Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp cocktail sauce is one of those amazing sauces that just perfect. I don’t know who first thought of this sauce and created, but I want to say a big THANK YOU!

This seafood sauce is the ideal dipping condiment for shrimp cocktail. I remember as a kid, always wanting to order shrimp cocktail, anytime we would go out to a restaurant. They were always pricy, but those big plump shrimp resting on the edge of the cup full of sauce – man that was one great appetizer.

As a kid, it seemed so fancy and so high class!

Well, I have never stopped loving shrimp or this amazing cocktail sauce! I often have a jar of it either in the fridge or the pantry. But, there is no need to buy the sauce because it is very easy to make and you likely have all the ingredients already in your kitchen!

For instructions to make peel and eat shrimp that is perfect for this cocktail sauce, check out this recipe – Peel and Eat Shrimp

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

Lately, I have been making my own homemade cocktail sauce for the shrimp and my family have been preferring it to the store-bought versions.

This sauce can be made in just a few minutes and all that is required is to whisk all the ingredients until they are well combined and the sauce is smooth in consistency.

It can’t get any easier than that, right??

If you are looking for cocktail sauce at the supermarket, sometimes you may come across regular and hot/zesty versions. The main difference between these two is the amount of horseradish.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

The beautiful thing about making your own cocktail sauce is that you can adjust the ingredients to match your taste preference. Use this recipe as a guide and tweak it to the way that you like it.

If you like it on the zesty side, add a little more horseradish. If you prefer a milder sauce, decrease it. If you like lots of tang, add more lemon juice.

I like mine with lots of zip, so I add a little extra horseradish. YUM!

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

I boil my own shrimp because I prefer the texture and taste of freshly boiled shrimp. But, you can purchase a bag of frozen shrimp, that has already been deveined, cooked and are ready to eat. Just thaw and serve them with this sauce.

It is such a simple appetizer!

If you are going to boil your own shrimp, make sure the raw shrimp is fresh or thawed. I don’t throw them in the water frozen. I like to boil them with the shell on and peel them once cooked. If they are deveined or butterflied, that is fine, just make sure they are not completely peeled prior to boiling.

Bring water, and any spices you want, to a boil in a big pot. Throw in the shrimp and once they are pink and float to the top they are done.

Once the shrimp float to the top of the boiling water, use a metal strainer to remove the cooked shrimp. Chill the shrimp in the fridge of toss them in a large bowl full of ice cubes.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

I find the amount of sauce that this recipe yields is enough for about 2 pounds of shrimp. Some lemon wedges go well with the shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Most times, I serve the shrimp with the peel still on and we do ‘peel and eat’ shrimp. Sometimes, and as shown in these photos, I peel all the shrimp ahead of time. This is nice when you are serving the shrimp at a party or event.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe - Easy Classic Seafood Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic
4.92 out of 5
101 reviews
How to make cocktail sauce for shrimp with this easy recipe. Homemade and copycat to the Heinz seafood cocktail sauce. Ketchup, horseradish and lemon for dipping.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 tablespoons


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp horseradish (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Whisk all the ingredients together until well mixed.
  • Serve with cooked shrimp.


Per serving:

Calories: 13kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 116mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

Nutrition Disclaimer

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • Hi, I used some other ingredients,
    sweet German mustard
    raw honey
    smoked paprika
    Asian garlic paste
    Horse Radish
    Worcestershire sauce
    Liquid smoke
    Lemon juice freshly squeezed

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    So good!! Just like my dad made it in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Thank you!!

    • Reply
    • Thanks Lori! So glad the recipe is like your dad’s sauce!

  • 5 stars
    That was a winner!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Well this is pretty much perfect! I didn’t make any modifications, which is rare lol. Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Thanks Lofton. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Excellent. Clean fresh sauce with perfect spicing. Thank you. Highly recommend this and it’s way less expensive than bought sauce.

    • Reply
    • I used Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    It sounds fantastic I’m definitely going to try this on Monday thank you

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Just made this quick and ever so tasty recipe .. Done in a jiffy and ever so good. Never need to purchase it again..Dinner guest was blown away..
    Many thanks.

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    Used Momo Fuku Chili Crunch in it and tasted great!

    • Reply
  • Thanks for the recipe.
    What are you calling “Hot Sauce”?
    A quick response will be appreciated as I am making the sauce as I write this.
    No Pressure, LOL.
    Thanks again, David

    • Reply
    • Hey David! I typically use Frank’s hot sauce or something similar. I have so many hot sauces in our fridge, that I will try various ones, different times I make this cocktail sauce. Hope this helps!!

  • 5 stars
    Very good and quick to make. Thankyou.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Had shrimp for the Superbowl and had no cocktail sauce. I made 2 bowls, one extra spicy for my husband and the other not so spicy for me. Will never buy jarred sauce again. So easy and so tasty,

    • Reply

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