By: Leah Golden, MS, RD


Appetizers are best bite-size and hand-held, don’t you think? When you go to a dinner party, isn’t it fun to try a sampling of tasty nibbles? I love that! Crostini are versatile and simple to make. You can make one version or several for a dinner party. People will love them. Just like kids, adults like hand held food, but maybe not as messy. 😊 This shrimp crostini recipe is a keeper! It’s composed of all the goods; toasty bread for some crunch, goat cheese and avocado for  creaminess, a lemon slice for tang, arugula for a peppery zing, and some spicy lemon and garlic shrimp on top for a kick.  A great dinner party snack, if I do say so myself.



Crostini is a nice appetizer because it looks fancy, but usually isn’t too complicated to prepare. The shrimp marinade is simple, fresh and delicious. Adding the lemon zest adds extra flavor without the sourness that you typically get from the juice. You can also add as much or as little spice as you desire. I like it spicy, so I typically add more than what’s on this recipe. Bring on the heat! Keep in mind,  an acidic marinade (like this one, with lemon juice), will cause the shrimp to break down and become mushy if you let it sit for much longer than an hour.



The toasty bread can either be a sourdough or multigrain bread. Both will work just fine. This is a personal preference. Brushing the bread with olive oil will help the bread get crunchy, but be careful that it doesn’t burn. If you want the bread to taste extra garlicy, cut a garlic clove in half and rub on the bread. This is a simple way to infuse more flavor into the bread.



If you’ve never baked shrimp, this is a good opportunity to give it a try. Shrimp cook very fast, so it’s a nice protein option compared to those that take a long time to cook thoroughly. When getting the shrimp for this dish, I’d recommend getting raw wild shrimp that have already been shelled and deveined. In the past, I’ve shelled and deveined the shrimp myself, but it takes a little more time. You can also use frozen shrimp and thaw them out for this recipe.



I hope you try out this recipe for a dinner party, quiet night in with friends, or, even solo.  Try playing around with the spice level to kick it up a notch (or down).  It’s up to you! If you’d like to get fancy, it’s lovely paired with a chilled glass of white wine.



~ Leah


Spicy Lemon, Garlic and Shrimp Crostini

These spicy lemon and garlic crostini are a great appetizer for a small or large dinner party. It’s lemony, spicy and fantastic solo or served alongside other tasty bites and put together as a meal. Enjoy!

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook time:  ~10-20 minutes

Total time: 30-50 minutes


Author: Leah Golden, MS, RD

Recipe type: Appetizer

Serves: 20-25 crostini



  • 1 sourdough or multigrain baguette, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds (about 20-25 slices)
  • ~ 2 T olive oil (for bread)
  • 4 T olive oil (for marinade)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1.5 tsp lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 lb raw wild shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 3 oz soft goat cheese
  • 1 large Avocado, sliced into strips
  • ½ medium lemon, sliced into thin half circles (as many slices as there are crostini)
  • 4 oz Arugula, a small pinch per crostini


  1. Begin by preheating oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil or silicon sheets. Set aside.
  2. While the oven is preheating, cut the baguette into ½ inch rounds.  Brush the bread slices with olive oil and put onto baking sheets. Once oven is preheated, put into oven for 5-10 minutes until bread is crusty and toasted. Pull out and transfer bread to another dish leave aside until it’s time to assemble.  Use same baking sheets for baking the shrimp.
  3. To make the spicy lemon & garlic marinade, combine the olive oil, crushed garlic, chili flakes, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in medium bowl. Wisk ingredients. Add 1-pound raw shrimp and stir until coated. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.  
  4. After the shrimp has marinated, take out of refrigerator. Spread shrimp out on rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle remaining marinade over shrimp.  Bake in oven till shrimp are opaque; approximately 10 minutes.
  5. While shrimp is cooking, slice avocado and lemon.
  6. Once shrimp is cooked, pull out of oven and put aside to cool for a few minutes.
  7. To assemble crostini- spread each slice of bread with goat cheese and top with a lemon slice, avocado slice, pinch of arugula and a spicy lemon shrimp. There should be remaining marinade on the baking sheet- drizzle this over each crostini. Serve immediately.