Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Sweet, tart, spicy, and crunchy — this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail hits all the right notes!

Have you ever gone to brunch at a restaurant with a build your own Bloody Mary bar and loaded up your glass with everything they had? That’s what Mexican shrimp cocktail reminds me of, only without the booze — or the guilt of taking all of the shrimp. Sorry, not sorry.

Most people describe this classic appetizer as a cross between shrimp cocktail and ceviche. It’s a little sweet, a little tart, a little spicy, and a little crunchy. Like the shrimp cocktail most Americans are familiar with, Mexican shrimp cocktail features shrimp in a spicy, tomato sauce. Instead of horseradish though, this recipe gets its heat from jalapeno peppers.

But it doesn’t end there! In addition to shrimp, coctel de camerones is loaded with crunchy celery, cucumber, and red onion. It’s basically a full-on salad. It’s usually served as an appetizer, but can easily double as a light lunch.

Should I use cooked shrimp or raw shrimp?

Unlike ceviche, which is a salad made from raw fish that gets “cooked” by its acidic marinade, you’ll want to use cooked shrimp in this recipe. To keep things simple, I buy shrimp already cooked. Uncooked shrimp is usually cheaper, so if you want to cook your own, you can follow these instructions for how to cook shrimp from frozen.

What is Clamato?

Clamato is a drink made from tomato juice and clam juice. It’s more seasoned than regular tomato juice and has a rich, salty flavor. No, it doesn’t taste like fish! A lot of people really like the flavor that it adds to Mexican shrimp cocktail. But if you’re not feeling it, go ahead and use regular tomato juice or even V8. It will still be delicious.

How long can I keep this in the fridge?

Once prepared, Mexican shrimp cocktail will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container!

What should I serve Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with?

Traditionally, coctel de camerones is served with saltine crackers. You can also serve it with tortilla chips — or just eat it with a spoon.



Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camarones)

  • Author: Lauren Keating
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour (refrigerated)
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Sweet, tart, spicy, and crunchy — this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail hits all the right notes!


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Clamato juice or tomato juice
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb. medium cooked shrimp
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, clamato, lime juice, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to help the flavors come together.
  4. Add additional hot sauce and lime juice to taste.