Shrimp Dip

AppetizerDipQuick and EasyShrimp

Easy shrimp dip with small pink shrimp, lemon zest and lemon juice, scallions, parsley, hot sauce, pepper, cream cheese and a little mayo.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

In the world of party appetizers, there’s a time for fancy, and there’s a time for oh-my-gosh-I-only-have-10-minutes-to-make-something-that-I-wouldn’t-be-ashamed-to-serve-to-guests. Usually I’m in the latter camp, having grossly underestimated the time it takes to get organized.

For these times it’s helpful to have a dish like this shrimp dip in one’s back pocket. Some little pink shrimp (they’re sustainable and sweet), some cream cheese, a touch of mayo, a little lemon, some chopped herbs, a dash of hot sauce and presto! A lovely dip—thick, shrimpy, and brightly flavored with the lemon, herbs, and hot sauce.

Keep some frozen shrimp around for occasions like this, and some crackers, and you can pull it all together in 10 minutes. (Well maybe 15 if you have to defrost the shrimp.)

Shrimp Dip Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups of dip

If using frozen shrimp, defrost safely by placing in a bowl of ice water. When defrosted, strain.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of lemon juice (2 if regular lemon, 4 if Meyer lemon), more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 pound cooked, shelled, small pink shrimp (salad shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, including the greens
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat until smooth (you may need to use a whisk.)

2 If you have a food processor, pulse together the shrimp and the cream cheese mixture, three 1-second pulses. If not, or if you just don't want to deal with the food processor, chop up the shrimp—fine to medium chop—and mix into the cream cheese.

3 Return to the bowl and stir in the scallions and parsley. Add the hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice to taste.

Keep chilled. Serve with crackers or crudite.

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Shrimp Dip

Showing 4 of 15 Comments / Reviews

  • David

    This is a simple and delicious dip. Has become a favourite of mine to make and a favourite of my friends to eat.

  • Brian

    I enjoyed this very much but missed the flavor of SHRIMP! I remember the day when you could buy shrimp and the shrimp cocktail sauce in a pre-made shrimp cocktail. Then you would keep the glass as a drinking glass. Anyway – get some shrimp cocktail sauce and add to taste.

  • Mike G

    Great recipe! Apps are always a pain. Have you ever thought about Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese? Finally, what’s with the sustainable comment about the shrimp? Are there any unsustainable shrimp?

    Haven’t tried it with Greek yogurt, but that’s certainly worth a try. Regarding sustainability, check out Seafood Watch. ~Elise

  • Carolee W.

    I got a recipe similar to this from my mom decades ago. For even greater ease, it calls for a small can of shrimp. Also, instead of mayo, it uses Catalina dressing. This is a really yummy combo! Nowadays, I make it with low fat cream cheese and dressing and it still tastes great.

  • Dawna

    I have fond memories of the grandparents’ version of Shrimp Dip. It contained chunks of diced boiled Gulf shrimp, cream cheese, a bit of sour cream, lemon juice, salt, hot sauce and a can of Campbell’s frozen Cream of Shrimp soup. They would make it a day in advance for the flavors to meld.
    They’d serve it with Triscuits and Ruffles. It was simply heavenly stuff and one of their holiday party stand-bys.
    I haven’t been able to find the frozen soup in years. Using the regular canned soup in its place has disappointing results.
    I’m looking forward to trying this version!

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