Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

| August 29, 2021 | 2 Comments

Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this simple but delicious shrimp cocktail sauce. Perfect for dipping boiled shrimp. Printable recipe included.


Shrimp Cocktail, enjoy!
Boiled shrimp are a perfect appetizer for all seafood lovers. They’re easy to prepare and we’re including our cocktail sauce recipe to dip them in. You might even just want to make a full meal off of them.


Shrimp Cocktail, slider.

When I ran the kitchen for my brothers Seafood Restaurant, we sold a fair amount of boiled shrimp. Lots of the older folks seemed to enjoy it over the fried calabash style of shrimp we were best known for.

It’s really easy to over cook shrimp when you’re trying to boil them, but if you pay attention and don’t walk away from them, you’ll be happy with the results.

We’ll show you how we boil shrimp here, and we’ll also show you a really easy to make Cocktail Sauce to go with them. It’s so easy and simple, but very tasty. Smile.

Someone always seems to prepare a big plate of boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce for our Christmas get togethers at older brothers house every year. They’re so good it’s difficult to not get greedy and just try to make a full meal off of them.

Fresh shrimp are best if you can find them. I usually buy some larger shrimp with the shell and tails still on them. I remove the shells and the sand vein, but always like to leave the tail on for the best presentation look.

These are great for game days if you’re into such, or any time you need a quick and easy appetizer.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Shrimp Cocktail, ingredients.
Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce – You’ll need these ingredients.


Shrimp Cocktail, rinse the shrimp.
Rinse your shrimp under cold running water.

I’m using a pound of fresh, shell on and un-deveined shrimp. Pick the size you like best.


Shrimp Cocktail, peel and devein.
This little shrimp tool makes it pretty easy to remove the shell from the shrimp. You just slip the serrated edge under the shell at the head end and lift up. It cuts the shell so you can easily remove it. Then, you can use the pointed end to remove the sand vein in the shrimp.

I like to leave the tail on. You could remove it, but it makes a better presentation if you leave it. My opinion of course. Smile.


Shrimp Cocktail, add water.
Grab a large pot and fill it about half full with water.


Shrimp Cocktail, add some salt.
Add Sea Salt to taste. Yes, regular old table salt will work, but sea salt just seemed like the best one to use. I added about 2 Tablespoons.


Shrimp Cocktail, bring to a boil.
Place the pot on your stove top over Medium-High heat and let the water come to a good rolling boil.


Shrimp Cocktail, add the shrimp.
Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the boiling water.


Shrimp Cocktail, cover the pot.
Cover the pot and TURN OFF THE HEAT.

Let the shrimp stay in the pot for several minutes until they are opaque and pink. Only takes a couple of minutes, so be sure to watch them closely. You don’t want to overcook them.


Shrimp Cocktail, rinse to cool down.
Immediately remove the shrimp and drain them. Either plunge them in ice cold water, or just rinse them under cold running water.

You need to stop them from cooking any further. Don’t these look purdy?


Shrimp Cocktail, add ketchup.
Cocktail Sauce:  Place 1 cup of ketchup in a small mixing bowl.


Shrimp Cocktail, add horseradish.
Add 2 Tablespoons of good quality horseradish.


Shrimp Cocktail, add lemon juice.
Add 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice.


Shrimp Cocktail, add Texas Pete.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce.

You could also add a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like, but I don’t usually do that.


Shrimp Cocktail, stir well.
Stir everything together until well combined.


Shrimp Cocktail, enjoy.


clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Shrimp Cocktail, printbox.

Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-4 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minute
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Appetizers, Dips
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Shrimp Cocktail is a great appetizer for any seafood lover. You could even make a whole meal out of it, just buy plenty of shrimp so no one has to do without.



1 lb. of fresh Shrimp, larger size preferred, tail on is best.
2 Tablespoons Sea Salt for boiling shrimp.
1 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish
1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce


Rinse fresh shrimp under cold running water.
Peel and devein as needed, leaving the tails on for best presentation.
Place about 3 quarts of water in a large sauce pot.
Add 2 Tablespoons of Sea Salt.
Place pot over Medium-High heat on stove top. Bring to a good rolling boil.
Add the shrimp.
Cover the pot and immediately TURN OFF THE HEAT.
Let shrimp cook 3 to 4 minutes until pink.
Quickly drain the shrimp and either place in ice bath or rinse under cold running water.
You need to stop the shrimp from cooking further as quickly as possible.
Place ketchup in a small mixing bowl.
Add the prepared horseradish.
Add the lemon juice.
Add Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
Mix well to combine.
Serve cocktail sauce with the cold shrimp.


Some folks like to add a small amount of Worcestershire Sauce to the cocktail sauce. And, you can adjust the amount of horseradish sauce you use up or down to suit your taste.

Keywords: shrimp cocktail, boiled shrimp, cocktail sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, sea salt, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, quick, easy, appetizers


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Category: Appetizers

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (2)

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  1. Debra M Yarbrough says:

    So good! I make mine very similar to this, the only difference is I use chili sauce instead of ketchup. My mother always did hers this way, I guess that’s why I do it too.

  2. Doris says:

    I use the same recipe for my cocktail sauce and your horseradish is my preferred brand. I do add the Worcestershire as well. Always enjoy a classic shrimp cocktail.

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