This recipe for Mexican shrimp cocktail (coctel de camarones) is fresh shrimp tossed in a homemade sauce with red onion, avocado, cilantro and jalapeno. It’s a light and refreshing appetizer that’s perfect for any party!

Mexican shrimp cocktail is a great way to start off a Mexican themed meal. Try it alongside a Mexican Caesar saladcarne guisada, vegetarian fajitas or carne asada tacos. Don’t forget the pinto beans and rice to round out your dinner!

A serving bowl of Mexican shrimp cocktail which contains small shrimp, diced avocado, herbs and jalapeno.

I love a good shrimp cocktail, but they’re always crazy expensive at restaurants – $12 for 6 tiny shrimp with a little sauce?! I started making my own at home and now I never feel the urge to order them when eating out – shrimp cocktail is just so easy to make that I can whip it up any time I want in about 5 minutes. This Mexican shrimp cocktail (also known as coctel de camarones) is a fun twist on the classic appetizer. You can also serve this dish as a light meal when paired with something like black bean soup.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

To make this dish, you will need shrimp, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, lime juice, tomato sauce, ketchup, orange juice, salt and black pepper.

How Do You Make Mexican Shrimp Cocktail?

Place the shrimp, vegetables and cilantro in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the rest of the recipe ingredients to make the cocktail sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, and toss gently to combine. Serve, with lime wedges on the side if desired.

Shrimp, red onion, avocado, jalapeno and cilantro in a serving bowl.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

  • I like to slice my red onion very thin with a mandoline for this recipe.
  • The jalapeno adds a bit of a kick, but if you’re adverse to spicy food you can omit it altogether. If you remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos, the heat level of this dish will be quite mild. For a spicier dish, use serrano peppers and leave some of the seeds and ribs in the peppers.
  • You can eat this shrimp cocktail as is, or serve it with tortilla chips or saltine crackers to scoop up your shrimp.
  • This recipe can be prepared up to 6 hours before you plan to enjoy it. Chill the cocktail in the fridge in an airtight container. Follow the instructions as directed, but omit the avocado. Stir in the avocado right before serving.
  • Be sure to peel and devein your shrimp before you cook them.

Quick Tip

I typically use medium sized shrimp in this recipe. Look for the 41-50 count or 51-60 count at the grocery store.

Shrimp, avocado, red onion and cilantro topped with cocktail sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make cocktail sauce?

To make the cocktail sauce for this recipe, stir together lime juice, tomato sauce, ketchup, orange juice, salt and pepper.

How do you cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail?

I went the easy route here and purchased frozen pre-cooked shrimp which I thawed and patted dry. If you’re starting with raw shrimp, it’s very common to poach shrimp in boiling water. You can even sauté or roast your shrimp if you prefer. Medium sized shrimp will cook in about 3-4 minutes.

What is the difference between ceviche and shrimp cocktail?

Shrimp cocktail starts with cooked shrimp, while shrimp ceviche contains raw shrimp that “cook” in the acidic citrus juice in the sauce.

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A bowl of Mexican shrimp cocktail with red onion, avocado, homemade sauce and cilantro.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Flavor Variations

This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can change the ingredients to customize the flavors to your taste.

  • Seafood: Instead of shrimp, you can use other types of seafood such as scallops, flaked salmon, or even octopus! It’s also delicious to use a blend of different types of seafood.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add more veggies to the mix. Some great options include cucumber, bell pepper, celery, green onions, diced Roma tomatoes, or even try a little fresh fruit like mango or pineapple for a sweet and savory combination. You can also use pickled red onions instead of raw onions for extra flavor.
  • Flavorings: Kick up the flavor of your cocktail sauce with a little hot sauce, clam juice, lemon juice, fresh garlic, clamato juice, or canned minced chipotle pepper.
An individual cup of Mexican shrimp cocktail with red onion and avocado.

I love that this Mexican shrimp cocktail is super easy to make, and when you dress it up a bit by putting it in some nice glasses with a few garnishes it transforms into an elegant appetizer that’s fit for any occasion. Use this recipe as a starter for hearty main course options such as chicken fajita foil packets or Mexican lasagna. Looking for more Mexican food inspiration? Don’t miss my list of 25 Mexican appetizer recipes!

More Great Shrimp Recipes

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 21 votes

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

AuthorSara Welch
A serving bowl of Mexican shrimp cocktail which contains small shrimp, diced avocado, herbs and jalapeno.
This recipe for Mexican shrimp cocktail (coctel de camarones) is fresh shrimp tossed in a homemade sauce with red onion, avocado, cilantro and jalapeno. It’s a light and refreshing appetizer that’s perfect for any party!
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time21 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Serves 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup avocado diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds and ribs removed, then finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For garnish: lime wedges

Instructions 

  • Place the shrimp, avocado, red onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, tomato sauce, ketchup, orange juice, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Serve, garnished with lime wedges if desired. 

Notes

  1. Make ahead directions: Follow the recipe as directed, but omit the avocado. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Stir in the avocado right before serving.
  2. I typically use medium sized shrimp in this recipe. Look for the 41-50 count or 51-60 count at the grocery store.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 702mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 740IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This shrimp cocktail has so much good flavor, and it’s the perfect easy appetizer on a hot summer night! Brilliant recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I love shrimp in all forms, so this was a winner in my house. My husband doesn’t even like shrimp and he was obsessed with this! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I love to add cucumber and celery. Also use clamato juice instead of tomato sauce. Each to their own.

  4. Is the grams of protein per serving really 2 and carbs 17? I’m bariatric so my goal is 120 protein per day I’d need 15-20 out of 4 ounces. Did you use regular ketchup as I can sub for. O sugar added. I don’t think 1/2tbsp orange juice is a deal breaker. Just confused. Thanks.