Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

These tasty appetizer bites are simple, elegant, and absolutely delicious!
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

After taking some time away from blogging so I could enjoy the holidays with loved ones, I'm back at the computer writing the first official Taste As You Go blog post of 2015. While the break from blogging (and, frankly, everything that goes along with it) was nice, I have to admit that it feels good to be writing again... Even if it is a blog post containing a recipe that might have come in handy during the peak of the holiday entertaining season.

Since people always seem to be looking for new and interesting appetizer ideas, I decided to share my recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon now rather than wait until the end of the year to share it. My twist on the traditional shrimp cocktail was inspired by a recipe that I spotted in the February 2014 issue of Food & Wine and features a super simple Homemade Cocktail Sauce that you can make ahead of time and let chill in the refrigerator while you assemble everything else.

These bites would be the perfect starter for a romantic night in (Valentine's Day is coming up, after all...), a dinner party with friends, or even a bridal or a baby shower. Keep reading to see how easy it is to make a tray of these elegant Shrimp Cocktail Bites!
Raw Shrimp

Before I started Taste As You Go, I had never really considered roasting as a way to prepare shrimp.

Boil it? Yes.

Saute it? Absolutely.

Grill it? Why not?

But roast it? What the what?

Once I discovered how delicious the shrimp turned out after roasting it, I was completely hooked.
Marinating Raw Shrimp
Marinating Raw Shrimp

Before roasting, you'll want to marinate your raw shrimp in a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic. The acid in the lemon juice will actually start to cook the shrimp if you leave it in the marinade for too long, so don't keep the shrimp in the marinade for longer than a few minutes. You can use that time to work on the bacon.
Crispy Bacon

The original Food & Wine recipe calls for wrapping the shrimp with the bacon before grilling. While I love me some bacon-wrapped anything, I wanted something different this time around. I wanted to create an appetizer that could be eaten in one bite (or two bites if you want me to be all lady-like about it) and an appetizer that won't leave people wondering whether they should eat it with a knife and fork.
Athens Mini Fillo Shells

For my version, you'll want to dice the bacon and crisp up the pieces until they're brown and delicious. Make sure you cut the bacon so it's small enough to fit into your mini fillo shells. (I used a box of Mini Fillo Shells from Athens Foods.)
Filling for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

After roasting the shrimp, dice it up and combine it with the cooked bacon and some diced avocado. Drizzle the mixture with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Most likely you'll only need the pepper since the bacon will be salty enough. But everyone has their own preferences, so taste as you go when it comes to seasoning.
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

Fill your Mini Fillo Cups and, if desired, top each Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bite with a small dollop of Homemade Cocktail Sauce. Or, if you'd rather, you can arrange the bites on a serving platter and serve the cocktail sauce on the side so your guests can control how much sauce goes on top.
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

Simple... elegant... and delicious!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Bites with Avocado and Bacon

Yield: 15 appetizer bites | Printable Recipe

  • 20 medium tail-on shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 package Mini Fillo Shells
  • Cocktail sauce, for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place shrimp in a large baking dish. Add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic. Toss the shrimp to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the diced bacon to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet and allow to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and place in a single layer on a foil-covered baking sheet. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the shrimp for 2 minutes. Turn and bake for an additional minute.
  6. Remove the shrimp from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle the shrimp without burning your fingers. Once manageable, remove the tails and dice the shrimp into small pieces.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the bacon, shrimp, and avocado. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  8. Fill the Mini Fillo Cups with the shrimp mixture. Top with a small dollop of cocktail sauce or serve with the sauce on the side.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go \\ Adapted from Food & Wine

One year ago: Top 25 Recipes of 2013
Two years ago: Bann Restaurant - New York, NY
Three years ago: On the Side: Some Resolutions
Four years ago: Best of the Best: 2010
Five years ago: Hard-Boiled Eggs Florentine
Six years ago: Creamy Crab Meat Salad in Belgian Endive Cups 

I was provided samples of Mini Fillo Shells from Athens Foods at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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