Easy Grilled BBQ Shrimp Appetizer with Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
This Easy Grilled BBQ Shrimp Appetizer with Baked Flour Tortilla Chips is made with just 7 simple ingredients in less than 20 minutes. Juicy grilled jumbo shrimp are piled onto crispy baked tortilla chips with a dollop of creamy guacamole for a speedy, crowd-pleasing snack you’ll turn to again and again.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Shrimp and I are having a serious moment right now. Between my Quick & Easy Shrimp Tacos, Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Mexican-Style Garlic Shrimp), Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camarón), and Salsa Verde Rice with Shrimp, my love for these inexpensive crustaceans should be quite apparent.
If you’re not yet aboard the shrimp-for-dinner train, let me tell you a little secret: shrimp are quick to prep, quick to cook, and super easy on your grocery budget. As an added bonus, they’re also the perfect thing to serve during Lent when meat is a no-no.
In this quick and simple shrimp bites recipe, we use both the BBQ to make the grilled shrimp skewers and a parchment-lined sheet pan to make the baked chips. These two hacks keep your dishes to a minimum, making this recipe my ideal party appetizer.
Better yet, you only need 7 simple ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand. Oh, and did I mention it comes together in LESS THAN 20 MINUTES?!?! That’s right, amigos. This easy shrimp appetizer is about to become your new favorite recipe.
Now, let’s get to the kitchen and get cooking!
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this satisfying cold shrimp appetizer. Here’s your list:
- Flour Tortillas – Making homemade tortillas is easier than you might think and is sure to save you some money. That said, feel free to use your favorite store-bought brand instead!
- Olive Oil – Just your regular cooking oil is perfect here. Feel free to swap in avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or the neutral-flavored oil of your choice.
- Kosher Salt – For seasoning. If you’re using a different style of salt (e.g. table salt), check out this conversion chart to help with proper measurements.
- Extra Large Shrimp – The larger your shrimp are, the more wiggle room you have with cook times. I prefer reaching for jumbo shrimp (also labeled 21/25) or extra-large shrimp (labeled 26/30). The numbers associated with the sizes mean the number of pieces you’ll get in a pound, so the lower the number, the bigger the shrimp!
- Paprika – For just a touch of warmth. Feel free to swap in smoked paprika if you’re grilling inside to replace some of the smoky flavor you’d get from a BBQ. You can also use hot paprika if you’re a fan of spicy food.
- Guacamole – While I usually reach for classic Mexican guacamole here, you’re welcome to use any variety you like including Bacon Pineapple Guacamole al Pastor, Hatch Green Chile Guacamole, or Avocado Pesto Guacamole.
- Lime Wedges – A squeeze of fresh lime juice is optional, but it helps to brighten the whole dish.
How To Make This Grilled BBQ Shrimp Appetizer
These shrimp guacamole bites come together in just 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Bake Flour Tortilla Chips. Preheat the broiler and cut each of the tortillas into 4 equal triangles. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on baking sheets and place them in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
Step 2: Grill Shrimp. Brush shrimp with olive oil, then sprinkle them with a little bit of paprika and salt. Cook the shrimp on a preheated grill or griddle for 2 to 3 minutes per side. As soon as the shrimp become opaque, remove them from the heat so they don’t overcook and get tough or rubbery.
Step 3: Assemble. Place fresh guacamole on each tortilla chip, then top with grilled shrimp and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy!
More of a visual learner? Watch my video and see how simple this grilled BBQ shrimp dish is to make.
As much as I love these simple shrimp appetizers just as written, there’s plenty of room for you to riff on the recipe. Here are a few variations worth considering:
- Gluten-Free – Feel free to swap in corn tortillas instead of flour, or use your favorite gluten-free flour tortilla substitutes.
- Larger-Format Shrimp Tostadas – Make this into a meal by leaving your baked flour tortillas whole and serving the dish like a tostada. Feel free to bulk them up with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, or any other toppings you prefer.
- Guacamole Shrimp Bowls – Serve the grilled shrimp and guacamole over a bowl of Cilantro Lime Rice and Instant Pot Black Beans for a simple and hearty meal.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. Shrimp are fully cooked when they are opaque pink (or white), so remove them from heat once you see that opaqueness. Once they start to curl into tight “O’s,” they’re overcooked and will be tough and rubbery.
- Frozen shrimp are perfectly delicious. Unless you live in a shrimping town, chances are all the shrimp you have access to have been frozen at some point in the supply chain. Reach for frozen shrimp for both the freshest quality and for convenience (many come de-veined and peeled, so less prep work for you!).
- Use skewers or a grilling basket to prevent shrimp from falling through the grates.
- Broilers heat from the top. If you’re new to using the broiling function of your oven, you should note that only the top heating element will be used. Make sure to use the top shelf of the oven to make sure you’re getting full power!
- Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. Once you bake the chips, you can toss the sheet of parchment and be done!
Any leftover BBQ shrimp can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Any leftover baked tortilla chips can be kept in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for 4-5 days. PRO TIP: If you have a leftover packet of silica from your newest pair of shoes or a packet of beef jerky, toss it in the container with the chips to help prolong their shelf life. You can also re-crisp any stale chips by baking them at 200F for about 5-7 minutes.
To preserve any leftover guacamole, pack it into the smallest container possible and smooth the top, then drizzle on enough oil to seal off the guacamole from any air and prevent oxidization. To serve, simply pour off the oil!
What better way to enjoy seafood than fresh off the grill? With this week being Memorial Weekend, I wanted to be sure to share this grilled shrimp recipe. Be sure to check out all my grilling recipes for more inspo.
That said, these guacamole shrimp appetizers are perfect all year round! Serve them at any event that requires passed hors d’oeuvres or an appetizer buffet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Simply swap in your favorite grill pan or griddle. You can also replicate some of the char-grilled flavor by using smoked paprika instead of plain.
It depends on how large your shrimp are — the smaller they are, the quicker they cook. Shrimp are done as soon as they become opaque, so if you’re using extra-large or jumbo shrimp, they’ll be done in just 4-7 minutes total.
Make sure to preheat the grill, clean the grates of any leftover debris, and oil the grates before laying the shrimp on them.
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Easy Grilled BBQ Shrimp Appetizer with Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
- extra large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and skewered
- olive oil for brushing
- paprika to your liking
- kosher salt
- lime wedges
Bake Flour Tortilla Chips:
- Preheat broiler.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into 4 equal triangles. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on baking sheets and place them in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Brush shrimp with olive oil, sprinkle them with a little bit of paprika and salt.
- Preheat your griddle on medium to medium-high heat. Lay the shrimp on the hot griddle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. The meat will turn opaque and white as it cooks. Remove from the heat so it doesn’t overcook and get tough or rubbery.
- Place fresh guacamole on each tortilla chip; place grilled shrimp, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Any leftover BBQ shrimp can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Any leftover baked tortilla chips can be kept in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for 4-5 days. PRO TIP: If you have a leftover packet of silica from your newest pair of shoes or a packet of beef jerky, toss it in the container with the chips to help prolong their shelf life. You can also re-crisp any stale chips by baking them at 200F for about 5-7 minutes.
- To preserve any leftover guacamole, pack it into the smallest container possible and smooth the top, then drizzle on enough oil to seal off the guacamole from any air and prevent oxidization. To serve, simply pour off the oil!
Originally published: March 2015.
Photography: Jenna Sparks