Shrimp Cocktail Recipe (VIDEO)
Impress your guests with a homemade Shrimp Cocktail. Learn how to make the best oven-baked shrimp and zesty cocktail sauce. This is so much better than a store-bought shrimp ring.
Just like our Shrimp Ceviche appetizer or Pico De Gallo, this roasted shrimp and cocktail sauce tastes even better the next day after the flavors meld so this is an excellent make-ahead recipe. Watch the video tutorial below and see how easy this is.
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This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp Cocktail from one of my favorite cookbooks, Back to Basics.
Shrimp Cocktail Recipe:
Shrimp Cocktail is an appetizer with cooked large shrimp or prawns served with a tomato-based zesty cocktail dipping sauce. It is often packaged in supermarkets as a “shrimp ring” and typically sold refrigerated or frozen. This homemade shrimp cocktail takes minutes to prepare and the flavor is so much better. Roasted shrimp are more flavorful than the boiled shrimp sold in supermarkets and you can’t beat a homemade cocktail sauce.
Shrimp Cocktail is impressive enough to serve at your New Years Party, for game-day, or when you need to satisfy that fierce craving for shrimp (remember it keeps well in the fridge).
What is the Best Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail?
The extra-large shrimp (16-20 count per pound) look best in a shrimp cocktail ring. It also works great with the large shrimp (18-25 count per pound). We recommend 2 lbs of shrimp to feed a crowd. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp that is:
- Raw (uncooked)
- Fresh or frozen and thawed (most shrimp are sold frozen)
- Headless (head-on shrimp can get mushy)
- Wild-caught (if available)
- Tail-on (for easier serving)
- “EZ peel” or Already peeled and deveined (saves time)
- 100% shrimp without added ingredients
How to Bake Shrimp in the Oven:
Baked shrimp is so fast, easy and hands-off life our Baked Honey Cajun Shrimp or our popular Cheesy Stuffed Shrimp. You don’t have to flip the shrimp and they turn out perfect every time. There’s something about roasting shrimp that amplifies their sweetness. If you prefer boiled, check out our easy boiled shrimp tutorial.
- Rinse and thoroughly pat dry shrimp paper towels and place them on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Toss together, arrange in a single layer and bake at 450˚F.
Shrimp Baking Chart:
It’s important not to overbake shrimp or they will watery. Take them out when they turn pink and are just cooked through. For even baking, ensure that your shrimp are fully thawed and patted dry. Also, bake in a fully pre-heated oven at 450˚F so they bake up quickly and don’t juice out.
- Large 21 to 25 ct shrimp, bake 6-7 min
- Extra-large 16-20 ct shrimp, bake or 8-10 min
- Jumbo 11-15 ct shrimp (or U-15), bake 10-11 min
How to Make Shrimp Cocktail Sauce:
Shrimp cocktail sauce is easier than you think. Once you try homemade, you won’t want the store-bought sauce again! It’s really just a matter of combining ingredients: ketchup, a mild chili sauce, prepared horseradish (sold in the refrigerator section of the grocery store), fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of hot sauce.
Add the horseradish sauce and hot sauce to taste depending on how much of a spicy kick you like. Just keep in mind the sauce does mellow out after refrigeration so I always make it slightly spicier than I think I need.
Our Best Shrimp Appetizers:
These shrimp appetizers are always the first to disappear at parties and always get rave reviews. For more appetizer inspiration, explore all of our Appetizer Recipes here.
- Coconut Shrimp (with 2-ingredient sauce)
- Shrimp Scampi – an easy, 1-pan recipe
- Shrimp Tacos – a famous copycat recipe
- Hot Shrimp Dip – creamy and cheesy
- Cucumber Shrimp bites – with guacamole
Watch the Shrimp Cocktail Recipe Video:
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Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
Baked Shrimp Ingredients:
Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Ingredients:
Thaw shrimp according to package instructions, then rinse under cold water and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Place shrimp on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle on 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir to combine then arrange shrimp in a single layer.
Bake at 450˚F for 8-10 min or until shrimp turn pink and are just cooked through.* As soon as they come out of the oven, test a shrimp for doneness then transfer all shrimp to a serving platter. If they stay on the hot baking sheet, they can get overcooked.
Combine all of the Cocktail Sauce ingredients, adding horseradish and hot sauce to taste (Add more if you love cocktail sauce with a spicy kick and less if you prefer a mild sauce). Cover and refrigerate sauce and shrimp for at least an hour or overnight. Serve chilled.
*If using smaller 18-25 count shrimp, roast 6–7 min
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen