Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Chipotle Aioli is an easy, fool-proof, and updated version of classic shrimp cocktail. Instead of poaching, the shrimp are quickly roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for an instant upgrade in flavor. The garlic-infused chipotle dipping sauce is the perfect compliment! 

The recipe for this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Chipotle Aioli is one of the first recipes I published back in 2013. Today I’ve updated the photos, tweaked the recipe a bit, and it’s ready to be shared again!

I’ve been borderline obsessed with Mexican food as of late. Enchiladas, tacos, nachos – you name, I’ve made it or eaten it. I didn’t even realize today’s post had Mexican flavors laced throughout it until I was typing up the recipe and noticed most of the key ingredients were typical of a Mexican dish. Go figure. Even when I’m not thinking Mexican, I’m thinking Mexican. Just as the heart wants what the heart wants, the stomach wants what the stomach wants.

 

Why Shrimp Cocktail?

This recipe came about as I was brainstorming food ideas for a get-together Kevin and I were hosting. I needed an easy-different-inexpensive appetizer that would appeal to all of the vastly different palates that would be attending. We had guests who love everything, and guests who love nothing. Guests who prefer savory and guests who prefer sweet. I think that’s probably the hardest thing about serving a large group of people, each person has their own idea of what’s tasty. Because of this, I have a go-to-no-fail dish I nearly always serve at parties – shrimp cocktail.

I’ve found that shrimp cocktail is one of those universally loved appetizers and is undoubtedly the first thing to be gobbled up at parties. Of course I can’t leave the tried-and- true classic alone, so I’m always trying to come up with new inventive spins on it. So far I’ve toyed with this shrimp cocktail with green goddess dip, a Thai-style shrimp cocktail with peanut dipping sauce, and today, we have roasted shrimp cocktail with chipotle dipping sauce – arguably my favorite to date.

The trick of roasting shrimp for shrimp cocktail instead of poaching the shrimp actually came from Ina Garten. I mean, it makes sense, why poach shrimp, when you can upgrade the flavor ten-fold with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. It really makes a world of difference, and it’s why I almost always roast shrimp for just about any recipe. 

How to make Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

 

Raw shrimp are coated in olive oil and dusted with a little bit of chipotle powder and salt, thrown into a hot oven and roasted until perfectly pink and plump.

Meanwhile, the aioli is made by whisking light mayo, smoky cumin, a little bit of lime juice, and again, spicy chipotle powder in a small bowl. From start to finish the whole dish takes about 20 minutes to put together. What makes it even better for entertaining is it can be served warm or at room temperature, so you don’t have to worry about the shrimp overcooking while you keep them warm.

A little note on CHIPOTLE powder versus CHILI powder. Chipotle powder isn’t as commonly used as chili powder, but it’s basically a dried chipotle pepper that has been ground up. So unlike normal chili powder which only has a sort of underlying smoky flavor to it, chipotle powder is SPICY. A little goes a long way, so make sure to taste test before adding any more. I highly recommend seeking it out, but if you’re in a pinch, a little bit of cayenne pepper will work as well. 

One thing I will say, make a double batch, because these guys will go FAST.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Chipotle Aioli

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Chipotle Aioli is an easy, fool-proof, and updated version of classic shrimp cocktail. Instead of poaching, the shrimp are quickly roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for an instant upgrade in flavor. The garlic-infused chipotle dipping sauce is the perfect compliment! 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword shrimp cocktail, roasted shrimp, shrimp appetizer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Nicole

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 21-30 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, divided
  • 3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 medium lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. Toss shrimp with olive oil, 1/4 tsp chipotle powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until bright pink and slightly curled, about 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook! 

  3. While the shrimp cook, add mayo, chili powder, cumin, garlic, lime juice, remaining chipotle powder, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

  4. Serve shrimp with dipping sauce warm or at room temp! 

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Chipotle Aioli

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