Appetizers with cucumbers – Cookin Canuck

Healthy Lifestyle

You won’t be able to stop eating these easy cucumber shrimp appetizers! Baked shrimp sit on top of cream cheese and cucumber slices. Serve them up at your next holiday party or game day get-together.

Cucumber slices topped with cream cheese and cooked shrimp, all on a white wooden plate.

Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers are the ultimate recipe for a delicious, healthy and refreshing appetizer for your next cocktail party or holiday gathering. These bite-sized treats are not only delicious, they’re easy to make and sure to be a hit with your guests.

They’re a fantastic New Year’s Eve option, served with a cranberry Prosecco cocktail or kamikaze cocktail or shot (hand over the car keys first!)

When it comes to making cucumber shrimp appetizers, the key is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Start by choosing firm, crunchy cucumbers and fresh, plump shrimp. You’ll also want to whip up the cream cheese, as it spreads much easier than regular cream cheese.

Once your Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers are assembled, you can serve them immediately or chill them in the refrigerator until ready to serve. They are best enjoyed within a few hours of being made, as the cucumbers will begin to lose their crispness over time.

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Cucumber shrimp bites on a white tray, behind champagne.

Cucumber Shrimp Appetizer Ingredients:

  • shrimp: Large shrimp are often labeled “31-35”, meaning there are 31-35 shrimp per pound. Use raw, peeled shrimp without tails.
  • CUCUMBER: Use unpeeled English cucumber.
  • CREAM CHEESE: For this recipe, I used Neufchâtel cheese, which is usually found next to other cream cheeses in most grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use ⅓ fat cream cheese.
  • PLANTS: Fresh dill and chives are mixed into the cream cheese. Mince extra chives for easy garnish.
  • SPICES: Season the prawns with dried rosemary (I prefer ground rosemary), garlic powder and salt.
  • LEMON PEEL: Grate the lemon peel with a zester. Make sure you only grate the yellow part, not the bitter white layer underneath.
  • OLIVE OIL: A little olive oil to help the spices stick to the shrimp and prevent them from sticking to the pan.

See the recipe tab below for a complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

How to make the best cucumber shrimp appetizers:

Pat dry: Remove all shells and tails from the shrimp. Dry them with a paper towel. You want to dry shrimp for two purposes: 1) It helps the olive oil and seasonings adhere to the shrimp and 2) It allows the shrimp to fry (and brown!) instead of steaming in a pan.

SEASON THE SHRIMPS: Toss shrimp with olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and lemon zest until coated.

COOK THE SHRIMP: I suggest that you use a non-stick pan or enameled cast iron to cook the shrimp. If using a stainless steel pan, use extra olive oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking to the pan.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Fry for about 1 minute per side. Shrimp should be freshly cooked. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as they will become rubbery.

Transfer the shrimp to a plate and cool to room temperature. Speed ​​this up by placing the shrimp in the refrigerator.

Collage of steps for making cucumber appetizer.  Cream cheese and shrimp each in bowls, appetizers on a wooden board.

KILL THE CHEESE: Place the Neufchâtel or cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat the cheese with a hand mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Turn the mixer on low so that the cheese does not splash out of the bowl (from experience). It should take 2 to 3 minutes for the cheese to become light and fluffy.

Add the ground dill and chives, then whisk quickly to combine.

ASSEMBLY: Start by spreading one teaspoon of the cheese mixture on each cucumber slice. A butter knife or offset spatula works well for this.

Top each bite of cucumber with shrimp and sprinkle the appetizers with the remaining minced chives.

SERVE: Serve cucumber appetizers as they should be or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

White sheet pan filled with cucumber shrimp cream cheese bites.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I make these appetizers in advance?

While you can make cucumber shrimp appetizers ahead of time, it’s best to serve them within a few hours of making them to ensure the cucumbers retain their crispness. They tend to “cry” if left too long.

If you need to prepare them in advance, it is a good idea to store the prepared appetizers in the refrigerator, and then leave them at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Can I use regular cream cheese instead of whipped cream?

You can use regular cream cheese in these appetizers, but it may be more difficult to spread the cucumber rings and may not give the appetizers the same light and fluffy texture as cream cheese. Or you can substitute Greek yogurt for cream cheese.

Can I add other ingredients to these appetizers?

Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers are incredibly versatile and can be customized to suit your taste. Besides dill and chives, you can also try adding other herbs like parsley or basil. or season the shrimp with paprika and black pepper. You can also try adding other ingredients like avocado or replacing the smoked salmon with shrimp, like I do in these appetizers.

White sheet pan filled with cucumber shrimp cream cheese bites.

Appetizers with cucumbers

You won’t be able to stop eating these easy cucumber shrimp appetizers! Baked shrimp sit on top of cream cheese and cucumber slices. Serve them up at your next holiday party or game day get-together.