Go Back
+ servings
5 from 1 vote
Shrimp Cocktail on a white plate on a wooden table.
Shrimp Cocktail
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
33 mins
Total Time
48 mins
Shrimp Cocktail is a slam dunk appetizer at any party - it draws people to the buffet table every time. It's very simple to cook shrimp, but also very easy to over-cook them too. Here are some tips on how to make the very best shrimp cocktail.
Course: Appetizers/Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free, Seafood
Servings: 8
Calories: 134 kcal
Author: The Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 ribs celery halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 2 pounds Black Tiger shrimp peeled and deveined

Cocktail Sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • dash or two Tabasco® sauce
  1. Combine the onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and salt in a large stockpot and add 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon into the water and toss the squeezed lemon halves into the pot as well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the shrimp while the water simmers – peel and devein and make sure the shrimp is no longer frozen.
  3. Prepare the cocktail sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.
  4. Drop the shrimp into the simmering liquid. Give the shrimp a stir and let them sit in the hot liquid for about 3 minutes or until the water comes back to a boil. They should turn bright pink and feel firm if squeezed. Drain the shrimp and transfer the shrimp to an ice bath to cool for a few minutes. Remove from the ice bath and dry well. You can do this step a day ahead of time if desired.

  5. Serve the shrimp with the cocktail sauce to dip into.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Cocktail
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 143mg48%
Sodium 2692mg112%
Potassium 309mg9%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Vitamin C 20.4mg25%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.