The Kitchn: What to make when it’s too hot to cook

The Kitchn: What to make when it’s too hot to cook

When the heat of summer sets in I just want to eat meals that will cool me down. My relationship with soups, stews, and basically anything that comes out of the oven is on hold for these next few months. I prefer easy summer dinners that come together quickly when I don’t feel like cooking.

Needless to say, this shrimp ceviche is on heavy rotation. The shrimp are gently poached first, then marinated in freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice with ripe summer tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, and fresh cilantro. Add creamy, diced avocado right before serving. It’s tangy and refreshing, perfect for those hot summer days.

Serve the shrimp ceviche with homemade tostadas, crunchy plantain chips, or tortilla chips for scooping. Don’t forget to make pitcher margaritas and invite some friends over! Here’s how to make the best (and easiest) shrimp ceviche.

Why you’ll love it

The shrimp are perfectly cooked. Instead of relying on citrus juice to “cook” the shrimp, we’re poaching the shrimp quickly in hot water. Poaching the shrimp gently cooks them for the best texture, then they’re marinated in fresh lime and lemon juice.
It’s bright and fresh; full of zesty lime, buttery avocado, juicy tomatoes, with a kick of jalapeño. Serve it as a snack, lunch, or light dinner. Whichever way you choose, be sure to have crunchy tostadas or tortilla chips nearby for scooping.

Key ingredients in easy shrimp ceviche

Peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp: Unless you’re buying shrimp fresh off the boat, it’s most likely been frozen at some point. Frozen shrimp is the best choice because you can find them already peeled and deveined in the frozen aisle at most grocery stores.
Citrus juice: Marinate the cooked shrimp in freshly squeezed lemon juice and lime juice.
Tomatoes: Seed and chop the tomatoes.
Red onion: Finely chopped red onion gives the shrimp ceviche some bite.
Jalapeno pepper: Add finely chopped jalapeno for a bit of heat.
Cilantro: Chop both the leaves and tender stems, which are edible.
Avocado: Add the diced avocado right before serving.
Helpful swaps

Use frozen cooked shrimp. To save time, you can use frozen cooked shrimp instead of frozen raw shrimp. Thaw the frozen cooked shrimp completely and drain well before using.
Use serrano peppers. Use serrano peppers instead of jalapeño if you like a spicier ceviche.

Is ceviche safe to eat?

We cook the shrimp for this ceviche, which means you don’t have to worry as much about obtaining the freshest raw shrimp possible, which can be a challenge depending on where you live and what’s easily accessible.

Easy Shrimp Ceviche

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp, thawed if frozen

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1 medium jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 medium avocado

Tostadas or tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, add 1 pound peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp, and poach until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

2. Chop the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 chopped tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, 1 finely chopped medium jalapeno, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

3. Just before serving, dice 1 medium avocado, add to the ceviche, and gently toss to combine. Serve with tostadas or tortilla chips, if desired.

Recipe note: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day.

(Sheela Prakash is the senior contributing food editor for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to