This easy ceviche recipe uses fresh fish (or shrimp), tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. It can be served as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal. Watch the Video.

How to make the Best Ceviche! Ceviche is typically made with fresh fish (or shrimp) cured with lime juice, then tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber.  Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal.

As a chef and caterer, I’ve always loved how this ceviche recipe has been one of the biggest crowd-pleasers at events. And honestly, I’m not surprised—ceviche is fresh, light, and bursting with flavor! It is one of my favorite things to eat in the entire world. We’ve made many versions of ceviche through the years; this one is simple, yet delicious! It can be served as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing meal.

What is Ceviche?

Ceviche is a classic Latin American appetizer made with fresh fish or shrimp cured with lime juice and tossed with cucumber, tomato, red onion, cilantro, and optional avocado. It hails from the coastal regions of Central and South America and is popular from Mexico to Peru and beyond. There are many versions of ceviche, and depending on where you are, it will take on the local flavors.

Ceviche Recipe Ingredients

  • Ocean fish – Look for fish that comes from the ocean. Wild red snapper, corvina, sea bass, mahi-mahi, halibut, scallops or shrimp. Tilapia will work in a pinch, but it is typically farmed. I try to stay away from farmed fish, but up to you.
  • Limes- use fresh lime juice to cure the fish. FRESH IS BEST. Choose ripe limes– the more tender they are, the more ripe- so give them a good squeeze before buying. Rock-hard limes produce little juice and are overly tart.
  • Red onion- Red adds nice color here, but yellow, sweet or white onions all work.
  • Tomatoes – I love using cherry or grape tomatoes here for an extra sweet flavor.
  • Cucumber – thinned-skinned cucumbers don’t need to be peeled. English, Turkish, Persian, etc.
  • Fresh Cilantro- a must!  But if you must sub, go with Italian parsley. Lime juice really mitigates the “soapy” flavor for those of you who have that gene. 🙂
  • Jalapeno Peppers- and heat and a delicious “freshness.”
  • Optional additions: avocado and radishes can be used as garnish.
ceviche ingredients on the counter

How to make Ceviche (step-by-step Instructions)

Step one: Slice the red onions and place in a bowl. Add the salt and lime juice and let these marinate while you continue- this will help remove the bitterness from the onions.

Step two: Cut the fish into 3/4-inch bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinating onions.

Step three: Add the remaining ingredients- cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro and give a good toss. If adding avocado, wait until serving to add it.

Step Four: Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes. The longer you let the fish cure in the marinade, the more “cooked” through the ceviche will become. I find 45 minutes is perfect.

How to make the Best Ceviche! Ceviche is typically made with fresh fish (or shrimp) cured with lime juice, then tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber.  Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal.

Chef’s TipS for the Best Ceviche

  1. Use wild ocean fish for the best clean flavor.
  2. Make sure your limes are “ripe”- squeeze them for softness, or let them ripen on the counter! Unripe limes will make your ceviche overly sour.
  3. Find the balance between salt and lime, adjusting both to taste.

Ceviche Variations and Ways to Serve it!

When we had our catering business, we served ceviche in a multitude of ways… here are some fun options- see photos below!

  • Mini Ceviche Tostados
  • Ceviche served in a coconut
  • Mini Ceviche appetizer cups or shot glasses
  • Ceviche lettuce cups
  • Plated as a first course.

Or, for a special dinner, you could plate ceviche over a creamy avocado sauce (see the recipe card below) for a beautiful first course.

Or simply serve Ceviche in a large bowl with tortilla chips or lettuce cups.

How to make the Best Ceviche! Ceviche is typically made with fresh fish (or shrimp) cured with lime juice, then tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber.  Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal. #ceviche

How Long Does it Last?

Ceviche, like most seafood, is best served the day it is made but will keep 2-3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.

The Best Fish for Ceviche

Most wild ocean fish or shrimp or scallops will work perfectly in ceviche.  River fish or farmed fish are not recommended.  Tilapia tastes OK in ceviche, but it is typically farmed- so it’s up to you; I’ve used it in a pinch.

  1. sea bass
  2. red snapper
  3. halibut
  4. Wild Pacific rockfish
  5. Corvina
  6. dorado
  7. escolar
  8. mahi-mahi
  9. shrimp
  10. scallops


  • Is Ceviche Safe to eat? Ceviche, if made with fresh wild ocean fish is absolutely safe to eat. Think sushi!  The lime juice cooks the ceviche on the outer edges and the longer it marinates the longer it “cooks”.
  • How do you know if the fish is fresh enough to eat raw? It won’t smell fishy. It will smell clean and fresh with have a subtly sweet flavor.
  • How long should Ceviche be marinated? Marination time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pieces, but roughly 45-60 minutes for 3/4 inch pieces is a good rule of thumb. Remember when using a good quality, fresh, wild fish, it is not imperative that the fish is cooked all the way through, a little rawness is actually really quite good! Think sushi!
  • How can you tell if ceviche is cooked long enough?  The fish will look opaque on the outside, instead of translucent.   If you prefer it cooked through more, you can marinate for 2 hours or more! Longer marinating will tend to make the fish chewier. See what you like best. There is no “right way”.  If it tastes too raw for your own tastes, just marinate it longer.
  • Is Ceviche healthy? Yes! Ceviche is high in lean protein, low in fat, and full of Vitamin C from the lime juice.

Can Ceviche be made ahead?

Yes! That being said, Ceviche is best made fresh on the day of serving- and is best up to 4 hours before serving- but I do save the leftovers for the next day. The fish will continue to cook in the lime juice, so the texture will change but the flavors are still great. I’ve been known to eat Ceviche 2-3 days after making -it won’t go bad, if kept in a cold refrigerator.

More Favorite Fish Recipes!

I hope you love this as much as I do. Please don’t forget to rate the recipe!



Watch How to Make Ceviche!

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Ceviche in a white bowl.

The Best Ceviche Recipe!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 81 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: appetizer, salad, main, fish
  • Method: marinated
  • Cuisine: mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


How to make the Best Ceviche! Ceviche is made with fresh fish (or shrimp) cured with lime juice, then tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber.  Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal. Watch the video.


Units Scale

Ceviche Recipe

  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced, with the grain.
  • 11 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, start with 1, add more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (4-6 limes) freshly squeezed ( try to use ripe limes)
  • 12 garlic cloves very finely minced (use a garlic press)
  • 1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili pepper seeded and very finely chopped. Start conservatively, more to taste.
  • 1 pound fresh fish- sea bass, red snapper, corvina, halibut, dorado, escolar, mahi-mahi, tilapia, or hamachi – diced into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • 1/41/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced or cut in half (or 1 cup diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • optional: 1 semi-firm Avocado, diced, or make the Avocado Sauce

Serve with tortilla chips, or lettuce cups, or see more options in the post above.

Optional Avocado sauce:

  • 2/3 cup Avocado
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 2/3 cup water- plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cracked pepper to taste


  1. Slice the red onion thinly with the grain, and toss in a bowl with salt, pepper and lime juice, coating well.
  2. Add the fish, garlic and fresh chilies, and gently mix.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro and olive oil, and give a stir and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving (45-60 minutes is ideal). The longer you marinate the firmer and more “cooked” the fish will become.
  4. Before serving, taste and adjust the salt and heat. Add more salt or chilies if you like.  If adding avocado, gently fold it in right before serving- you may need to add a pinch more salt.
  5. To make the optional Avocado Sauce, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, adding a bit more water or oil, if needed to get the blades going.


To Serve: Serve ceviche in a big bowl with tortilla chips on the side,  or as mini tostadas (on a round chip or homemade) or make ceviche tacos or ceviche lettuce cups. Ceviche can also be served in small appetizer cups or shot glasses with a mini fork.  Or plate it up with a little Avocado Sauce as a salad course.

To make crispy mini tostadas: lightly spray mini corn tortillas (3-inch tortillas) with olive oil and season generously with salt.  Bake in a 300 F oven on a sheet pan until crisp (not chewy, but crisp like a cracker)  about 25 -30 minutes, turning halfway through.  Let cool completely.


  • Serving Size: -includes one diced avocado
  • Calories: 149
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 637.1 mg
  • Fat: 6.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 15.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

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  1. I made this last week and it was delicious! My husband ate it up. I left out the onions because I don’t like them but everything else I put in. It was delicious we ate with saltines and I also made ceviche tostadas. Tasted so fresh perfect for summer

  2. This recipe is super easy (other than a ton of chopping/prep) and super delicious. Highly recommend.

  3. It was easy to make and delicious! All my guests had second servings, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

  4. While searching for a ceviche recipe, I came across your website. I tried your ceviche recipe last night with red snapper and found it delicious and refreshing after a hot day here in Sydney. I have now subscribed to your website, and I am looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

    1. It should mellow a bit…and sometimes it’s the limes. I have really good luck with key lime or limes that really ripe.

  5. This is an AMAZING dish! Super easy to make and oh so delicious…thank you for posting! Looking forward to my next fresh food adventure!

    1. Brandy! Thanks so much for the comment and rating, Im so glad you liked it! What kind of fish did you use?

  6. Ceviche tostados! , butter lettuce wraps!
    wow thats really cool. I am thinking about eating more and more vegan stuff. Further i am thinking about opening a salad only restaurant and I am looking for some easy to make delicious food. I like this and I will be returning for more cool recipes


    1. @Veganlovingdude you DO know this isn’t vegan right? It isn’t even vegetarian! Fish = meat.
      I think you have vegan confused with healthy.
      This IS very healthy, and delicious. I tried the recipe, but made the 2nd batch with a little cumin, even better, to me. Thanks Sylvia!

      1. Hi Shawn, yes, I understand fish is not vegan. 😉 Can you tell me where it says it is vegan so I can fix this?

  7. Hey I think this is very creative to make it. It doesn’t take much time but it makes everyone want to try it at the first sight 😀

  8. Incredibly delicious! I can also eat it every single day. These pictures are stunning. This is totally my kind of breakfast!

  9. YUM! Could I use shrimp instead of fish? Would it “cook” in the lime juice? Can’t wait to try this!

  10. This ceviche is beautiful and I bet tastes so light, zesty and delicious too. I’ve only ever made scallop ceviche before and definitely need to try out your fish version. I love how beautifully you have presented it in each shot too!

  11. OMG, wait until I show my Mom. She’s a really fan of ceviche. If she see this, she’ll talk about it all day long. Until she could able to make it. I love her. My lovely Mommy. And I really love your recipe, by the way. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe lovely.

  12. I am an avid fan of ceviche but have never made it at home before. This looks beautiful and delicious! I also love how you shared so many brilliant ways to serve it. Pinned and saved!

  13. I can not tell you how much I adore ceviche. I can also eat it every single day. These pictures are stunning Sylvia.

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