This cold Shrimp Dip recipe is an easy appetizer with just a few ingredients. It’s thick and creamy, and full of clean shrimp flavor. The recipe comes from my mom – it’s a Christmas Eve tradition for our family!
Mom’s Shrimp Dip is an Annual Tradition
My parents hosted Christmas Eve for my mom’s side of the family for many, many years. And my mom’s Shrimp Dip quickly became an annual tradition, right alongside the oyster stew, hand-cranked vanilla ice cream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies.
Some of the best memories I own are Christmas Eve memories. As a kid, our house was filled with energetic cousins, all of whom could also be called friends. Along with our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we played games for hours: Spoons, Farkle, and a variety of marbles, dominoes, and card games. We filled the house with so. much. awesome. laughter.
This recipe is one of the easiest and best appetizers you’ll ever make. And you can prepare it ahead of time, leaving it to rest its merry little self in the refrigerator until your guests arrive. It’s thick and creamy, and full of clean shrimp flavor. We enjoy this dip on Christmas Eve and all year ’round!
Ingredients List, with Cream Cheese and Canned Tiny Shrimp
I’ve often thought, “What can I add to this recipe to improve it?” Because it feels just too simple. But it really needs nothing more.
You just can’t go wrong with shrimp dip with cream cheese. Right?!
I keep cans of tiny shrimp in our pantry at all times. They’re key for this shrimp dip. AND my mom’s Macaroni Salad – as I sometimes swap out the ham for shrimp. :)
This recipe has only 5 ingredients, plus black pepper if you like.
- canned tiny shrimp
- cream cheese
- mayo – Absolutely do NOT use Miracle Whip!
- fresh green onions – I love the fresh, bright flavor this adds.
- garlic salt
- black pepper – I like to grind some over the top, but it’s totally not necessary.
A few more favorite dip recipes: Baked Reuben Dip has all the flavors of the famous Reuben sandwich that we love, deconstructed into a dip. Dill Pickle Dip is super fun with cream cheese and dill pickles. And my aunt’s Layered Creamy Chili Shrimp Dip is festive and fantastically delicious!
How to Make This Dip
Don’t laugh at how easy this recipe is. Embrace its simplicity!
- Chop shrimp and green onion. First set aside a few of the nicer looking shrimp, then finely chop the rest. Chop the green part of the green onions.
- Blend cream cheese and mayo. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. An electric blender works best, to get the mixture super smooth.
- Stir in shrimp, green onion, and garlic salt.
- Serve. Transfer dip to a small serving bowl and top with reserved shrimp and additional green onion. Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground black pepper over the top if you like. Serve with crackers and/or veggies.
FAQ’s and Tips for the Best Shrimp Dip
Can I make this in advance? This questions deserves a great big YES! Go ahead and make this dip several hours to a day ahead of time. Just store it in a container with a lid in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Can I use Miracle Whip? And this question is coming back at you with a great big NO! Miracle Whip has corn syrup and spices added to it – it is not mayo. Just use mayonnaise!
Can I use fresh or frozen shrimp? If you prefer to not use canned shrimp, substitute fresh or frozen. Just be sure to use shrimp that has been cooked – do not use raw shrimp! But my preference will always be canned tiny shrimp, as it gives me the traditional flavor that I grew up with.
Tip 1: Prep the cream cheese. And by that I mean, simply let it come to room temperature before making this recipe. This will ensure that it blends smoothly and doesn’t leave you with chunks of cream cheese.
Tip 2: Blend until smooth. I believe that the best way to blend cream cheese is to use an electric mixer. But if you’re an expert at hand-blending it with a wooden spoon or spatula, go right ahead. Just make sure that when you blend the cream cheese with the mayo, that the combination is completely smooth before adding in the remaining ingredients.
How to Serve This Dip
This dip is great with a variety of crackers, but we mostly serve it with Ritz Original Crackers or Keebler Original Club Crackers. Their buttery, flaky goodness is wonderful with the dip.
I also like to offer some fresh veggies for dipping – like mini carrots and sliced cucumbers and bell peppers.
And as far as when to serve this dip, well the possibilities are truly endless!
Make this for game day, girls night, New Years Eve, or any special gathering. It makes a great appetizer for backyard get-togethers and is a fun addition to a cheese board.
And if you enjoy this on Christmas Eve, it’ll be just like we’re celebrating together. You. Me. And my mom’s shrimp dip. Cheers!
Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
A few more dip recipes from my friends!
- Skillet Buffalo Cauliflower Dip from Heartbeet Kitchen
- Warm Brie, Crab, and Artichoke Dip from Noble Pig
- Easy Jalapeno Popper Dip from Saving Room for Dessert
Mom’s Shrimp Dip
This dip is one of the easiest and best appetizers you'll ever make. It's thick and creamy, and full of clean shrimp flavor. It's a Christmas Eve tradition for my family!
- 1 can (4 oz.) tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise (Do not use Miracle Whip!)
- 1/3 c. finely chopped green onion, plus a bit more for sprinkling over the top
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Set aside a few of the nicer looking shrimp, then chop up the rest.
- In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. A blender works best, to get the mixture nice and smooth. Then stir in the chopped shrimp, green onion, and garlic salt.
- Transfer dip to a small serving bowl and top with reserved whole shrimp and additional green onion. Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground black pepper over the top. Serve with crackers and fresh veggies for dipping. For crackers, we mostly serve this dip with Ritz Original Crackers or Keebler Original Club Crackers.
This can be prepared several hours to a day ahead of time and then stored in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.
from Mom's recipe box
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was previously published in 2012. Photographs and some of the text were updated in 2018.
Hi Kelly – I’ve been having issues with my latest recipes since I did a site update a few days ago. In the meantime, I have manually added in the recipe to this post, until I get this resolved. Please come back and take a look – the recipe’s waiting for you! Thank you for your understanding.
Thank you Brenda! This looks excellent. I am going to make it this weekend. :)
Hi Kim – I’ve been having issues with my latest recipes since I did a site update a few days ago. In the meantime, I have manually added in the recipe to this post, until I get this resolved. Please come back and take a look – the recipe’s waiting for you! Thank you for your understanding. :)
Thank you SO MUCH, Amanda. I’m working on getting this resolved. ;)
Hello again Sara – I have manually added in the recipe to this post, until I can get the problem resolved. I hope you like it! :)
Yum, what a wonderful appetizer! Moms recipes are always the best! Can’t wait to try this one!
What a perfect decadent snack for the holidays! Merry Chrstmas sweet friend!
Hi Sara – I’m aware there’s an issue with this recipe and am trying to get it figured out. I will let you know when it’s available again – thanks for your patience!
Yuuum! Shrimp dip! Merry Christmas Brenda!
I absolutely love shrimp dip and think it is going on our Christmas menu now! Love it! Those Christmas memories are just the best, aren’t they?
Yay! We’ll be shrimp dippin’ together! Have a very merry Christmas, Robyn. xo
What a great recipe, Brenda! Can you use thawed cocktail shrimp too? Would that work?
You sure could, Kristen. Just so it’s not raw shrimp. There’s just something about those little tiny shrimp in the can, though. ;)
Yum, what a great easy appetizer!
This is a dip that my husband would take and disappear in a room by himself with :)
Truly, this is a dip to covet. It disappears FAST!!
Farkle and shrimp dip – now THAT’S a good Christmas with family :)
Truly. Farkle is all because of my grandparents, the game-aholics. Love!!
I love traditions like these…for us it’s always cheese dip on Christmas eve. My husband will love this, though!
Look so good, perfect appetizer for Christmas!
Love this… might have to make it for my mom in Fargo this Christmas!
Have a very merry Fargo Christmas, Amanda. I’ll be up there, too, for a few days, visiting in-laws.
You can never have too many dip recipes! Ever.
You speak truth, Paula. ;)
First, I love that your Mom commented, how sweet!! Thanks for sharing your Mom’s dip, I love how easy it is!
Mom’s a regular around here, Julie. ;)
Have to admit–it is a favorite!
And I’m waiting for another bowl on Christmas Eve! ;)