Grilled Shrimp and Bacon Skewers with Pickled Onion and Avocado Salad

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Grilled shrimp is a Mexican standard on both coasts. Here we put the tasty little crustaceans on a skewer with slab bacon that has been blanched first to precook it so you don’t have to worry that it won’t cook all the way through on the grill. You have to watch these skewers once they get on the grill, though, because the fat from the bacon can easily ignite. If that happens, shift them quickly to a cooler part of the grill until the fire has died down, then move them back over the fire.

Serves2 as Entrée;  4 as Appetizer

Cooking Methodgrilling


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course


Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and Texturecrisp, garlicky, hot & spicy, savory, sharp, smoky

Type of Dishsalad, skewer


  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved, and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced medium
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato, cored and diced medium
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (or substitute parsley)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (16 to 20), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 16 equal cubes, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, and drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), cut into pieces about 1 inch long (about 16 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Make the salad: In a small bowl, combine the onion and vinegar and let stand for 1 hour. While the onions are pickling, combine the remaining ingredients for the salad in a medium bowl, toss well, cover, and refrigerate.

  2. When the onions have been soaking for an hour, drain them, discard the vinegar, and add to the salad.

  3. Thread the shrimp, bacon, bell pepper, and scallions alternately onto skewers. Sprinkle the skewers with the oil and salt and pepper to taste and grill over a medium fire for 3 to 4 minutes per side. To check for doneness: Cut into one of the shrimp to be sure that it is opaque throughout.

  4. Remove the skewers from the grill. Place the salad on a serving platter or individual plates, top with the skewers, and serve.


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