Shrimp Cocktail Recipe with the Best Sauce (VIDEO)
Impress everyone with a homemade Shrimp Cocktail. Learn how to make the best oven-baked shrimp and zesty shrimp 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 Video Tutorial
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What is Shrimp Cocktail?
A Shrimp Cocktail is an appetizer with large cooked 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 and is comparable to a shrimp cocktail you’d order in a fancy restaurant. Also, roasted shrimp are more flavorful than the boiled shrimp sold in supermarkets and you can’t beat a homemade cocktail sauce.
What is the Best Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail?
The extra-large shrimp (16-20 count per pound) look best in a shrimp cocktail ring. This recipe also works great with the large shrimp (18-25 counts 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 (most shrimp are sold frozen)
- Headless (head-on shrimp can get mushy and take more time to prepare)
- Wild-caught (if available)
- Tail-on – creates a handle for easier serving
- “EZ peel” or Already peeled and deveined – saves time
How to Cook Shrimp
Baked shrimp is so fast, easy, and hands-off like 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 boiled shrimp tutorial.
- Prep Shrimp – Peel and devein shrimp if needed then rinse and thoroughly pat dry shrimp paper towels and place them on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Oil and Season – Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Bake – Toss together, arrange in a single layer and bake at 450˚F.
Shrimp Baking Chart
Shrimp cooks quickly and it’s important not to overbake or they will rubbery. 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 seal in their juices.
- 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 the Best 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 your favorite hot sauce.
Is it Spicy? 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 Fajitas – restaurant quality
- Shrimp Tacos – with shrimp taco sauce
- Hot Shrimp Dip – creamy and cheesy
- Bang Bang Shrimp – famous copycat
- Cucumber Shrimp bites – with guacamole
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 you can make it ahead and it keeps well in the fridge).
Shrimp Cocktail Recipe with the Best Sauce
Baked Shrimp 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.