These Shrimp Nachos are a tasty seafood twist on everyone’s favorite appetizer! Crispy chips, perfectly seasoned, succulent shrimp and ooey-gooey cheese make these nachos a win for game day or tonight’s family dinner!
Shrimp Nachos Recipe
This quick and easy shrimp nachos recipe is one of our favorite easy recipes that everyone can agree on. We are a nacho family. We make all kinds of nachos – chicken, steak, ground beef and, of course, shrimp! This shrimp nachos recipe is so easy to make, the only hard part is deciding on whether to enjoy it for dinner or as a game day appetizer!
The secret to the best shrimp nachos recipe is really, really flavorful shrimp. The blend of seasonings is perfection and gives a wonderful smoky and savory flavor to the shrimp. We tend to use large shrimp for this recipe because I keep a bag on hand at all times. If you go to a larger size shrimp, say jumbo shrimp, it can be challenging to scoop up the shrimp with the chips. That being said, don’t let your shrimp size stop you from making these nachos. Anything from medium to colossal will work!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Pantry Staples. The seasoning for the shrimp calls for ingredients you likely have on hand. When we’re making this recipe, I usually just need to get a bag of chips and possibly the shrimp which makes it a winner in my book.
- Spectacular Shrimp. Shrimp are one of our favorite types of seafood and the way it’s prepared in these nachos is just DELISH. In fact, if you aren’t feeling like nachos, skip the chips and cheese and use the cooked shrimp in tacos, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas or even in a taco salad. This is one of my very favorite ways to enjoy shrimp.
What You’ll Need
This recipe is one of the easiest seafood recipes in my arsenal. It’s all about seasoning and cooking the shrimp to perfection. Then it’s a simple matter of layering chips, beans and cheese and baking that together in the oven until the cheese is nice and melted. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
- shrimp – You will need about a pound of raw shrimp. The shrimp should be shelled and deveined. I prefer medium to large shrimp for this recipe but any size will work. If you have really large shrimp, you could always cut them into pieces when assembling the nachos.
- seasoning – This blend is so flavorful and really makes the shrimp shine in this nachos recipe. You’ll need salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin and smoked paprika
- extra virgin olive oil – The shrimp get sautéed in a pan with just a tablespoon of oil. Any cooking oil will work here (canola, vegetable, etc.)
- tortilla chips – You can use any brand, yellow or white tortilla chips – even blue tortilla chips would work. You’ll need anywhere from 12 to 16 ounces.
- cheese – You can of course assemble the nachos using nacho cheese but in this recipe we love shredded cheese. I like to use one or a combination of these cheeses: Monterey Jack, cheddar, Pepper Jack or Colby Jack.
- beans – You will want one can of beans, rinsed and drained. We prefer pinto beans but black beans are also a delicious option.
Like all nacho recipes, the toppings are where it’s at! Use any combination of these toppings or your own favorites to really customize these shrimp nachos:
- avocado – Or guacamole. You can add slices, chunks, mashed, however you want it.
- salsa – We used salsa verde but pico de gallo would be yummy too.
- lime wedges
- banana peppers
- peperoncini peppers
- sour cream
How To Make Shrimp Nachos
- Assembly. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Layer half of the tortillas chips, top with half of the beans and then half the cheese. Repeat the layers. Bake at 350°F until cheese is melted.
- Season Shrimp. Make sure all the shells have been removed and the shrimp deveined. Pat the shrimp dry and then place in a medium bowl. Add the seasonings and toss together.
- Cook Shrimp. Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side. Shrimp should have an internal temperature of 145°F and be opaque.
- Toppings. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the shrimp. Add any desired toppings and serve immediately.
The shrimp can be cooked any way you prefer. Consider grilling, baking or use the air fryer. To air fry, cook at 400°F for about 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
Nachos are always best enjoyed right after being prepared but leftover nachos should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, cook in the air fryer until warmed through or place in the oven until warmed up.
Frequently Asked Questions
You sure can! The shrimp needs to be thawed first. Let the shrimp thaw overnight in the refrigerator. In a pinch you can run frozen shrimp under cool water but make sure the shrimp is patted dry before adding seasoning.
This recipe is limited only by the size of your sheet pan but you can always use two sheet pans if you need a large amount of nachos for a crowd.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
This recipe is super versatile in that you can swap in seasonings, beans, cheese, etc. to have a totally unique and delicious flavor profile every time you make it. Here are some of my tips for a super successful shrimp nacho experience:
- If you are using frozen shrimp, let the shrimp thaw overnight in the refrigerator. In a pinch you can run frozen shrimp under cool water but make sure the shrimp is patted dry before adding the seasoning.
- We love pinto beans in this recipe but black beans are a close second. Any beans will work but make sure to rinse and drain well before using in the recipe.
- There are lots of different types of cheese that you can use in this recipe. We usually opt for Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack if want a little more heat or a Colby Jack. Whatever cheese you decide on, it should be a cheese that melts easily. Shredding the cheese yourself will help ensure you have beautiful, melty cheese on your nachos.
- The shrimp cook super fast so I always make those while the nachos are in the oven. This recipe comes together so fast and is ready to enjoy in about 20 to 25 minutes after starting and is best enjoyed right after it’s done.
- Be careful not to overcook the shrimp because they can get a little rubbery. You really are just looking for them to turn opaque white and can check the internal temperature to be safe. You are looking for 145°F.
More Shrimp Recipes
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Shrimp Foil Packets
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
- 16 ounces shrimp raw and tails removed (medium to large work best)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or another neutral oil
- 12 to 16 ounces tortilla chips
- 8 ounces monterey jack cheese or cheddar, Pepper Jack or Colby Jack
- 14.5 ounces pinto beans rinsed and drained, black beans are also delicious
- salsa we used salsa verde
- lime wedges
- banana peppers
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up).
- Spread half of the tortilla chips onto the prepared baking sheet. Top with half of the beans and cheese. Repeat layers.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- While the nachos are baking, prepare the shrimp. Pick through the shrimp and make sure all the shells have been removed and the shrimp have been deveined. (You'd be surprised at how many shells I have found over the years!) Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
- Add the raw shrimp to a medium bowl. Add all of the seasoning and toss together until shrimp are evenly coated.
- Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side until opaque and cooked through.
- Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the shrimp. Add any desired topping and serve immediately. Enjoy!