Shrimp Avocado Ceviche is The Ultimate Warm Weather Meal – Light, Fresh, & Flavorful!
On a hot peak summer day – the kind of day that’s way too warm to think about cooking (or even eating a big meal for that matter!) – all I want at dinnertime is something snacky, light, & cold. Shrimp avocado ceviche is the perfect solution! Not only does it require zero cooking, but it’s also the kind of super fresh, feel-good food that provides a little relief when you feel drained from the summer heat.
Aside from giving the shrimp time to marinate & “cook” (through a cool process called denaturation – more on this below! 🤓), this shrimp ceviche recipe is almost entirely hands-off. A low-effort dinner dream! After a few hours of chilling in the fridge, toss the marinated shrimp with some tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, & avocado, then serve cold. The result is a delicious balance of lean protein & veggies, perfect for sharing with a crowd or enjoying as tacos or tostadas.
If ceviche is new to you then you’re in for a real treat! This low-effort & super flavorful Latin American seafood dish is one of the best things to enjoy during the summer. You’re going to LOVE it!
Shrimp Ceviche Recipe Highlights
You’ll love this shrimp ceviche with avocado because it’s…
- LIGHT & FRESH. Bright citrus, tender shrimp, & ripe avocado create a crave-worthy blend of light & fresh flavors & textures. Chilled shrimp ceviche is the perfect dish for a hot summer day!
- TOTALLY LOW-EFFORT. This shrimp ceviche recipe requires zero cooking. Simply prep the shrimp, let it marinate, & toss it with a few simple add-ins. Simple yet completely satisfying!
- YOUR SUMMER HERO. I love eating shrimp avocado ceviche as a light summer dinner, but it’s also the perfect snack or appetizer for a summer picnic, beach day, or backyard hang. The perfect fresh-yet-satisfying recipe for when it’s too hot to cook!
Built for summertime! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Simple, Citrusy Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Before We Get Started…What is Ceviche & How Do You Make It?
Ceviche (pronounced “seh-VEE-chay” & also spelled seviche or cebiche) is a Latin American dish of raw fish, shrimp, or shellfish marinated in citrus juice. Other ingredients like onions, chile, & herbs are also frequently included. Peru claims the origins of ceviche (it’s the country’s official national dish!) & traditionally makes it with sea bass, lime juice, onion, chile, sweet potatoes, & corn. Ceviche is also enjoyed by many countries in South America, Latin America, & the Caribbean – everyone has their own delicious spin on it!
How does ceviche work? ⇢ The brilliance of ceviche comes from a process called denaturation. When fish marinates in acidic citrus juice, the long chains of amino acids in the protein break apart or “denature.” As the amino acids reconfigure it changes the texture & appearance of the fish. This is the exact same reaction that happens when you cook with heat…but in ceviche, it happens through the acidity of fresh citrus! 🤓
What’s the result? ⇢ As it marinates, the raw fish firms up & changes to a more opaque color. It looks cooked, still retaining a fresh raw fish flavor & tender texture. Marinating also releases the natural fish juices to mingle with the citrus & create a flavorful ceviche “broth” enjoyed with the meal.
So what is shrimp ceviche, then? ⇢ This shrimp ceviche recipe uses the same denaturation process to transform raw shrimp into partially cooked shrimp ceviche. Ecuadorian & Mexican ceviche recipes commonly use shrimp.
Hold up…is shrimp ceviche raw? ⇢ It’s a little in-between! 😆 Shrimp ceviche isn’t technically cooked, but it’s not exactly raw either. When raw shrimp marinates in acidic citrus juice it turns opaque, almost as if it was cooked. The benefit of partially “cooking” shrimp ceviche is it results in super tender & super flavorful shrimp. If you prefer to make your ceviche with pre-cooked shrimp for peace of mind, you definitely can – check the Recipe Notes, below, for guidance.
Key Ingredients for Simple Shrimp Ceviche
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
I love this shrimp ceviche recipe because it simply highlights beautiful, fresh ingredients. You need less than 10 ingredients to get started…
- Shrimp – I use extra-large shrimp & recommend buying fresh if you have access to good-quality options. Since that can be hard to find here in Minnesota, I often buy frozen shrimp & thaw it in the refrigerator the day before I plan to prep shrimp ceviche.
- Citrus – Fresh citrus juice is essential for making the shrimp ceviche magic happen. ✨ This recipe uses a combination of orange & lime for a really nice, bright flavor that’s not too harsh or acidic. For maximum citrusy flavor, be sure to make use of the fruits’ zest, too!
- Jalapeños – For a little kick! Leave all the seeds in if you like a spicy ceviche or feel free to remove them if you prefer less heat.
- Fresh ceviche add-ins – I like to fold cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, & avocado into this shrimp ceviche. These aren’t all traditional add-ins, but I appreciate how they bulk up the ceviche, stretching out a pretty humble amount of shrimp into a really satisfying & colorful dish.
- Cilantro – Chop both the cilantro leaves & tender stems for ease. Feel free to omit it if you’re not a fan!
Best Shrimp for Ceviche
Fresh vs frozen shrimp. ⇢ Sourcing high-quality shrimp is really important when making shrimp ceviche. Fresh is definitely best but, especially here in the Midwest, using frozen shrimp gives you a lot more control. (Most fresh shrimp at the grocery store, for example, is previously frozen!) If you’re far from the coasts & you’re not going to a high-end seafood market, then I recommend picking up a bag of frozen shrimp for this recipe.
Thawing frozen shrimp. ⇢ The fastest way to safely thaw frozen shrimp is to place them in a zip-top bag & submerge in cool water. The steady, cool temperature of the water creates a really controlled environment for the frozen shrimp to come up to room temperature. This is better from a food safety standpoint, since it limits bacterial growth. Refresh the water every 10 minutes or so, until the shrimp are completely thawed – 25-30 minutes, tops!
Prefer not to use raw shrimp? ⇢ If it gives you peace of mind, feel free to use pre-cooked shrimp in this ceviche recipe. Pre-cooked shrimp is readily available at most grocery stores, though you can also very easily poach raw shrimp yourself. To do so, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the shrimp, then cover & remove from the heat. Let the pot stand for 3 minutes before transferring the shrimp to an ice bath & proceeding with shrimp ceviche prep.
How to Make Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado (No Cooking Required!)
This shrimp ceviche recipe is SIMPLE – one of many reasons why I love it on a hot summer day! It comes together with just about 25 minutes of hands-on prep & there’s no heat required!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepare the shrimp. Thoroughly cleaning your shrimp is an important first step. Start by giving the shrimp a good rinse, then peel & devein as necessary. If they’re still present, remove the tails, too! From there, cut the shrimp into small bite-sized pieces that easily fit in a spoon or on a crispy tortilla chip. I like to cut the shrimp in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 4 or 5 pieces.
Marinate the shrimp. Shrimp ceviche citrus marinade is made from a combination of the zest & fresh juice of limes & oranges. Pour the mixture over the cut shrimp so every piece is fully coated, then let the bowl sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour. How to know if shrimp ceviche is “cooked”? ⇢ The shrimp’s appearance transforms from translucent to a more opaque color that resembles cooked shrimp.
Assemble the ceviche & chill. Once the shrimp is opaque, assemble the ceviche by folding in the add-ins. Add cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, & cilantro into the bowl with the shrimp & gently stir to combine. Once mixed, cover the bowl & put the shrimp ceviche back in the refrigerator. Why? ⇢ Ceviche is best served chilled – giving it some time to sit & rest in the fridge to chill all the components & allows all their flavors to meld together.
Add the avocado & serve. When you’re ready to eat, take the shrimp ceviche out of the fridge. It should be nice & cold! Gently fold in the diced avocado & it’s good to go! Why? ⇢ Avocado’s bright green color & tender texture is affected by the amount of acid in the ceviche marinade, so it’s best to wait just before serving to add it to the shrimp ceviche.
Meal Prep Tip
Since there’s a bit of inactive resting time involved in making shrimp ceviche, you can easily tackle parts of it in advance. The night before you’d like to serve shrimp ceviche with avocado (or the morning of!), either marinate the shrimp or assemble the ceviche. Let it chill all day long, & at dinnertime all you have to do is fold in the avocado – easy! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep guidance.
Serving Suggestions! How to Eat Shrimp Ceviche
My favorite way to eat shrimp ceviche with avocado is as a snacky kind of dinner. All I need is a big bag of tortilla or plantain chips & a bowl of chilled shrimp ceviche to dip & I’m happy! This is also a fun way to serve shrimp avocado ceviche as a summer shareable with friends.
If you’d like to make it more of a meal, go for it! Stuff the shrimp ceviche with avocado into flour or corn tortillas for chilled summer tacos. You can also crisp up a corn tortilla in some oil on the stovetop to serve shrimp ceviche tostadas. 😍
Leftovers & Storage
How long is shrimp ceviche good for? ⇢ Shrimp ceviche with avocado is always best enjoyed the day it’s assembled. You can also eat any leftover shrimp avocado ceviche within a few days of preparing. FYI – the avocado may start to turn brown & soft with time. It’s not as pretty, but still totally edible. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more storage guidance!
I can’t wait for you to try this Citrusy, Simple Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado! It’s light, bright, & couldn’t be easier to prepare – the perfect summer meal! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡
More Recipes Like This:
Quick & Simple Seafood Dinners
On a hot peak summer day – the kind of day that’s way too warm to think about cooking or even eating a big meal for that matter! – all I want at dinnertime is something snacky, light, & cold. Shrimp avocado ceviche is the perfect solution. It’s super fresh, totally feel-good, & there’s zero heat involved!
The magic of ceviche happens through a killer ceviche marinade. I like using a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice & lime juice for bright, rounded flavor that’s not too harsh or tart. Since there’s a bit of juicing involved, it’s really handy to use an electric citrus juicer like the one linked below. (Be sure to read through the blog post, above, to learn more about ceviche!)
The shrimp “cooks” in the marinade in about an hour, at which point I like to fold a few add-ins into the mix: cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, & cilantro. While they’re not all traditionally found in ceviche, I appreciate how they bulk up this particular recipe, stretching out a pretty humble amount of shrimp into a really satisfying & colorful dish.
Just before serving, fold in the avocado, & enjoy with tortilla chips or plantain chips for a beautiful light & cold summer dinner. Refer to the blog post, above, for some other serving suggestions!
- 1 pound extra large shrimp (U/26-30), peeled & deveined (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 teaspoon each orange zest & lime zest
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (approx. 5 juicy limes)
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (approx. 1 juicy orange)
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 large jalapeños, deseeded as desired & diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves & tender stems, finely chopped (approx. 1/4 cup chopped)
- 1 avocado, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: tortilla chips, plantain chips, etc.
- Prepare the shrimp: If present, remove the tails from the shrimp. Slice each shrimp in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 4-5 small bite-sized pieces. Place the chopped shrimp in a large bowl. Add in the lime zest & orange zest & season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully stir in the lime juice & orange juice, coating the shrimp in the citrus well. Cover & transfer to the refrigerator to chill until the shrimp are opaque, at least 1 hour.
- Assemble the ceviche: Once the shrimp are opaque, remove from the refrigerator & assemble the ceviche. Gently fold in the cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeño & cilantro. Taste & season with additional salt as needed. Cover & transfer to the refrigerator, just until chilled or up to overnight.
- Serving shrimp ceviche: Just before serving, remove from the refrigerator. Gently fold in the avocado. Taste & season with additional salt as needed. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or plantain chips as desired. Enjoy!
- Raw vs cooked shrimp: Traditional ceviche makes use of raw fish or seafood, cooking it in an acidic marinade through a process called denaturation. (Refer to the blog post, above, to learn more!) I like to stick with tradition here, especially since the shrimp retains a beautiful tender texture for the ceviche. If you prefer to make ceviche with cooked shrimp, you definitely can. Grab pre-cooked shrimp from the store or gently cook it yourself via a quick poach. To poach, simply bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the shrimp, then immediately cover & remove from the heat. Let the pot stand for 3 minutes, at which point the shrimp should be cooked through. Transfer the poached shrimp to an ice bath to chill, then proceed with the Step 1 of Recipe Directions, above. Rather than letting the shrimp soak in the marinade for an hour before adding the remaining ingredients, skip right ahead to assembly in Step 2.
- Storage: Once assembled (through Step 3), this shrimp ceviche is best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days – the color & texture of the avocado may change some, but the ceviche will still be perfectly edible.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: Most of the active work involved in prepping this shrimp ceviche recipe comes from chopping the veggies. Prep them in advance – slice the tomatoes, dice the onion & peppers – & store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to assemble the ceviche, simply fold them all in – easy! (approx. 15 minutes active)
Keywords: ceviche recipe, shrimp ceviche, seafood ceviche, marinated shrimp ceviche
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil