Chili Lime Shrimp is a fantastic way to spice up the appetizer table at your next cocktail or holiday party! Dip them into the savory cilantro yogurt sauce.
We often make a plate of these Chili Lime Shrimp to snack on while watching football or hockey (or bingeing on Netflix!) They take just a couple of minutes to cook and are fantastic eaten alone or when dipped into the cilantro yogurt sauce.
I’m looking forward to the day when we can all gather again for parties. And I always have to remind myself what cocktail and holiday parties should be about – catching up with friends, getting in the holiday spirit and, well, cocktails. What they definitely shouldn’t be about – slaving away over trays and trays of appetizers while the party happens without you.
One of the keys to easy party prep is choosing appetizers that have some make-ahead components, whether that’s a sauce that can whisked together earlier in the day, like this cilantro yogurt sauce, or chopping that can be done hours ahead of the party, like for these easy phyllo cups.
What you need for these Chili Lime Shrimp:
These are the main components for this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Shrimp: You’ll need large shrimp (usually labeled as 31/35).
- Chili powder: Found in any grocery store or online.
- Limes: Lime juice and lime zest are used for the shrimp and the yogurt sauce.
- Garlic: Two cloves for the shrimp and one for the sauce.
- Yogurt: I like to use whole milk Greek yogurt for the sauce, but feel free to substitute with nonfat plain Greek yogurt.
- Cilantro: Minced and added to the sauce. If cilantro isn’t your thing, substitute with a half and half mixture of parsley and chives.
How to make chili lime shrimp:
- It really doesn’t take much to impart flavor into sautéed shrimp. In the case of these chili lime shrimp, a sprinkle of chili powder, along with lime zest, garlic and salt, then a squeeze of lime juice at the end do the trick.
- Start by peeling the shrimp, except for the tail. Leave that intact so you can pick up the shrimp easily with your fingers.
- Combine the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings, and let rest for 15 minutes. This will allow those flavors to start seeping into the shrimp.
- One tip for ensuring that the shrimp are plump and tender? Don’t overcook them! They truly only need a couple of minutes to cook when using a hot pan (my favorite: this nonstick Everyday Pan). Anything longer than that will turn the shrimp into rubbery little specimens. Say no to rubbery shrimp!
Frequently asked questions:
Can they be made ahead of time?
These shrimp can be served either hot out of the pan or at room temperature, so there’s no need to panic if you can’t get them to the table as soon as they’re cooked. My family will tell you that they’re truly great either way.
I snacked on the hot shrimp right when I made (and photographed) them around lunchtime and my family gobbled up the rest just before dinnertime, after the shrimp were refrigerated for a few hours.
How far ahead can the sauce be made?
The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tools used for this recipe:
- Nonstick Everyday Pan: I use this for everything! It's fantastic for skillet meals, one-pot recipes and so much more.
- Microplane/zester: I use this for zesting citrus and grating garlic for the sauce.
- Tongs: I have four pairs of these tongs in different sizes. They're so easy to manipulate and I will truly never go back to any other type of tong.
Other easy appetizer recipes:
Chili Lime Shrimp Recipe with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, lime zest and salt. Toss to combine. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick skilletover medium-high heat. Add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the shrimp and stir to coat.
- Transfer the shrimp to a serving platter. Serve with the yogurt sauce.
- The sauce:
- In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, cilantro, milk, lime juice, garlic, honey and salt.
This post was first published on November 7, 2016 and updated on December 21, 2020.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.