Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Want to shake things up? Make a saucy Coctel de Camarones, the classic Mexican shrimp cocktail with shrimp, hot sauce, celery, onion, cucumber, avocado, and ketchup.

A parfait glass with mexican shrimp cocktail set on a table outside.
Ciara Kehoe

Hello weekend! Sacramento can't decide if it wants to be hot or cool right now. But the weather has been cooperating gloriously recently, with lots of sun, perfect for relaxing on the patio with tortilla chips or saltines and some coctel de Camarones, or Mexican shrimp cocktail.

I love this version of shrimp cocktail, it's sort of like a virgin Bloody Mary with cucumber, celery, red onions, avocados, and lots of shrimp.

Perfect for dipping, or eating with a spoon. Or picking out the shrimp pieces with a fork, then the avocado pieces, and then eating the rest with a spoon as if it were gazpacho. Enjoy!

A parfait glass with mexican shrimp cocktail set on a table outside.
Ciara Kehoe

Watch This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

How Long Can Shrimp Cocktail Be Stored?

You can refrigerate this shrimp cocktail for up to 1 day. If it starts to smell overly fishy, discard it immediately.

Ideas for What to Store with Shrimp Cocktail

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

If it's tomato season, use freshly chopped tomatoes with their juices, instead of the canned tomatoes.

I a pinch, V8 juice, Tomato juice, or Clamato juice can substitute for the ketchup, but ketchup is the standard ingredient.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, raw or cooked

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup chopped red onion

  • 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1 jalapeno, minced

  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped OR 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce, such Crystal or Tabasco, to taste

  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks


  1. Peel, devein, and cook the raw shrimp (if using):

    If you have pre-cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp you can skip to the next step. If you are working with raw shrimp, peel and devein them.

    If you have a little extra time and want your shrimp to be extra good, put the shells in 6 cups of cool salted water, bring to a boil, then strain the shell stock into a separate pot and cook the shrimp in that liquid.

    If you want to skip that step, just bring a medium pot salted water to a boil (a Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water), add the shrimp, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through. Reserve a cup of the cooking water and chill it.

  2. Cut half of the cooked shrimp into chunks:

    Cut half of the shrimp into large chunks, leaving the other half whole (for a more attractive presentation).

    Chopping shrimp to show how to make shrimp cocktail.
    Ciara Kehoe
  3. Toss the shrimp with other ingredients, chill:

    Put the chopped shrimp in a bowl with the chopped onions, cucumber, celery, jalapeño, tomatoes, ketchup, cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce. Gently stir to combine. Chill.

  4. Add some cooled shrimp cooking water:

    Once the cooking water has cooled at least to room temperature, add a little at a time to the shrimp cocktail, until the shrimp cocktail is the consistency you want (use clam stock or lightly salted water—a third of a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a cup of water—if you are starting with already cooked and peeled shrimp).

    A mixing bowl with ingredients to make a shrimp cocktail recipe.
    Ciara Kehoe
  5. Stir in the salt, hot sauce, avocado:

    To serve, add salt and more hot sauce to taste and gently mix in the chopped avocados. Dip the whole shrimp in the cocktail and arrange them on top.

    Serve in parfait glasses or in small bowls with tortilla chips on the side.

    A mixing bowl with ingredients to make a shrimp cocktail recipe.
    Ciara Kehoe
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
256 Calories
12g Fat
21g Carbs
20g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 256
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 160mg 53%
Sodium 1097mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 28mg 138%
Calcium 124mg 10%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 854mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.