Shrimp Ceviche

4.95 from 52 votes
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Grab a bowl! This easy shrimp ceviche recipe makes a great appetizer or light meal. For the best flavor, succulent shrimp are poached and marinated in fresh citrus juices and then combined with crunchy vegetables.

Craving more delicious appetizer ideas? Try my classic fish ceviche, shrimp cocktail, or spinach artichoke dip.

Shrimp ceviche in a white bowl served with crispy tortilla chips for dipping.

Shrimp ceviche is the answer when you’re looking for a light and refreshing dish on those warm days. The bright citrus flavors combined with tender bites of seafood and crunchy vegetables will instantly satisfy your cravings. This recipe makes for a great snack, appetizer, or light meal. No matter how you serve it, make sure to have crunchy tortilla chips for dipping.

Typically, ceviche uses fresh raw seafood soaked in an acidic marinade to cook the proteins. The tough muscle fibers in shrimp are very different from raw fish, which requires a bit more time. For a quicker version of the traditional recipe, I poach the shrimp for a few minutes, then add it to the zesty juices. In just 30 minutes, a flavorful ceviche is ready to share.

Shrimp selection

Sweet, salty shrimp is the star of this dish. However, it isn’t easy to find fresh shrimp unless you’re buddies with your local fisherman. In this case, the options at the store are frozen. There are many types of shrimp that you could use for ceviche. I use pink shrimp, most commonly found at the market, or white for a sweeter taste.

For a more lobster-like flavor, use Rock or Argentinian shrimp. For this recipe, I use a 16 to 20-count extra-jumbo size that is peeled and deveined to give nice crustacean chunks that I chop up. Although smaller ones, even tiny full-sized shrimp can be used. Just make sure to keep an eye on poaching time so you don’t overcook them.

Person cutting a shrimp into smaller pieces.
Step 2. Cut shrimp into smaller pieces

Poaching delicately cooks the seafood

Using the poaching cooking method with raw shrimp ensures that we delicately preserve the texture and flavor. The last thing you want is a rubbery shrimp that firms up when combined with citrus juices. Cook the shrimp in the hot, salted water with the heat turned off until it turns pink and opaque.

Once removed from the pot, rinse the shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking process. Pre-cooking also ensures that any harmful organisms are destroyed, typically at an internal temperature above 140ºF (60ºC), making it safer to eat. If you are in a bind for time, you can purchase precooked shrimp and cut it up.

Flavorful mix-ins

To complement the flavor of the soft shrimp, crisp cucumbers and tomatoes are diced into small pieces not to overpower the taste of the seafood. Red onions and spicy serrano chile peppers are finely minced to add some intense, pungent notes. Chopped cilantro adds fresh herbaceous notes.

These ingredients marinate with the shrimp to marry the flavors together so that all components infuse with the lime and lemon juice, not just the protein. Dice the avocado to a similar size as the shrimp, so it doesn’t break down and become mushy in the acidic marinade.

Citrus marinade

I use two types of acidic fruit juices for the marinade. I add a higher amount of lime juice for its more mellow zesty taste. I use half the amount of lemon juice for punchy and tart notes. Combined, they provide an intense amount of citric acid. Don’t waste the lime zest! It’s loaded with essential oils and aromas to make the marinade even more flavorful.

I like to stir it after 15 minutes to ensure even soaking. Right before serving, stir in the diced avocado. Once cut, it browns quickly, so it’s best to add it last to preserve the color. The acid and antioxidants in the citrus will help prevent color change, but only for a short time.

Ways to serve the seafood dish

The best way to serve shrimp ceviche is in a large bowl paired it with something salty and crunchy. Tortilla chips, saltine crackers, or plantain chips make for tasty, bite-sized appetizers to feed a crowd.

For a fancier presentation or individual portions, scoop some ceviche on top of a tostada. Make sure to have a bottle of hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicier.

Bowl of homemade shrimp ceviche served with limes and tortilla chips.
Step 4. Stir in diced avocado

Recipe Science

Citrus is a potent marinade

We avoid adding too many acidic ingredients in a marinade, but not for ceviche. The concentrated citric acid quickly dentures the shrimp protein, similar to heat. This causes the flesh to firm up even more after poaching. However, the longer the shrimp sits, the tougher the texture will become then it eventually becomes mushy. So enjoy the dish within 2 days.

Shrimp Ceviche

Grab a bowl, because this easy shrimp ceviche recipe makes for a crowd-pleasing appetizer when paired with crunchy tortillas chips.
4.95 from 52 votes
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican


  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, 16 to 20 count size
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, seeds removed, ¼" dice
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, ¼" dice
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced serrano pepper, or jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup diced avocado, ½" dice (about 1 large avocado)


  • Cook the Shrimp – In a medium saucepan bring water and 1 ½ teaspoon of salt to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Allow it to cook until opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water until cool, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Chop Into Pieces – Chop the cooked shrimp into ½-inch pieces—place in a large non-reactive bowl.
  • Prepare Mix-ins – To the bowl of shrimp, add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, cilantro, serrano pepper, lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Add Avocado – Right before serving stir in the diced avocado. Taste and season with more salt as desired.
  • To Serve – Pair shrimp ceviche with chips or on tostadas.

Recipe Video

YouTube video


  • Recipe Yield: 5 cups
  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Storing: Place in an airtight container for up to 2 days before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 10 servings
Calories 95kcal (5%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 10g (20%)Fat 4g (6%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Cholesterol 114mg (38%)Sodium 367mg (15%)Potassium 228mg (7%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 69IU (1%)Vitamin C 13mg (16%)Calcium 85mg (9%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating

18 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Lisa loves to eat. says

    This ceviche is delicious!!! The video was very helpful. Can’t wait to make it again. Even the left overs with the avacado already added was still delicious the next day. Looking forward to your other creations.

  2. Carola Weisz says

    Your videos on Youtube are not as good as the former ones, images freeze a lot….is there a way to fix that??
    I love your recipes and watching the videos, but…..

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Carola, if the video is freezing… sounds like that could be an internet connection issue? I just watched the video on my end again and it played without freezing.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Are you able to eat fish like tuna, red snapper or halibut? I also have a classic ceviche recipe using fish. Also, are scallops an option for you?

  3. Anna Leah says

    This is another great reason to eat salty tortilla chips! Poaching the shrimp was easy and I snagged a few to eat before cutting them up. So juicy! The ceviche was well-balanced and I could have eaten this for dinner… I drained the juices and kept the leftovers for lunch the next day on top of a bed of lettuce. mmmmm

  4. Clarissa says

    Hi Jessica,

    We made this dish today and it was wonderful! Delicious, fresh, interesting, balanced. My guess is that we will be having it again next week 🙂

    We have been enjoying your wonderful recipes over quite a few years now. So many wonderful meals and memories. Thank you for the work you do!

  5. Rose says

    Hi Jessica
    From a food safety perspective, poaching is an essential step to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. The reason you don’t use raw shrimps is not “not having a fisherman friend”. Really the shrimps must be “sushi-grade” for raw ceviche recipe. Supermarket frozen shrimps are better and food-safe options.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, I agree. I addressed the food safety issue on the poaching section and the benefits of the cooking to help destroy the harmful bacteria.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks, Laura! It will taste yummy tomorrow. I recommend waiting to add the avocado until right before you serve for the best texture.