This cold Shrimp Dip recipe is an easy appetizer with just a few ingredients. It’s thick and creamy, and full of delicious shrimp flavor. The recipe comes from my mom – it’s a Christmas Eve tradition for our family!
A Creamy Shrimp Dip Recipe
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.
This recipe is one of the easiest and best appetizers you’ll ever make. Plus, 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!
Shrimp dip is made with really simple seasonings, but don’t let that fool you. It’s packed with flavor, and you’re guaranteed to receive rave reviews every time you make it!
Why You’ll Love This Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip
Shrimp dip is a must-make recipe that you’re going to want to keep in your back pocket. Here’s why:
- So creamy. This shrimp dip is made with cream cheese and mayonnaise, a couple of seasonings, and some tiny shrimp. The result is a thick, creamy dip that you can serve with crackers, veggies, and more!
- Quick and easy. You can whip shrimp dip together in just 15 minutes! It’s so simple.
- Perfect for any occasion. I make this shrimp dip recipe for parties, the holidays, and just as a tasty snack sometimes!
What You’ll Need
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?!
This recipe only calls for 5 ingredients, plus black pepper if you like (to find the exact amounts, check out the recipe card below):
- Canned tiny shrimp – I keep cans of tiny shrimp in our pantry at all times – they’re key for this shrimp dip. You could also try using cooked salad shrimp, though, if needed.
- Cream cheese – Use a softened block of cream cheese, not the spreadable kind.
- Mayo – Absolutely do NOT use Miracle Whip! Miracle Whip has corn syrup and spices added to it – it is not mayo. Just use mayonnaise!
- Fresh green onions – I love the fresh, bright flavor these add.
- Garlic salt – You can also just use garlic powder and salt if you like.
- Black pepper – I like to grind some over the top, but it’s totally not necessary.
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.
How to Make Shrimp Dip
This creamy dip comes together in a snap! Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Chop up the 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, too.
- Blend the cream cheese and mayo. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. An electric blender works best, to get the mixture super smooth.
- Combine all of the ingredients. Stir in the shrimp, green onion, and garlic salt.
- Serve. Transfer the dip to a small serving bowl and top it with the 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.
Tips & Recipe Variations
Even though the shrimp-dip-making process is pretty simple, I still have a few tips to share with you!
- Let the cream cheese come to room temperature. This will ensure that it blends smoothly and doesn’t leave you with chunks in your dip.
- Blend the cream cheese and mayo 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.
- Add a little kick. If you want some heat to your shrimp dip, feel free to add in a little bit of hot sauce!
Can I Make This Dip in Advance?
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 you’re ready to serve it.
There are so many things that you can serve with shrimp dip! Here are some of my go-to options:
- Crackers. This dip is great with a variety of crackers, but we mostly serve it with Keebler Original Club Crackers. Their buttery, flaky goodness is wonderful with the dip.
- Vegetables. I also like to offer some fresh veggies for dipping – like mini carrots and sliced cucumbers and bell peppers.
- Bread. Slice up a baguette and enjoy this dip on some lightly toasted bread!
- Chips. You could also serve your shrimp dip with salty potato chips, if you like!
How to Store
If you end up with leftover shrimp dip, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Enjoy it cold, or bring it to room temperature before you serve it again – it’s up to you!
More Easy Dip Recipes
You can never have too many party dip recipes on hand, so here are a few more that you might like!
- 1 can (4 oz.) tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise (Do not use Miracle Whip!)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped green onion, plus a bit more for sprinkling over the top
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 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 Keebler Original Club Crackers.
- To make ahead. This dip can be prepared several hours to a day ahead of time and then stored in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.
- To store. If you end up with leftover shrimp dip, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Enjoy it cold, or bring it to room temperature before you serve it again - it's up to you!
- From Mom's recipe box.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 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.
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This post was previously published in 2012. Photographs and some of the text were updated in 2018.