• Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

Prawn and avocado is a classic combination for a reason: something about the crunchy, sweet prawn meat with that melt-in-the-mouth creaminess is just delicious, even more so when pepped up with lime, chilli and garlic. More importantly, these adhere to the golden canapé rule: they can be eaten in two (rather large) bites. I like to decorate mine with pomegranate seeds for an extra festive touch and burst of sweet-sharp juice, but this is by no means compulsory.

What is it about the concept of a canapé party that seems to mean ‘free rein to go totally wild with all sorts of unhealthy food you never normally eat and that doesn’t even really taste that good’?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to shake things up a little and serve your guests something fresh, vibrant, light, healthy; something that tastes fabulous but is also gorgeous to look at? More unusual and inventive canapés are guaranteed to impress at this time of year, when people become slightly jaded by the usual offerings.

Now, I know that the last thing you want to be doing during a party is slaving away in the kitchen producing bite-sized morsels that will be devoured in a fraction of the time it took you to lovingly prepare them. For this reason, I’ve come up with a canapé recipe that takes just fifteen minutes to prepare, doesn’t involve any oven timings, and can be served warm rather than hot, so you can prep it a little in advance.

This recipe is the antithesis of all the usual Christmas party staples. It features crunchy lettuce boats cradling an indulgently creamy yet refreshing mix of mashed avocado, coriander and lime, topped with delicious garlic and chilli prawns.

By all means order in the cocktail sausages and the vol-au-vents this year if you can’’t face cooking for your canapé party. But I’’d suggest you mix things up a bit by serving these delicious fresh, zesty morsels alongside too; your guests will thank you for it.


here's what you'll need...

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 baby gem lettuces, outer leaves only
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 20 raw king prawns, peeled
  • Pomegranate seeds, to serve (optional)

prawns canape ingredients

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here's how it's done...

  • 1

    Halve the avocados and scoop the flesh out into a small bowl. Add the juice of half a lime and mash roughly with a fork. Season well with salt and pepper (avocados need a lot of salt) and add the coriander. Check to see if it needs more lime; if so, squeeze in the other half.

    prawns step 1

  • 2

    Cut the remaining lime into wedges to garnish. Tear 10 large leaves from the lettuces and spoon a little avocado mixture into each leaf. Arrange on a serving platter.

    prawns step 2

  • 3

    Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli and sauté for a minute or two, then add the prawns and cook for a minute or so on each side until pink and just cooked. Season well.

    prawns step 3

  • 4

    Put two prawns on top of each lettuce cup. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, if you like, and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.

    prawns post image 1


By Elly McCausland on 19.12.13

Guest Contributor

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