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 82 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. Made this for the first time tonight and it was perfect! I’m new to ceviche but my husband has been Eating it for years. He thoroughly enjoyed it and told me to make it the same way again. I didn’t change anything from the recipe – it was great as is.

  2. Tried this for the first time. We used Red Snapper hubby caught last fall. It was delicious. I didn’t change anything. Made the avocado crema instead of putting in avocados and that was delicious as well. Definitely will make again.

  3. JUST returned from Nicaragua where I had great ceviche. Making this recipe for friends tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

  4. Is it possible to make this without the peppers? Plan on making for a family gathering and my sister is allergic to all peppers.

    1. Jalapenos add such good flavor here. This is what I would do- I wait to add the jalapeno until the end- and would separate out her portion (without jalapeno)- but then add it to the rest, so others can enjoy it with the jalapeno.

  5. My husband took one bite and raved about this! He ended up having three servings. Rarely do I follow a recipe without changing it a bit, but this recipe stands on its own!

  6. I made this recipe twice for myself and my best friend. The only thing I would change would be to dice the onion instead of thinly slicing for constancy, everything else is diced. Also even with the onion being thinly slice they overwhelm the dish. Diced onions is the way. Other than that great dish/recipe.

  7. Don’t know who’s responsible for those tiny little videos that pop up on recipe websites like yours but they’re completely worthless. For starters by the time you spot them they’re already halfway thru the recipe. But if you’re lucky enough to catch it from the beginning, they move so fast they’re impossible to absorb anyway. If you were hoping to see the same recipe again so you wait for the ad to finish, guess what it moves on to the next recipe, no second chance. So I’ve come to one conclusion, that these videos are designed for one purpose only, for clickbait. Clickbait for their advertisements. Just trying to save your readers some time:))

    1. Hi Diana- sorry about that. They can be frustrating. To repeat the same video, refresh the page, it should play. I am working on the comment box refreshing before you finish typing, and I hear you, that is truly annoying.

  8. Just a little constructive criticism. Dorado and Mahi Mahi are the same fish. Mahi Mahi, dorado, dolphin fish, dodo… all different names for the same colorful and delicious fish.

  9. Ohlala what can I say, just as Sylvia says it can be dressed up in little Chrystal glasses and served as culinary appetizers or down in a bowl w/ nachos & beers… i tend to make this receipt with Mahi mahi as it’s the most consistent white fish available in taste and texture here in Colorado… I use frozen fish for everything we eat & serve raw or undercooked as I have learned from my fishmonger back in Culinary paradise Madrid, Spain (where I used to live), that frozen is actually the safest to eat raw nowadays as subzero temperature freezing process kills the common Anisakiasis parasite… our authentic fishmonger in Madrid refused to sell me fresh if it was for sushi & sashimi… not sure what acid does in the killing parasites process … here I no longer have such a knowledgeable fishmonger and I’ve learned that here in the US a lot so called “fresh” from meats, fish to pizza dough & breads even at the wholefood type of store comes from frozen (my “fresh” challa bread at wholefoods was last frozen solid 🥲)… so all is better just bought frozen and then thawed at home before use instead of refreezing so called thawed “fresh”. Even in the Netherlands where I am from and we have a huge fish eating culture and industry a lot of “fresh” fish gets caught deep at sea and frozen on the ships straight away…. We have been eating lots of raw from frozen fish for years and never (knock on wood) encountered problems. Ceviches are a summer go to and I bring frozen fish in a cooler home on hot days. Thawing fish also cuts into beautiful perfect cubes! As we used to learn in classic french cooking slightly freeze beef before trying to cut the thinnest carpaccio type of slices… enjoy this is a fabulous recipe!

    1. Elzeline-Thanks for taking the time to share all your good info, I know it wasn’t easy since this website refreshes itself fairly often deleting our comment before we have a chance to finish haha Apparently all our grocery stores in Texas thaw out their homemade breads too since we’ve never seen them in the freezer sections. I would much prefer to buy them frozen also. Same with our fish. It’s typical for grocers to thaw out all the wild-caught fish before placing them under the glass counter. And lately our stores have been getting shipments of true fresh fish that have never gone thru the flash-freezing process increasing our chances for all sorts of problems that can happen along the way before they arrive. Plus we’re more likely to find live parasites in our fresh fish when they would’ve otherwise been killed during the flash-freezing process. To those interested: live parasites are in ALL fish, both farm-raised and wild-caught altho farm-raised usually has more.

  10. this is a nice recipe. I used frozen mahi and some scallops and one thing I like about this is the crunch of the veggies. It is delicious, you should try it !!

  11. I will have to present all my food from now on the way you’ve photographed the ceviche here! This has so much wow factor! It also makes such a beautiful presentation served atop shredded lettuce or Napa cabbage in chili-rimmed margarita glasses (with a few tortilla chips as garnish of course!). Your avocado sauce seems like a great addition!

  12. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve always loved ceviche in restaurants but it has seemed too exotic to make at home. But your recipe is easy and thinking about it like sushi helps too! I’ve never thought of it that way. I used fresh red snapper while visiting the beach in NC. Soooo good!

  13. Spot on with just the right ingredients! Incredibly simple but absolutely delightful. Avocado on top of the ceviche also elevates further. Thanks for sharing!

  14. My first attempt and I also used raw shrimp. Turned out delicious. Definitely have to salt and pepper to taste but perfect overall!

  15. First time making ceviche and it turned out amazing! I used fresh raw shrimp and it turned out perfectly delicious!

  16. First time making ceviche and it turned out amazing!! I used fresh raw shrimp. Came out perfectly delicious!

  17. Just fantastic!!!! I’ve been wanting to make ceviche forever and this couldn’t be easier or better tasting. So dang good!

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