this perfect appetizer with classic cocktail sauce, chili sauce, or choose a selection of dipping sauce options like Pistachio Chimichurri and Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce. Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer is another healthy eating option for guests looking for high protein, low fat and SUPER tasty bites. Check out this recipe from our friends over at Simply Recipes.
Remember when serving a chilled seafood appetizer that you want to be aware of how long your shrimp cocktail has been out at room temperature. I prefer to serve a smaller tray of shrimp, and refill as needed with shrimp keeping cool in the fridge in an airtight container.
Coconut shrimp brings a tropical twist to your party! Plump, juicy shrimp are coated in a light, crispy batter including shredded coconut, creating a craveable contrast in textures. The coconut's sweet and nutty flavor perfectly complements the savory, salty shrimp. And a quick dip in a zesty mango or sweet chili sauce adds a burst of tropical goodness. Served hot and golden brown, coconut shrimp will be a mouthwatering addition to your party.
Check out this easy recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for detailed instructions on how to make your own coconut shrimp appetizer.
Shrimp Stuffed Peppers
Hungarian wax peppers, banana peppers, or your favorite mild-to-medium spicy pepper will work for this shrimp-stuffed pepper recipe. Anything that is big enough to be stuffed with the cheesy shrimp mixture and baked until golden. We serve our flavorful seafood peppers over a homemade Romesco sauce. It's smoky and rich and the perfect foundation for our fancy peppers. These beauties are the perfect size for serving to family, friends and guests at your next party.
We’ve taken all the best parts of the seafood boil, added some gooey cheese, and served it up in a crispy, salty potato skin. Perfect when you want to relive those summer shrimp boil parties at the holidays. Or use small potatoes to make shrimp boil stuffed potato skins for your casual party.
Serve this fun and cheesy shrimp appetizer with sour cream and a bottle of hot sauce for game day!
Southern-style pickled shrimp is an amazing recipe and a healthy appetizer option for your holiday parties. Serve these briny shrimp with Spicy Aioli and baguette slices, or whip up a milder Lemon Dill Aioli.
Grab this easy Pickled Shrimp Recipe from The Spruce Eats and start your pickling party!
Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce is having a viral moment, and it's easy to see why. Sweet, spicy, savory, tart - it hits all our favorite flavor zones. You could serve plain popcorn shrimp at your holiday party. But why do that when you could make it extra special?
Make this easy sauce and toss your crispy shrimp into the magic sauce. Serve it on a platter with toothpicks, or pile them in a lettuce wraps or wonton cups for easy eating. Follow the link and check out the recipe card for all the easy details!
Stuffed shrimp is one of the all-time great special occasion dinners. For a low-stress version of the classic recipe perfect to serve as an appetizer that will feed a crowd, make this Baked Crab-Stuffed Shrimp Casserole Recipe. Full of tender shrimp, succulent crab, fresh red pepper and buttery cracker filling, this Old-Bay-spiced seafood dish will be the highlight of your holiday!
Serve one jumbo shrimp full of crab stuffing for an appetizer portion, or two large shrimp.
These easy shrimp and potato baked samosas are a unique twist on your favorite Indian snack! The traditional samosa filling is dressed up with tender and juicy shrimp, making this baked version an easy and delicious treat. The seafood filling gets wrapped in store-bought phyllo pastry layers, then baked, giving you a healthy-ish and delicious appetizer for your guests. Serve it with my favorite samosa dipping sauce!
Shrimp Salad Tea Sandwiches
Small finger sandwiches are a fun party appetizer for any holiday or weekend party. Using shrimp, lobster or smoked salmon makes them a little fancy and worthy of a big occasion. Choosing unique bread options (mini-croissants, brioche fingers or even cutting your bread into rounds) dial up the party feel, too. Garnish with fresh herbs and edible flowers
This easy appetizer of shrimp salad tea sandwiches is a perfect make-ahead option, leaving your hands free for shaking hands and kissing babies on party day.
Hibachi-style shrimp is a fabulously flavorful appetizer that will be a huge hit with adults and kids alike. Serve it in a bowl on your appetizer tray, or thread the shrimp onto toothpicks or small wooden skewers. The sweet and savory hibachi grill sauce takes just a few ingredients, but creates a lip-smackingly delicious flavor.
Your hibachi party won't be complete without hibachi shrimp dip, or Japanese Yum Yum Sauce. Grab all the details for this easy recipe here.
These restaurant-style shrimp wontons bring big shrimp flavor to the party! The seafood dumplings are complemented by fresh cilantro and scallions and deeply savory sesame oil. So simple to make, these pockets of magic are even easier to dip and eat with spicy wonton dipping sauce (sauce recipe included!) Make the wontons ahead and steam when guests arrive, or set up an assembly line and let everyone try their hand at making dumplings! It's an appetizer and a party trick, all in one.
These extra crispy pancakes are chock full of fresh veggies and shrimp. The seafood is suspended in a slightly chewy fritter batter and then dunked in a sweet, spicy, savory dipping sauce (recipe included!)
I first made these savory pancakes for a last-minute happy hour with friends. We cut and ate each pancake as soon as I pulled it out of the pan, screaming hot, chewy and so savory. Include shrimp, or leave the pancakes vegetarian if you need some veggie-focused options for your guests!
These garlicky, smoky, spicy shrimp are a 15-minute appetizer wonder. I love using Argentinian Red Shrimp, but if you're in the US, grab a pack of Florida gulf shrimp or whatever you can find in your grocery store's frozen seafood aisle. Defrost the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator, then dry very well with paper towels to remove as much water as possible.
The sauce is ultra-flavorful and so craveable. Serve a pile of this Portuguese style garlic shrimp with a basket of grilled or toasted bread and your gusts will be begging for your secret recipe.
Serving a shrimp boil as an appetizer at your party is a surefire way to delight your guests with a taste of coastal charm. This classic Southern dish combines succulent shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, and flavorful spices, creating a savory, finger-licking experience. Keep it a shrimp-only affair, or add crawfish, mussels or clams to the party-in-a-pot.
The vibrant colors and enticing smell of the seafood boil will immediately set the tone for a festive gathering, and the communal style of serving the whole thing from a large pot or newspaper-covered table encourages laughter and conversation among your guests. So, whether it's a backyard barbecue or an indoor soirée, a shrimp boil appetizer is a crowd-pleasing choice that brings a taste of the seaside to any occasion.
Keep reading for the very best dipping sauces to serve with your shrimp boil.
It’s buttery and garlicky and spicy – everything you want in a sauce for your shrimp, potatoes, veggies, crackers, flip-flop…it adds flavor to anything it touches! Seafood sauces can get pretty complex and complicated. This one is crazy-easy. Just a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have in the house, and a quick simmer in a sauce pot. Pour it over your seafood platter or serve it up in small bowls for dipping. Don't forget the napkins!
Bloves Seafood Boil Sauce
This internet-famous recipe from the YouTube sensation BlovesLife, this buttery seafood sauce is a heavy hitter. The ingredient list is long, but friends, it's worth the effort. Clean out your spice cabinet, but get ready for the standing ovation when your party guests taste this magic mixture.
Bonus! It's just as delicious with potatoes, corn, steak and chicken as it is on seafood. So start your party right with Blove's Seafood Sauce!
Cajun shrimp is savory and delicious. Add in your favorite Vietnamese flavors like ginger, lemongrass, lime juice and fish sauce, and your tastebuds will never be the same. This is my favorite way to serve a crawfish boil, and over the years I've found it to be just as amazing on a shrimp boil or as a dipping sauce for shrimp skewers.
And that's a wrap!
With these 20 shrimp appetizers, your party season will be a culinary success.
Your family and friends will be begging for all your shrimp secrets!