Shrimp Nachos are a delicious appetizer for those who crave a blend of seafood, creamy cheese, and taco-flavored toppings. Once you start eating these, you will not be able to stop, especially if you love shrimp! This would be a fabulous addition to your list of New Year’s Eve party appetizers, for sure! I also have Crab Rangoon Nachos that are sure to be a hit with seafood lovers!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Shrimp: Look for small frozen raw shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. Let the shrimp thaw before cooking it in butter. If using larger shrimp, you may want to chop it into smaller pieces so it is more evenly distributed in the sauce and over the chips. If using precooked shrimp, you will not need to saute them in butter, but simply warm them up before adding them to the nachos.
Taco Seasoning: The shrimp is seasoned with taco seasoning, and then more is added to the cheesy mixture. For the most flavor, make homemade taco seasoning.
Cream Cheese: Cream cheese gives the sauce a creamy base and is combined with heavy cream for even more creaminess!
Cheese: I added both Pepper Jack and mozzarella cheese to the sauce. The pepper jack adds a little bit of a kick to the sauce and the mozzarella melts beautifully and complements the pepper jack.
Chips: Use your favorite tortilla chips to top with the shrimp sauce.
Toppings: I topped the nachos with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. You could certainly leave off the toppings you don’t like or add your favorites to the mix!
For Serving: Let guests (and yourself) add sour cream, salsa (or pico de Gallo), and lime wedges to the plate of nachos if preferred.
Can I Make Shrimp Nachos Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can get most of these shrimp nachos prepared ahead of time, saving you time when you are ready to assemble the nachos. Once you have the cheese sauce made, let it cool completely. Once cooled, store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2-3 days. When ready to assemble the nachos, heat the sauce on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave. You can also get the jalapeno peppers and red onion diced and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Alternate Seafood Options
There are several seafood options you can use as an alternative to shrimp in these nachos. Some alternatives are:
- Crab or Imitation crab
- Flakey white fish (like cod, tilapia, or halibut)
- Seafood medley with a combination of different kinds of seafood
Keep in mind that depending on the seafood substitution, the cooking time and amount of seasoning may have to be adjusted.
How To Store Shrimp Nachos
Although best served fresh, you can store the nachos for a day or two if you have any leftovers. If possible, store the cheese sauce and toppings separately so the chips do not get soggy. Then, just reheat the sauce and add toppings when ready to enjoy!
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter
- 1 package (12 ounces) small frozen raw shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups (357 g) heavy cream
- 1 cup (113 g) Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (113 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 bag (11 ounces) tortilla chips
- 1 medium tomato, finely diced
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely diced
- sour cream, for serving
- salsa, for serving
- lime wedges, for serving
- In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add shrimp and 1 teaspoon taco seasoning. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp is lightly browned and fully cooked. (Shrimp are fully cooked when their interior is white and the outside is light pink. They will also form a ‘c’ shape.) Transfer shrimp to a plate and tent to keep warm. Set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium-low heat, combine cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir continuously until the cream cheese is completely melted and fully incorporated into the cream.
- Add Pepper Jack, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon taco seasoning. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- Spread tortilla chips on a large serving platter. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the chips. Top with shrimp, tomato, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno.
- Serve with sour cream, salsa, and lime wedges. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Don't make these if you have to share. You'll want them all to yourself.
I love shrimp and love this appetizer! What a unique and flavorful way to serve up a plate of nachos. If you love shrimp, you will not be able to stop eating this!
These are so good! I loved the flavor of shrimp on these nachos, I would make these for game day!
I would make these for any event! They're a little spicy, super cheesy, and the shrimp is a nice touch!
These nachos are absolutely delicious. The shrimp is well cooked and seasoned. The jalapeños add a bit of a spicy kick. This is a great way to serve nachos, especially for shrimp fans!