Shrimp Dip

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

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


  • 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 Beat cream cheese and mayo, add lemon: 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 Pulse shrimp with cream cheese mixture: 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 Add scallions, parsley, hot sauce, pepper: 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 crudité.

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  • Gail

    Too much lemon and I only used 2 T.


  • Peter

    Delicious! But instead of Tabasco are used cocktail sauce.


  • Jim R

    Recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of lemon juice if using regular lemons. However, this is way too much lemon juice and it overpowers the taste the shrimp and onions for those of us who prefer to be able to taste these and the other ingredients.


  • Elena

    I consider myself very lucky that I found your recepies.
    Thank you very much!

  • 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.

    • Syble

      Try it with some slivered almonds!

  • Luke Baker

    Holy shrimp sauce this was delicious! Never had I tried a shrimp dip before. Utterly satisfying. Looking forward to make this one for Christmas!


  • Kari

    Thank goodness you posted this on Friday! It came in handy for a quick dish to share at a holiday gathering that same evening. It was a big hit and didn’t last long at all.


  • 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

  • Peggy Thornton

    I love this recipe! Also good with a little horseradish.


  • Lisa Chin, HHC

    I may be missing this in the notes but are the frozen shrimp raw in the dip or are they already cooked when you buy them? Thanks!

    Little pink shrimp are already cooked when you buy them frozen or fresh. ~Elise

  • jennypenny

    How far in advance can you make this? I know dip in general is great to make ahead, but with the shrimp, I wasn’t sure. Would it taste better the same day, or would it be okay to make it the day before?

    In general, shellfish is something you should eat soon after it is cooked (or in this case defrosted). I have eaten this the next day and it was fine, but I wouldn’t go longer than a day or two. ~Elise

  • Julie

    My mom has made an easy shrimp dip for years. Take a pretty serving plate/small platter – soften a brick of cream cheese and spread it along the bottom. Then pour chili/seafood sauce on top. Then sprinkle the little pink shrimp over that. Serve with crackers and little cheese knives. It’s pretty and fun and festive – and SO easy. I’d like to try this one too!

  • colin nash

    We’ve made a quick and easy shrimp dip in my family for years. It’s really close to the one above, just sub out dill for the parsley and Worcestershire for the hot sauce. quick and easy and so tasty.

  • Scott

    I use yogurt instead of the mayo & chili sauce or ketchup & horseradish instead fo the hot sauce.

  • Shorthand

    So cool. My mom had a friend that used to make a shrimp mold, but guess what? This is SO much easier and once it is on the cracker and in your mouth who cares? You must have spent some time in Louisiana. Most people know about Tabasco, but Crystal is a little more obscure.

  • 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!

  • 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.