Chili Lime Shrimp Recipe with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Chili Lime Shrimp is a fantastic way to spice up the appetizer table at your next cocktail or holiday party! Dip them into the savory cilantro yogurt sauce.
Chili spiced shrimp with tails piled on a white plate. Bowl of yogurt sauce in background.

Chili spiced shrimp with tails piled on a white plate. Bowl of yogurt sauce in background.

We often make a plate of these Chili Lime Shrimp to snack on while watching football or hockey (or bingeing on Netflix!) They take just a couple of minutes to cook and are fantastic eaten alone or when dipped into the cilantro yogurt sauce.

I’m looking forward to the day when we can all gather again for parties. And I always have to remind myself what cocktail and holiday parties should be about – catching up with friends, getting in the holiday spirit and, well, cocktails. What they definitely shouldn’t be about – slaving away over trays and trays of appetizers while the party happens without you.

One of the keys to easy party prep is choosing appetizers that have some make-ahead components, whether that’s a sauce that can whisked together earlier in the day, like this cilantro yogurt sauce, or chopping that can be done hours ahead of the party, like for these easy phyllo cups.

While these chili lime shrimp are fantastic on the appetizer table, they can also be served for dinner, piled on a serving of cilantro lime rice with some carrot slaw on the side.

Shrimp cooking in a single layer in a large nonstick skillet

Shrimp cooking in a single layer in a large nonstick skillet

What you need for these Chili Lime Shrimp:

These are the main components for this recipe (affiliate links included):

  • Shrimp: You’ll need large shrimp (usually labeled as 31/35).
  • Chili powder: Found in any grocery store or online.
  • Limes: Lime juice and lime zest are used for the shrimp and the yogurt sauce.
  • Garlic: Two cloves for the shrimp and one for the sauce.
  • Yogurt: I like to use whole milk Greek yogurt for the sauce, but feel free to substitute with nonfat plain Greek yogurt.
  • Cilantro: Minced and added to the sauce. If cilantro isn’t your thing, substitute with a half and half mixture of parsley and chives.

How to make chili lime shrimp:

  • It really doesn’t take much to impart flavor into sautéed shrimp. In the case of these chili lime shrimp, a sprinkle of chili powder, along with lime zest, garlic and salt, then a squeeze of lime juice at the end do the trick.
  • Start by peeling the shrimp, except for the tail. Leave that intact so you can pick up the shrimp easily with your fingers.
  • Combine the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings, and let rest for 15 minutes. This will allow those flavors to start seeping into the shrimp.
  • One tip for ensuring that the shrimp are plump and tender? Don’t overcook them! They truly only need a couple of minutes to cook when using a hot pan (my favorite: this nonstick Everyday Pan). Anything longer than that will turn the shrimp into rubbery little specimens. Say no to rubbery shrimp!

Single cooked shrimp dipping into a bowl of yogurt sauce. Sitting on plate with more shrimp.

Single cooked shrimp dipping into a bowl of yogurt sauce. Sitting on plate with more shrimp.

Frequently asked questions:

Can they be made ahead of time?

These shrimp can be served either hot out of the pan or at room temperature, so there’s no need to panic if you can’t get them to the table as soon as they’re cooked. My family will tell you that they’re truly great either way.

I snacked on the hot shrimp right when I made (and photographed) them around lunchtime and my family gobbled up the rest just before dinnertime, after the shrimp were refrigerated for a few hours.

How far ahead can the sauce be made?

The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tools used for this recipe:

Spice coated cooked shrimp on a white plate, with bowl of yogurt dip behind.

Spice coated cooked shrimp on a white plate, with bowl of yogurt dip behind.

Other easy appetizer recipes:

Smoked Salmon Appetizer Quesadillas {Cookin’ Canuck}
Mediterranean Sheet Pan Nachos {Cookin’ Canuck}
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip {Nosh & Nourish}
Sesame Chicken Wonton Cups {Healthy Seasonal Recipes}

Chili spiced shrimp with tails piled on a white plate. Bowl of yogurt sauce in background.Chili spiced shrimp with tails piled on a white plate. Bowl of yogurt sauce in background.

Chili Lime Shrimp Recipe with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Chili Lime Shrimp is a fantastic easy appetizer, but can also be served as part of a light dinner! Dip them into the savory cilantro yogurt sauce.

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Course: Appetizers, Appetizers For Entertaining

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Chili Lime Shrimp, Shrimp Appetizers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Servings: 8 Servings

Calories: 87.3kcal

Ingredients

The Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove grated on a microplane
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, lime zest and salt. Toss to combine. Let rest for 15 minutes.

  • Heat a
    large nonstick skilletover medium-high heat. Add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.
  • Squeeze the lime juice over the shrimp and stir to coat.

  • Transfer the shrimp to a serving platter. Serve with the yogurt sauce.

  • The sauce:

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, cilantro, milk, lime juice, garlic, honey and salt.

Notes

Weight Watchers Points: 1 (Blue – Freestyle SmartPoints), 1 (Green, 1 (Purple)

Nutrition

Serving: 4Shrimp + 2 tablespoons Sauce | Calories: 87.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.3g | Protein: 12.9g | Fat: 2.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 88.9mg | Sodium: 165.5mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.8g


Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

This post was first published on November 7, 2016 and updated on December 21, 2020.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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