Spicy Cajun shrimp are paired with creamy guacamole and tortilla chips for a delicious game day appetizer that’s packed with flavor and contrasting textures. Even better, these Cajun shrimp guacamole tortilla bites are a cinch to make!
Easy Cajun Shrimp Appetizer
Have you fallen into an appetizer rut? Do you serve the same chips-and-salsa combo every time you have guests? Well, it’s time to shake things up with my Cajun shrimp guacamole tortilla bites!
Consider this easy appetizer fusion cuisine at its finest. We start with juicy sautéed Cajun shrimp—these alone would be a delicious app. But do we stop there? Oh no, we’re going to take things to the next level!
The Cajun shrimp is nestled atop a glorious dollop of creamy homemade guacamole, and the guacamole is spooned over a crispy-crunchy tortilla chip. The Cajun-Mexican mashup works amazingly well, with the guac taming some of the heat from the shrimp and the crunchy tortilla chips as the perfect vehicle to bring it all together—and into your mouth.
I’d call this a one-bite appetizer, but let’s be real: after one bite, you’re going to want to follow up with at least 10 more.
What You’ll Need
While the ingredient quantities and full recipe instructions are below, let’s talk a little more about what you’ll need to make this Cajun shrimp appetizer.
For the Cajun shrimp:
- Large shrimp – You’ll want large shrimp, but not so large that they don’t fit on your tortilla chips.
- Paprika – There’s already a lot of heat in this recipe, so I recommend using sweet paprika rather than hot.
- Cayenne pepper – And here’s the heat! Feel free to use more or less, depending on your tolerance for spicy food.
- Dried thyme
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Cooking oil – Olive oil, avocado oil, or whatever you have on hand and like to use for sautéing.
- Guacamole – I love to use my homemade basil guacamole, but you can save yourself prep time and use store-bought instead.
- Tortilla chips – Choose a sturdy variety that will stand up to the shrimp and guac!
How Do You Clean and Prepare Shrimp?
Start by rinsing the shrimp under cold water. Then, hold the tail in one hand and use your other thumb and index finger to pinch and pull off the outer shell of the shrimp.
If you see a dark vein running down the back of the peeled shrimp, that’s its digestive tract. To remove it, use a paring knife to make a shallow slit along the length of the vein and then pull it out with your fingers. Easy!
How to Make Cajun Shrimp Guacamole Tortilla Bites
I promised you an easy appetizer, and now it’s time to deliver! These Cajun shrimp guacamole tortilla bites take minutes to make.
- Season the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and add the paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Cook the shrimp. Warm the oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Assemble. Make the guacamole, if you’re using homemade. Arrange 16 tortilla chips on a platter or serving tray. Spoon guacamole onto each chip, then place a Cajun shrimp on top.
These simple tips will help you make sure your Cajun shrimp tortilla bites turn out perfect!
- Make sure the oil is hot. Add the shrimp to the skillet once your oil is shimmering and cook them on one side for a few minutes before flipping them over. This will help create a nice caramelization on the outside of the shrimp.
- Know when the shrimp is done cooking. Cook the shrimp until it’s pink and no longer translucent; it should be slightly firm, but not tough and rubbery.
- Cut the carbs. For a lower-calorie, low-carb version of this recipe, you can skip the tortilla chips and serve the shrimp with guacamole in lettuce leaves or on cucumber slices.
More Ways to Use Cajun Shrimp
If you have any leftover Cajun shrimp after making this appetizer, there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them. Here are a few ideas:
- Add the cooked shrimp to salads, tacos, or wraps.
- Make a Cajun shrimp and grits dish with some creamy, cheesy grits.
- Serve the cooked Cajun shrimp with a bowl of creamy fettuccine Alfredo.
- Use them in dirty rice or jambalaya.
How to Store Cajun Shrimp
If you want to make the shrimp ahead of time, let them completely cool after cooking. Place the shrimp in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and heavy duty aluminum foil. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; reheat in a 300ºF oven or in a skillet until the shrimp reach 145ºF.
Can I Freeze the Cooked Shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze cooked Cajun shrimp. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator or place the bag in a bowl of cold water until thawed. Once thawed, heat before serving.
More Reader-Favorite Shrimp Recipes
- Baked Batter “Fried” Shrimp
- Olives Aioli Dip with Battered Shrimp
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- Shrimp Scampi
- Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Shrimp
Cajun Shrimp and Guacamole Tortilla Bites
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 16 tortilla chips
- Place shrimp in a large bowl and add paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper; mix to combine.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add shrimp to skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and no longer transparent.
- Remove from heat and set shrimp aside.
- Prepare the guacamole.
- Lay out 16 tortilla chips and spread guacamole over each chip.
- Top with prepared shrimp.
- If you want to make the shrimp ahead of time, after cooking, let shrimp completely cool.
- Place shrimp in airtight containers OR wrap tightly with plastic wrap and heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.