Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Shrimp cocktail is a classic cocktail party appetizer … and for good reason. It’s finger food that tastes fancy without a ton of work. Also, it goes great with cocktails and beer!

You can serve it in individual sauce-and-shrimp glasses or lay the shrimp out on a large platter and provide a bowl of cocktail sauce. It all depends on the type of party. You want these to remain cold—so it may be advisable to keep it on ice.

Note that shrimp is sold by the number of shrimp needed to make a pound. So how many servings depends on how large your shrimp is. For example, 21-25 count shrimp means a pound will contain 21-25 pieces of shrimp. Choose the size you like best.

Here’s my favorite simple recipe:shrimp cocktail recipe



  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound unpeeled shrimp


Fill a medium-sized pot with water then squeeze the lemon and put it in the pot along with the salt, onion, peppercorns and seasoning. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.

On medium heat, add the shrimp. Gently cook until the shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent. Drain the water and peel the shrimp. You may want to leave on the tail for looks or to make them easier to handle. Put peeled shrimp in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the cocktail sauce, at least 30 minutes.

Cocktail Sauce


1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp fresh horseradish, grated
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 grind fresh pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


Combine the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, pepper and Tabasco in a small pot and warm over low heat for about 7 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator. Add parsley right before serving.

Photo by SpecialKRB.

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