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shrimp ceviche verde recipe

Shrimp Ceviche Verde

Ceviche verde tastes just as delicious as it looks. Vibrant, refreshing and unique. A combination of cilantro, lime, tomatillos and other ingredients are combined with shrimp for a zingy and flavorful Mexican style ceviche dish. We can bet it’s unlike most of the ceviches you’ve made before. 

The name of course comes from the beautiful green color. Both the sauce and all the accompaniments are all green. It’s a sauce that goes well with fish as well but for this recipe we are tossing it in shrimp. The peppers, cucumber and green onions lend a perfect crunch. 

You can control the spice by adding a whole Serrano instead of the half the recipe calls for or removing it all together. It will be great either way. 

Let’s get the controversy out of the way. Typically ceviche is made with raw fish and the lime juice “cooks” the fish, but when it comes to shrimp ceviche we like cooking our shrimp before. It’s a very quick poach, 2 minutes, in a flavorful and salted water. The texture is a lot more delicate and you don’t need to worry if  you’ve allowed it to sit long enough in the lime juice to kill the bacteria and change the texture of the raw shrimp. Although it is an additional step, the ceviche is ready to enjoy a lot sooner than having to wait for the lime juice to penetrate the shrimp. 

We like to use Key West pink shrimp for this recipe because they are local and once the shrimps cook, they are the perfect bite-sized pieces. They can be a little tricky to cook because unlike most shrimps that are grayish when raw, the Key West shrimp are always pink. Once you see the tails starting to curl in and the white flesh turning more opaque, they are ready to scoop out of the water. 

I first tried this many years ago in Mexico at a restaurant on the beach. It was wickedly spicy but incredibly refreshing and unique. They served it with avocado and crispy corn chips. The only thing better than chips are freshly fried tostones. 

Ceviche verde with shrimp can be a light lunch paired with a salad or an appetizer to one of our Mexican inspired dishes like cilantro soup, enfrijoladas or as an addition to a spread of appetizers like guacamole and salsa. 

Shrimp Ceviche Verde

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: AppetizersCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled, rinsed and deveined 

  • 1 lemon, cut in quarters 

  • 1 tablespoon of peppercorns 

  • 1 tablespoon of salt 

  • 2 small tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and quartered 

  • 1 1/2 cups of cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 of a serrano chile

  • 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped

  • 2/3 cup of lime juice

  • 10 scallions, thinly sliced 

  • 1/2 poblano pepper, finely chopped 

  • 1/2 cubanelle pepper, finely chopped 

  • 1 small cucumber, seeded and finely chopped

  • Optional Garnish: cilantro leaves and thinly sliced Serrano pepper 


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the salt and peppercorns. Then squeeze the lemon wedges and add them to the pot, along with the shrimp. Boil the for 2 minutes. 
  • Remove the shrimp and drain on a plate with a paper towel. Set them aside to cool. 
  • In a blender add only 5 of the scallions (reserve the others for later), tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, half of the chile, salt and freshly cracked pepper. Blend it on high until completely smooth. Taste it and check for salt and spice. If you like it spicier, add the other half of the Serrano. 
  • In a mixing bowl, add the shrimp (if a few peppercorns slip in there it is totally ok). Add in the green sauce from the blender, the remaining scallions, the cucumbers, the poblano and cubanelle peppers. Toss together until everything is coated in the sauce. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but it’s best to wait a couple hours so it gets very nice and cold. 
  • Serve in another bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves.