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.

Shrimp cocktail recipe with zesty cocktail sauce served on a platter with lemon wedges

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp Cocktail from one of my favorite cookbooks, Back to Basics.

Shrimp Cocktail Video Tutorial

If you enjoyed this Shrimp Cocktail video tutorial, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel and click the bell icon so you can be the first to know when we post a new video. THANK YOU for subscribing!

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.

Shrimp dipped into shrimp cocktail sauce recipe

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
Close up of peeled and deveined baked shrimp with tail on

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Oil and Season – Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  3. Bake – Toss together, arrange in a single layer and bake at 450˚F.
How to bake shrimp on a baking sheet in the oven

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
Perfectly baked shrimp on serving platter with shrimp cocktail sauce

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.

Shrimp cocktail sauce process shots with ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice and hot sauce ingredients for shrimp cocktail sauce stirred together

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.

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).

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Shrimp Cocktail Recipe with the Best Sauce

4.99 from 135 votes
Shrimp cocktail with baked shrimp and homemade shrimp cocktail sauce on platter with lemon wedges
Impress your guests with this homemade Shrimp Cocktail Recipe. Learn how to make the best oven-baked shrimp and zesty cocktail sauce in just 15 minutes. This is so much better than a store-bought shrimp ring.
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 people as an appetizer

Baked Shrimp Ingredients:

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Ingredients:

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*If using smaller 18-25 count shrimp, roast 6–7 min

Nutrition Per Serving

143kcal Calories8g Carbs19g Protein3g Fat1g Saturated Fat229mg Cholesterol1143mg Sodium192mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar154IU Vitamin A14mg Vitamin C142mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Cocktail Recipe with the Best Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
143
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Cholesterol
 
229
mg
76
%
Sodium
 
1143
mg
50
%
Potassium
 
192
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
19
g
38
%
Vitamin A
 
154
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
14
mg
17
%
Calcium
 
142
mg
14
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shrimp cocktail
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 143

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Jennifer Cool
    March 21, 2024

    This is hands-down the best shrimp cocktail recipe. Second time making it today. Thank you!

    Reply

  • Loran Rutledge
    March 17, 2024

    I am a newcomer to your website, but so far I like what I see. I am a subscriber and will continue to be a subscriber. Thank you for your clear instructions and your videos which I enjoy. See you in the recipe section.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 17, 2024

      Welcomne and I hope you will love all the recipes that you will try!

      Reply

  • Jean Cyr
    December 31, 2023

    I always go to your recipes first!
    You are the best! Thank you for all of your fabulous techniques and advice!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 1, 2024

      Aw, thank you for the compliment, Jean!

      Reply

    • Trish
      March 30, 2024

      As do I. Perfect meal every time..
      Thank you, Thank you.

      Reply

  • Ann
    December 30, 2023

    Without focusing on a specific recipe, I want Natasha to know that I always look for her recipes. They are the best!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 30, 2023

      Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Ann! I’m smiling big reading this comment.

      Reply

  • Frannie in The True North
    December 26, 2023

    One more question! I use 20/30 count shrimp. Do I have to adjust the recipe? Thanks again…

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      Hi Frannie, the amount of shrimp total is still the same at 1 lb so the seasoning can stay the same. You will just have more and smaller shrimp that what we used.

      Reply

  • Karin D
    December 26, 2023

    Excited to make this. Can I bake and chill the shrimp 1 day ahead?

    Reply

  • Chefyl
    December 25, 2023

    Feeling led astray by all the rave reviews. Seasoning was excessive for the shrimp–i had to rinse them off in a colander after baking to make them edible. I thought the sauce came out too sweet as well (but that might have been due to my choice of chili sauce).

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2023

      Hi Chefyl, did you possibly measure out half a Tablespoon of salt by mistake? The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 2 lbs of shrimp which definitely should not be excessive – I also do not like my shrimp or food in general to be too salty. Also, if your sauce was sweet, it’s due to using sweet chili sauce. The sauce should not be sweet. I included a link to the chili sauce that I used in the recipe card to eliminate confusion but I suspect that is what happened. I highly recommend following the recipe as written before making substituions especially if its your first time making it. I hope you give this another try as written.

      Reply

  • Greg B
    December 25, 2023

    Can I chill the shrimp after they’re baked for a chilled shrimp cocktail?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2023

      H Greg, yes absolutely! That’s what I love about this recipe – it’s make ahead and taste just as great chilled.

      Reply

  • easystuffmadestrange
    December 13, 2023

    but the shrimps i need to place them on the left side or right side while cooking in the hoven , i should turn middle of the cooking ?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 13, 2023

      Hi! I’m not sure that I understand your question about left or right. It doesn’t matter which side they are laid on and this recipe was tested in a conventional oven with regular bake mode. The oven rack is in the middle. If you are using a different type of oven, it may require some experimenting. We bake the shrimp at 450˚F for 8-10 min or until shrimp turn pink and are just cooked through.
      There is no need to turn them if your oven bakes evenly and if they are well spaced for air to circulate, but you can turn them if you prefer.

      Reply

  • Deb
    July 14, 2023

    I’ve come to rely on this cocktail sauce whenever I’m preparing a shrimp dish. Without a doubt the BEST of the best! Flavors are perfectly balanced.
    Can’t improve on perfection.
    Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 14, 2023

      Hi Deb! That’s awesome. I’m so glad you love this recipe!

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.