Make a Shrimp Christmas Tree This Holiday Season!

December 23, 2021

If you read our blog post tribute about American seafood advocate, Bertha V. Fontaine, then you may remember the appearance of a unique, decorative way to serve shrimp for your holiday meal – a shrimp Christmas tree.

You may be asking yourself: what even is a “shrimp Christmas tree?” We’re glad you asked!

Shrimp Christmas trees are a fun and festive way to serve up your shrimp during the holiday season! If you plan on serving shrimp at a gathering of friends or family, you could serve them the same old standard way on a plate with a garnish or two.

Or you could present them with style as part of a shrimp Christmas tree!

The basic idea revolves around getting a Styrofoam cone and decorating it with shrimp and a variety of other finger foods to fill it out. These can range from lettuce for a green leafy background, grape tomatoes for ornaments, cubes of cheese, lemons, and more: the possibilities are endless! The goal is to make an edible arrangement that’s just as great to look at as it is to eat!

There are many creative ways you can make your own shrimp Christmas tree. In fact, a quick Google Search turns up an endless list of resources you can use to find inspiration. Here’s a simple recipe from us!

A quick Google search for “Shrimp Christmas Tree” turns up a variety of ideas!



  • Styrofoam cone (with optional plastic wrap). You can find Styrofoam cones at your local craft store and they come in a variety of sizes.
  • Toothpicks
  • 2 – 3, 1 lb. bags of cooked wild-caught, American shrimp (peeled & deveined). The number of shrimp can vary greatly depending on the size of your cone, the number of shrimp desired and the number of other ingredients you plan to include. (For this application, boiled or steamed shrimp work best.)
  • 1 Head of Lettuce
  • Any other finger foods you’d like to attach, such as:
    • Grape tomatoes
    • Lemon slices
    • Cheese cubes
    • Orange slices
    • Baby corn
    • Olives
    • Peppers
  • Cocktail sauce (optional).
  • Crackers (optional).


  • It’s a good idea to wrap your Styrofoam cone in plastic wrap. Wrap as tightly as possible and hold in place with toothpicks).
  • Remove the leaves from the lettuce head. Working with one lettuce leaf at a time, use a toothpick to pin the leaf on the Styrofoam cone with the curly edge toward the bottom leaving half of the toothpick exposed.  Work your way from the bottom edge to the top by overlapping the lettuce leaves so you do not see the Styrofoam cone.
  • Attach your shrimp in a decorative pattern. You can use new toothpicks and/or use some of the ones you used to attach the lettuce.
  • Serve (with optional cocktail sauce and crackers) and enjoy!

Another Shrimp Christmas Tree courtesy of North Carolina Sea Grant!

This is a completely creative process, and there is really no right or wrong way to decorate your “tree.” Once you get the hang of them, shrimp Christmas trees are sure to become a staple at your next holiday dinner. Happy crafting and, of course, always be sure to use wild-caught, American shrimp for your recipes!

Here’s a video from Shared Food showcasing their own spin on the recipe!

As always, be sure to visit our Recipes Page for even more delicious recipes for your wild-caught American shrimp, which you can Buy from our member-processors shipped anywhere in the country!