Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
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There is a sense of nostalgia when you tuck into a beautiful Shrimp Cocktail at a restaurant isn’t there? I remember eating these as a kid and absolutely devouring them. As an adult, it’s very much the same story! The secret to a great Shrimp Cocktail is, of course, the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce. This is our favorite recipe which is super simple to create

There are definitely a few dishes that if it’s on the menu I’m always going to order it. Shrimp Cocktail is always one of those recipes. It’s one of those dishes that is such a staple that you know it’ll taste good. Even a bad Shrimp Cocktail still tastes ok in our book! If you’re unsure about the restaurant / never eaten there before then this is a safe order. In fact, you really can judge the quality of a restaurant overall by how good their Shrimp Cocktail is!

Ingredients in Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

There are very few ingredients in a good Shrimp Cocktail Sauce. So, what makes a great Shrimp Cocktail Sauce?


Of course, we start with Ketchup. The cornerstone to a beautiful Shrimp Cocktail Sauce is in the Ketchup. Heinz ketchup is the staple ketchup across the country and what we’re recommending you use for this delicious sauce


This has to be one of those ingredients that is used so sparingly in a lot of home cooking. When you think of Horseradish I always go straight to delicious Seafood at a fancy restaurant. Horseradish just pairs so brilliantly with Shrimp and it’s what gives the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce that delicious, spicy zing that goes straight up your nose when you eat it!

Worcestershire Sauce

I took a look at the label of my Worcestershire Sauce and it reads “adds instant richness”. So there you go! This classic sauce from England is a mix of acidity (Vinegar) and sugars (Sugar and Molasses) that gives it it’s unique flavor. Just add a splash, and true to the label you’ll get that instant richness the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce soaks up!

Lemon Juice

 The perfect pairing of Lemon Juice with seafood is not lost in this sauce. If there is fresh seafood around, you better believe there’ll be some Lemon wedges nearby! The Lemon adds a beautiful, fresh acidity to the sauce, cutting through the sweetness of the Ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce with Lemon

How to cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

It wouldn’t be much of a Shrimp Cocktail Sauce unless you’ve got some beautiful Shrimp to dip into it now would it? There is a couple of ways you can prepare the delicious Shrimp. First, and easiest is to simply buy the peeled, deveined, pre-cooked Shrimp from the supermarket or your local Fishmonger. This way they’re ready to go. However, if you want to prepare the Shrimp yourself here’s a few approaches

First you need to prepare the Shrimp. Peeling and deveining so they are ready for cooking. We’ve got a fantastic tutorial video here which shows how simple this process is. Now, onto the cooking:

Steamed Shrimp

The purists will tell you this is the best way to prepare Shrimp. If you don’t own a steamer at home, an easy trick is to add about half a cup of water into a saucepan then bring to a simmer. Pop your Shrimp in, cover with a lid then steam until cooked. 1-2 minutes should do

Boiled Shrimp

Potentially a risky approach as it is very easy to overcook the Shrimp. However, this is still a perfectly fine way to cook them. Just bring the Water to a boil in a Saucepan, Season with Salt, then cook the Shrimp for around 1 – 2 minutes

Pan Fried Shrimp

Not a traditional approach as you typically don’t want a seared, golden color to the Shrimp. However, I’m not here to tell you how to prepare your Shrimp. Fried Shrimp Cocktail sounds darn good to me! Melt some butter into a medium frying pan then cook the Shrimp for 1-2 minutes on either side. For added luxury – add some garlic to that butter!

For all these cooking approaches, you can check that the Shrimp is done when it has turned a beautiful white / pink color, and the Shrimp is firm to the touch. Be careful not to overcook as it will become rubbery. So best check every 30 seconds or so on its doneness

The Shrimp Cocktail is served cold, so be sure to cook your Shrimp beforehand so they have time to Chill

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Tall

Recipe Details


2 people

Prep time

5 minutes

Cooking time

2 minutes

Total time

7 minutes

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe


  • 10 Large Shrimp, cooked, deshelled and deveined
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • 3 tsp. Horseradish
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ tsp. Salt


  1. Place the Ketchup, Horseradish, Lemon Juice, Worcestershire Sauce and Salt into a bowl and mix well to combine
  2. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. You may want to dial up the Horseradish if you like your Shrimp Cocktail Sauce to have a bit of a kick to it
  3. Pour the sauce in a martini glass then arrange your cooked Shrimp around the rim of the glass
  4. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for 15 – 20 minutes then serve. Either way, best to serve this dish cold

For larger quantities simply adjust the volume of ingredients accordingly. For 4 people, double the recipe, for 6, triple it etc. Try pairing this delicious Shrimp Cocktail Sauce alongside a beautiful Beef Dinner for a full, steakhouse worthy meal and Happy Cooking!

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