This Shrimp Cocktail and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce recipes are party staples. Making homemade shrimp cocktail is so easy, and it will save you money! 

$17.51  is all it costs to have this fresh-tasting appetizer in under 30 minutes. It makes eight servings for $2.19 per serving. For more appetizer ideas, I recommend these Crockpot Little Smokies, Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, and this Whipped Feta Dip

The finished shrimp cocktail recipe on a black platter and in clear plastic cups.

Shrimp Cocktail and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Holiday parties are not complete without a shrimp platter. You can easily buy a “shrimp ring” with some sauce from the store, and people may eat it. Or you can spend a few minutes and make this fresh shrimp recipe with homemade cocktail sauce, and really wow everyone!

The cold and tender shrimp is dipped into a sweet and spicy sauce that is way better than the store-bought kind. You will be amazed at the difference in taste. 

You can even make this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until it is time to set it out. No more rushing around trying to get last-minute appetizers ready!

This Shrimp Cocktail is great for holiday gatherings and New Year’s Eve, game day parties, and any other family party throughout the year. I love fresh cold shrimp to dip into that tangy cocktail sauce on a hot summer day. 

Any excuse is really the perfect excuse for making a Shrimp Cocktail!

An overhead picture of the finished shrimp cocktail on a black platter.

RELATED: How to Peel and Devein Shrimp 

What is the difference between ceviche and shrimp cocktail?

While both recipes call for shrimp in the ingredient list, there are a few key differences. Ceviche usually contains raw fish with spices, citrus juices, and veggies. Shrimp Cocktail is shrimp with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. 

What goes well with shrimp cocktail?

I love to serve Shrimp Cocktail with a yummy salad. Here are a few of my favorites:

Is a shrimp cocktail healthy?

Yes! Shrimp is a healthy source of protein and has few calories and no fat. 

How much will this Shrimp Cocktail cost to make: 



All of the ingredients needed to make shrimp cocktail and cocktail sauce.

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

  • 2 pounds shrimp – $13.94
  • 1 tablespoon salt – $0.03
  • 8 black peppercorns – $0.05
  • 2 bay leaves – $0.06
  • 2 lemons – $0.96
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice – $0.07
  • 2 cups ketchup – $1.76
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce – $0.04
  • 3-4 teaspoons horseradish – $0.60

Cook’s Tools:

  • Large pot
  • colander
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • whisk

How to make Shrimp Cocktail and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce: 

STEP ONE: First, clean the shrimp. Set the shrimp aside while you prepare a large pot of water.

STEP TWO: Add water, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and lemon juice to the pot. Boil for five minutes.

STEP THREE: Then, remove the water from the heat and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for two minutes. 

STEP FOUR: Next, add ice-cold water to a large bowl. Place the shrimp in the ice-cold water and then drain and transfer to a bowl. Add additional lemon juice before placing it in the fridge.

STEP FIVE: Finally, using a medium bowl, make the cocktail sauce. Serve with shrimp immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve. 

A picture collage of how to make shrimp cocktail and shrimp cocktail sauce.

How Long is it Good For?

SERVE: You can keep the shrimp out at room temperature for up to two hours before you need to refrigerate them. 

STORE: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. 

FREEZE: You can freeze the finished shrimp; note that the shrimp will not be as crisp. First, pat the shrimp dry. Then, place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving. 

More Appetizer Recipes:

An overhead picture of the finished shrimp cocktail on a black platter.
5 from 2 votes

Shrimp Cocktail and Cocktail Sauce

Recipe Cost $ 17.51
Serving Cost $ 2.19
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
8 people
This Shrimp Cocktail and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce recipes are party staples. Making homemade shrimp cocktail is so easy, and it will save you money!


  • large pot
  • colander
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring spoons and cups
  • whisk
  • Slotted spoon



  • 2 pounds shrimp deveined, shells removed and tails left on
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons juiced, divided
  • Ice


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-4 teaspoon horseradish to taste



  • Clean shrimp, devein and remove the shells. Set aside.


  • In a large pot, add cold water, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.


  • Remove the pot of boiling water from the heat and add in the shrimp.
  • Let the shrimp sit in the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp becomes opaque and the tails begin to curl.


  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add cold water and ice.


  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to the ice bath.
  • Let the shrimp sit for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the shrimp and place on a serving platter.
  • Squeeze the second lemon over the shrimp.
  • Chill the shrimp while you make the cocktail sauce.


  • Whisk together ketchup, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk in 1 teaspoon horseradish at a time until your desired taste.


  • Serve with shrimp immediately with cocktail sauce or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


You can make this recipe 1 day ahead of time. Store the shrimp and cocktail sauce in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 4shrimp | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 2318mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 308IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 3mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was delicious and easy to make. Great recipe!

  2. Looks delicious! I know my family would love this one.