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Shrimp cocktail served with the sauce over bed of ice with lemon wedges
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5 from 7 votes

How to Make Shrimp Cocktail

Learn how to make a classic shrimp cocktail quickly and easily for a delicious appetizer for the holidays; served with a tangy cocktail sauce
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 178kcal
Author Yumna Jawad


For the shrimp

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp peeled, deveined, tails-on, thawed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • As needed ice water

For the cocktail sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce Cholula, Tabasco, etc
  • Pinch salt


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add Old Bay seasoning and lemon juice. Lower the heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp become bright pink and curl.
  • Strain and transfer to the prepared ice water to immediately stop the cooking.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire and hot sauce for the cocktail sauce until well blended.
  • Serve the shrimp chilled with the cocktail sauce.


Storage: The cooked shrimp will keep well covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Make Ahead: You can cook the shrimp and chill in the fridge for 3 days before serving. The cocktail sauce can also be made ahead of time and kept covered until ready to serve.
Tips: Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as it can become rubbery. Run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1297mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 637IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2mg