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Shrimp Cocktail with Cocktail Sauce is an easy, classic recipe and must-make for any party appetizer. These are so delicious, you won’t be able to get enough of them! 

Shrimp cocktail in a glass.

Does anyone else dream of endless shrimp cocktail dispensers? Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait to get into The Good Place for this dream to come true. We are shrimp fiends over here at The Stay At Home Chef, and have perfected this shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce recipe just for you. 

Shrimp cocktail is a classic, old time-y recipe that simply doesn’t go out of style. There are certain things you just don’t mess with, and shrimp cocktail is one of them. Call us purists when it comes to certain foods if you must. We proudly stand by this recipe as the best! Bring this as an appetizer to your next party and everyone will be begging for more!

Can I make shrimp cocktail ahead of time?

Yes! Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is so easy! Make your shrimp cocktail up to 24 hours ahead of time, just be sure to keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp:

Shrimp can be purchased in several forms. If your shrimp is purchased raw with the shell on it will need to be peeled and most likely, also deveined. Use a sharp knife to slice 1/4 inch into the back of the raw shrimp (the outer edge of the curve). This will cut into the shell and make it easy to slip off, as well as expose the vein, if there is one. If there is a black, visible vein, use the sharp tip of your knife to gently lift it out of the shrimp and discard it. Once the vein is removed you can either peel the shrimp immediately or leave it on for cooking, which can add more flavor. Whichever you decide to do, the peel should easily slip off when given a little tug. Peel off any remaining shell and discard or save and freeze for making seafood stock later. 

Veined vs. Deveined:

The vein is the intestinal track of the shrimp that runs along the back of the shrimp. Not every shrimp will have a visible vein. We much prefer deveined shrimp, as it is a bit unappetizing to see the vein and it can be a bit gritty. You can devein your own shrimp or simply buy already deveined shrimp at your local grocery store.  However, it is not harmful to consume shrimp with the vein, and is really up to personal preference if you care to devein or not. 

Shrimp Cocktail hanging over a glass.

Storage Instructions:

Shrimp cocktail needs to be refrigerated in an airtight container, and can safely be consumed for up to 3-4 days after cooking.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious appetizer recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Shrimp cocktail in a glass.
Shrimp Cocktail with Cocktail Sauce is an easy, classic recipe and must-make for any party appetizer. These are so delicious, you won't be able to get enough of them! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 pound raw shrimp
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup or chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • Rinse shrimp and set aside. Fill a separate bowl with 4 cups ice and water for after the shrimp is cooked.
  • Devein the shrimp. Use kitchen shears or a pairing knife to slice a 1/4-inch deep slit into the back of your shrimp. Use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to pull out the black vein. Not all shrimp will have a black vein which is nothing to worry about. Keep the shells on for cooking for maximum flavor.
  • Fill a small pot or large saucepan with water. Squeeze lemon juice into the water and add in the lemon itself. Season the water with salt and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add in the shrimp. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent. Drain the shrimp and immediately transfer to the prepared ice water to stop the cooking process and cool quickly. Remove the peels from the shrimp. Refrigerate cooked shrimp until ready to serve.
  • For the cocktail sauce, in a small bowl whisk together ketchup (or chili sauce), lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and 1 to 2 dashes of tabasco sauce. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Serve shrimp cold with cocktail sauce for dipping.
Raw shrimp is often sold with the shells and tail on, and sometimes may include the head and legs. It needs to be deveined before cooking which is a quick process. You can also shell your shrimp at the same time. We prefer leaving the shell on for cooking as it adds more flavor. Once removed, shells can be frozen and saved for making a seafood broth or stock. 
Shrimp tails can be removed for serving, if desired. For shrimp cocktail, the tail itself makes a nice little handle for serving and are usually left on. 
*The Nutritional information provided with this recipe is based on the entire portion of 1 pound of shrimp, and the cocktail sauce. How much one way eat is up to the individual. 


Calories: 799kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 98g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1143mg | Sodium: 12914mg | Potassium: 1562mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 1231IU | Vitamin C: 115mg | Calcium: 762mg | Iron: 13mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shrimp Cocktail
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