Prepare and Assemble the Best Shrimp Cocktail

It’s no wonder that shrimp cocktail is one of the all-time most popular hors d'oeuvres. Shrimp are light, fresh, and sweet yet savory in a way that perfectly prepares you for the meal to come. 

Prepare and Assemble the Best Shrimp Cocktail

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Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

What you'll need


1 lb Large, Tail-on Shrimp




Prep Time

15 minutes

Cooking Time

5 minutes

You don’t need to pay top dollar to get your shrimp fix though! It’s quite simple to make shrimp cocktail right at home, and even easier when you order fresh shrimp delivery--no trip to the store needed! When you opt to buy shrimp online, you can count on the quality of your seafood. The best shrimp to buy for this recipe are extra-large or jumbo size shrimp that have their tails on, making them ideal for dunking into homemade cocktail sauce!




For the Shrimp:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo cocktail shrimp, tail-on

    For the Cocktail Sauce:

    • ½ cup ketchup
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (or more if you like it hot!)
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

      For Serving:

      • crushed ice
      • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
      • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
      • freshly grated horseradish, if desired




        To Make the Shrimp:

        1. In a large pot, combine the water, Old Bay Seasoning, and bay leaf. Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into the pot, then drop the halves into the pot as well. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. 
        2. Add the shrimp to the seasoned water, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the shrimp is pink and just barely no longer translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
        3. Strain the shrimp through a large colander, and immediately add several cups of ice cubes into the colander. Toss gently to thoroughly mix the shrimp with the ice until the shrimp is thoroughly chilled.
        4. Transfer the chilled shrimp to a clean kitchen towel and pat gently to dry. At this point, the shrimp can be served right away, or stored in the refrigerator for later. 


          To Make the Cocktail Sauce:

          1. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper to taste. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more horseradish if you like it spicy!


          To Serve the Shrimp Cocktail:

          1. When you’re ready to serve your shrimp cocktail, fill a bowl or plate with the crushed ice. Arrange the cooked shrimp with their tails placed over the rim of the bowl for easy grabbing. 
          2. Sprinkle the shrimp with the minced parsley and scatter the lemon wedges around and between the cooked shrimp. Serve with your homemade cocktail sauce for dipping!



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