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Quick Shrimp Appetizers

by Carlye Jones

Shrimp makes an elegant and delicious appetizer without a lot of time or work. It also can be prepared hundreds of different ways, making it simple to find a recipe that matches with almost any main dish or with the theme of a party. Many shrimp appetizers can be thrown together at the last minute, making them great for busy days.

Grilled

Grilled shrimp on a skewer takes only a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes of cooking time. Pair the shrimp with different foods to create a variety of appetizers. Add vegetables, such as onion, bell pepper and zucchini squash, or fruit, such as mango and pineapple. Wrap the shrimp in bacon before grilling for extra flavor. Alternate the shrimp with other meat, such as beef, chicken or salmon.

Salad

Salad featuring shrimp makes a cool appetizer for summer without a lot of time or work. Add cooked shrimp to a green tossed salad, to thick salsa or to a macaroni salad. A shrimp salad with creamy dressing and fresh vegetables is quick to prepare, especially with pre-chopped packaged vegetables. Shrimp ceviche is also a snap to make, requiring only a little chopping and tossing together the ingredients.

Dipping

Pre-cooked cold shrimp with a dipping sauce is one of the quickest appetizers to put together. Shrimp cocktail is a classic. The cocktail sauce is easy to mix, or can be bought pre-made, and the shrimp is simply added to it. Garlic butter is wonderful for dipping shrimp, and other quick dipping sauces include cheese, ginger, and spicy peanut. These sauces are simple to prepare and can be made several days in advance, then stored in the refrigerator until needed. Try using varieties of creamy salad dressing or dressing and dip mixes for shrimp dipping sauces.

Sautéed

Shrimp takes just minutes to sauté, and preparation is minimal. Nearly any flavor imaginable can be added to coordinate with the rest of the meal. Garlic sautéed shrimp is a traditional favorite appetizer, but orange-glazed, pineapple, and red pepper sautéed shrimp are all flavorful options. Use a convenient package of dry dressing and seasoning mix for an instant flavor boost. This kind of shrimp dish can be made moments before serving, so it's a go-to method for a last-minute appetizer.

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