The Best Shrimp Appetizers

by Carol Stanley

Simple cold shrimp is often a favorite.

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The best shrimp appetizers are ones that are easy to make and composed of tender and succulent shrimp. Whether served cold or hot, shrimp is often a crowd-pleaser. Shrimp can be teamed with many different spices and ingredients to make a tasty hot or cold appetizer. Along with being versatile, shrimp is low in calories and fat.

Cold Shrimp

Make a simple platter of cooked shrimp and add a bowl of cocktail sauce in the middle. Properly chill the shrimp in the fridge and serve over ice to keep fresh. Either use a ready-made tomato based cocktail sauce or make a sour cream and mayonnaise dip with garlic, basil and oregano or a dip of olive oil, lemon juice, fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese. Marinate shrimp, celery chunks and black olives in olive oil, fresh dill, garlic and lemon juice for several hours and serve over ice.

Hot Shrimp Appetizers

Deep fried shrimp stuffed with jalapeno peppers and wrapped in bacon will surely get rave reviews from your guests. Another hot appetizer coats shrimp with shredded coconut and a pinch of cayenne pepper that is then baked for several minutes until tender. Take large shrimp and quartered artichoke hearts and cover them generously with toasted breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle some garlic butter and Parmesan cheese over the top and pop into a pre-heated oven for several minutes.

Skewered Shrimp

Serve up small skewers of shrimp for an easy to fix and tasty appetizer. Marinate your raw shrimp in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for several hours in the fridge. Fire up the barbecue or broil in the oven. Skewer the shrimp and cook until pink and tender. For an added taste, skewer some mushrooms, peppers and onions as well.

Shrimp Sauces and Dips

Whip up shrimp salsa that you can dip with veggies, chips or small crackers. Open a can of shrimp or use fresh salad shrimp and add chopped red onion, cilantro, lime juice and fresh garlic and chill for several hours. Combine small shrimp, cream cheese, onions and peppers and bake for 20 minutes and serve with whole grain crackers. Take fresh or canned shrimp and mash into fresh butter and garlic. Refrigerate until firm and serve on a platter with different crackers. Mix a can of shrimp and crab meat with cream cheese, garlic and curry -- serve either hot or cold with crostini or small crackers.

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About the Author

Carol Stanley has been a writer and speaker for over 30 years. She has written for several Arizona publications including the "Arizona Republic." She attended the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Arizona. She authored the book "For Kids 59.99 & Over," among other publications.