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30 Easy Thanksgiving Shrimp Appetizers

~ Want an impressive yet easy Thanksgiving appetizer? Quick-cooking shrimp is a perfect choice that definitely makes a statement. From dips to skewers to innovative riffs on shrimp cocktail, you’ve got lots of crowd-pleasing options! ~

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I know when most people think “Thanksgiving” they also think “turkey.”

But when I was growing up, we often had at least two back-to-back days of Thanksgiving dinner parties. To avoid boring us with turkey two days in a row, my mom ingeniously delighted us by making one of the days a seafood feast instead.

So, for me, shrimp appetizers for Thanksgiving make total sense. Start the meal with a little seafood … and you can still have turkey for the main event!

Plus, most everyone loves shrimp.

And shrimp recipes definitely feel special and a little elegant. A perfect, impressive appetizer idea to kick off your holiday feast with style!

Thanksgiving Shrimp Appetizers

FAQs At-a-Glance

How Do You Thaw Shrimp?

Purchasing frozen shrimp ahead of time – whenever you spot a terrific sale price – is a great move to keep that budget in check. And thawing them is super easy. Whether you’re thawing raw or cooked shrimp, the key is always to thaw them gently. I’ve got all the details on 3 simple methods in my article “How to Thaw Shrimp.” But, in short: you can either thaw them overnight in the fridge, submerge the entire bag in water, or thaw them directly in cold water. Pop over to my article for the full instructions on each method, as well as specific tips on what NOT to do.

What’s That “Size” Number Mean for Shrimp?

You’ll often see numbers on packages of shrimp, like 21-25 or 36-50. Those numbers indicate the size of the shrimp. How? Well, those numbers specify how many shrimp it takes to equal one pound. So, that gives you a rough idea of how big the shrimp will be, based on how many shrimp it takes to equal a pound. For example, 21-25 shrimp should have about 21-25 shrimp in a pound, which means they’ll be bigger than 36-50 shrimp that’ll have about 36-50 in each pound.

More Thanksgiving Seafood Recipes

Shoutout to everyone who’s looking for creative interpretations on the “typical” Thanksgiving menu. I’m always right there with you, searching for unique, fresh ideas!

If you were intrigued by my mom’s creation of a Thanksgiving seafood feast, then you’ve gotta check out our full collection of Seafood Thanksgiving Recipes!

(Turkey totally optional!)

Need Even MORE Thanksgiving Ideas?

Other recipes I highly recommend include:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Whatever you serve, I hope your feast is delicious.

But, most of all, I hope your day is filled with the love and laughter of family and dear friends!

~ by Shelley


  1. I loved the idea of shrimp on Thanksgiving! These appetizers definitely look impressive and easy to make. Can’t wait to try out the buffalo shrimp and the shrimp cocktail with spicy mango salsa. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I totally agree – serving shrimp always feels special, so why not elevate the Thanksgiving feast by kicking it off with a festive shrimp appetizer?!? Let me know how you like the buffalo and that spicy mango shrimp cocktail! ~Shelley

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