Shrimp Nachos

Alright guys. There’s a big difference between developing recipes at home after a long work day when you’re trying to get dinner on the table and developing recipes in the Food Network Test Kitchen with dedicated staff at every step. Not that I have any experience with the ladder (if anyone’s hiring hmu), but I imagine it’s easier to develop recipes when it’s literally your 9-5. I came home from work exhausted today with plans to make some shrimp tacos for you guys (I mean, what else am I going to do on Taco Tuesday?) but it turned out I was missing some pretty crucial ingredients. Luckily, I had Food Network Star on in the background, and if the contestants aren’t giving up why should I? I took the basic framework and remixed it to suit the ingredients I had on hand, enter these shrimp nachos.


The shrimp is truly the star of this dish, loaded up with all kinds of seasoning to give it tons of flavor and a good kick. One of my absolute least favorite kitchen tasks is preparing shrimp. Ever since I learned all of the details that go into preparing it at a cooking class in Cannes, it’s really grossed me out. After that, I had an even tougher experience preparing shrimp when I made paella, but I think I’ll spare you the details from that one so that you actually still want to eat this recipe by the time you’re done reading. Since I’ve now bummed you out at the prospect of making this dish, don’t worry because you can buy frozen shrimp already peeled, deveined, and ready to go! I may suggest steering clear of that if you’re entertaining guests or feeling particularly ambitious, but for a Tuesday night the frozen guys work wonders!

This dish is seriously so easy and so tasty. It’s a great appetizer for any upcoming tailgating or labor day BBQs you might have or a fun weeknight dinner. Also, this dish is just further proof that the cast iron skillet is truly one of the most versatile and valuable items you can have in your kitchen. So get cooking!


Shrimp Nachos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

This dish is a great appetizer for any upcoming tailgating or labor day BBQs you might have or a fun weeknight dinner.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 4
For the Shrimp:
  • 10 oz. shrimp peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or any other neutral oil you have on hand
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt to taste
For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 2 small roma tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño seeds and pith removed, diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the guacamole:
  • 1 avocado skins and pit removed
  • 1/2 of pico de gallo mixture
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • Your preferred hot sauce to taste I recommend Tapatio or Tabasco for this recipe
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Nachos:
  • 8 oz. tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the shrimp. On a cutting board, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, grapeseed oil, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and salt. Toss until shrimp is well coated. Place shrimp on prepared baking sheet and bake at 400º F for 5 minutes.
  3. Make the pico de gallo. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Separate out half the mixture to add into guacamole.
  4. Make the guacamole. In a large mixing bowl, combine the avocado, pico de gallo, garlic, cumin, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Roughly run through the avocado mixture with a knife until avocado is cut into large chunks. Then, stir to combine with a spoon or fork and the avocado will break down. If needed, lightly mash with a fork until guacamole reaches its desired consistency.
  5. In a cast iron skillet or baking dish, spread half the chips. Top this layer with half the cheese and shrimp. Then add remaining chips, topping with remaining cheese and shrimp. Bake nachos at 400º F until cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes.
  6. Top nachos with guacamole, pico de gallo, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and hot sauce if desired.

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