This quick and easy Shrimp Cocktail recipe is the best appetizer for any occasion. A mix of chili sauce, horseradish, ketchup, and hot sauce makes the most delicious cocktail sauce for dipping shrimp. Whip this up in no time for your next party appetizer!
Why We Love This Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
Sweet, juicy shrimp dipped in a bold and spicy tomato-based cocktail sauce…what more could you want? This classic and elegant appetizer is simple, delicious, and sure to impress!
Variations on Cocktail Shrimp
There are tons of ways to change up this classic shrimp appetizer to better suit your tastes. I like mine a bit spicy, but if you’re not a fan of spice, you can omit the hot sauce for a milder sauce.
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How to Store
Store leftover shrimp cocktail in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy chilled. You can keep the cocktail sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
How to Freeze
Freeze leftover shrimp in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.
These shrimp are the perfect appetizer for your next party. Fill martini glasses with cocktail sauce and hang shrimp from the rim for an easy portable snack! Serve these alongside crudité and veggie dip or a charcuterie board. It’s a great NYE appetizer if you want to feel a little fancy as you ring in the new year.
You can buy fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. In fact, most “fresh” shrimp at the supermarket is simply thawed frozen shrimp.
The easiest way to thaw shrimp is to place them in the refrigerator overnight. If you need o thaw them more quickly, you can seal the shrimp in a Ziplock bag, submerge the bag in a large bowl filled with cold water, and let sit for 20-30 minutes, or until fully thawed. Rinse the shrimp before using.
No! Shrimp must be cooked before consuming!
I prefer to boil my shrimp. It’s quick and easy!
You only need to boil the shrimp for about 3 minutes to cook them through. Make sure to transfer them to ice water immediately to keep them from overcooking.
Yes! I always recommend rinsing your shrimp in ice water after cooking. It helps prevent them from overcooking.
Yes, it’s a pretty healthy choice! Shrimp are lean and full of protein. The cocktail sauce is what carries all the sodium and calories, so enjoy that part in moderation!
Yes, always serve this dish cold.
You can serve the shrimp directly on ice or place them in a bowl set on top of a larger bowl filled with ice. I do not recommend leaving shrimp out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours, though!
This dish will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
More Shimp Appetizers To Try
- Shrimp Dip
- Pesto Shrimp
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Shrimp Summer Rolls
- Honey Sesame Shrimp
- Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp and Grits Cups
- Shrimp Ceviche
How to Make Shrimp Cocktail Step by Step
Make an Ice Bath: Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Fill with water until full. Set aside.
Cook the Shrimp: Add 6 cups of water to a large pot. Stir in 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 halved lemon lemon, and 1 bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and add 2 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Chill the Shrimp: Immediately remove the shrimp and place them in the bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain the shrimp and pat them dry
Make the Sauce: In a bowl, stir together the ½ cup of Heinz Chili Sauce, ½ cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon of hot sauce, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, and kosher salt to taste.
Serve the Shrimp: Serve the shrimp with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.