Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese


Step up your cracker game this year.

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke
Active Time:
20 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Forget about cheese and crackers: This holiday season, we'll be having our crackers with shrimp, cream cheese, and pepper jelly, thank you very much. This recipe for Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese comes to us from Adam Evans, chef at award-winning Birmingham restaurant Automatic Seafood and Oysters. Pepper jelly and cream cheese on crackers was one of Evans' favorite holiday snacks as a kid. Now, he adds pan-fried shrimp for a fancy upgrade.

While this fun, flavor-packed party snack may look fancy, it's remarkably simple to prepare. The South is no stranger to gussied-up saltines (check out our fan-favorite recipe for Alabama Fire Crackers); in this recipe, basic saltine crackers get a boost of flavor with a symphony of spices (you might want to make a double-batch: They taste just as great on their own). The shrimp are pan-fried until just done, 4-6 minutes, and tossed in an herby, lemony dressing. From there, it's time to assemble. The cream cheese helps meld all the flavors together and the pepper jelly brings a nice sweetness, brightening up the appetizer. These adorable, bite-sized snacks are easy to prepare ahead of time and assemble right before guests arrive. Talk about a holiday treat.


Seasoned Crackers

  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers (about 35)

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • 24 jumbo peeled, deveined raw shrimp (about 1 lb.) 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

Additional Ingredients

  • ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature

  • ¼ cup red pepper jelly, at room temperature


  1. Prepare the Seasoned Crackers: Stack crackers upright (as they are packaged in the sleeve) in an airtight container in a single layer. Whisk remaining 6 ingredients in a bowl; pour mixture evenly over all crackers. Put lid on container; let stand 10 minutes. Flip container; let stand 10 minutes. Repeat until oil and seasoning have soaked into crackers, about an additional 10 minutes.

  2. Prepare the Shrimp: Stir together shrimp, salt, and pepper in a bowl until evenly coated. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Arrange shrimp in 1 layer inside skillet. Cook until shrimp just turn pink and firm, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl; cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Add parsley, lemon juice, chives, and dill; stir together until shrimp are evenly coated.

  3. Arrange 24 seasoned crackers on a platter. (Reserve remaining crackers for another use.) Spread 1 teaspoon cream cheese on each cracker. Top each cracker with 1 shrimp, and spoon ½ teaspoon pepper jelly onto each shrimp. Garnish with additional herbs. Serve immediately.

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