The holiday season is in full swing! Eeee! With parties popping up left and right this time of year, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to try but so many recipes out there this time of year are heavy, heavy, heavy. We’re talking super sweet, carb-y, buttery and, um, totally delicious.
But have you noticed that it’s often the super simple protein-packed appetizers that go first? If you ever bring a shrimp cocktail or bacon-wrapped scallops to a party, they seem to disappear in 2.5 seconds and I totally get it. When a table or kitchen island is packed with sweets and overly creamy dishes, something to break up the richness is so needed and while a veggie platter is lovely and easy, something a little more exciting and savory calls to me.
If you’re in the same boat, I have a new appetizer you must try this holiday season. The best part? It can be prepped ahead of time (in fact, I recommend it!) and everything comes together in one dish. The effort level of this appetizer is minimal but the flavor is high! Just the way I like it!
I made this Easy Cilantro Shrimp Appetizer recipe for the first time this past weekend when I attended an ugly sweater holiday party. It’s the kind of recipe you can play around with in terms of how you choose to serve it. The shrimp can be served as a salad, on top of crackers or even skewered if you’d like them to work more as an entrée to serve with other side dishes.
I got everything I needed to make this Easy Cilantro Shrimp Appetizer at ALDI, including the Specially Selected Black Tiger Shrimp (they’re HUGE and meaty and SO good), fresh cilantro, garlic, SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, limes, Stonemill Pink Himalayan Salt (my latest ALDI obsession – I use it every single day) and the gluten-free crackers and cucumber slices I paired with the shrimp. I highly, highly recommend using the colossal-size black tiger shrimp in this recipe, as they hold up well and seem a lot more substantial than typical teeny cocktail shrimp.
When I set out to make an appetizer for Saturday’s party, I wanted to be sure I brought a dish that was both gluten-free and dairy-free. One of my closest girlfriends is currently breastfeeding and had to eliminate both dairy and gluten from her diet when her son began showing signs of intolerance to dairy and gluten whenever she would nurse. This Easy Cilantro Shrimp Appetizer fit the bill!
I opted to serve the shrimp with toothpicks so guests could eat them on their own or put them on top of a cucumber slice or liveGfree Gluten Free Sea Salt Multiseed Crackers (a third-place winner of the 8th Annual Gluten-Free Buyers Guide Gluten-Free Awards!). The whole platter completely disappeared within 20 minutes of our arrival at the party!
As far as prepping this dish ahead of time, I highly recommend it, as this will give the shrimp time to marinate in the cilantro and lime flavors. Even though making the entire recipe won’t take you more than 20 minutes, it’s really nice to be able to check one thing off your to-do list 24 hours before you have to attend or host a party, right!?
Easy Cilantro Shrimp AppetizerPrint
Easy Cilantro Shrimp Appetizer
This Easy Cilantro Shrimp Appetizer is the perfect light and simple crowd-pleasing dish to bring to your next party. It’s a one-dish recipe that’s easy to make and bursting with flavor thanks to cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- 2 pounds Specially Selected Black Tiger Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 large lime
- 3/4 teaspoon Stonemill Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- Cook and peel shrimp according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.
- Combine shrimp and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to thoroughly coat shrimp in cilantro, oil, lime juice and spices.
- Serve immediately or cover in and air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Question of the Day
What are you favorite appetizers to enjoy at holiday parties this time of year?
I’m not picky but I always love deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip, shrimp dip, baked brie and stuffed peppers or olives. Plus, any kind of party mix always calls to me!
Patricia @Sweet and Strong says
I always forget about shrimp for an appetizer but love it so much. It’s so hard to think of healthy apps that aren’t heavy dips or carbs and this is perfect! Oh and I’m obsessedddd with pink himalayan sea salt, I too put it on everything!
It’s the best! So much more flavor than traditional salt!
Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups says
This sounds awesome! I love cilantro lime anything and it’s always nice to have a protein option at parties.
Cilantro + Lime = one of the best flavor combos! I’m right there with you!
I love shrimp and I’m with Emily, cilantro lime anything is the jam!!! Thank you for making a gluten free dairy free hors d’oeurve. I can’t wait to make it! xo
Hope you love it, Darby!
Just a quick suggestion about your writing- your sentences can seem like run on sentences. The point about making it dairy and gluten free seemed like it could be made into at least two sentences, or just leave out the part about your friend breastfeeding. Then the sentence after that is like a whole paragraph. I don’t mean to seem too critical, it’s just something I’ve noticed over the last couple months
Thanks for the feedback, Kate! I absolutely see what you mean and updated those two paragraphs to help the reader “breathe” through my writing. I definitely seem to gravitate toward cramming a lot in a single sentence and will keep your feedback in mind moving forward.
Cilantro and lime on shrimp is so good! I need to try that sea salt!
This looks so good and so easy that I might just make it for myself this weekend. Just because :p
I don’t like shrimp but this recipie actually makes me want to try it again – how do you make everything look so good!? ? I’m suggesting this recipie to my mom since she always puts out shrimp cocktail on Christmas Day!
This sounds like a delicious twist on traditional shrimp cocktail. Since my family is Italian I’m partial to the big antipasti plates at parties, or basically any type of dip!
Caitlin Edwards says
Looks delicious! I love shrimp!! I also like mini quiches at holiday parties! Yum!
Mini quiches are so good! Agreed!!
Perfect timing… I was just looking for an easy and somewhat healthy appetizer to bring to a party tomorrow and this will be perfect!
Woop! Love it when that happens! Enjoy your party!
I’m all about rye boat dips. I once looked at the serving size, which is like…2 tbsp..Who eats only 2 tbsp of that dip?! SO good!! I also always enjoy a good ole cheese & crackers, deviled eggs, & a spinach & artichoke dip.
reminds me of the serving size on ice cream… 1/2 cup!? puh-lease!
Becki E says
Julie – thank you for another great recipe! Also – for bringing awareness to making an appetizer that someone who has a restricted diet can also eat. As a parent of a child with severe food allergies, we always appreciate the extra effort a friend puts in to make a food item he can eat. You truly are a very caring and thoughtful friend
Nina @waveforwellness.com says
We always have some kind of carpaccio or other raw meat as an appetizer for new years eve but since i’m pregnant this year the option is off the table for me. The shrimp would be a great alternative, thanks for the suggestion!
I just found your recipe for the Celantro Lime Shrimp… It is on my next shopping trip,…in BULK ! I am trying to lose another 20 pounds before my knee replacement. The ATKINS Diet is the ONLY way for me to do that… andddddd this recipe is 100 % ATKINS LEGAL at all phases of the diet ! We are allowed the juice of 1 lime or lemon a day, so as long as ” we ” use the cucumber and toss the crackers at the family dog…I can LIVE on just this ,…until the whole 20 pounds are gone !! I love it ! Thanks so much !!
Chris Baum says
Hey Julie-looking for the actual recipe for this appetizer. I seem to recall it being available in the post at one time, as I have made it before. I am not a confident cook, so I do rely on recipes. I hope you can repost the recipe soon. The holidays are coming and as you wrote-it is the PERFECT appetizer to share at a party.
Robyn Calkins says
Any suggestions on amounts of each to use or a recipe? Did I miss it? Thanks! Love the blog!
Hi – I see all the ingredients but I don’t see the actual recipe, am I missing something? Thanks, Julie!
Hey Julie, I was going to use this recipe but don’t see it above? I see a few people also commented on this, but I wasn’t sure if you took it down for some reason. thanks!
Ah! I’ve been meaning to get it back up! I hired someone to transfer all of my recipes into a printer-friendly plug-in and this one apparently got deleted but never updated. I’ll try to have it fixed ASAP!
Cindy B says
Any idea how many (approximately) this recipe would serve? I understand it’s hard to gauge how much each person would take, but on average can you estimate? Thanks – looks delicious!