Easy dinner recipes: Ceviche with scallops, shrimp, halibut and more

Looking for something perfectly cool for a hot summer day? Oh, and simple? And ready in about an hour? Try ceviche. Specifically, this scallop ceviche recipe requested by Amanda in Encino:

“We spent the weekend in Los Cabos and had an incredible scallop ceviche dish at the Tequila & Ceviche Bar at Las Ventanas. It was so fresh, I think it came straight from the Gulf of California. The chef said they marinate the scallops in lime juice to “cook” them. It looked beautiful, tasted even better and seemed pretty simple to make. Could it be that easy? Would they be willing to share the recipe? It would be a great way to impress my friends this summer.”


Bright, refreshing and oh so simple, this dish takes just minutes to prepare and only half an hour to marinate. 

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Or perhaps you’d like to try the shrimp ceviche from Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks? Plump tiger shrimp are tossed with chopped onion, tomato and spicy habanero peppers, the flavors brightened with fresh lemon juice and a medley of spices. Hungry yet?

Or maybe you’re thinking about the Peruvian ceviche from Ciudad? Buttery halibut is finely diced and marinates quickly, and the finished ceviche is bright with tang and a little heat, which perfectly complements the quick-pickled red onions. (The soup comes together in just over an hour, but the pickled onions do take advance planning so they have enough time to marinate.)

For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

1 pound, 5 ounces cleaned bay scallops

3/4 cup lime juice (from about 8 limes)

1/3 cup minced red onion

1/3 cup seeded and diced tomato

1/2 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

1 seeded and diced jalapeño, or to taste

Scant 1 cup diced cilantro, from about 1 bunch

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium bowl, marinate the scallops in the lime juice for 30 minutes, covered and refrigerated, tossing every 10 minutes.

2. Strain and save the lime juice. Stir in the onion, tomato, cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro. Stir in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, and add back lime juice to taste as desired. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 238 calories; 26 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 49 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 244 mg. sodium.



Total time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time for the shrimp

Servings: Makes a generous quart of ceviche.

Note: Adapted from Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks.


1 pound black tiger shrimp, tail-on

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 onion

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

2 to 3 tomatoes

1/2 to 1 habanero pepper, stemmed and seeded

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook just until they turn a light pink, about 1 minute. Drain immediately and place in an ice bath to cool and stop the cooking process.

2. Peel and coarsely chop the shrimp and place in a medium bowl. Toss the shrimp with the lemon juice and set aside for about 1 hour to marinate.

3. While the shrimp is marinating, chop the onion, cilantro, tomatoes and habanero pepper, and place in a large bowl.

4. After the shrimp has marinated (it should be whitish-pink and firm throughout), drain the shrimp, reserving the liquid. Add the shrimp to the large bowl. Stir in the cumin, pepper, oregano and garlic powder, and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt. Taste, and add back a little of the strained lemon juice to brighten the flavors, and season again, if desired, to taste.

Each of 6 servings: 93 calories; 14 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 121 mg cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 636 mg sodium.


Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes plus overnight chilling for the pickled onions

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Ciudad. Aji amarillo chiles are available at select Latin American markets; jalapeno chiles can be substituted. Aji amarillo paste can be found at select Latin American markets and online.


1/2 pound red onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon roughly chopped cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 small beet, trimmed, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

1. Place the onions in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Strain and set aside the onions.

2. Combine the vinegar, black pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt and beet in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 7 minutes. Add the blanched onions and gently simmer an additional 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover and refrigerate at least a day before serving. This makes about 2 1/2 cups pickled onions, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator up to a month.


1 pound skinless, boneless Pacific halibut or other firm white ocean fish, cut in a 1/4 -inch dice

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 aji amarillo chile, seeds removed, minced

1/2 to 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely diced

1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste

Salt, to taste

Plantain chips or tortilla chips, for garnish

1/3 cup pickled red onions, more as desired, for garnish

Sliced avocado, for garnish

1. In a large glass or nonreactive bowl, combine fish and the lime juice to cover. Marinate for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain the fish, reserving a quarter-cup of lime juice.

2. Combine the fish with the onion, chile, jalapeño, ginger, oil, cilantro and chile paste. Stir in the lime juice. Chill thoroughly. Drain the ceviche and season to taste with salt. Serve each portion in a chilled martini glass, garnished with plantain chips or tortilla chips, pickled red onions and slices of avocado.

Each serving: 274 calories; 24 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 16 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 66 mg. sodium. 


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