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Easy Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, also known as Cóctel de Camarónes, is a deliciously succulent, tangy summertime appetizer that’s elegant and very easy to make. It is packed with mouthwatering chopped vegetables, tender cooked shrimp, and a flavorful and spiced cocktail sauce you’ll love!

Top side view of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail ready for serving

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In other words, this shrimp cocktail is irresistible! And pretty, and I mentioned easy, right? It is precisely the kind of dish you will love to serve your guests. It looks fancy, it is fancy… but it’s also incredibly simple to make.

So, let’s get ready to make this classic, delicious appetizer you and your guests will love.

Top view of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail ingredients on a white wood background

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

You will find ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here is a list of what you will need:

  • Chilled cooked medium shrimp
  • Red onion
  • Tomatoes, I prefer Roma tomatoes
  • English cucumber
  • Celery
  • Jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper
  • Chilled Clamato juice (tomato and clam juice cocktail)
  • Ketchup
  • Lime, juiced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Avocados
Top view of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail ingredients in a glass bowl, ready for the cocktail sauce

How to Make Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

You’ll find the full recipe in the recipe card below with step-by-step instructions, but here’s a quick view of how easy it is to make this delightful appetizer:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked and chilled shrimp with the vegetables.
  2. Stir the liquid Clamato juice, hot sauce, ketchup, and lime juice together.
  3. Pour the cocktail juice over the shrimp mixture and gently fold in the avocados.
  4. Chill until ready to serve!

How to Make Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

Bring 10 cups of water with 1 lemon cut in half to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Then drop shrimp that are peeled, deveined, and tails removed (except for a few to garnish the glasses with) into the simmering water. Immediately turn off the heat and cook the shrimp until they turn pink and begin to curl; about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, and 3 minutes for large ones.

Drain and chill until you’re ready to make the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.

Easy Tips for Making Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

  • If you have one available, use a vegetable chopper. It will literally cut chopping time at least in half. Plus, all the vegetables are a similar size, which adds elegance to the dish. I used the small grid on mine.
  • Shrimp Cocktail should be served chilled, so it’s a perfect make-ahead dish that’s ready when you are.
  • Reserve a few shrimp with tails to garnish the Shrimp Cocktail.

What to Serve With Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Cóctel de Camarónes is a simple and flavorful fresh dish that pairs well with salads and meats. I particularly love it with grilled corn or corn salads!

How to Store Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

While shrimp cocktail is best served the same day it’s made, cooked shrimp will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic.


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Side view of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail in serving glasses garnished with shrimp and cilantro
Side view of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail on a glass serving tray for guests with wedges of avocado and fresh cilantro

Easy Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is a delicious, easy summer appetizer that's packed with tender cooked shrimp and veggies in a spiced cocktail sauce.


  • 1 pound chilled cooked medium shrimp - peeled, deveined, and tails removed (*see notes)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper, seeded if desired for less heat, and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chilled Clamato juice (tomato and clam juice cocktail)
  • 1/2 cup chilled ketchup
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro - stems discarded and leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 avocados, chopped


  1. Mix chopped onion, Roma tomatoes, cucumber, celery, jalapeno, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the cooled shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. Whisk the Clamato juice cocktail, ketchup, cilantro, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce in a separate bowl. Pour over the shrimp mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Gently fold in the avocados. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Be sure to let the mixture chill before serving for the ½best flavor.


Cooking Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail:

Fill a saucepan with water. Add the 1/2 of an onion cut into chunks, 4 garlic cloves, and 1 lemon, halved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the peeled, deveined, and tails-removed shrimp (I like to leave 6 shrimp with tails intact for garnishing). Immediately turn off the heat, and cook the shrimp for 1-3 minutes or until they are pink and cooked through. Drain and discard the cooking liquid and chill the shrimp until ready to make the cocktail.

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