This 10-minute shrimp dip appetizer layers cold cream cheese with jarred cocktail sauce and pre-cooked shrimp. It’s a terrific party appetizer that’s flavour-filled and tossed together with minimal time and effort. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers for dipping! Recipe yields 8 servings.
When you need a quick appetizer and don’t want to pull out a mixer, a layered cold shrimp dip is the way to go. Who doesn’t love the classic combo of spicy cocktail sauce and shrimp.
Even though there’s not much to this shrimp appetizer, it’s still scrumptious! It’s always one of the first things to go at any party or potluck. My secret is using only cream cheese as the base. No sour cream, parmesan cheese, or mayonnaise needed for this cold shrimp dip, save those for a cold corn dip.
Start with a layer of cream cheese and then add a layer of cocktail sauce. You can get creative from here, but my favorites are black olives, green onions, cooked shrimp and then cheddar cheese.
You can throw in some diced jalapeno, to make it spicier or adjust the layers depending on what your preferences are. Just let the cream cheese come to room temperature to make it easier to scoop out on your favorite chip or cracker.
Since we get fresh shrimp from the coast, it’s a staple in our house. Whether in shrimp quesadillas, added to carbonara, roasted with asparagus, or pan fried in Buffalo Sauce we can’t get enough of it. This appetizer has everything you love about a shrimp cocktail but in dip form.
The cream cheese base makes it a great spread for crackers, or crostini. But salty tortillas chips are pretty tasty. Try serving this along with a hot onion dip and strawberry pretzel crostinis for those occasions when you are making multiple appetizers for entertaining.
Why make cream cheese shrimp dip?
- This easy appetizer calls for only six ingredients and no advanced planning
- It’s a great party food for game days or any other special event
- Easily serve with your favorite crackers or fresh veggies
- A quick appetizer you can make in under 10 minutes
- Saves well in the fridge
- No food processor, or mixer required
What pairs well with cold shrimp dip?
Almost any type of cracker or chip will go well with this creamy dip. My favorites are pita chips, Triscuit crackers, Ritz crackers, or even crostini. In addition to crackers, celery sticks, red bell pepper, or carrots are also sturdy enough to scoop up a mouthful.
Ingredients you’ll need for a cold shrimp dip with cream cheese
- Cream cheese – One 8oz block of cream cheese at room temperature so that it is easy to spread into the bottom of your dish.
- Cocktail Sauce – You can make your own cocktail sauce with ketchup, horseradish, and worcestershire sauce or you can use a pre-made sauce at the store.
- Green onions – Adding green onions to your dip is such a simple step that adds so much flavor.
- Black olives – You either love or hate black olives so these are completely optional.
- Shrimp – Any size of cooked shrimp will work. However, tiny shrimp are the cutest! Do not use canned shrimp for this recipe.
- Cheese – Freshly grated cheddar cheese has the most flavor and yields the best results.
Easy steps for shrimp dip
Step 1: Spread Cream Cheese
Using a butter knife, spread the cream cheese onto the bottom of a glass pie pan or baking dish. Make sure the cream cheese is spread in an even layer.
Step 2: Add the layers
Start by adding the cocktail sauce on top of the cream cheese.
Once evenly spread, add green onions, black olives.
Add cooked shrimp and lastly, sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Pro tip: If you’re someone who likes a bit of spice, feel free to add cajun seasoning, chili sauce, or a dash of hot sauce to this dip. You can also add some extra flavor by adding onion powder, garlic powder, old bay seasoning, or chopped parsley to the cream cheese mixture.
Shrimp appetizer FAQs
Fresh or frozen shrimp?
If you choose fresh shrimp for this dip, you will need to cook it first. With all the other flavors going on, frozen cooked shrimp works great for this recipe.
How long does shrimp dip last in the fridge?
Leftover dip only lasts about 2-3 days in the fridge. Make sure you store it in an airtight container for maximum freshness. Additionally, I do not recommend freezing as the cream cheese will develop an unpleasant texture.
How do you serve cold shrimp dip at a party?
If you’re letting this dip sit out at room temperature for longer than 1-2 hours, I recommend placing the dish over a large platter or bowl lined with ice. This will chill the deep, keeping it fresh for your guests.
More appetizers you’ll love
- This white queso dip recipe tastes just like the one served at Mexican restaurants
- Nothing beats buffalo chicken bites on game day
- If you haven’t tried stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, you’re missing out
- These stuffed roasted peppers are packed with spicy sausage, creamy cheese, and make a great appetizer
Shrimp recipes to try next
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10-Minute Cream Cheese, Cocktail Sauce & Shrimp Dip
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup cocktail sauce
- ½ cup green onions
- ½ cup black olives
- 1 cup cooked shrimp
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- Spread the cream cheese in an even layer in a glass pie pan or 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
- Spread the cocktail sauce on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle green onions on next, then black olives, then chopped shrimp. Finish with a layer of cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- It will be easier to assemble if you let the cream cheese come to room temperature.
- Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before ready to serve so that the cream cheese can soften.
- You can use any size shrimp for this recipe, just chop it into small bite size pieces.