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White bowl showing Spicy Southwestern Shrimp Appetizer

Southwest Shrimp Recipe

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Are you tired of serving the same old shrimp cocktail? If so, then it’s time to spice things up with this delicious and easy Spicy Southwestern Shrimp Appetizer. This recipe is packed with bold and flavorful ingredients that will give your guests something to talk about. Not only is it a tasty alternative to traditional shrimp cocktail, but it’s also a breeze to prepare. So, whether you’re hosting a dinner party, game night, or just looking for a new and exciting appetizer, this Spicy Southwestern Shrimp is sure to be a hit.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Marinading Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 6 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6; can easily be doubled or tripled 1x


  • 1 pound large (21 to 30 per pound) raw shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails intact
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon red chili flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Soak 6 to 8 (10 to 12-inch) long wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sherry, garlic, cumin, salt, red chili flakes and Tabasco. Place sauce in a medium-size zip top baggie and add shrimp. Place in refrigerator to marinade for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Don’t leave any longer – or the lime juice will start to cook the shrimp!
  4. While the shrimp are marinating, make the garnish: in a small mixing bowl, stir together the chopped red pepper and cilantro.
  5. Preheat grill or boiler to high. If broiling, make sure oven rack is 5 to 6 inches from heat element.
  6. Thread about 4 or 5 shrimp on each skewer, piercing through the head and just above the the tail of each shrimp, so they form a “u” on the skewer.
  7. If grilling: carefully brush grill with vegetable or canola oil and grill shrimp skewers, uncovered, for 3 minutes. When the shrimp no longer stick to the grill surface, flip over. Grill for an additional 2 to 4 minutes or until cooked through (watch carefully so they don’t burn).
  8. If broiling: Place skewers on a foil-lined cookie sheet and broil for 2 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until pink and cooked through around another 2 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn or get overcooked.
  9. Remove shrimp from skewers, place on a serving platter or in a shallow bowl and garnish with pepper-cilantro mixture. Can also serve with some/all of the garnish on the side. Serve hot.
  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Easy appetizers, Seafood, Gluten free