The Best Easy Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

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The best homemade shrimp cocktail sauce ever – The Best Easy Shrimp Cocktail Recipe is delicious, easy, and transforms any dinner into a special event! 

cooked shrimp cocktail on a plate around a cup of bright red cocktail sauce
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Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce

The best homemade shrimp cocktail sauce ever – based off one of my favorite seafood cocktail sauces – this shrimp cocktail sauce and shrimp recipe is so easy, delicious, and one of the most delicious appetizers you can make for a fancy night at home!

If you always order shrimp cocktail when eating out, this recipe is going to become your new favorite.

Shrimp cocktail is the perfect appetizer for a party, its easy to whip up, and homemade shrimp cocktail sauce is so easy to make, and tastes about a million times better than the stuff from a jar!

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

Tips For The Best Cocktail Sauce

I love a slightly chunky cocktail sauce – so I try to not overblend, so it’s not too runny.

If you keep your cocktail sauce in a tight jar in a cool dry place (I keep mine in the fridge) it will keep for up to a month – but I like to make it fresh for the best flavors.

Use freshly grated horseradish: Freshly grated horseradish will give your cocktail sauce a more vibrant flavor compared to store-bought horseradish.

Use high-quality ketchup: The quality of your ketchup will impact the flavor of your cocktail sauce, so it’s best to use a high-quality ketchup brand.

Use fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice will give your cocktail sauce a tangy, bright flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Let it sit: Letting your cocktail sauce sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving will allow the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Adjust the seasonings to your taste: Everyone has their own preference when it comes to the level of spiciness and sweetness in their cocktail sauce. Experiment with different amounts of horseradish, hot sauce, and sugar to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

Use the right dipping vessel: Cocktail sauce is typically served with shrimp or seafood, so it’s important to choose a dipping vessel that is easy to use with your fingers and doesn’t tip over easily. Cocktail glasses or small bowls with a wide base work well.

Recipe FAQs

What is shrimp cocktail sauce?

Shrimp cocktail sauce is a classic sauce served alongside boiled, poached, or grilled shrimp. It is typically a cold sauce made with a base of ketchup and horseradish, and often includes additional ingredients such as lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

How do you make shrimp cocktail sauce?

To make shrimp cocktail sauce, combine ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Adjust the seasoning to taste and chill until ready to serve.

Can you make cocktail sauce in advance?

Yes, shrimp cocktail sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

How long does shrimp cocktail sauce last?

Shrimp cocktail sauce can last for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What are some variations of shrimp cocktail sauce?

Some variations of shrimp cocktail sauce include adding ingredients such as garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, or cilantro to give it a unique twist. Some people also like to use a combination of ketchup and cocktail sauce for added flavor.

cooked shrimp cocktail on a plate around a cup of bright red cocktail sauce

Easy Seafood Dinner Recipe Ideas You’ll Love:

If you love how easy and impressive this shrimp cocktail sauce recipe is, you’ll love my other easy seafood dishes that are guaranteed to impress for date night!

Most of these recipes are one pot seafood dishes, and all are ready in under 30 minutes with minimal work and cleanup for a perfect seafood dinner.

The Best Easy Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

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Homemade shrimp cocktail recipe served with delicious homemade cocktail sauce in a white bowl.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Tangy, spicy, delicious cocktail sauce that is easy to make and perfect for shrimp cocktail.
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, cocktail sauce, sauce, seafood, shrimp, side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 35kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 32 Shrimp 21 to 25 count tiger shrimp
  • For the brine:
  • ¼ cup salt kosher
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups ice
  • For the cocktail sauce:
  • 1 14 1/2- ounce can diced tomatoes drained
  • ½ cup prepared chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Few grinds fresh black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt kosher
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Old Bay seasoning


  • Rinse shrimp under cold water, and remove shells (keep the tail on) and clean out any vein if needed.
  • Place cleaned shrimp into a bowl with brine and refrigerate mixture for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • While shrimp are brining, place tomatoes, chili sauce, horseradish, sugar, pepper, and salt in food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Refrigerate cocktail sauce until ready to serve.
  • Place a baking sheet or broiler pan under oven broiler and preheat for 5 minutes.
  • Remove shrimp from brine and drain thoroughly.
  • Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning, if desired.
  • Place shrimp onto a sizzling sheet pan and return to broiler immediately.
  • After 2 minutes, turn the shrimp with a pair of tongs.
  • Return the shrimp to broiler for 1 minute.
  • Transfer to a cold cookie sheet.
  • Refrigerate immediately.
  • Once shrimp have chilled, arrange with cocktail sauce in a martini glass or as desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1160mg | Sugar: 3g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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