Shrimp Cocktail

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + chilling


about 6 dozen (1-1/4 cups sauce)

Updated: Nov. 03, 2022
During the '60s, shrimp cocktail was one of the most popular party foods around. And it is still a crowd favorite. It's the one appetizer that I serve for every special occasion as well as for munchie meals. —Peggy Allen, Pasadena, California


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 medium lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 pounds uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined (tails on)
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Lemon wedges, optional


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the first 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Add shrimp. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until shrimp turn pink, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Drain shrimp and immediately rinse in cold water. Refrigerate until cold, 2-3 hours. In a small bowl, combine the 6 sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Arrange shrimp on a serving platter; serve with sauce. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

Shrimp Cocktail Tips

Can you use frozen shrimp to make shrimp cocktail?

Sure! Just rinse the shrimp under cool water to thaw before cooking. There are lots of?easy shrimp recipes you can make with a stash of the frozen seafood.

How do you peel and devein shrimp for shrimp cocktail?

Here’s how to clean and prep shrimp.?It's a bit of extra work, but it can be worth it in order to save some money at the grocery store.

Can you make shrimp cocktail ahead of time?

Yes! Do your cooking the day before, then chill it until you're ready to serve. It couldn't be simpler. Keep your party prep minimal with other make-ahead side dishes, too.

Elizabeth Harris, Taste of Home contributing writer

Nutrition Facts

1 ounce cooked shrimp with about 2 teaspoons sauce: 59 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 555mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 9g protein.